March 17, 2014 fm

We Dove, We Dared, We Discovered

On March 14 and 15, 2014, in Warsaw I had the enormous pleasure to participate once again in one of our Spectacular Speaking events. Organized by founder Olivia Schofield and the Polish power pack Jerzy Zientkowski and Justine Holubowicz, for the first time we offered an optional second day of personal super growth.

The line-up of passionate pro speakers and trainers included Olivia Schofield (OS), Tobias Rodrigues (TR), John Zimmer (JZ), Peter Zinn (PZ), Jerzy Zientkowski (JZi) and me.

After Poznan, Cologne and Antwerp the Warsaw gig, for me, was by far the most emotional experience. Thanks to day two – dedicated to speaking and evaluating – we experienced incredible growth. Participants didn’t expand their comfort zone; they smashed it!

Special thanks to our social media driver Darryl Heron and Veronica whose passion for filming is palpable.

Below I post some of the most memorable phrases I heard throughout those two days.

In 2015, Barcelona will be the place to be. Stay tuned at Spectacular Speaking!

See you on stage!


  • Preparation is the cornerstone of any speech. — JZ
  • The more time you can dedicate to preparation the better your presentation will be. — JZ
  • Know the lay of the land. — JZ
  • Andre Agassi: “Your tennis bag is like your heart. You have to know what’s in it.” — JZ


  • One idea per slide. — JZ
  • “Thank you” is bad for the last slide. “Questions” is worse. And the worst? “Thank you. Questions?” — JZ
  • Powerpoint does NOT equal Word. — JZ


  • Aristotle’s seven golden rules of storytelling: Plot, Character, Theme, Speech, Chorus (Music), Decoration, Spectacle — PZ
  • Learn from improv theatre: Turn your “Yes, buts…” into “Yes, ands…” — PZ
  • Why should I tell a personal story? First, I know it. Second, only I know it. Third, I learned from it, which makes it inspirational. — PZ
  • Different audience, different story. — PZ


  • Your message is a seed. — TR
  • Higher purpose means to give something more than yourself. — TR
  • What is the pain the audience feels and how can they turn this pain into pleasure? — TR
  • If I cannot offer something to my audience which takes away their pain in some way and turns it into pleasure, my speech is not ready. — TR
  • Evidence: Stats, expert opinions, personal testimonials, examples, logical demonstration — TR
  • The best way to care about your audience is to care about them. — TR


  • Mikhail Baryshnikov: “I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.” — OS
  • It’s important that we are better every time we speak. — OS
  • There’s no one in this room like me. “Thanks, God!” I hear my mother say. — OS #humor #selfdeprecation #unexpected
  • Yes, ladies, you have to let your bellies out. — OS #breathing


  • How do you feel when you’re on a date and the other person is on Facebook all the time? Your audience wants 100% of your attention! — OS
  • My job as a speaker is to make my audience feel that they’re in safe hands. — OS
  • The one thing that takes you from great to spectacular is… connection. — OS
  • Luciano Pavarotti: “Some singers want the audience to love them. I love the audience.” — JZ
  • If the audience doesn’t change in some way [feel, think or do], why do you speak to them at all? — JZ
  • Know your audience! Isn’t it a great excuse? If they are boring, I can be boring. — Me
  • There wasn’t I-contact. — JZi


  • If everything is important, nothing is important. — JZ
  • If your message is not clear in your mind, it will not be clear in their minds. — JZ
  • Erase any meta speech. [Examples: I will tell you a story… I’m going to paraphrase… Going back to the story of grandma…] — PZ
  • Yesterday you lost a ticket for the train. Today you received the ticket for a new life. — FM
  • I’m talking about cricket… and not the insect. — Participant #humor #unexpected
  • I’ll present you some sexy data! — Participant #humor #oxymoron #unexpected
  • Be right here. Be right now. I exist. — Participant #inspiration
  • Dive, dare and discover! — Participant #alliteration
  • It looked like a fireplace without fire. — Participant #simlie
  • For this story language is not important. — Participant #firstsentence
  • Grandma was all alone… — Participant #firstsentence


  • Professional poker players only bet when there’s a positive expected value. — Mark Mulrainey from Action Lab

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