Life of a professional speaker

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An Agile way of delivering a speech on being Agile.

This weeks ProfessionalSpeaking-blog is about delivering a talk that is “Walking the talk”.

Last week I was invited to speak to hundreds of members of ACCA in Singapore. The theme of the conference was “Agile” and I was invite to speak on “Agile as an individual”.

Agile is about being flexible, nimble, adaptive and about doing instead of planning/talking.

So when the client asked for the slides a week before the conference I suggested to them that instead of sending in the slides in advance I would make the slides during the day and deliver a speech that had slides with quotes from the previous speakers. (I was the last speaker.)

The picture attached is a picture of me sitting in the back of the room making the slides as I listen to the other speakers.

I then went up and delivered my speech and started it by saying: “Agile is about being fast and nimble so I am going to deliver a speech I put together based on my experience during the day.”

For example: One speaker mentioned Singapore as an example of an agile country. So I had a slide that said “Singapore: An Agile country?” and I then asked the audience in my speech if they agreed with this statement. Most did not. I then continued to tell a couple of stories about Singapore as an agile country.

To make up a speech for hundreds of people on the same day as the speech might look risky or even unprofessional, but the key here of course is that I had researched and planned my speech in advance and prepared a speech much longer than my time slot and then I selected the stories and examples that I had based on which stories connected well to what the previous speakers had said.

That way I could tell a story that I wanted to tell but for the audience it looked like I came up with the example on the fly.

I do not recommend this strategy to beginner speakers, but I am using it as an example of how you can customise a speech based on the theme of the conference, and as an example of how a speech can become more powerful when we SHOW something (in this case my ability to think on my feet), instead of just TALKING about something.

 

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I have done quite a few posts on this blog about the value of speakers interviewing others, but today’s post will be about speakers being interviewed.

This week I was interviewed on a business radio station in Singapore, got invited to be interviewed on two podcasts (one in Sweden and one in UAE) and had a meeting with an owner of a PR agency in Singapore who wanted to know more about speaking.

It is usually difficult to find direct ROI on doing an interview on radio, TV or any other media. By that I mean that it is not very common to get an email that says: “I just heard you on the radio and I would like to book you for a speech”. Yet there is a value to do interviews.

For me the two main reasons are:

a) To get your name out and help build your brand.

b) To get to think about your topic in a new way by having someone ask you about your topic.

Personally I do not very actively seek out media interviews unless I am launching a new book, but I do say yes to doing interviews if a media outlet contacts me. At last most of the time.

As a professional speaker doing media interviews should definitely be part of your “tool box”.

ps. The interview at the radio station was mainly done with me in the role of the President of APSS (Asia Professional Speakers Singapore) where I am the current president and we talked about the Asia Professional Speakers Convention (www.AsiaProfessionalSpeakersConvention.com). Check out the convention is you are able to make it to Singapore 10-11 May.

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