Author: Fredrik Haren

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Being a professional speaker is a rewarding job in so many ways. We get to spread our message and we get to see the world. We get an applause when we are done, and sometimes even a standing ovation. (I got two last week alone.) Most people do amazing work and never get a standing ovation in their life, or even an applause. Or even a heartfelt thank you.

Sometimes I think we take this great job perk of getting positive affirmation for granted.

We should not.

We should treasure it for the great gift it is.

A couple a days ago I gave a speech in India at the first ever Professional Speakers Summit. I got to speak about speaking to 150 people.

An hour after my speech a man came up to me and handed me a hand-written letter that he had written and that he wanted me to have.

The fact that it was hand-written and hand-delivered made the message so much stronger.

It made me very happy.

And it reminded me of why I do what I do. About why I am a professional speaker. And about the power of a well delivered speech.

As a speaker, never forget the power to touch people’s life that comes with this profession.

And aim to do just that every time you deliver a speech.

 

Fredrik.

 

Here is the letter:

“We haven’t spoken, and we haven’t met but I already feel CONNECTED with you. How beautiful is that? That is the power of thought that resonate. We have these resonating moments when we read an intense book or an important movie. I had that resonating moment when listening/watching to you speak today. On the stage I saw a humble and energetic human being sincerely seeding thoughts of value and goodness to his audience. I saw an open heart in sync with the mind, sharing life impeccably with the universe.

That you for the time and mind you shared with us Fredrik it means a lot. As a fellow human being  and a writer striving to make this world more beautiful and interesting and impactful  I felt the need to reach out and let you know that you are an amazing soul on an inspiring journey. This moment of resonance matters. This is important. This is beautiful. This is creativity.

Glad it happened, and happy to share!

With smiles, ”

 

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Today I did not follow the brief that client had given me. The purpose of this post is to explain why sometimes that is the right thing to do.

The conference I spoke at today was a conference for top Assets Managers from Swizerland. The conference organisers had picket a hotel in Riffelalp, 2222 meter above sea-level and with a wonderful view of the Matterhorn, as their venue. It was stunning.

I got this booking because one of the organisers heard me speak at another conference in Singapore a few months ago.

In the briefing call he told me to “Do the exact same speech as I heard in Singapore, it was perfect.”

(That is not an uncommon brief. A client has heard something, loved it, and now want more people to hear the same message.)

So I prepared the same speech, but then today I attended the conference and heard the other speakers and realised that the focus on the conference was much more focused on China than I had originally understood. (I was a dinner speaker, and many speakers would perhaps have chosen to arrive at say 5 PM to be ready for the dinner at 7, but I arrived at 8 AM to attend the whole conference. Not because I am especially interested in Swiss asset management (even if it turned out to be a very interesting conference), but specifically so that I could pick up more about the conference and the delegates during the day.)

At the end of the day I realised that I had another speech that would fit much better for the dinner than the one that the client had heard me deliver. The client of course did not know about that speech, so when he said “Do the exact same speech as I heard in Singapore, it was perfect.” it was the logical thing for him to say.

But I (!) knew I had an even better speech for the group.

So I deleted my original powerpoint and put together a new one based on the new information that I had gathered during the day.

I of course checked with the client between the end of the conference and the beginning of the dinner to make sure that this new angle that I had selected was something that he would approve of. It was.

After the speech he came up to me and expressed in an excited voice: “This speech was perfect!”

It turns out that the speech the client thad thought was “perfect” could actually be beaten by an “even more perfect” speech.

So do not be afraid to throw the brief into the trash if it turns out that you can deliver an even better speech than the original brief asked you to deliver.

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