Author: Fredrik Haren

Last week I spoke for all the High Potential leaders in DBS bank. Twice. The conference was held twice with 200+ participants each time. That meant that I was asked to deliver the same speech two both groups.

But I did not do that.

Instead I changed perhaps 40% of the slides, and more importantly I totally changed the mood of the speech.

Not because the client was not happy with the first speech (they were), but because any time you deliver a speech you learn so much about the audience, what they like, trigger on etc.

Now most of the time we get all those insights about a group but we get it “too late”. But in the rare instances that you get to speak twice for the same group (but different people) you actually get a chance to the equivalent of a “time machine” where you can go “back” and change the things you now realise that you should have said, based on how the group reacted.

If you do not take that chance, you are missing a very powerful opportunity. I did, and thus speech 2 was even better than speech 1.

That is the tip of this week from by Fredrik Haren.


The last few weeks I have delivered a couple of workshops for SMU Academy (the adult education arm of Singapore Management University.)

As a “pure” keynote speaker i focus almost exclusively on keynote speeches and do seldom do workshops, but for SMU I make an exception.

In this post I will explain way:

Please note that I am not teaching the university students, but as part of the ADULT program for executives and working professionals.

The reason I focus on those programs is that the participants are all working professionals which means they all come from real jobs in real industries.

By doing the SMU Academy workshops I get do meet managers from many different companies which:

a) gives me potential leads for follow up business from these companies (broad lead generation)
b) gives me the ability to in one day learn about ways many different companies are working with creativity and innovation (rapid collection of examples)
c) gives me an understanding about what companies are interested in learning more about (rapid market research)

As a person who wants to focus on being a keynote speaker I do not sell or market workshops. But for SMU I make an exception for the reasons mentioned above.

Lesson: If you can get access to an executive education program in a university of good reputation it can be great for your speaking career – and your brand – to deliver a workshop to the corporate clients that attend those programs. That is tip of the day from Professional Speaking.


Key insights about keynote speaking in the future straight from the source. Interview by Fredrik Haren with Michelle Crowley, Chief Innovation & Growth Officer at PCMA, an organisation for strategic event management.

a) Events are moving a way from “Speaker after speaker all day for hours” to events where the audience is much more involved.
b) That does not mean that the keynote is dead. Instead it means that it puts more pressure on the keynote to give inspiration and provoke new thoughts into the audience be
c) So the speakers who need to worry are the speakers who used to speak as “one of many speakers during the day” – those speaker slots are going away. Not completely of course but there will be less of them.
d) The keynote speaker slots will not go away – they will become more important – thus becoming more valuable. So for GREAT keynote speakers this trend is very positive. For bad – or regular -keynote speakers this is worrying; and for “normal/regular speakers” who are used to speak “sometime during the day” it is a threat as those speaking slots might be reduced.
e) Higher pressure to be able to engage the audience.
f) So in summary: Event organisers are cutting away the “fat” (extra speakers not really needed) and producing events that are more lean. Make sure you still make the cut. Aim to develop a killer keynote so that you are still able to get those few – but now even more important – opening and/or closing keynotes.
ps. I have now done 250 (!) episodes of Professional Speaking. Let me know on what you appreciate my weekly sharing and what you want more/less of.