The Depressed Motivational Speaker

You’re about to present at a conference, and you’re waiting your turn. Your mind is racing with the personal challenges in your life. You try to focus on helping the audience, but it is hard to remain present and keep your mind from drifting back to personal challenges. What do you do? Have you ever felt depressed or actually had depression and still had to give an inspiring presentation? That... [Read more]

Darren’s God Blog: “Are Your Prayers Answered?”

I’ve been praying more now than ever before. Sometimes when we are down, we question our faith. Are you are like me? Do you wonder if God is listening and watching? So, what can you do? I’m not an authority on this. I’m just sharing my ups and downs as I go along. One idea that seems to be helping me combines prayer and focus. I purchased a composition book and started writing down any prayers... [Read more]

What They Need and Don’t Even Know It

You have your presentation. You have your content. You have your experience and delivery. Perfect, but do you know what your audience really needs? Whether you are speaking to a company, public seminar, or association, there are people in your audience who need help. They are each at various stages of knowledge about your topic. They are also at various stages of experience in the group they are sitting... [Read more]

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Seriously. You walk into an event and look around. What do you see? Do you see anything wrong with the picture above? It was taken as Ed Tate was running a warm-up exercise for attendees before Lady & the Champs actually started. Everything was just right. Months of preparation had paid off. Whether you are holding an event of your own or speaking at someone else’s, always look at your environment.... [Read more]

‘Hopefully, I Won’t Screw Up.’

  What makes you feel presentation pressure? A big client? A big paycheck? Colleagues watching? Family in the audience? A speech contest? The pressure is real even though it is only in your head. On Saturday, my friend Alex was graduating from the NSA Las Vegas Speakers Academy. She was presenting to our chapter, and they were videotaping her. Yikes! This could be great demo video. Or not! It... [Read more]

Do You Want to Speak or Be Heard?

Interesting question to ponder: If you sit down and have a conversation with someone, and they listen intently to everything you have to say, then stand up and walk away without ever commenting on your conversation, how would you feel? What if you knew that the advice you gave was great and exactly what the person listening to you needed? You had the chance to speak, but were you, in fact, heard? Often... [Read more]

Darren’s God Blog: “Is the Reverse True Now?”

The Bible talks about people who pray in public at length, partially to impress others. Two thousand years ago that may have impressed people, but we are asked to pray in private. Do you think the reverse is true today? If someone openly prayed in public, what would the perception be? Would people think they were a wacko without credibility or be impressed with their commitment? Would that person lose... [Read more]

Darren’s God Blog: “I Never Looked at It That Way”

In my quest to learn more, I’m trying to read books about the Bible as well as reading the Bible itself more. Cathey Armillas recommended one that I like called Speaking of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism. We Christians are supposed to let people know about Jesus, but some approaches seem to be more effective than others. What works? I told my pastor about the book, and he liked it. That helps me... [Read more]

Speech Contests? Steven Tyler Agrees?

“I went through four hours of hair and makeup to listen to this bull—t?” This was Steven Tyler, complaining about the background noise at the USS Midway location for the San Diego auditions. He’s said some crazy things as a judge on American Idol. He also said something in an interview that was so brilliant that it felt as if he jumped out of the TV screen and shook me. I think... [Read more]

Powerful Storytelling Tool: Hmm . . .

When you think of a powerful tool, what image comes to mind? One definition, according to, is “anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose.” Well, if you use stories to accomplish a task or a purpose, here is a powerful tool you simply must use. It is simple yet rarely used. Whether you are a professional presenter, corporate presenter, or just a lover of stories,... [Read more]