I Messed Up!

(Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash)   I still remember it. The youth conference in Upstate New York. The event planner knew that I spoke to youth and had asked me to make a presentation to a small group of high school students. Truly, I didn’t want to accept the invitation to speak, but I…

A Flower In The Snow

(Photo by Luke Richardson on Unsplash) 2020 was a difficult year for many of us, and I am no exception. When I hear people talk about 2020, it’s sometimes with painful memories about the global pandemic, with anger about the injustices that we witnessed, with animosity towards people who don’t share their political views, with…

Leadership Speaker, Mark Brown, CSP

Conduct a Quality Q & A

  You’ve just NAILED your presentation, and to add value, you decide to include…questions-and-answers. Yes…the infamous Q & A SESSION! For many speakers, the Q & A has become the standard way to conclude their program, but that leads, interestingly enough, to a few QUESTIONS,  four of which I’ll answer here…in a Q & A…

The Cutting Room Floor

“My speech is too long, but I really want the audience to hear everything I have to say!” That’s a sentiment that many speakers have expressed…particularly contestants in the Toastmasters International Speech Contest, who MUST adhere to the time limit of [7:30] or face disqualification. Unfortunately, disqualifications have occurred several times at the highest level…

Better Left Unsaid

Several times in the past 50 years, I’ve heard the old adage, “Some things are better left unsaid!” It means that some thoughts SHOULD NOT BE VOCALIZED…usually because it could offend listeners or get the speaker in trouble. That may very well be true, but when you’re delivering a presentation…especially telling a story…that is NOT…

The Case For Collaboration

I’ve been a member of the National Speakers Association for more than 20 years and I try to attend their annual convention every summer. That’s where the stars in the world of professional speaking come out to shine; speakers like Mark Sanborn, Patricia Fripp, and the hilariously funny Jeanne Robertson. Other legends include the men…

What’s Your ‘WHY?’

Several years ago, I sat down for a leisurely breakfast with one of my favorite people on the planet…1994 World Champion of Public Speaking, Dr. Morgan MacArthur. I always enjoy our conversations because we discuss a range of topics from the inane to the sublime. Morgan makes me laugh…a lot…but he also makes me THINK.…

Say A Few Words

You have really been enjoying yourself at the party. Your neighbor and host, Deepak, has created a wonderful, celebratory atmosphere. You and 40 others share his joy as he sends his son Ram off to university, with a full-tuition scholarship, to study engineering. Deepak stands and taps the side of his glass with a spoon.…

The Power of Contrast

On a visit to India a few years ago, my wife Andrea and I saw Krishna’s Butterball in Mahabalipuram, India. I could describe it as a large rock, and you could probably visualize it. However, if I were to say that Krishna’s Butterball is an IMMENSE chunk of rock, so massive that we were dwarfed…

Don’t LOSE it; USE it!

In 1970, the film HERCULES IN NEW YORK was released, and it starred an inexperienced 22-year-old Austrian bodybuilder whose name was listed as ARNOLD STRONG “Mr. Universe”. It was the first film for the young man whose given name is Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film isn’t a critic’s favorite but it has become something of a…