Author: Fredrik Haren

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In this blog I try to mix the kind of advice I get on becoming a successful keynote speaker, from how to craft a speech, to how to interact with the audience, to how to get more speaking business and so on.

Today I want to talk about something that might seem trivial and small, but as in all professions, the key to a successful speaking career lies in mastering all the small, trivial things.

So today I will talk about how to pick your clothes for your speech.

Today I spoke at the Asia Management Conference of AECOM a very successful company that designs, build, finance and manage huge infrastructure projects like airports, bridges, subways etc.

Since the 2-day conference was in Singapore and since I was speaking on the second day I took the time to go down and meet with the organisers at the end of day 1 to find out how the first day had been. (This “last minute extra brief” is something I highly recommend you do if you speak on the second day, that’s where you can get a feel for what the mood will be the day you speak.)

Before I met with the client I walked around in the ballroom area to get a sense of the audience I was going to speak to. Are they chatty? Do they look stiff or relaxed? Things like that.

And I also looked at what they were wearing.

Turns out almost everyone I met was dressed on black.

So I made a mental note, and today when I picked my suit I picked a black one with a black shirt.

(As you can see from the panel discussion from day 2 this company really likes to dress in black.)

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By dressing like the audience you create a feeling of “us” with the attendees, and that makes it eaiser for them to connect with you, which makes it easier for them to hear your message.

It might seem like a tiny detail to care about, but I am absolutely convinced it helped make the speech a success. If nothing else it reminded me to connect with the audience and build affinity with them.

Perhaps dressing in black to look more like them was something I did more for myself than for them…


(Picture from when I was walking down to the bus stop to take a public bus to work – not every day I, as a global speaker, get to take the bus to work ūüėČ

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Are you serious about  becoming better as a speaker? Here is your chance to really take your speaking career to the next level in an intense but inspiring way.

After being a professional speaker for 20+ years, and after mentoring 100+ speakers and speaking at speaker conventions on 4 continents (soon 5) I have decided Рfor the first time! Рto dedicate myself to teach at full blown speaker retreat where I will teach all I know about professional speaking for 4 days (!) together with the amazing online-marketing expert James Taylor and skilled voice coach  Alison Burns.

I know of no-one who knows more about how to do online-marketing for speakers than James Taylor and to get a chance to spend four days with him is a treat that anyone interested in building a modern speaking career should grab.

For my own part I can promise that I will share everything I know about how to build a career as a global keynote speaker and I really look forward to – for the first time ever – go deep and share extensively what I have learned from building a global speaking career that today have me speaking in 20+ countries per year.

This event comes at a cost, but based on what you get I find it very reasonable. four days on Sicily, including meals and loads and loads of learning.

I have chosen to post the whole event information below. Hope to see you in Italy in May 2018!


How would you like to spend four days on an Italian island crafting your new signature speech, improving your presentation and stage skills, and discovering strategies for getting booked on global stages?

This video has all the details.

Yesterday we began accepting applications for our¬†1st International Speakers Retreat in Sicily, Italy¬†and we’d love if you would consider joining us.

Our guest speaker coach will be Fredrik Haren,¬†one of the world’s leading keynote speakers. He has¬†shared the stage with Richard Branson, Seth Godin¬†and Sheryl Sandberg and has spoken in more than¬†60 countries! See below what his students say.

There is one problem however. We only have space¬†for 30 students on this retreat and we’ll begin¬†accepting the first applicants this Friday!

Click here to apply

So whether you‚Äôve been speaking professionally for years¬†or you’re just starting in your speaking career, you’ll be¬†able to immerse yourself in the craft, art and business of¬†speaking over four days at this immersive retreat.

But it gets even better…

Successful applicants will also receive over $2,500 worth of bonuses including our new International Speakers online course, a 1-on-1 coaching session with Fredrik Haren, VIP Passes to two of our online events, plus much much more.

See all the bonuses here.

It’s going to be an amazing four days and nights of learning¬†how to launch, grow and monetize your message as a¬†global keynote speaker.

I hope you decide to join Fredrik, myself and your fellow speakers in Italy.

— James

P.S. Why not have your partner join you in Italy.
We’ve got a special Partner Package just for them.


“Ever since I first saw Fredrik speak 6 years ago, I’ve greatly¬†admired him as a speaker. In our mentoring sessions, the¬†questions he asked, the ideas he shared, the feedback he¬†gave after watching my speech were all stunningly helpful.
In the two weeks following one mentoring session, I had my¬†first standing ovation in Asia (they’re rare in Asia!), and a¬†speech to another client resulted in them booking me for¬†four further talks the same month. His framework of helping¬†speakers to discover their inner theme is profound¬†and transformative.”

– Rob Lilwall

“I had been struggling to find my inner theme for some time.¬†Oh sure, I have my business The Digital Conversationalist,¬†but my inner theme is deeper than that. It‚Äôs that core ability¬†I have, and I always believe core abilities are often the¬†hardest thing to see in ourselves. It was amazing having¬†that time with Fredrik, watching him weave his magic. It¬†also gives me greater confidence in the message I am¬†seeking to share.”

– Andrea Edwards

“I want to express my gratitude for the extraordinary value,¬†time and effort that Fredrik took to mentor me. To watch my¬†talks, write notes and share his creative suggestions in the¬†most authentic, helpful and professional way. Fredrik is also¬†an inspiration of the ethics of the speaking profession and¬†how delivering value always trumps marketing.”

– Avi Liran

“Having been through Fredrik‚Äôs session I would not only highly¬†recommend it to anyone struggling with the million and one¬†ideas in your head, but even for those of us who think we are¬†sure and we are clear. It is just amazing the light that Fredrik¬†is able to shine on your idea(s). Whether you are a budding¬†SPEAKER or AUTHOR, or one needing clarity on your next¬†big idea, or even if you think you are on the threshold of¬†something HUGE‚Ķ Fredrik TODAY.”

– Roshini Ganeshan

“I was so passionate towards being a public speaker and¬†specifically a Keynote Speaker. But I did not know how to do it.¬†The 45 minute mentoring session I had with Fredrik opened a¬†new dimension to my life. The questions Fredrik asked, made¬†me think. The tasks that he gave me to improve my passion¬†were simple, but powerful.The words of encouragement by¬†Fredrik made me to immediately jump into action. Thank you¬†so much Fredrik for motivating, inspiring me and making me¬†take an action towards what I love.”

– Narendran Narasimhan
“What I have been trying to do for the last 3 years, Fredrik¬†managed in 35 minutes. In an extremely powerful coaching¬†session he helped me discover my message to the world.
I left the session feeling electric, and super excited about¬†the possibilities! Absolutely unbelievable – and life changing.”

– Theo Davies

“An experienced trainer and coach myself, I was stuck – I felt¬†that my vision had subtly changed over the years until it didn’t¬†fully resonate any more but I couldn’t see the way forward.
Fredrik’s insightful questioning, feedback and never-give-up¬†attitude helped me shift that in just over an hour. He was able¬†to show me a completely different perspective and way of¬†looking at my work and business. This perspective has¬†helped me tremendously in moving forward. So if you haven’t¬†worked with Fredrik before – what are you waiting for?”

– Meenakshi Sarup
“I have been working on my positioning for a long time and¬†felt that I was only halfway… something was missing. I contacted¬†Fredrik for some advise regarding industry trends that could help¬†me with my direction. What I got was an deep experience. He¬†guided me through, to discover my red thread in life and linking¬†it to the inner theme. Having a quite analytical mind, I was of¬†course a bit skeptic directly afterwards, it cannot be that easy.
I mean, I have done so much work on my professional¬†development and taken help from several advisors without¬†getting this far. But I have now had time to reflect, taste it, see¬†how it maps to the way I do things and when I read old notes and¬†articles I have written I can see it shine through. What was¬†unseen is now seen and it has given me a foundation to build my¬†decisions upon which keeps me focused. I can highly recommend¬†Fredrik.”

– Mia Liljeberg


Interested? Sign up here.

Fredrik Haren_walking

“It felt like I was walking inside your brain.”

That was the quote I got from a fellow speaker who came up to me after I recently did a speech in South Africa. He continued:

“It was like we were inside your neurones, like we could experience the way you think.”

That might just be the most beautiful review I have gotten on a speech by a fellow speaker in a long time.

Why do I like it so much?

Because so many speakers ask me about “the structure” of a keynote.

Like if there is a “formula” for a good keynote.

I think people who approach speaking like that approach it from the wrong angle.

A great speech is individual, personal and genuine.

It’s you sharing your inner thoughts and ideas on a¬†topic that is dear to you.

Of course structure is important, but do not start with it.

End with it.

Start with understanding your own thoughts, your own message.

Go on a walk inside your brain.

You would never discuss how to cut a diamond before actually seeing the diamond.

And you should not talk about how to structure your thoughts before first having a very clear idea of the message that is inside of you.

And instead of trying to “press” that message into a structure you should embrace the uniqueness of your thought-process and try to build a structure based on those thoughts.

And here is the good news: If you do have a very good idea about what your inner thoughts about your speech topic is, then the structure will often almost reveal itself.

Just like it will be easy to decide how to cut a diamond if you have spent time looking at its characteristics.

so, let the audience into your inner thoughts.

Invite them into your mind.