I would like to add a twist to the idea of speakers customising their speech to an audience.

Anyone teaching anyone about speaking professionally will talk about the need to customise the speech to the audience or to the event. And I agree, being able to add stories, examples, facts etc that are selected uniquely for the event you are speaking at makes a lot of sense.

But I would like to today talk about a special kind of customisation which I call “customerization”.

Customerization is when you infuse a story/example/fact etc into a speech that comes from when you spoke for a similar client before.

Let me give you an example.

This week I did a speech for luxury giant LMVH on Monday and for the Ministry of Education on Tuesday. (Yes, perhaps the two most different groups of clients you can imagine, but this mix of clients is the beauty of being a professional speaker.)

For the LMVH group (which owns a series of luxury houses like Louis Vuitton and champagne brand Krug) I was able to infuse a story about how I earlier this year worked with the Krug HQ around what it means to be a truly global company.

When speaking for the Ministry of Education I could tell a story about the last time I visited the Ministry of Education and had a funny experience with the security guard where the moral of the story was relevant to the topic of my speech.

In both instances the story I included was both
a) relevant to the topic of the speech
b) relevant to the client as it came from a previous encounter with the client

So to “customerize” a speech means to customise it squared: both making the content relevant for the client and at the same time connecting with the client by telling a story about when you interacted with them (or a similar client) in a speech before.

The longer you are a speaker and the more speeches you have done the more you will get relevant stories from previous speeches that you can infuse into the new speeches when the time is right

Did it work?

Well, I think “customerization” was one of the reasons that at both of these speeches I got requests for another speech right after I was done. Who knows perhaps at those speeches I will bring up something I picked up at the two speeches I just did…


(Pictures are the two opening slides for my two speeches, quite different as you can tell…)


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