Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 22.28.06

I am by no means a social media expert but today I want to share about how a random LinkedIn post got more than 440,000 views, more than 4500 likes and 100+ shares and 100+ comments, and what my insight on that post is.

A few weeks ago I landed in Portugal and took a snapshot of a policeman helping people get the right taxi.

You can read the post here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6494340652027998208

It was a blurry photo, a few lines of text and I posted it without an after thought. And it went viral.

So why?

a) I think it triggered a sense of pride amongst the Portuguese.

b) The post is genuine in the appreciation of someone doing a job in a creative way.

c) It is not about the author, but about someone else.

d) It’s not written to be “viral”.

In other words: It was genuine.

I could have tried to do a flashy post, with hashtags and tried to write it in a way that would make people want to share it, and most likely nothing would have happened. (I know, since I have done posts like that where I thought I did “everything right” just to see the posts get no traction at all 😉

Now let me be clear: I am terrible at understanding how social media works, but I think the lesson about this post going viral can be useful for speakers too. People today want genuine, authentic real -life examples. Both on social media and in speeches.

Sure, the slick, polished, “perfect” speech with amazing graphics and videos and rehearsed stage performance can still work, but the genuine, authentic – human – speech is even more powerful.

Aim for that.

(And no, this post is not written to go viral, or to be seen as an example of what I am speaking about. It is just one of my weekly posts on ProfessionalSpeaking.com where I share my insights on the many aspects of building a professional speaking career.

And no, the viral post did not lead to booked speaking engagements, but it did lead to the policeman in question contacting me on Facebook as people where telling him about the post (!) and he gave me some more example of creative Portuguese police work that I am thinking of using in my upcoming book “The World of Creativity”. 😉

Share
Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 16.21.41

Ten days ago I had the privilege of being the closing speaker at the Professional Speakers Summit – the first ever professional speakers summit in India. More than 150 speakers from all over India (and the world) met in Chennai to learn from each other.

As the closing keynote speaker I had to close the convention with a speech on how to become a global keynote speaker. But I also wanted to communicate a deeper message – a message of the value of putting into action the things the audience would have learnt at the convention.

So I decided to show – instead of just telling.

On the first day of the convention another speaker, the amazing professional photographer Amar Ramesh, had talked about the need for professional speakers to have a professional appearance such as hiring a stylist, having professional head-shots and a great showreel video.

Hearing him speak I went up to him and booked him right after his speech to do my 2019 headshot photos (Amar is one of the most respected portrait and wedding photographers in India and it seemed a great chance to have him take my new headshot pictures.) But I noticed very few other speakers went up and booked him.

So the second day of the conference at 8 am I had an idea:

I called Amar and asked him to bring his stylist to the convention.

 

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 16.21.49
At 9:00 the stylist came and took my measurements.

At 11:00 his hair stylist came and cut my hair.

At 3 pm I went to get the new Indian clothes fitted that the stylist had picked for me as they would fit to speak to an Indian audience.

At 5 pm I walked up on stage in a new outfit, with a new haircut and I told the audience: “The purpose of attending a speakers’ convention is not to just get inspiration and/or knowledge, but to turn that inspiration/knowledge to action, just like I took Amar’s advice about getting a stylist and one day later walked up here to you styled in a new outfit.”

The audience loved it.

Not only because I was standing in front of them in an Indian outfit, but because I “walked the talk”, I SHOWED in my actions the thing I was talking about. And I connected to the previous speakers from the convention by connecting to their messages in my speech. And finally they loved it because it showed that I had improvised and changed my speech based on what had happened during the conference – ie I had been paying attention.

If you are the closing speaker, make sure you are open to change your speech based on what happens before you speak.

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 16.22.12

Share