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]

Stage Time: Lose Like a Champion?

It was 1998. I had been a Toastmaster for four years and was starting to get paid for my keynote speeches. I was sitting in my seat, eagerly awaiting the announcements of the Division Humorous Speech contest. I had worked hard on my speech; it was completely original, and I had gotten some good laughs. The contest master said, “And the second place winner is Darren LaCroix.” I thought, “What?... [Read more]

Darren’s God Blog… “Favorite Aha Line from the A.D. Mini-Series”

In my goal to educate myself about Jesus, I have been watching the mini-series. Though I know there is some Hollywood storytelling in there, I’ve been getting clearer on the whole Bible story. This is one of my favorite lines in the show, though not word for word: “Twelve men took down the Roman empire with love.” I know God was behind them. I feel a bit silly that I did not realize this about... [Read more]

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]