Need a Speaker?

Looking for an entertaining, insightful, engaging speaker or workshop leader for your next training session or meeting? Contact me for pricing and my availability to speak to your group about: 

  • Build Your Brand, Own Your Story, Grow Your Business. Any company, anywhere in the world, can copy just about everything about your business, except for one big thing--how you communicate. The way you tell your story to build your brand is THE most valuable asset you have in today's fast-paced, competitive business environment. What if I told you your storytelling skills can become the ultimate differentiator that help you succeed and make you the obvious choice for customers and prospects? This is a no b.s. seminar. I use real-life examples from small, mid-sized and large companies I've worked with during my 20-year writing and marketing career to show what works, and what doesn't, to fine-tune your storytelling skills. You'll learn 1.) the two biggest reasons why company's branding efforts fall short, 2.) the one key question you must ask to know if your storytelling and branding are effective (hint--it has nothing to do with numbers), and 3.) the top 5 ways to build your brand faster by sparking more conversations, which lead to relationships, which lead to trust, which leads to sales. 
     
  • Writing to Make a Social Statement. How did we get so rude? What can you do about the troubling trend of demonization, which involves a shift from debating issues to attacking people? Plenty! Drawing on my experiences as an author-preneur, Farm News columnist and Iowa’s Storyteller, I'll tap into my 20-year writing career to share my top 10 essential tips for success when writing to make a social statement—along with the one fatal error to avoid. I've applied these proven strategies from my columns and Des Moines Register op-eds to my testimony before the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee in Washington, D.C. I'll help you 1.) discover the most surprising way to clarify your beliefs, 2.) find the most effective ways to write with a distinctive voice that amplifies your impact, whether you’re crafting essays, blog posts, social media posts, op-eds or letters to the editor 3.) become a force for good who can influence and inspire others. 
     
  • Savor Iowa’s Rich Culinary Heritage. Iowa’s delectable cuisine is quintessentially Midwestern, grounded in its rich farming heritage and spiced with diverse ethnic influences. Dig in as I serve up Iowa’s tastiest traditions. From the chili-and-cinnamon-rolls phenomenon to Maid-Rites to the moveable feast known as RAGBRAI, discover the remarkable stories behind Iowa classics and savor a smorgasbord of other unique Iowa food traditions with my fun, interactive program. Relish the tantalizing tidbits you missed in history class! This program is based on my top-selling book "A Culinary History of Iowa: Sweet Corn, Pork Tenderloins, Maid-Rites and More" from The History Press. Click here to learn more and order signed copies! 
     
  • Writing and Marketing Boot Camp. Ready for an extreme writing makeover? In this fast-paced, hands-on workshop, I share top tips on how to communicate more effectively in print and online.
     
  • Iowa’s Lost History from the Titanic. What do an orphan train rider, a kidnapper, a missionary, a wealthy businessman, a wedding guest, a betrayed wife, a farmer and an immigrant recruiter have in common? All had ties to Iowa, and all were passengers aboard the ill-fated Titanic on the fateful night of April 15, 1912, when the famous ocean liner sank. There were a surprising number of first-, second- and third-class passengers with Iowa connections, although many of their haunting, poignant and sometimes shocking tales have nearly faded away. Join me on a remarkable journey as I bring these unforgettable stories from the “ship of dreams” back to life once more. Through masterful storytelling, I weave together a fascinating look at the maritime disaster from a totally different perspective than most people are accustomed to or have any knowledge of. During this spellbinding voyage, delve into the human drama intertwined with the Titanic epic, find out who survived and explore the aftershocks that continue to fascinate us more than a century after the Titanic sank. (Note: this program was inspired by one of my most popular blog posts ever.)
     
  • Shoot! How to Improve Your Photos in 1 Minute. Wish you could take better photos for your social media sites, marketing materials and your family photo albums? I get it, because I've felt the same way about my own photos. One thing I've learned from years of photo-journalism and in-depth training is that you don’t take great photos; you make them. In this fun class (complete with plenty of visual inspiration), I offer my top 10, field-tested tips that are guaranteed to make you a better photographer, no matter what kind of camera you have--and that includes cell phone cameras. 

    Cherokee County Fair
  • Discover the Joy of Imperfection. Ever feel inspired -- yet a bit overwhelmed – when you look at all you want to accomplish? How do you put new ideas into practice to live your best life? I share tips and lessons learned about the joys of imperfection from my crazy, unforgettable adventures as Iowa's Storyteller, an avid home cook, part-time farmer, dog lover, community volunteer and author. 
     

  • Unlock the Secret History of Iowa. Think rural Iowa is just quiet little towns and farms? Think again. Take a virtual tour through Calhoun County, Dallas County and other fascinating regions across the state to experience the area’s rich history through the eyes of those who lived it, from presidents, entrepreneurs, renowned authors and sports stars to gangsters, bootleggers and other assorted characters. Whether you’re a native Iowan, transplanted Iowan or just curious about the evolution of small towns and farms in the Midwest, this program offers something for everyone.
     

  • Girl Power! Lost Stories of Iowa’s Amazing Women. From entrepreneurs to entertainers to educators, remarkable women throughout our state’s history have played key roles in shaping the Iowa we know today. Join Darcy Dougherty Maulsby, Iowa’s storyteller, as she shares the forgotten history of noteworthy women who are featured in her books, including “Dallas County,” the “Culinary History of Iowa” and “Calhoun County.” 
     

  • Setting the Record Straight: How to Speak Up for Your Industry. In today’s fast-paced world of instant communication and social media, people today are drowning in information and starving for knowledge. I offer practical tips on how to cut through the clutter, combat misinformation and help your message resonate with your target audience. (Hint--it all revolves around sharing powerful stories well told.) 

    Wisconsin Dairyland Speech

  • Confessions of an Ag Journalist. Any writer can tell you that some of the most interesting, unforgettable and sometimes bizarre stories don’t end up in print. Come along behind the scenes in the day of a life of a writer on the backroads of Iowa, where you have to be prepared for anything. I'll also share insider tips I've learned through her colorful career, including the “ABCs” to better writing.
     

  • Get Yourself in a Jam (in a Good Way!) Want to impress family and friends with your culinary skills? Making simple, delicious homemade jam is easy will make you feel like a major league home cook. Jam isn’t just for toast, however! I'll show you plenty of ways to use your homemade jam in a variety of goodies, from classic cookies to a fabulous chocolate torte. 
     

** Other classes are available on request. Tell me what you're thinking! For more information on program lengths, pricing and more, click here to contact me. 
 

Here’s What Others Are Saying

“Darcy is an engaging and energetic public speaker. Her presentation on Iowa's rich culinary heritage appealed to our audience by addressing Iowa through its food history and cultural influences. Guests walked away with a better understanding of Iowa and the impact of the state's diverse population on the foods we enjoy.” 

--Jennifer Cooley, education & outreach manager, State Historical Museum, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
 

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“It was a pleasure to welcome Darcy Maulsby to the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton. Darcy is a wonderful speaker, and we’ve heard such positive comments following her “Adventures in Iowa’s Culinary History” program. We had so much fun discussing Iowa's culinary history, including sweet corn, pork tenderloins, Maid-Rites and more. Thank you for the informative, gripping presentation, Darcy. People are still talking about it here in Chickasaw County!” 

--Jill Eike, director, Carnegie Cultural Center, New Hampton, Iowa 

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“Writing transcends all genres, and Darcy Maulsby brought that to the table at the 8th annual Montezuma All-Writers’ Conference on Sept. 16, 2017, with her presentation on finding and writing good stories. Darcy was engaging, and her presentation was informative. Our attendees walked away with information that will help and inspire them on their writing journeys.”

--J.O. & Debbie Parker, publishers, Our Front Porch Books

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“Darcy is an enthusiastic presenter who makes her listeners feel right at home with her. The examples and stories in both her photography tips in her “Shoot! 1 Minute to Better Photos” presentation and “The Culinary History of Iowa evening program” were interesting, easy to follow and successfully drove home her points. She gave us a perfect blend of entertainment and education at the right time in our three-day workshop. We even used one of her recipes (Iowa Ranch Salad) for part of our dinner menu prior to her culinary talk. When asked the next day how they enjoyed Darcy's presentations, our workshop participants erupted into a rousing round of applause and approval.”
 
- Jean Vaux, co-director, Cedar Falls Christian Writers Workshop

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"I loved Darcy's Culinary History of Iowa program, as did everyone else at the Terrace Hill Tea and Talk. Thank you so much. I was 58 years old when I moved to Iowa in 1995--and now, in my 81st year I am still learning about my adopted state. Darcy makes Iowa history come alive, and its relevance becomes the embodiment of 'Iowa nice.'" 

Elvin McDonald, botanist and ambassador emeritus, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden 

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“Darcy has been a workshop speaker multiple times for our 4th-12th grade youth to help them learn about ag advocacy. She does a very nice job engaging youth and helping them recognize that they have a story to tell and they can respectfully speak up for agriculture. We have even had students who've attend Darcy’s class start their own blogs!”

--Lisa Berkland, youth development specialist, Iowa State University Extension, Beef Bonanza coordinator 

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“Like Darcy, I enjoy home cooking and Iowa history. So much can be learned about the history of a state by learning about regional cuisine and studying old community cookbooks. I’ve been fortunate enough to accompany Darcy on several “food adventures” as we traveled to different parts of state in search of unique regional fare. 
 
Yes, I truly believe food can be a destination!  Darcy’s love of Iowa is contagious! In the fall of 2016, she did a presentation and book signing at my Enchanted Acres pumpkin patch. This fall I invited her to attend a farm to table workshop at Enchanted Acres and write about the experience. I greatly admire Darcy for the way she uniquely combines her passions of cooking and history. Her unique writing style allows readers to be entertained while they’re learning. That’s a special gift! Thanks to Darcy’s book, there are historians who have a new appreciation for uniquely Iowa foods and home cooks who have a new appreciation for Iowa history.”

--Shannon Latham, owner of Enhanced Acres pumpkin patch and vice president of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds  who is quoted in this Daily Iowan article on Darcy's program at Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City during Prairie Lights Live 

 

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"We had Darcy Maulsby speak on the Culinary History of Iowa and she was fabulous! Everyone enjoyed hearing about the places and foods from around the state that are unique to Iowa. She is super friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. Loved having Darcy here. I highly recommend her!"

--Kari Ringelberg, adult program coordinator, Sioux Center Public Library

Darcy Maulsby Iowa author Culinary History of Iowa

“It was our pleasure to have Darcy here to speak about "The Culinary History of Iowa." The audience really enjoyed connecting to the past through their own food stories and the stories Darcy shared. All guests I spoke with had very positive comments and said they had a lot of fun. The audience also found Darcy to be a very engaging presenter, and they liked how her talk allowed them to be part of the program through conversation. For our museum specifically, Darcy's program allowed our guests to think about the tradition and history of some favorite Czech and Slovak treats, and about the role they played in developing Iowa’s culinary identity. Darcy talked about food traditions from other immigrant groups to Iowa, and special “Iowa-only” dishes, both of which built up the shared heritage of our state. Thank you so much, Darcy, for spending your evening with us." 

--Sara Jacobmeyer, former director of programs, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

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"When the Forgotten Iowa Historical Society decided to host their first-ever event, we knew we needed to have the best possible speakers. Darcy Maulsby certainly met and exceeded our expectations. Her presentation was not only well delivered and fascinating, but audience participation was great with her topic (Iowa's Culinary History). Darcy is more than welcome at any future Forgotten Iowa Historical Society events. If you're looking for a top-notch presentation at your event, I'd highly recommend her." 

-Daniel "Ray" Wetherell, founder, Forgotten Iowa Historical Society 

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“Darcy’s dynamic workshop at our cooperative communicator’s conference was a hit with the entire audience. Her communications “boot camp” provided a useful course on effective writing, with social media marketing training and photography tips rounding out the presentation. Attendees left with new abilities and solid reminders that they can immediately put to use. Plus, Darcy’s fun and approachable style is a crowd pleaser. No matter what industry you work in, Darcy’s marketing and communications workshop would be a valuable training experience.”

-Katie Thomson, senior communications specialist, Dairyland Power Cooperative (La Crosse, Wis.)