How would you handle it if you were giving a speech half way around the world to 700 people and you were missing something very important to your presentation?
Part I (The Conference)
Part II (Seeing the sights)
PLEASE COMMENT ON VIDEO and/or the STAGE TIME Article Casually Connect?
How would you have handled the situation?
Should Darren always pack an extra in his carry on?
Do you agree with Darren’s “no worries” attitude?
Darren LaCroix learned how to be funny the hard way by experience. He is a keynote speaker with a thriving publc speaking career. He authored books, CD’s, DVD’s, & other public speaking courses. He gives motivational speeches all over the world including Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia.
If you have built in credibility with the TM group by being a TM speaking celebrity (which you have), your clothes do not matter as much. If you are in front of a group who has no idea who TM is and what a World Champion is, then dress up.
Bottom line is it depends on the audience.
I am glad it all worked out! I am surprised that this happened because when I speak overseas, for say a 2 day training session, I have all my presentation stuff in my carry -on (2 suits, shoes, hairbrush, etc.) and everything else is checked on.
Its one less thing to worry about.
I’ve attended large conferences where some of the main speakers spoke in blue jeans and tennis shoes with their shirts untucked and hanging out the bottom of their sweater. Seriously, I was a little put off. I felt that the message was, “I want to wear what I want to wear–and maybe show you how cool and ‘authentic’ I am–and I don’t really care what you think.”
However, I think everyone understands that things happen. Eleven years ago, a new pastor was candidating at our church–a large church of over 1000 members. He and his luggage got separated on the flight and he had to preach the Sunday sermon in blue jeans and tennies. He made the whole thing into a big funny story and we all had a good laugh together. He got the job and we’ve loved him ever since.
“Should I wear casual clothes only in front of audiences…”
In Front to audiences, Yes.
Behind the audience, you can be as naked as you like.
Do what makes you feel comfortable. Personally I think you would connect with the audience no matter what you wear. It’s you that has to feel good about it and so have no attention on your clothes.
What an amazing speaking opportunity! You really showed us how a Champion handles the setbacks. You went on and played an awesome game!
“Champions aren’t born, they are made.”
Think BIG, Take ACTION, and ENJOY the journey!
p.s. Loved the camel ride! What an fun experience!
Darren, I believe our society has made casual Friday an every day experience which has resulted in casual production. A nicely dressed speaker commands respect before they open their mouths. That means No Jeans at the podium. Barbara
Please don’t worry about your clothes, Darren. Just come to Dubai and do a Boot Camp. Now wouldn’t that be cool!!!
ps And when you come to Dubai to do a Boot Camp, send your suit size in advance and we’ll have one waiting for you! That’s how organised we are here! Eileen
Dear Mr. Darren,
It reminds me the key note address of W. Mitchles in TM Convention, 2007,that “it is not what happens to you, it is what you do about it”. Wonderful.
I think there is a big difference between “I’m in my jeans because my luggage got lost” and “I’m in my jeans because I am casual about my speaking engagement.” One is an opportunity to bond with your audience. The other is a lost opportunity to appear professional.
I can see jeans being appropriate in certain instances, like Stampede Week in Calgary – a suit would look wrong! But that is still showing professionalism by letting your audience know that you are willing to dress appropriately for the event and enter into the spirit of it. It all comes down to respect…your audience wants to know that you are there for them, 150%, rather than thinking you can treat them casually in general. It’s like being punctual, knowing your material, and being courteous to the people behind the scenes.
And YOU, Ed and Craig are the ones who taught me that! Glad you’re having such a great time! 🙂
Darren, I think you handled it wonderfully. Especially because you were in a different country and culture – it was good to explain the situation. They could have felt you were being disrespectful. I tend to wear a jacket and slacks wherever I go (and carry my casuals one of my two small carry ons) but it’s hard for me to say others should do the same.
Most importantly, I think it who we are that speaks, far less than what we say. People are much more astute than we give them credit for. They can tell if we respect them or if we are only in it for the ego rush (and, of course, they can easily see things we’ve been hiding from ourselves… which is the real kicker.)
I appreciate your attitude and candor. You’ve been an inspiration to me and all the clubs in our district. Best wishes, Veronica
Excellent! You did what you had to do and all respected and thanked you for being honest and upfront. It worked well and I will try to remember when all does not go according to plans, improvise, let others know and go for it and then move on…well done!
Thank you for showing me how to get past the small stuff and be for realy and move on!
Dear Darren I have seen you presenting in formal clothes, casual and local Arab outfit looking like Lawrance of Arabia. You were fantastic in all outfits because you were speaking from the heart and we were listening to a real life character who went from chump to a champ something we all dream to be. The trick I learned from you is to ask permission from your audience to appear with any outfit for the occasion. We loved every moment of your stage time.
Best regard Nazeer
I was there and really enjoyed your every speech. You handled the lost luggage and casual clothes situation so graciously it was definitley not a reason for concern for anyone. Nice to see how much you enjoyed the place and the people. I have lived here in the UAE for over 10 years and like most of us Americans, have not learned much Arabic. One common Arabic phrase I learned recently applies in the case of the casual clothes for sure. Mafi Muskillah – you may have heard the English version a few time while you were here “No Problem”
Cheers and thanks for being here with us for DTAC.
Ron – Dubai Petroleum Toastmasters VP Education
What’s (truly) in a dress? Is the suit more to ‘suit’ the audience or to ‘build up your own confidence’? How well can we handle the crowd /audience dressed unconventionally?
Your presence, poise, confidence and delivery more than proved the above from the perspective of a world-class speaker.
We (in UAE) live in a desert where the UAE nationals go around attired in their traditional dress. But we, the expatriates, have “made it a norm” to be dressed in a suit – even if we make a business call to the manager of a swimming pool dressed in shorts.
Your mentioning about the lost luggage, however, drove down the message that you were not trying to “don’t carish” but that you would rather have been in a suit in that formal environment.
Here’s wishing you more power – from one of the listeners in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Inner Universe Toastmasters Club
It’s not so much about what you did or did not wear. It was an opportunity for the audience to see you as transparent which is always preferred.
Also you told them “as it is” explaining your predicament. It’s kind of like the “Cherry Tree” and how you took it out of your speech because the mind could wander. You brought them back to focus on you by answering the immediate question.
We’ve all had setbacks and witnessing one first hand then seeing you handle it head on without skipping a beat built your credibility even further.
You were teaching them how to handle obstacles by example. Very cool and you used it to your advantage. 🙂
I went through this argument when I joined a Funeral establishment that I became the President of in the past year. Sounds like a suit would be required, however… we specialize in home funerals, empowering the families to take care of their own. I was sure it was a dress up job but was taught differently & had it proven time & again. We have found that wearing a suit when going to a grieving family’s home means that we spend 20 minutes building a bond. When we show up in more casual attire, folks who have just went through hell & have lost a loved one, maybe haven’t showered or cleaned house are relieved and less self conscious or apologetic. It builds rapport much quicker.
Of course, suits are worn at formal funerals or when appropriate.
Yours response was poised and sincere.
I wouldn’t dream of a repeat because you can’t afford to go through the rest of your life as a cheap phony immitation of yourself.
God has planed for you to keep growing and evolving in ways that you can’t even immagine right now.
Don’t let your reputation become prison bars.
Yours in speaking,
P.S. When are you going to be in New England again?
A similar thing happened to me once and like you i went with the clothes on my back when something more formal was appropriate. Only later did i realize that i could have bought some new clothes for the occassion. Maybe there wasn’t time or opportunity in your case. There was both in my situation, but for some reason the idea never crossed my mind. I guess I paniced.
Glad it all worked out for you.
As always, Honesty is the best policy.
All things considered, wearing jeans is mickey mouse. If they’re paying a ton of money, jeans represents something dangerously close to an insult – wear the [Saville Row] suit. On the other hand, your circumstances were unique and your reaction shows the power of The Person In Charge to set the tone, and your addressing the thing up front was dead on. It’s what you say, not now you look when you say it that counts – good for you, Darren!
Hey, Darren! Let me know when the Boot Camp will be and I’ll register right now! 🙂
You and Ed were great in Abu Dhabi and it’s a delight to know that you were made to feel as at home here as we ‘long timers’ do. (I absolutely refuse to say old-timer!) We can understand lost luggage – it happens a lot!
My day job is in sales in the commercial vehicle industry…heavy duty truck parts. Years ago we all wore a dress shirt and tie to work everyday, it was expected by our distributors. As the industry evolved things changed. In some venues we still wear a dress shirt and tie and sometimes a suit. On most days when we are working with other sales people and calling on their customers (the truck parts users)we are dressed business casual. We found that a person dressed in a tie intimidated the customer and at times would view us with distain for what they do. Just like speaking to the needs of the audience is most important. Dressing to the comfort level of your audience also counts.
I think lot of people have voiced their opinion. I am not going to do that. You haven’t finished the story yet. When did you baggage actually get in? Did you ever got your luggage in the trip or atleast came before you are leaving?!