Month: September 2017

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Once in a while I post a “speaker war story” to get an idea of the world of being a global speaker. Then I go back to writing posts about how to become one.

So this war story took place in Dublin.

I was in a journey from Quebec (where my last speech was) and Gothenburg (where my next speech would be) and to get from Quebec to Gothenburg had turned out to be a bit more challenging that it looked on a map. I started in Quebec and flew Quebec-Montreal-Dublin-Stockholm-Gothenburg, a 17+ hour journey that would have me arrive the night before my speech in Gothenburg.

The problems started at my flight from Montreal to Dublin where the flight was almost 1 hour delayed because they were “waiting for a few connecting passengers” (The fact that a plane full of passengers who were on time might miss THEIR connecting flights in Dublin did not seem to cross the airlines mind.)

My flight was scheduled to land in Dublin at 10.05 AM, but being 1 hour delayed we landed at 11 AM.

My flight FROM Dublin to Stockholm was at 11.50…

50 minutes from “wheels on the ground” to “gate closed” might seem like a lot of time to catch a connecting flight, until you remember that I had to:

1) Pass passport control and customs in Ireland

2) Could not use “connecting flights gate” as I did not have a boarding pass for the next leg of my flight so I had:

a) to exit into the arrival terminal and

b) walk to the departures terminal

3) Check-in and get boarding pass.

4) Then had to go through security

5) and go through immigration (or as it should be called “emigration”…)

Oh, and 6) This is Dublin airport – one of those airports where they have stupidly decided to build the gates AWAY from the entrance to put in a series of what seems like 100’s of shops and restaurants so that it takes 5+ minutes after security just to run to the first gate.)

And to do all of that in less than 30 minutes before they close the gate.

Of course I made it.

So how? Here are som tips:

a) When exiting a plane walk briskly to pass the others who were on the plane to get first in passport control (queuing is what makes you miss flights)

b) Ask for help to save time.. Stop any airport employee to check if you can boarding cards inside the terminal or have to go outside.

c) Walk – do not run! – through customs and when you approach passport control (it’s seems to be a “thing” for people working there to mess with people who are in a hurry)

d) When you come to check-in: SMILE (a confident smile with a hint of begging), to get the check-in attendant to go the extra mile and call the gate and ask them to re-open it…

(Oh, and explain that you have no bags to check-in (to make her think you understand you are a frequent flier who knows it is possible to get you on that flight even if it is closed already.

Oh #2: Always pick a woman and always pick the woman who looks the happiest/friendliest. That will increase the chances of them helping you.

e) When she give you the boarding pass and says “Run!”, smile at her and say: “Thank you so much!”

f) At security, scan the different lines for which will be the fastest (and if possible look for security personal who are there to let “late passengers” cut infront of the line, if you are really late. (I did not do that this time, no need…)

g) When you come up to the security check, do NOT look stressed or annoyed about how long it takes, and take out belt, shoes, iPhone and computer etc (i.e. everything and then some so they do not get annoyed at you and decide to “randomly” select you.

And there you have it. How to make it to a flight that DEPARTS 50 minutes after you LAND.

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It seems like every speaker I speak to wants to know how to get to speak at the big stages.

And I understand why, speaking at the big stages is thrilling, spreading your message to big crowds is rewarding.

A couple of weeks back I wrote a blog post about how I spoke at the world’s largest leadership conference, The Global Leadership Conference, with a live audience of 10,000 people and a total of 400,000 watching at remote locations all over the world.

So how do you get to speak at the big stages? The answer is simple: treat every speaking opportunity you get as a big stage. Even when you are speaking at the very small stages.

Yesterday I was in the beautiful little town of Victoria on Vancouver Island on the West coast of Canada. I was there to deliver a speech for the local EO chapter as part of a EO your across 5 Canadian cities that I am doing this week.

The other chapters have been bigger crowds, but Victoria is small and just about 18-20 people had gathered in a conference room at one of the towns hotels.

It would be easy to look like a speech for 20 people as a less important speech, but I never look at speeches for small groups like that. I always look at a speech as an opportunity to do my very best

After my speech two people came up and told me that they would contact the EO chapter in Edmonton and suggest that they bring me in (Edmonton is the largest EO chapter in Canada), and one guest who was visiting from Belgium came up and told me that he would contact the Belgian chapter about putting together a European EO tour for me.

Three out of 20 guests coming up after the speech and telling me they will actively sell me to bigger conferences…. 15% of an audience coming up to say they want to refer me to new clients. A perfect example of what happens when a speaker sees every speaking opportunity as a change to give 100% and to spread his (or her) message to an audience, and how – if you do that – the audience will help you get to bigger audiences.

So never walk into a small talk and think about it as a small talk, but as a great opportunity to speak.

 

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Picture of the Swan hotel where the speech was held.

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