Sharing the Stage with A Champion

Submitted by Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP

The best-kept secret in the speaking profession is all the greatest in our business have a coach.  The role of a coach is someone who will help you before, during and after your talk to improve and refine its content.  When being coached you must be open to candid and honest feedback about your content, presentation style and stage presence.  Oregon NSA was proud to host the 1999 International Toastmaster of the year, Darren LaCroix. 

Darren shared with us countless tips on how to improve your speaking career and move from good to great.  After the talk I spoke with a few participants to see what their one key take away would be from Sierra Modoro she posted on Facebook her take away was to choose intentional stories with clear points to back up the key messages in her presentations.  Brian Paxton commented on Darren’s suggest of Stage time, Stage time, Stage time referring to the fact Darren uses key words in repetition to help his audiences remember him days after he has walked off the stage.  I was moved by Darren’s comments that a book is credibility and products are profit.  Are you being selfish by not having products so people can take you home with them?

 For the second half of the night Darren handed the stage over to a few participants for private coaching.  Arty Trost a guest to the chapter was courageous enough to volunteer to share 3-5 minutes of one of her whirl wind adventures as an ultra light pilot.  Speaking with Arty after the event she said,  “Getting coached by Darren was an incredible learning experience! I KNEW I should stop and scan the room before launching into my speech. Yet, as Darren would say, I knew it in my mind yet hadn’t truly integrated my knowledge into my behavior. So I began speaking as soon as I turned to face the group. Darren stopped me and told me to scan the room first. “Well, duh…” I thought to myself. But my scan was too brief (I thought it was fairly long!) and so Darren stopped me and asked me to scan again. His coaching was very helpful – and so was the feedback from the group. Their energy around helping me improve was enriching. I’m glad I volunteered for the coaching.”

 NSA Oregon is excited to offer Oregon’s professional speaking community access to regional and national speaking experts that help us all improve in our businesses and on the platform.  Hope to see you at our May 13 event with Don Cooper, The Sales Heretic.

National Speakers Association-Oregon is a professional membership association of professional speakers whose expertise covers a broad range of topics, skills, knowledge and experience, and an affiliated chapter of the 4,000 member National Speakers Association – the recognized voice of the speaking profession that sets the benchmark for platform excellence worldwide.