How much research do you do before a speech? As much as the client wants to you do.

In November I am speaking at the global conference of World Vision. When they asked me if I could come and visit two of their projects in the Philippines I of course said yes. What an amazing learning experience around how World Vision cares for the most vulnerable children in the world.




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 ( Check out the convention is you are able to make it to Singapore 10-11 May.


There is no one-way to be funny on stage, but one of my favourite comedy styles for both comedians and speakers is the “show-no-emotion-style”. A style we can all learn from as professional speakers.

A few days ago I had the privilege to be the only external keynote speaker when the company Monitor ERP had their big customer event in Penang, Malaysia. It was an amazing event and during the following gala dinner they had invited Harith Iskander, AKA “the Godfather of Malaysian Stand-up Comedy”.

Harith has been doing stand-up comedy for decades. After his show I had a chance to catch up with him. I asked him about his style of comedy where he tells the joke with a straight face – ie without laughing.

He told me: “That is the best way to do it.”

And I am inclined to agree. If not the best, at least one of the best.

By telling a joke and not laughing at it yourself you are creating this feeling in the audience that you “do not even know you are funny” and then when you ARE funny that becomes even funnier…

The opposite – to laugh hysterically to your own jokes – risk creating a feeling with the audience that you think you are funny, or that you are trying to force them to laugh…

Of course there are all kinds of comedian delivery so there is not “right or wrong” here. But I do want to encourage you at least study the style of comedians like Harith.

Personally I use this technique in combination with tell-a-joke-and-smile to get a good mix.

to SMILE while telling jokes is not the same as laughing at your own jokes. The smile gives the feeling that you are enjoying yourself on stage, that you are enjoying telling the jokes to the audience. A laugh is signalling that you think you yourself is funny. Big difference.

Perhaps the biggest lesson for me talking to Harith was to reflect over the kind of comedic delivery that I want to have as a speaker. So I pass that insight on to you today: What kind of comedic delivery do you want to have as a speaker? And is that the style you have todday?

(You can check out his videos on YouTube, here is one.)