The Amazing Presentation Secret I Learned from a 10-Year Old Cub Scout

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Level up your presentation skills by using this really effective technique from an award-winning 10-year-old cub scout.

Who would have thought the “Fred the Moose” song would teach me so much about engagement, interaction and the power of intrigue to keep your audience absolutely captivated?


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Meaningful Things Are Headwrecks


Hi, I’m Keith McEvoy, CEO of Success That Works and founder of SuperCharge Academy.

So, anyway, if you’re thinking about, “Why does Keith have bags under his eyes at the moment?” – just had a brilliant weekend.

It’s the annual Cub Scout camp, and, yeah, I think I’ve moaned about being a Cub Scout leader. I moan ’cause I feel I have to, ’cause no one sane would actually go and hang out with 40 kids between 9 and 12.

It’s (laughs), it’s a head wreck, but it’s a really cool head wreck.

Anyway, we just had the annual camp, so it’s three nights away. There’s about 900 cubs in all in this camp, and most years I moan about it in advance because actually you get no sleep, but it is so cool. It’s so cool.

The problem is as a result of that, I’m backed up.

I have so much stuff I haven’t gotten to.

I have a course I’ve got to go and try and record. I’m rushing these videos because I need to get this video out to you guys.

I know I’m running about a week late on this, so, yeah, mad catch-up.

But on the camp, I had an amazing experience.

One of those experiences where you don’t think you’re gonna have and … (Keith gets thrown something) oh, uh, thank you. Thanks, Ciara. Really?

Aw, come on. (laughs) Look, okay, for the camera, here’s my Cub Scout neckerchief.

There you are. And there’s the camp neckerchief. This is last time you’re gonna see it.

Anyway, on this camp, it was night two, and typical Cub Scout they have a huge bonfire.

And around this bonfire they have, it’s almost nine hundred kids and another one hundred and fifty adults, so just over a thousand people sitting in a big circle and usually a huge bonfire and these leaders singing and the interaction is going, kids having a great time.

And next thing the announcement comes up and it goes “We have an announcement. We have a Cub Scout who’s going to perform in front of you all.”

And it’s grand. It’s great.


“It’s Emma from 18th Meath.” And we’re like “Oh that’s our Emma.” Cause Emma wears one of these.

So next thing Emma, she’s about ten and she’s about this size, and she comes up a bit meekly.

If you know Emma, she is so full of confidence, right? But she is not meek, but when you see her this size in front of a thousand people you’re just like “uh oh, what’s going on?”

Anyway, she wanders on up and she gave me probably the best lesson in presentation skills, something I’ve completely forgotten about, and there she was in front of everyone, and it was a big a-ha moment for me, because if you think about presentation skills, right, all it is is, you’re standing in front of people or sitting down or on a Zoom or a Skype and you’re trying to engage essentially with an audience.

That’s all it is – you’re trying to engage, just like I’m trying to do with you guys.

Hopefully you’re paying attention, right?

But I’m trying to engage with you and I’m trying to get my message across to you and hopefully you’re getting messages out of it and you’re having a-ha moments and hopefully it’s a bit enjoyable.

And you’re getting something out of this, and it’s down to me to figure out, well how do I do it?

Well she, in a nutshell, she cracked it.

Absolutely cracked it.

So this little ten year old comes up in front of a thousand and is a little bit, you could imagine with that many people there is a little bit of chit-chat going on.

And so the Cub Scout leaders go shh and next thing is silence.

Absolute silence.

And you could, you could really hear people whispering.

Fred The Moose

And she starts off this song called Fred the Moose and if you’ve ever been in scouts, you know how a lot of these things go.

You sing a line, and then the audience sings a line back, and you sing another line, and the audience sings the same line back.

So she started down this song. So she came out with the first line, and a little tiny bit of noise back and she goes like this (hands to ears).

She sings out the next line. Noise shouting, everyone coming back.

So straight away there’s a little bit of interaction.

She’s got the audience going.

And then, if you know the song, it basically sort of goes on.

There’s two or three verses that everyone sort of knows, and then no one knows the last few verses cause they’re all always made up.

So you get through the two or three verses you know in about two minutes, and then it’s just like [laughter] what’s gonna happen next?

And sure enough, she played it to a T.

Big smile, again in front of everyone.

And you think, what is she gonna say? And you could almost see everyone leaning forward. What am I gonna sing next?

Absolutely captivated them.

And she came out with this line about the moose eventually sort of banged his head, and you think “oh, that’s a bit unusual”.

So everyone sings back and forward, back and forward.

And then, complete silence, and she basically says the moose died.

Now, I don’t know about Cub Scouts, but Cub Scouts between nine and twelve, you don’t kill off the heroes.

She killed off the hero.

And it was brilliant.

Totally Engaged

You could hear all the laughter going around all the campfire, totally engaged, totally engaged. And then, the chorus is like “way-oh-way-oh”.

And the last line she goes, [cries] and everyone [cries] back. And that was it. And she goes, “oh, rest in peace” and the usual and off she goes.

Rapturous applause, absolute, brought the house down.

And you’re sitting there for a second.

First of all, it was like “crap!”, because I’m in charge of all these forty kids, our section, so I had to leg around and grab her before I lost her amongst everyone, but you wouldn’t have missed her because everyone was slapping her on the back and congratulating her.

But, you just thought what an amazing, amazing achievement.

So proud. So proud of her.

But yeah, at the same time I’m thinking, “I’ve got to copy some of that”.

I’ve got to re-remind myself about how she did that and what exactly it was, because it was an absolute textbook example of what we should be doing in our daily lives when we’re trying to present to people.

And the thing I got out of it was basically the inclusion part.

How do you illicit a response from your audience? And if you’re not trying to illicit a response, well basically all you’re doing is talking to them. So it’s, have you heard that? Did you hear that? Yeah? And you go “yeah”. That’s me trying to illicit a response from you, yeah? Yeah? [laughter]

Engage Your Audience

Ask Questions

So it’s little tricks like that – you need to be asking questions all the time. Just little questions, and trying to get yes responses back is brilliant, but even just people to go “oh yeah they’re talking to me” and “he’s asked my opinion” and I can say “yeah” or I can nod my head.

Little questions going on.

And here’s a really cool one.

If you really want people to feel a part of the group, you need to make sure that they they feel they’re interacting with you. And a really good way in a presentation – you can’t get everyone to go “way-oh-way-oh” back to you, yeah? Doesn’t work in a corporate setting guys, okay?

But here’s what does.

You can say, “how many here are dot dot dot dot”. Yeah, I am.

And then you can ask another question, and your goal is to ask one or two questions where everyone in the audience has said yes to. Even if it’s “how many here are male?” Yep, I’m male. “How many here are female?” Yep. I’m female.

Everyone is now included.

It’s one of those psychological tricks. It’s really cool. But it’s great because people feel part of your presentation.


The second thing you can do is polls.

And again, how many of you …..?

Cause again, and what is great is, you see other people participating, and maybe you’re not one of them, but you’re going “oh actually” and then, if you’re at the front you’re going “uh yeah about fifty percent or seventy percent” and “oh yeah okay” cause everyone is learning from the interaction that you’ve got with everyone else.

You Must Involve Your Audience

Really cool way of doing it.


And the third one is of course call-outs.

So doing something that’s slightly unusual and focused on someone or even all of your audience, but basically calling it out and bringing them into your presentation.

So when I’m talking here and I say like, “Bill, remember what we were talking about the last time you did a video and yeah, actually, did you edit that? Oh yeah, we had a bit of an issue.

We actually went live in a video that I didn’t edit out the little bit at the beginning of it. You might have seen that [laughter].

Oh Bill is taking responsibility – cool! Yeah, it was Bill’s fault.

But by calling him into the presentation like I’ve just done with you now, he’s now part of it.

He’s actually smiling and he’s engaged this time. He’s not just going “where are you guys?”

So you do that to bring people in.

Yep, so they are the three call outs that I give you for this week. Again, think about when you are there in a presentation, where there’s a meeting or power points or Zoom or wherever you are, how are you going to engage with your audience and you know, if you get the chance to sing a Cub Scout’s song, it works.

Do that.

Thanks, and I’ll see you next week.


Ah! [laughter] I forgot to tell you something really cool and really important. So that was Emma, remember the Cub Scout, so at that, that was night two, and on day four in the morning, they had an award ceremony for all the nine hundred cubs there, and guess who won the Cub Scout of the whole camp?


I was so proud.

Did us well.

So anyway, there are presentation skills, not just from a normal Cub Scout, from an award-winning top Cub Scout.


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