‘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 Dictionary.com, 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]


Darren’s God Blog: “Sometimes It Is Good; Sometimes Not”

You and I are different. You and I may also have some similarities. Neither right nor wrong. In some ways good, and in some ways maybe not as good. It depends on the situation and your beliefs. One of my characteristics is that I can be legalistic. I’ve come to learn that this can have its place. While I’m trying to learn to live more of the life God intended for me, I sometimes come to a situation... [Read more]


Stage Time: Got Dreams? Warning!

Dreams are great. The climb and struggle toward achieving your dreams are essential, but today I want to cover the other side of dreams. Beware, passionate dreamer, people are out to make money on your passion for your dream. It is good to have a dream. It is great to pursue it. We all need help getting there. I’m just saying that you should pause before you pursue. My friend Ford Saeks says bluntly,... [Read more]


Darren’s God Blog: “It Makes Me Uncomfortable”

OK, let me say this right up front. I don’t like conflict, and I avoid it when I can. There, I admitted it. As I learned more about what my walk with Jesus is really supposed to look like, I knew I’d have to make some adjustments, but some are easier than others. It felt right to stop judging people outside the church, non-believers. I did not realize until my rededication that I needed to be more... [Read more]


Presentation Skills: A New Puppy Can Learn an Old Trick

Do you look for presentation tips everywhere you can? There are lessons all around you if you look. With my passion for teaching presentation skills, sometimes it is hard to turn that part of my brain off. My friend’s stepdaughter was performing in a grade school play, Annie, Jr. I went to support her. Watching the kids get ready for their performance took me back to my school days. For many of... [Read more]