Author: Fredrik Haren

If you want to become a global keynote speaker this post is for you.

I am honoured and humbled to have been selected as the Opening Keynote speaker at the Global Speakers Summit to speak on the topic of “The Global Keynote Speaker Mindset”.

The Global Speakers Summit (GSS) is the conference of The Global Speakers Federation happening in amazing country of Namibia in 21-24 February 2020.

This is the third time in a row I have been selected as a speaker for the GSS. Second time in a row as the Opening Speaker.

Join me in Namibia in February and learn from me and many others how you too can become a global keynote speaker! Sign up at www.GSS2020.com

 

ps. In 2019 alone I was invited to speak in 24 countries on 5 continents and in total I have spoken in 70 countries – so I do think I will have some insights to share on how you can become a global keynote speaker. 😉

Normally  on this blog I share about what I learn about being a professional speaker by sharing my experiences of speaking. But this week I wanted to share about an event where you can learn from me live in person.

 

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Today’s episode is about how to deliver a speech when you have people sitting around you and you stand in the middle: a very unusual stage set-up, but one that seems to gain in popularity.

In the last month I have done two speeches where the setting has built around a “round stage” (ie where the audience is sitting around you)

The first time was for 1600+ people at the Superannuation conference in Australia (big gala-lunch setting). The second time was on Monday for 100 top managers of Johnson & Johnson in China (intimate workshop setting).

Both times I was there to deliver a keynote speech.

The round stage is great for the audience. It creates a closeness to the stage.

As a speaker it makes it harder.

My first tip is to not get intimidated. Many speakers who go up on a round stage get scared. And fear shows.

How to conquer the intimidation:

1) Spend more time on the stage during rehearsal than you normally would. (To get used to it)

2) Turn around so that everyone gets to see your face (of course) but do not turn around ALL the time. See it as a dance.

3) If there are cameras: Make sure you look at the camera so that people who are facing you back can still see your face on the screen.)

4) If (!) there is one part of the room where less people are sitting spend a bit (!) more time facing the opposite way (ie so that that space gets more of your “back”, but not too much.)

5) Do NOT mention the fact that you are on a round stage, that you are feeling awkward “showing you my ass”, etc. Never draw attention to the fact that you are a speaker on a stage. It distracts from your message.

6) USE the fact that the round stage set-up makes the audience come closer to you which gives you an opportunity to engage more and closer with more audience members. Make them FEEL that they are sitting closer to the stage, otherwise the whole purpose of the round stage-set up is lost.

 

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When I was a little kid my father (who was a professional musician) would bring up me on stage to sing a few songs with him. It taught me do dare, stage presence and it gave me the “stage bug”.

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing my own kids (4, 6 and 8) sing infront of 40 professional speakers at the Asia Professional Speakers Singapore’s Christmas Party. (I love how the 4 year old is hesitant to join but then slowly gets closer and closer to the other performers.)

I recently also had a conversation with a man who just retired after a long career in banking and now was ready to start a new career while in his 60s.

Personally I became a professional speaker at the age of 27 and have been doing it now for 25 years. Considering how rewarding and fulfilling I find the job I plan to continue to do professional speaking until I die. (The good thing with the speaking profession that it is one of few jobs where old age will not make it harder for you to build a career – people can keep doing it until they die.)

So to answer the question in the headline: It is never too early and it is never too late.

#publicspeaking #speaker #inspiration #keynotespeaker #professionalspeaking #APSS

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