Toastmasters Convention 2015: Day Two – Patricia Fripp and Darren LaCroix


Patricia and Darren held an awesome session which included some mini coaching as well as amazing points on improving your speaking that all of the audience members could use. The session was titled Under the Magnifying Glass: Good to great on steroids…in Action! It was amazing! 
My favorite line – I’ve never had a coach nice me into growth. – Darren LaCroix 

First coachee: Who here, has ever in there entire whole life, been upset? Patricia helped her adjust it to: “How often have you been upset?”

Second coachee: Where is Waldo? For those of you that don’t know who Waldo is, he’s a cartoon character who looks a little different… Became “do you know the comic where’s Waldo?”

Third coachee: Every morning I… Every morning I wake up in that time zone between mountain standard and Mitzi time. Fripp found out that there were 5 different time zones in his speech, and in a 5-7 minute speech. Changed to: I’ve been waking up next to Mitzi for thirty years, what an adventure. Fripp then suggested a word to go with each time zone, i.e. Adventure for Mitzi time, etc.

Fourth coachee: raise your hand if you’ve ever been six years old. There I was, six years old, sitting in the back seat of the Plymouth station wagon. Fripp suggested starting the story already seated (he had a chair he sat in after the opening question). Based on audience response, Fripp suggested losing the opening question 

Fifth coachee: God spoke to Moses on the mount, he sent an Angel to deliver the message to Mary, and he sent me…the Mary Kay lady. [dropped, “I was thinking…”] I hate my job, I can’t stand where I live, my children don’t want to go to school. Darren suggested that she use internal dialog about her feelings, then “step out” when she wants to address the audience as the speaker. Fripp took it further with an opening to start with how we see her normally “successful person, happy, etc. but if you knew how I feel…then on to the line about hating her life. 

Sixth coachee: Opened with a story about not making it to the WCPS. Darren suggested getting to the conflict quicker. 

99 percent of what they coach is clarity, clarity, clarity. 

Best tips of the day:

In reference to someone Give the audience chance to get used to hearing your voice

Speak in shorter sentences or phrases, especially at the start of the presentation

I consider a good days work if I can take an 8 word sentence and take down to 5. – Jerry Seinfeld

Speak to the audience as you would speak to a single person. – not “how many of you…” 

The stability of your opening reflects the stability of your message

You need to stop and connect – don’t rush into your opening before the applause fully dies down

Getting to the scene late…

An audience would rather hear a good story well told than an awesome story poorly told. 

Tell it in dialog, even internal dialog is better that narration

Don’t just do something…stand there

Key Concept: How do I say it better, and in fewer words

Time is a set up phrase

What do you want your audience to do, think AND feel 

Habits are like railway tracks. They take a while to get into place, then they will take you wherever you want to go.

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