Month: July 2016

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(Svanholmen, Stockholm, Sweden)

“What do you speak on?”  is probably the most common question professional speakers ask each other.

It’s understandable, we want to find out what the other speaker’s expertise is.

But personally I like this question better: What is your next speech going to be on?

Because I find it more interesting to learn what a speaker is doing research on at the moment, which things has triggered the speakers thoughts recently in such a way that he (or she) feels compelled to write a new speech about it. I want to know what the speaker thinks that others should be thinking soon.

It’s more interesting to find out where someone is going than to find out where he (or she) is at. At least it is better at triggering my imagination.

Today I sat down with fellow speaker, Magnus Lindkvist. Magnus is a truly global speaker who has been able to develop an impressive speaking career over the last 15+ years that has taken him literally all over the world to speak.

But today he was not travelling the world, but sat with me on my island and discussed future speeches.

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As a speaker we normally have a “theme” that we talk on. The subject that we are “thought leaders” on.

Magnus is a “trendspotting futurologist”, I am “the global conference speaker”, and the topics I speak on are “Business Creativity”, “Change” and “Global Mindset”.

Over the years I have developed new speeches based on the topics that I have come to understand that my clients need to hear.

(A new speech should be a combination of a) Something you want to learn more about, 2) Something you are already an expert on 3) something clients are willing and interested to hear more about.)

I started speaking 20+ years ago and talked about “Internet and Marketing” at a time when most business leaders did not even know what the Internet was about.

Then in 1998 I wrote a book about “internet and customer service” and turned that into a speech at a time when companies still thought that the Internet was just a marketing channel.

Then I wrote a series of books, and a speech, on Business Creativity when I realised that one big advantage that the Internet had brought with it was the ability to make companies look at their business model in a new way, but that they needed more creativity in order to keep questioning what they were doing and why.

In 2005 I moved to China and started work on a book that would become “The Developing World” about what I learnt about creativity in developing countries – after I had travelled to more than 20 developing countries and met a series of very creative people there.

And in my latest book “One World. One Company.” I studied the concept of Truly Global Companies which is now one of my most popular speeches.

All of these speeches might seem very different from each other, but for me they have a very logical and clear connection: They are subjects that I have found so interesting that I had to study them deeply and yet been topics that the general business world did not have enough knowledge of at the moment.

In order to stay relevant as speakers we constantly need to stay ahead of the curve, constantly think of new speeches that we can develop.

I find that the best way to do that is to learn as much as we can from the clients that we are working with as speakers. But I think the best way to learn about the process of developing new speeches is to learn from other speakers.

Thus my afternoon in the sun with Magnus today.

What is your next speech going to be about?

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(Svanholmen, Sweden)

I am in the middle of my two-months summer vacation/paternity leave period where I am at the moment playing with my kids on my private island just outside Stockholm.

But today I had a “working day” where I had 3 different meetings with 3 different people who in one way or another wanted to discuss the world of professional speaking.

One of the three asked me: “Why do you do these speaker mentoring sessions? What do you get out of it?”

I explained that the best way to learn is to teach.

And a good way to develop your own speaking business is to help other speakers develop their own.

By asking questions about how other speakers look at their speaking business I not only get to learn about how other speakers view this job. But in the coaching sessions we also go deeper to try to discover a glitch in their current way of running their speaking business, or find a new way of developing their business further.

The unlocking of new potential or the finding of a new approach to their speaking business is usually the most rewarding part of our sessions. Not only for the speaker I am meeting with – but also for me.

The best way to describe is it that I work as a “Chiropractor” who realigns the business of the speaker to a position that is more correct, more genuine and more authentic.

By doing that I get a deeper understanding of what the answer is for others around the fundamental questions like “Why do you speak?”, “Why do you speak on the topics you speak on?” and “What is the message that you want to communicate?”

Many speakers THINK that they have the answers to these questions but when you dig deeper you often come to the conclusion that the answers that where there were not the REAL answers, not the real drivers for why these speakers speak.

And by helping others unlock any of these real answers, I myself get better at unlocking them in myself.

Do not just sit down with other speakers to learn FROM them – but sit down to learn by helping them learn about themselves.

It might sound like a very a-round-about-way to learn. But it is very effective and powerful.

That’s why I decide to mentor speakers in the middle of my vacation when I get a chance.

 

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ps. And the meetings seemed to have gone down well with the people I met too. This was the post from one of them – Pamela – after I had met with her.

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