Stage Time: Who is Bernie?

When I was growing up, it was always exciting to go snowmobiling at my uncle’s farm in western Massachusetts. This is a picture of my uncle and my mom back in the 70’s. My uncle, also my godfather, could fix anything, and he always made me feel loved. Unfortunately he passed away last week. Though I had not been in touch with him recently, losing him made me think. Something said at his eulogy... [Read more]


Darren’s God Blog… “How Dare I?”

Ever hear a statement that just slapped you upside the head with a life-changing revelation? One profound instance for me happened at one of my live boot camps. During a sincere moment at the end of the camp, my friend shared a revelation he had experienced: “How dare I read self-help books all of the time and never read a book on being a better parent.” Wow. That not only struck me in the moment,... [Read more]


Stage Time: Brilliance from a Real Guitar Hero

Did you hear what he said? What I mean is did you really hear what he said? In the midst of passion and laughter, sometimes the listener doesn’t hear quiet brilliance. How closely are you listening? This year at Lady & the Champs, we had a special guest, Patricia Fripp’s brother, Robert Fripp. Rolling Stone Magazine said that Robert Fripp is the 41st greatest guitarist in the history of rock... [Read more]


Stage Time: Results – Against the Grain

Would you be willing to spend two days and pay people to help you reevaluate your entire business? Honestly, I was always a bit too cheap to do that and didn’t think it was really a good use of time. I finally smartened up a bit and realized I was wasting valuable resources in the long run by not doing it. If you read last week’s article, you know that this past week I had a two-day strategy... [Read more]


Stage Time: Go Against Your Grain

One of my dad’s nicknames is Geppetto. Like Pinocchio’s father, my dad is amazing at creating and carving in wood. He was eager to share his woodworking passion with me as I was growing up, and he taught me everything about it. One of the very first things he taught me was that a piece of wood gets smoother when you sand with the grain of the wood. If you sand against the grain, you actually... [Read more]


Stage Time: Your Natural Disadvantage

How would you answer if I were to ask you to name your presentation strength? Maybe it’s your natural ability to tell stories? Maybe it’s your stage presence? How about the visuals you create? How about your ability to make complex ideas simple? Pick something. What would you say to me? Did you ever stop and think where that strength comes from? Were you given that gift from birth, or did... [Read more]


Stage Time: “Darren, Would You Just Look at My 5-7-Minute Speech?”

It happens every year about this time. It is speech contest time in Toastmasters world. 35,000 contestants from around the world are competing to become the World Champion of Public Speaking. Whether or not you are a speech contestant, there is a lesson here for you and me. I admire people who have the courage to track me down and ask the question. That’s cool, but let’s look at the question.... [Read more]


Stage Time: You Said It Brilliantly, But…

As presenters, we have an enormous responsibility. We must leave the audience with a new perspective on our topic. We need to lead as closely as possible right up to the point of improvement. It is their responsibility to apply it to their lives and then reflect on the experience. Insight + Application + Reflection = Learning Patricia Fripp says, “True learning occurs in moments of reflection.”... [Read more]


Stage Time: Humor Me ~ Inside the Mind of an Entertainment Shopping King

When an emerging speaker is building a career and credibility, it is helpful to tap into experts with great credibility in that field. This is a great way to transfer value as you gain confidence. When I started in the professional speaking world, I was told I needed to write a book. Write a book? I did not even like to read! When I was asked to co-author a book, Laugh & Get Rich by Rick Segel,... [Read more]


Stage Time: Half as Good

“Vinnie, how do you know who is going to make it,” I asked my mentor. He quickly replied, “That is easy, Darren; whoever keeps going.” His answer was so simple and yet so powerful. That was a surprising answer. I loved it. I got a surprising question several years ago from a speech competitor. He was a semi-finalist in the World Championship of Public Speaking and had just found out... [Read more]