There are 3 kind of conferences a speaker can speak at:

Industry conferences
Internal events
Client events
Today let’s talk about Client events.


a) You are talking to strangers

When you speak to an audience where not everyone knows everyone you have to pay more attention to build rapport with the group and within the group.

b) They are there as guests – treat them like guests

A client event is a gift. Clients are there to feel special. That means you need to have a more positive message, have to be more entertaining and have a less “teaching approach” than when you speak at an internal conference.

c) They are there for a purpose and that purpose is not you.

Remember companies invite clients to sell something. That means that clients will very much appreciate if you incorporate some of the sales pitch into your speech. It looks so credible if the external speaker – in a believable way – pushes the clients products to the audience. And they love that. Or, if you can not do that, help by expressing what an amazing company the company is. Anything to help sell the client to his client.

Remember: Your speech is there to sell the client.


Almost all of the 264 episodes of Professional Speaking is about HOW to become a global, keynote speaker, but some are about the business of speaking and a few – very few – are about the LIFE of a global, professional keynote speaker. This is one of those rare posts.

I think it makes sense to once in a while share what my life as a global, keynote speaker looks like to show what you could have  if you follow the free tips that I share here.

So in 2019 I did 54 speeches in 24 countries on 5 continents. Here they are, including one thing I learnt by doing that speech/workshop. I share that one thing to emphasise that while speaking is what we get paid to do, and where we get all the attention, LEARNING is what we shall never forget to do. Because learning new things is what gives us the new speaking assignments.

So here we go: One Year in the life of a global, keynote speaker:

1) Swiss Investment Manager Circle Event for SwizzQuant in Zermatt. Swizerland
Learning about the international banking industry from the head of the Swiss Central bank.

2) One day open workshop on Business Creativity for Singapore Management University, Singapore
Learning about creativity in the shipping industry and the ropes (!) industry

3) The Outlook India conference for Outlook Magazine, Mumbai, India.
Learning about the helicopter industry in India and about negotiation tips from negotiations expert and Wharton professor Stuart Diamond.

4) The EO (Entrepreneurs Organisation) chapter of Coimbatore, India.
Learning about Indian entrepreneurship from Indian Entrepreneurs

5) The UK Litigation & Regulatory Conference for DLA Piper, London, UK
Learning about the legal aspects of Brexit from British lawyers

6) Hydro Extrusion Europe Management Conference, Porto, Portugal.
Learning about the latest trends in Aluminium from one of the largest aluminium companies in the world

7) BAM Singapore — Management conference for employees of in Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand.
Learning about Thai management styles and the value of culture from a company with an amazing culture.

8) BAM Bangkok – Management conference for employees of in Singapore. Singapore
Learning about customer service from a customer service obsessed company.

9) Management conference for Hydro Extrusion Hoogezand B.V., Almeo, Holland
Learning about green aluminium from one of the greenest aluminium factories in the world.

10) OSF Leadership Forum, Peoria, USA
Learning about innovative health care from a hospital ranked as one of the most innovative in the world

11) LocWorld Asia Conference, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia
Learning about the latest trends in translations and localisations from one of the largest industry conferences in the world

12) Keynote speaker at the first ever HR-Convention in the Maldives, Male, Maldives.
Learning about how the Maldives uses creativity to create the ultimate customer experience.

13) High potential leaders from across the world of Amazon Web Services meeting in Singapore.
Learning about how AWS uses leadership development to stay innovative.

14) CFO’s of Deloitte across Asia meeting in Hong Kong.
Learning about how CFO’s at Deloitte look at the financial future of the world.

15) International conference for CFO’s for Electrolux from across Asia and Africa meeting on Singapore.
Learning how an international company builds best practises within finance

16) Client event for Monitor ERP for their clients across Asia, Penang, Malaysia.
Learning how ERP companies are innovating to change traditional industries

17) LVMH Internal leadership conference together with SMU, Singapore
Learning how innovation is used to push the luxury industry

18) Speech for the The Boys’ Brigade of Singapore’s annual conference
Learning how young Singaporean men look at the future.

19) Customer event for FCM Travel Solutions’ customers across Asia. Singapore
Learning about the latest trends in the corporate travel market

20) Speaking at the Malaysia Speakers Association Annual Conference, KL, Malaysia
Learning about the history of professional speaking in Malaysia

21) Closing keynote at the ACCA conference in Singapore
Learning how the accounting industry is going agile.

22) AVIXA Asia Conference in Bangkok, Thailand
Learning about the latest trends in Audio Visual equipment.

23) Speaker at InnoTown, Ålesund, Norway
Learning about how to build an eco friendly luxury yacht

24) Speaking to all employees at power utility company Eidsiva, in Lillehammer, Norway
Learning about how to take a traditional industry into the future

25) Speaking at the convention of the European Professional Speakers’ Convention, Paris, France.
Learning about automating a speaking business

26) Asia conference for Havas, Bangkok, Thailand.
Learning about creative agencies across Asia.

27) The global banking conference for Deloitte, Rome, Italy.
Learning about how some of the leading bankers of the world look at the fintech revolution.

28) European conference for FINAT, the international trade association for the labels and adjacent packaging industries, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Learning how the label’s industry is becoming more eco friendly

29) Innovation workshop for business leaders in Kiev, Ukraine.
Learning about how people in Ukraine look at creativity

30) Global client event for Avaloq, Zurich, Swizerland
Learning from a financial IT company how IT will transform finance

31) Internal employee event for Avaloq, Zurich, Swizerland
Learning how an IT company keeps its staff motivated to innovate.

32) The European printing conference Dscoop, Barcelona, Spain
Learning how the printing industry is innovative to stay profitable

33) Global conference for employees at Metronic, Berlin, Germany
Learning how medical companies are innovating the future

34) Creativity workshop for HCLI for global top managers of Hitachi, Singapore
Learning how a massive company like Hitachi keeps innovating in so many ways.

35) Speech at conference for business leaders and government officials in Pyongyang, North Korea
Learning about North Korea in North Korea.

36) Speech for to communications leaders of IndoFood, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Learning about the dynamic food industry of Indonesia.

37) Speech for business leaders in Port Louis, Mauritius
Learning about how Mauritius is making sure it keeps transforming

38) 1200 agents of AXA South East Asia meeting in Macau, China
Learning about how AXA inspires it sales people.

39) Executive Education program for Singapore Management University, Singapore
Learning about how innovation can be used to save lives.

40) Open Creativity Workshop for Singapore Management University, Singapore
Learning about how restaurants and movie companies in Singapore innovate

41) PCMA Europe, The conference for conference organisers across Europe, Barcelona, Spain.
Learning how the conference industry in Europe is stepping up to be leaders in sustainability

42) Deloitte China, meeting in Tokyo, Japan.
Learning how a professional services company does marketing

43) + 44) High Potential Conference for DBS, Singapore.
Learning how the best bank in the world trains its best managers.

45) Executive Education program for Singapore Management University, Singapore
Learning about how financial companies look at innovation

46) Keynote speaker at Leadership Energy Summit, KL, Malaysia.
Learning about innovation from the world champion of squash

47) PCMA Asia The conference for conference organisers across Asia, Macau, China
Learning how the casino industry is coming up with new products.

48) Keynote speech for the world conference of World Vision, Manila, Philippines.
Learning how World Vision is coming up with new ideas to save the most vulnerable people in the world

49) Keynote speech for 1700 people attending ASFA (Superannuation conference) in Melbourne, Australia
Learning how Australia become leading in the pension industry.

50) Creativity workshop for HCLI for global top managers of Hitachi, Singapore
Learning about how heavy industries innovate

51) World conference of IAPA in Singapore
Learning how professional services companies look for new ideas.

52) Reliance Digital customer event, Mumbai, India
Learning how the consumer market in India is just exploding.

53) Johnson & Johnson Medical China management conference, Shanghai, China.
Learning how an American medical company is creating innovation centers in China

54) Top management of all the TATA companies, Mumbai, India.
Learning what the leaders of one of the most respected company group in the world is going to focus on for next year.


Now follow Professional Speaking in 2020 to learn how you can build a global speaking career too.


This very first post of Professional Speaking for 2020 will have me focus on my own speaking year of 2019, and what you can learn about your own speaking year of 2020.

In 2019 I was invited to speak in 24 countries on 5 continents. From top Swiss bankers meeting in a private hotel in the Swiss alps (my first speech of 2019) to all the top leaders of the TATA companies in India (my last speech of the year). From speaking to business people in North Korea to an HR conference in the Maldives and so many more amazing speaking opportunities.

I envisioned a global speaking year 2019. And it happened.

In 2020 envision a year of learning more about human creativity on a both deeper and broader level.

I am telling you this for three reasons:

a) To exemplify that when I share on how to build a global speaking career on I am actually “walking the talk” – ie you really do get to learn from a speaker who actually speaks globally. (In total I have spoken in 69 countries over a 20+ year speaking career.)

b) To remind you that what we envision will happen.

What do you envision for your professional speaking career for 2020? What are you going to do to make it happen?

c) To remember that as important vision boards are for the future, “hindsight boards” (ie stopping to evaluate your year in a visual way to remind you of all the things you have done is equally important. It builds confidence, appreciation and helps you see who you are.

So do not just do a vision board for 2020. Make a “hindsight board” for 2019 too.