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If you are a keynote speaker that (often) means you have a speech that you do over and over again: a master piece that you have perfected yet constantly improve by trying new things, tossing out old stuff that is not working any more and infusing new material.

A consistent story that changes.

Today I had a speaker-review with Rob Lilwall, an keynote speaker based in Hong Kong, and one of my favourite speakers because of his extremely high likability factor as a speaker – and as a person, Rob is just an all around great guy and speaker. (The combination of great speaker and great person is not always consistent…)

Rob had asked me to do a speaker-review on his speech and I had flown to Hong Kong to do just that.

A speaker-review means that one speaker invites another speaker to sit in the back of the room and write down ideas on how to make a speech better.

It’s a sign of a great speaker that he (or she) invites an other speaker to digest and improve the speech.

In this blog post I will not share all the things that we went through in the “post-speech-evaluation” but instead I will focus on one specific thing that I realised when listening to Rob speak: the need to personalise the beginning of a speech.

I call this “dedicating the speech to the audience”.

Imagine your speech as a book. (Many speakers (including me and Rob) give speeches based on our books.)

Every copy of a book is the same. That’s ok, the author has a message and it is multiplied in books so that many people get the message communicated to them. It’s the same with a speech: it is ok if a speech is more or less the same over and over again. As a speaker you have a message and you perfect it to a performance that you feel works very well.

But now think of an author who gives away a copy to a specific reader, what does the author do? Right, the author signs the book!

A few lines of personal message to this specific reader. Then the rest of the book is the same. It makes a huge difference to that reader.

Now transfer this observation to a speech.

In the context of a speech it means that you do a short, specific introduction to the specific audience that you are speaking to. A “audience dedication” so that the audience feels that “this speech is for me.”

It could be as easy as a short reference to the company’s products and how you use them. A mention of a few words in the brief that really connected with you. A mention of something that has happened earlier in the conference (to show you have been around to hear other speakers speak and share the experience of the day with the audience.)

Then you dive into your keynote speech.

The next time you go up to give your keynote speech, ask yourself: “How can I dedicate this speech to this specific audience?”

I can almost promise you will get the same warm, personal and grateful respons from the group as you would if you signed a book to someone.

(And that is the cool thing with doing speaker-reviews: you go there to help another speaker and end up also helping yourself become a better speaker. Win-win. Well worth flying to Hong Kong for. Picture from us sitting on a ferry while doing the speaker-review – great way to do it 😉

 

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This plog post is about setting new goals. About upgrading your goals and how that sets you alive.

The text is about this goal I just set. The message is about you upgrading yours.

Two of the strongest passions in my life are speaking and travelling.

One of my strongest beliefs is that we have start to thinking more in the context of humanity. (I call that “humanityism”)

Passion and believes is what move us forward, what gives us energy and meaning.

If we set goals that are based on taking us to the next level of where our passion and believes are leading up we will feel we live more.

In my late teens I would travel to far away places, like Hawaii, South Korea and Thailand and the love of seeing the world was born.
22 years ago I became a professional speaker and found a profession that I feel I was made to practise.
12 years ago I moved from Sweden to China and begun to seriously speak internationally.
10 years ago I become a global speaker and the last years I have been speaking in 20-35 countries per year.

Lately that has been my life. And I love it.

One year ago I added a project that I call “The Human Island” to my life. It’s a project where I am going to visit 100 islands in 25 countries in 100 months or less. It has no commercial purpose or anything like that. It’s just something I created to add a layer of depth to my life. (Islands are another passion of mine.)

Two weeks ago I realised that it was time to raise the bar a little bit more again.

I decided that I want to have spoken in 100 countries when I am 50 years old.

Today I am 48 years old and I have been invited to speak in 64 countries.

Why this new goal?

Partly there is a logical reason: I know that I got a more global – a more human – mindset when I went from having spoken in 50 countries compared to how I saw the world when I had spoken in 5. So I am guessing – and hoping – that I will get an even higher sense of understanding of humanity as a whole if I travel to more than 50% of all the worlds countries.

Partly its psychological: 100 is a round and symbolic number.

But the main reason is unexplainable. (I think all the best reasons for why you want to do anything are unexplainable)  I can not fully explain to anyone else why I feel that I “have to” reach the goal of speaking in 100 countries when I am 50. As for myself I do not need an explanation.

Today I have 36 countries left before I reach 100.

I sat down and picked out the 36 countries I really would like to add to the 64 I already have under my belt.
These 36 countries (for various reasons) are:

Argentina
Bhutan
Botswana
Brunei Darussalam
Costa Rica
Cuba
Cyprus
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)
Dominican Republic
Equatorial Guinea
Fiji
Greece
Haiti
Ireland
Israel
Jamaica
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kuwait
Lebanon
Lesotho
Madagascar
Mongolia
Morocco
Nepal
New Zealand
Oman
Papua New Guinea
Qatar
Rwanda
Seychelles
Timor-Leste
Albania
Algeria

This list doesn’t mean I have to add these 36 countries to make it 100 – but by making this selection I am making my goal clearer. I can go out and try to get speaking engagements in these countries.

I have done a selection.
The lion has selected its pray.

And here is the funny thing:

Just by making this decision I feel happier, more energised, more focused and more “on purpose”.

The powerful feeling I got from just up-grading my goals (not reaching them, not even getting a single country closer to achieving them yet) – just by writing down this up-graded goal of mine around traveling the world to speak – made me write this blog post.

What are your passions?
What are your values?
What are your goals?
Now how could you up-grade those goals to take them – and your life – to the next level?

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When we as professional speakers attend a conference we are spoiled with often getting a chance to speak from the stage, and we not used to paying to attend a conference – hell, we are PAID to attend conferences …

So why on Earth would professional speakers choose to attend a conference where they do not get to speak and even have to pay to attend?

Because attending a conference can be one of the most effective ways to learn something and improve your profession.

People of all professions know this and the whole conference industry (and professional speaking industry) is based on the premise that learning, live and in person, from experts together with a group with likeminded people is extremely powerful.

So what kind of conferences does professional speakers attend? Well, Professional Speakers Conventions, of course!

This blog post is different from the normal posts that I do. Today I will promote something: The Asia Professional Speakers Convention which happens in Singapore 5 -6 May 2017.

(full disclosure, I am a member of, and sit on the EXCO of, Asia Professional Speakers Sinagapore (asiaspeakers.org) who organise this convention, but I have no financial interests at all in this conference (If anything I will volunteer my time for it.) and APSS is a not-for profit organisation for professional speakers.

I am sharing this with you because I think that readers of this blog might be interested in attending the conference.

If you are interested in professional speaking and live within travel distance from Singapore I highly recommend that you invest in a chance to network with over 100 professional speakers from all over the world while you listen to and learn from more than 20 great speakers.

The amount of knowledge and inspiration that you get during these intense two days is most likely the best return on investment you can do as a person interested in taking your professional speaking career to the next level. I say that as a person who have attended numerous of these events in the past – and who signed up for this years convention the minute the registration opened.

The theme for this years convention is “Worldclass” and you get to listen to subjects like:

“How to grow your speaking business” with Meridith Elliott Powell (USA),
“Secrets of Million Dollar Speakers” with Scott Friedman (USA),
“Don’t just be a speaker, be a STAR” with Dr Boy Abunda (Philippines),
“World Class Speaking Secrets – A Speaker Bureau Perspective” with Gautam Ganglini (UAE)
and many many more!
Find out more about the convention at: http://asiaprofessionalspeakersconvention.com/

I hope to see you there, and if you come, please let me know (email me at fredrik.haren@interesting.org) and we can catch up during the convention!

Sign up before 1 April go enjoy a early bird discount.