(Stockholm, Sweden)

You are booked for a speech in Bangkok on a Wednesday that will end at 12.00 noon (Thailand time).

You have another booking in Stockholm, Sweden, that begins at 3 pm (Sweden time) on Friday.

Now a client calls you and asks if you can speak on the island of Hainan, in Southern China on Thursday morning.

What would you say?

Some speakers would say: “Sorry, but I am already booked in two countries on two continents in three days, so it is not possible.”

Some speakers would say: “It looks tight, but let me check the flights.” (And when they realise that the flight they would have to take is a flight from Bangkok to Shenzhen and then onwards to Hainan leaves Bangkok at 2.05 pm they would say, “It’s too tight.”

And then there are the global speakers. 🙂

I replied: “I would love to!”

I then booked the 2.05 pm flight (and also a back-up ticket for a flight leaving 3.25 pm but not arriving in Hainan until 1.25 pm (which would not be ideal since it would mean too little sleep, but it would work as a back-up would I miss the 2.05 flight.)

12.05 I leave the conference room to jump into a waiting car that got me to the airport at 12.55 pm.

Arrive in Hainan 11 pm. Arrive at hotel at 11.50 pm.

Gave speech in Hainan 9-10 am on Thursday. Hanged around on the beach all day. Boarded a plane from Hainan to Hong Kong at 20.2o pm. Had a 1,5 hour lay-over in Hong Kong and then flew to Stockholm (via Helsinki) to arrive in Sweden at 8 am. In hotel at 9 am. Early check-in to get 3 hours of sleep in a bed. Shower, breakfast and at conference at 1 pm to listen to the other speakers. 3 pm speak in Sweden.

Three speeches, in three countries, on two continents (including 6 flights and 7 airports) in around 60 hours.

I even got to experience a sand-castle building competition on the beach.

If you want to be a global speaker you have to be ready to make travel arrangements like this.

The life of a global speaker is the opposite of a “normal” job.

A normal job has 40 hours of work per week and 8 hours of commuting.

A global speaker has 5 hours of work per week, and 40 hours of commuting…

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(Melbourne, Australia)

I got inspired by Shannon Bennett.

Some of the things Wikipedia says about Shannon Bennett is:

Bennett was invited to be the first Australian member of the associations Jeunes Restaurateurs D’Europe and Le Grand Tables Du Monde. In 2007 Shannon was a guest chef at New York’s Star Chefs Congress. Vue de Monde was awarded Restaurant of the Year in The Age Good Food Guide, 2013 and 2014.

What I say about him is: Amazing.

A couple of days ago I had the honor of enjoying a 7-course meal in his restaurant on top of the Rialto Tower in Melbourne.
(Yes, that is one of the perks of being a speaker: you get to take part in some fantastic events that companies take their most important clients on….)

As an author I should not be at a loss of words, but the experience of eating at Shannons restaurant made me speechless. Not only because the food was amazing (it was) but perhaps even more because of the holistic approach that Shannon has taken to being great in anything or everything that he does.

Some examples:

One of the wines that had been paired with the food at our dinner came from 2 bottles that there only existed 12 bottles of in the whole of Australia. (The wine cellar in the restaurant had 4000 (!) bottles in storage.)

The restaurant only takes in something like 60 guests per night (and have almost as many staff as they have guests!)

The water system in the restaurant comes from Japan and is called “E-water”, which means the restaurant cleans all its kitchen stuff (and their chefs hands) with Electrolyzed Water which means no soap is needed. (Even the guest toilets have that system, but there they had to put in some soap because the guests did not trust the system.)

They grow their own herbs in their own gardens, even their own truffles!

They use fish caught on a line (instead of a net) and killed using Ikejime – a Japanese method of paralysing fish to maintain its quality to minimise the stress hormones in the meat.

And so on and so on.

In other words, an attitude of always trying to be the best.

I am writing this post because Shannon inspired me.

This blog doesn’t really have a target audience. I am not blogging on the topics that I speak on (Creativity, Change and Global Mindset), and I am not running this blog to be a “thought leader” on those topics. Instead I am writing this blog for myself to force myself to write things down that will make me better as a speaker. (It is a bonus if it also inspires other speakers to improve as well.)

After 8 months of running this blog I know it has helped me by making me sit down and reflect on what I do, how I do it and how I can become better at doing what I do.

This time I was helped by being reminded of the quest to always be the best you can do by an Australian chef in Melbourne. Tomorrow it might be someone totally different that helps me in a totally different way.

Who is helping you become better as a speaker and how?


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(Sydney, Australia.)

As a global speaker I want to have a global mindset. Because of that I am a member of numerous speaker associations around the world:

NSA – in the USA – because it is the oldest, biggest and most professional speaker association in the world – by far.
APSS – because it is the local Singaporean organisation and I live in Singapore
NSA(Sweden) – (which i co-founded) – because Sweden has a very high percentage of really good speakers (and because I am Swedish of course)
Professional Speakers Australia – because it has a big, organisation and I got my CSP from Australia.

(I am planning to join the speaker associations in the UK and Canada too next year.)

The reason I am a member of so many different organisations is because I do not want to see myself as a speaker from “one” country – I have been invited to speak in 60+ countries and speak in between 20-30 different countries each year – and I think the concept of speaker associations built around countries of residence is too limiting. So to break through from this “country limiting mindset” that many speakers have I am a member of so many different speaker associations.

I think it is very important to have a global mindset as a speaker and being a member of many organisations makes that a little bit easier.

Today I am in Sydney so I used this mindset to catch up with a local Australian speaker (who was actually born in Germany.) when I met up with Peter Strohkorb for a long lunch in a restaurant in Hyde Park.

Peter is a fellow speaker and consultant who’s focus is the intersection between sales and marketing.
His book “The One Team Method” has the subtitle “How Sales+Marketing Collaboration can boost Big Business.”

I like to meet up with speakers to learn more about how they look at speaking.
But I also like to meet up with speakers to learn nothing about speaking.

Today I met with Peter to learn more about the topic he talks on.
To be successful as speakers we need to know a lot about a topic – we need to be thought leaders – so who better to talk to if you want to learn more about a topic than a speaker?

The great part of being a speaker is that it is easy to get access to other speakers and learn from them.

We had a long chat about the importance to integrate your sales and marketing into one combined activity – which was very useful for me as I am a speaker who has not been very good at wither marketing or selling but who has build a career based on word-of-mouth.

After my meeting with Peter I went to the Hotel spa to relax in the sauna for an hour to focus on my own speech later in the night where I had been invited to speak at their event (at the Iconic Sydney Opera House) because they think I would be the best person for the audience to listen to.

Tonight I am the thought leader.
But today I was the one who interviewed the thought leader.

Lesson: Use the fact that speakers and thought leaders like to meet up with each other and try to connect with speakers in cities that you come to and speak to get some new ideas and thoughts into your head.

When is the last time you interviewed another speaker – not about his or her speaking – but about his or her topic or expertise?


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