That’s the main message I remember from the first workshop that Darren facilitated on Monday 6th February in Melbourne.
I also remember him mentioning the importance of the PAUSE.
The Pause is a chance for audience reflection.
Darren’s philosophy “starting a presentation on time” is valuable and important. He encourages participation with the audience by engaging in Q & A at the beginning of each presentation and integrating with people who arrive late. It’s a way of “breaking the ice” and creating a collective space. He also mingles with guests as they arrive, takes photos, and asks questions. I like that. It’s personable and develops an instant rapport.
In early adulthood, he acknowledged that he was dyslexic.
Darren played baseball as a child and his dream was to be an athlete. He was a quiet and shy boy with a few close friends. He was raised a Catholic and is now a born again Christian with a very strong faith.
Darren joined Toastmasters in 1994, The Bose Speakers Club in Framingham, Massachusetts.
When asked, “How do you relate to members who collect you from the airport, such as Jacqueline Bignell on this occasion?” Darren’s response was “Connection makes it easy. The Toastmasters connection is one of trust and helpful hearts, regardless of culture. Thus I feel comfortable and safe.”
He wears a wrist band which says “I AM SECOND.”
“God is the way to Heaven. One must be humble, grateful and thankful and my motto is: Reach Out!”
“My personal faith motto is The Parable of the 3 Talents”
Darren claims God wrote his ‘Ouch’ speech, which he delivered and won in 2001, which earned him the title of ‘World Champion of Public Speaking’.
A tip from Darren when delivering a speech is: “To invoke emotions, choose a child in your life that you care about. Deliver your message as if it was the last time you could influence that child before you die and then give your speech. Visualise them in the audience during the presentation.”
Darren’s answers to some fun questions were:
1. Favourite movie? RUDY
2. What famous person would you invite to dinner? ROBIN WILLIAMS
3. Favourite meal? Sister, DONNA’s Penne and Meatballs
4. Genre of music preferred? CHRISTIAN WORSHIP ROCK and 80’s Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, and Journey
5. What are you reading the moment? BORN TO RUN, audible autobiography – read by Bruce Springsteen
6. Impression and experience of Aussies: People have great hearts and are very cheeky. By this he means happily sarcastic and positive.
Darren’s personal mission statement is “I’ll be the greatest ambassador that Toastmasters has ever had.”
During his stand-up comedy days, he fed on “ha ha” moments. Now he has a deep passion for “aha” moments. “Aha” is letting go of a previous belief.
Darren’s Dharma, or purpose in life, is to help people tell their own personal stories with emotion, conviction, and confidence. He has a Pastor Conference coming up in April, where his objective and desire is to help Pastors deliver to the Congregation and connect Bible teachings with today’s real world.
It was an honour and privilege to meet and spend time with this humble and warm gentleman. It was agreed that we all come from the same Source. Let us unite through Toastmasters, lend a hand where we can, and rise above ourselves to be of service to humanity.