T’was the night before the World Championship… | Darren LaCroix

T’was the night before the World Championship…

By Darren LaCroix | Toastmasters

And all through the house… was anxiety!

(OK, this BLOG may have typos, but I don’t have time to get it to my editor BEFORE I SEND IT OUT! No extra charge!)

I’m in Phoenix, AZ attending the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking (Saturday 9AM). I think it was David Brooks’ comment, the morning of the contest the only people smiling in the room are the past World Champions. Because we never have to go through the emotional roller coaster of competition again!

Many people come to the past World Champions for coaching. I know that I DO get emotionally involved in the contest, excited for the people competing.

What fascinates me is the variation of “coachability” in the contestants that come to me for advice on their speech. I can only comment on the people come to me (though it is the same every year). Some are complete sponges like I was. Some just ask for me to look at their speeches.

You SHOULD go to the person you respect, relate to, and connect with the most. This year, out of 10 contestants, I’ve personally had four ask me for help with their contest speech. Some have asked a quick question, some I’ve looked at their speech a time or two, and one I’ve looked at his speech over 30 times. What I don’t understand is that at least one contestant never asked any of the past World Champs (to my knowledge) for help.

Whether it is the World Championship of Public Speaking, or your next presentation, it is how you speak under “the pressure” in our own mind, that determines how successful you are.

I remember (though I never usually did back then) got a message. I used to be too cheap. And I remember walking by the spa hotel the day before the World Championship, and seeing the prices and thinking that’s outrageous! Then I asked myself a better question, “I have the speech of my life the next day, I’ve got a huge speech in the AM, I want to connect…. hmmmm, What would a Champion do?

It then became a no-brainer. I did it. Do you do what is best for connecting with your audience? Do you ask yourself questions about how to best handle the pressure?

Whether the championship, a paying client, or speaking for no fee. Prepare the same way!

It is about better Stage Time,

PS Congrats to our three EDGE Members who made it to the World Championship of Public Speaking…

…and to EDGE Member Simon Bucknall, who came in second representing the UK in the InterDistrict Contest!
PPS  Myself, and fellow World Champs Mark, Ed, and David were filmed while here for an independent documentary on the fear of public speaking. (I’ll keep you posted when I learn more).

PPS  Today is Mark Brown’s birthday. Mark was my speaker coach and THE reason I even had a chance at becoming a great speaker. If you know him, send him a happy birthday wish!
mark@markbrownspeaks.com

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