Three Top Tips to become a top speaker – by World Champion Darren LaCroix
You don’t have to be on the speaking circuit to require top notch speaking skills these days.
World Champion of Public Speaking Darren LaCroix didn’t start out as a professional… He sat in his first Toastmaster club in 1994, scared to death – but eager to learn.
In 2001, Darren out-spoke 25,000 contestants from 14 countries to win the title World Champion of Public Speaking. Since that victory, Darren has travelled the world demystifying the process of creating a powerful speech. He has roused audiences in faraway places like Saudi Arabia, China, Oman, Malaysia, and Taiwan with his inspirational journey from first-rate chump to first-class champ, proving anything is possible if you are willing to work for it.
Here are three tips from 2001 World Champion Speaker Darren LaCroix (http://darrenlacroix.com):
1) Be so good, people talk about how much you helped them for years to come. Focus on your audience’s outcome, not some “get known quick trick”. Help them get where they want to go. Your energy and efforts are invested by making your content king and delivery your queen. Bring your brand to your speech. Make it so much fun, that you create a demand for your personal brand.
People who are the best, earn more and are simply more in demand. Why? Because raving fans will do most of the marketing for them. That’s real, pure, social media at work.
2) In order to be the best, you need to learn from the best. Why? Because they think differently. Identify what specific aspects of your speaking you want to work at. If you’re relatively new to speaking then join a speaking club such as Toastmasters International. Club members will help you to identify your speaking strengths and any bad habits that are holding you back.
Seek out the best mentors you can – they might be voice coaches, former actors, comedians, or other professional speakers. Be a sponge.
Understand the key habits your mentors have that have led to their success and make them your habits.
3) Stage time! Stage time! Stage time! The key to becoming great is stage time. The more often you get up on stage, the faster you will grow. That will always remain true. And maximise the learning from each experience – video – and replay – each performance. Analyse it, see what worked and what didn’t, and refine it for next time – just like any top sports team would do.
A word of caution: emerging professionals must be careful early on in their professional career that they don’t say, “Yes!” to the wrong paid speech. Being “average” doesn’t get you referrals. It doesn’t get you raving fans. Taking the wrong paid speech, as a professional, can actually hurt your career. So make sure the topic is one you’re passionate about and that fits your experience.
Use these tips to guide your journey to the top of your game. Success requires patience and a systematic approach – just like in all other aspects of life. Enjoy the trip!
Darren La Croix is a member of Toastmasters International and World Champion of Public Speaking.
Darren is available to write a longer article based on this topic, and is available for email and telephone interviews.
About Toastmasters International:
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Founded in October 1924, the organisation currently has more than 280,000 members in 13,500 clubs in 116 countries. Each week, Toastmasters helps more than a quarter million people of every ethnicity, education and profession build their competence in communication so they can gain the confidence to lead others. There are over 250 clubs in the UK and Ireland with over 7000 members.