Our club meets

Every Wednesday evening except holidays and summer.

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Kings Way Care Centre, 8 Squire Drive in Quispamsis, NB (it's the seniors home on the Gondola Point Arterial) - in the Boardroom.

We'd love to meet you.

There are no meetings on storm days.

View Google maps location.

Contact a member.

The One Class Every Presenter Should Take ... And I Don't Even Teach It!

by Darren LaCroix

Can we agree that different training is more helpful in different fields? Even in college. If you want to be an engineer, it helps to be good at math. If you want to be a doctor, it helps to study pre-med before you go to medical school. Although there are clearly a few exceptions... doesn't that make sense to do this?

So, what should a presenter do for training?

There are obviously public speaking classes, Toastmasters, and boot camps like the ones I teach... but what is another crucial class that every presenter should take?

I get asked this on occasion, and my answer is always the same. Take an improvisation class. Bottom line, I think it is the best training a presenter can have. Before I explain why, let me take you back in my career.

Besides taking improv classes from a Boston adult education program, I spent a year and a half doing an improv show called: Nathan and Nina's Wedding (see photo above). It was a take off on the popular Joey and Maria's Wedding improv show. The funny part was I played Nathan the Jewish groom -- a big stretch for a Roman-Catholic boy. Even funnier, my co-author Rick Segel (who was Jewish) played the Catholic Priest! I even wrote and performed a rap song, that included the line Yo, Yo, Yo, OY! It was fun, and part of my developing style.

Although is was great getting married twice a week, I can't tell you how much it did for my confidence. The wedding ceremony was scripted, but the rest of the two hour performance was not. Constantly "being in the moment" didn't allow me to hide behind a script. It forced me to grow and understand that I could handle anything. If I couldn't... well... I could handle that, too!

As a true professional presenter, remember, any person can handle an easy audience. Only the best presenters can handle the tough ones, and the difficult situations.

Check online, or at a local comedy club, to find an improv class near you. A single class may not immediately transform your skills. But, it will give you techniques to help you "be in the moment." This will go along way in helping you deal with "anything" that comes up, and guide you to turn a bad moment into one that makes you shine.

Although being an improv performer for a year and a half was a great deal of fun, it truly helped me become the speaker I am today.

What helped you get where you are now? What training can you get to move you towards where you want to go?

Improv time. Improv time. Improv time.

About the Author

Darren LaCroix has travelled the road from rags to riches as failed Subway restaurant owner to award winning speaker - he's the Toastmasters 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking. As Darren said in his winning speech,

"After 4 years of business school I went for the American Dream. I bought ... a subway sandwich shop. You're all impressed - I can tell. I don't want to brag but I took a $60,000 debt and in six short months ... I doubled that debt. I turned my subway sandwich shop into a non-profit organization."

As you can tell, Darren's a humorist. He's also a film producer, speech coach, and professional speaker.

Learn how Darren proceeded from being the world's least funny man to a man who helps others learn how to be funny. Check out Darren's website, www.humor411.com, for newsletter articles and resources for better public speaking.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

We'll let you know about special meetings or new articles to help you hone your presentation skills. Just enter your email address below.