Svanholmen Island, Sweden.
As you might have noticed, it has been almost a full month since my last post.
The reason for my silence is that I have been very busy doing nothing.
Doing nothing work-related that is.
I have been very busy playing and enjoying life with my family on our island.
As a global speaker, I try to travel a lot around the world. Just last month before my 6+ weeks summer vacation, I was in Singapore, Norway, Brazil, Mexico, USA (twice), Canada, China and Germany.
But a lot of people get the impression that I work all the time. That is not true. Not at all.
I actually do less than half the number of speeches I used to do when I was a “local” speaker in Sweden.
My “record” was 199 speeches in one year, including one day when I did 4 speeches for 4 different clients in one day: 1 breakfast speech, one lunch speech, one afternoon speech and one evening speech.
Nowadays I will do between 60-80 keynote speeches per year.
Do not get me wrong. Going through that phase of delivering hundreds of speeches per year was great. I got those hundreds of speeches under my belt and got to learn how to deal with different audiences, different situations and different kinds of events.
But I am very happy I stopped speaking so much.
Not only is my private life 100 times more harmonious and relaxed, I also think that the quality of my speeches improved.
I became a better speaker because I wasn’t constantly speaking.
A good sign that you are doing too many speeches is that you are getting tired of hearing your own voice when you speak.
That is a sign that you are just doing the speech because someone booked you – not because you have a message that you want to get out.
If that happens to you: STOP! Take a break. Go on a vacation. Clear your calendar.
By making fewer speeches, I look forward to everyone of them. I feel grateful for the privilege to be paid to spread a message you believe in.
And a funny side effect is that I make more money now than when I did 199 speeches in one year.
Lesson: Getting your speaking career off the ground is very much like getting a plane to take off.
In the beginning, you have to increase the thrust but once you reach cruising altitude, it helps to pull back a little.
In other words, it helps to do as many speeches as possible for a few years to work yourself up to become a global speaker, but once you are there, it helps to reduce the number of speeches so that you can focus on getting the speeches that you really want to have. That will give you many years of high quality speeches to come.
I guess it is but fitting to describe the journey of a global speaker using the metaphor of a plane.