Stage Time: TED-fluence

You can thank TED or blame TED. Things are changing in the speaking world, and it’s not so much the change in technology as it is the change in format. I hear more and more people talking about TED Talks. Even my 21-year-old nephew watches TED Talks but only knows about Toastmasters because of me. Young people are attracted to the ideas, format, and length. I believe we can all learn something... [Read more]


VIDEO: Become a Life Virtuoso, Mike Rayburn at TEDxNavesink

  See Mike Rayburn, CSP, CPAE live at Lady and the Champs Want to know more about HOW to Become a Life Virtuoso? Join Mike Rayburn and me for the LIVE EVENT get details    Read More →


Stage Time: Abraham Lincoln, You, and Me!

Have you ever been impatient? Ever wonder if some of your goals will ever come to fruition? Me, too. Perhaps you remember being a newbie at a professional association and seeing the mentors on stage in front of the group. Maybe, somewhere in the back of your mind, a tiny little dream seed was planted, and you knew that you wanted some day to become that mentor that everyone is talking about. You aren’t... [Read more]


Stage Time: Oh, Man. That’s a Problem.

When you look at this sidewalk light, what do you see? If it were not in the center of the picture, would you even notice it? Most people probably would not, not at first anyway. We’d probably notice first the city of San Diego in the background, the water, and the beach. Let’s take a different perspective. What about a seagull? What would it notice? Being on the constant search for food... [Read more]


Stage Time: The Math to Mastery

“Raise your hand if you would like to be a world-class presenter.” Whenever I give a presentation these days, I ask that very question. Most of the audience members raise their hand. Would you? I believe every presenter can be world-class. I think every presenter wishes they were. The bigger question is, are they willing to do what it takes to get there? Very few people are willing to put... [Read more]


Stage Time: The Two-Step Power Punch! Presentation Boxing Magic

When putting a presentation together, too many people try to write the whole thing out as their first step. If your presentations are based on a slide presentation deck, you know the crutch of putting a new one together by taking a previous version of the slide deck and simply tweaking it. Guilty? I know I am. I know many of my corporate presenter clients are guilty as well. A brilliant presentation... [Read more]


Stage Time: I Just Made a Rookie Mistake

We all make mistakes. After twenty years on the platform, I still make them. They might not be as frequent or as bad as in my early days of giving presentations, but this last one was definitely a rookie mistake. When I arrive at any event, I usually look around and listen to the buzz around the room to see if I can customize some humor or points for that specific audience. Sometimes I find some good... [Read more]


Stage Time: Neil Diamond & Ed Tate Understand. Do You?

Do you study people who are the best in any industry to see how their expertise applies to you? On Mother’s Day I took my girlfriend Cathey to see Neil Diamond in concert. He is an amazing performer, especially considering that he is 74 years old. When I am sitting in an audience, it is hard for me to take off my presentation coach hat. I want to learn from world-class performers. I love finding... [Read more]


Stage Time: The Weirdest Feedback I Ever Heard

In 2001, while practicing my speech “Ouch!” in front of an Advanced Toastmasters Club, I was shocked and perplexed by a comment from two of the advanced members. At this point I had given my speech several times and had received an enormous variety of feedback. I thought I had heard it all. This comment, though, threw me. After getting many kudos and accolades for my speech, a woman approached... [Read more]


Darren’s God Blog… “The Denying Rock”

As I continue learning more through my Bible reading, I recently had an epiphany. I had heard the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus three times over and over again. I had also heard that Jesus called Peter the rock upon which he was going to build his church. Until my readings this week, I had never connected those two diametrically opposed stories. Think about it. Would you trust your whole family... [Read more]