In August I focused my free time on meeting with and mentoring other speakers. In just the month of August I had one-on-one meetings (for at least one hour each, often longer) with more than 40 professional speakers. (Picture from one of the many one-on-one-speaker sessions that I did.)
I do that to give back to the speaking community, but also to learn and become better as a speaker myself.
The only speech I did was a pro-bono speech for a university which had invited me to give a speech on what why I choose to take so much time off to be with my young children. The fact that Paternity leave is seen as an exotic, progressive idea is both inspiring and depressing. Depressing when I think how far we still have to go before fatherhood means that father takes care of their children. Inspiring when I think about how things are starting to change.
Now getting ready to get back on the road again as global professional speaker.
July was the beginning of my 2 months paternity leave and I spent the first month or so on our beautiful island in Sweden just playing with my kids.
Being a global speaker means that you also need to block out “no-work” periods in order to stay sane. I am in the middle of that right now.
But I did take a break from paternity leave to fly to Phoenix, Arizona to be the keynote speaker at the National Speaker Associations’s INFLUENCE conference where I had been invited to speak at the opening of “The International Day.”
I was invited to speak on how to become a global speaker.
But I of course also took the opportunity to learn from some of the very best speakers from around the world who had been invited to speak at this conference. INFLUENCE is, by far, the world’s largest and most respected conference for professional speakers with 2000+ participants from all over the world.
For a speaker focused on speaking in different places all over the world, June was a great month.
I got my “Asia inspiration” from speaking in countries like Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.
I got my “Europe inspiration” from speaking in Luxembourg, Cambridge and Madrid.
East and West.
I also got to see totally different industries: from make-up to banks. From insurance to lawyers.
But perhaps the most inspirational speech I did was to speak for the participants of “The Queen’s Young Leaders Program” where selected young leaders from all over the Common Wealth gather for an amazing week where they get to learn from everything from BCC to visiting the Prime Minister and receive an award from The Queen.
Speaking from such a young energetic, intelligent and dynamic group of young people from literally all over the world – in a setting of the old Cambridge University – was such an inspiration for me.
May was unusual month since I did quite a few speaking assignments in Singapore this months. (I am based out of Singapore but tend to speak all over the world.)
I was invited to be the only speaker at the annual dinner for the prestigious HCLI (Human Capital Leadership Institute)
I was one of only two keynote speakers when Singapore’s leading business newspaper The Business Times organised a conference on the future of Singapore. (The other speaker was S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore.)
They also did an interview with me that you can read here.
Happy to be asked to speak at such prestigious conferences in my home country all in one months. Now, May did also include some speaking assignments in other countries: like USA (New York), Thailand and Malaysia – I am the global conference speaker after all…
The most fun part of being a global speaker is the extreme diversity of assignments you get to do.
Let’s look at three speaking assignments I did in the month of April.
1) Managers in Asia/Australia of Media Agency OMD at a conference in a luxury resort in Vietnam.
2) Airline executives from Africa and Middle East at a aviation conference in Cairo.
3) TV Sales people from Sony Television on a conference in Bali.
Three kinds of professions. Three kinds of industries. Three different kinds of locations. Three different kind of briefs.
So different in so many ways. And great examples of the diversity of assignments you get to see as a global speaker.
March News: A very global week, even for a global speaker.
As a global speaker I am used to having weeks that involve a lot of travel, but one week in March this year was a little bit extreme even for someone like me.
In one week (March 12 to March 19) I did 3 speeches, in 3 different countries on 2 continents.
The week included 6 flights, 7 airports in 6 countries on 3 continents. (Gothenburg, Stockholm, Vienna, London, Lagos, Dubai and Singapore)
I also spoke for 3 totally different industries:
An Internet bank in Sweden. (Banking)
The global management team of BMW Engines (Automotive)
A food and farming company in Nigeria (Food).
Totally different environments, totally different industries, totally different audiences, totally different speeches.
The kind of week that a global speaker like me live for.
Spreading the inspiration to as many different industries, audiences and countries as possible.
For this months news I want to focus on pro-bono speeches.
I was once asked if I thought professional speakers should ever speak for free. I replied: “Of course, it is part of a speakers CSR.”
I then got the follow up question: “But is it not bad for business?”
I replied: “A speaker who is not speaking for free is not making enough money.”
What I meant by that is that it should be obvious that a speaker should speak pro-bono to certain kinds of clients. And if a speaker doesn’t think some clients should get a speech without paying, it might be because the speaker is not good enough at getting paid speeches somewhere else.
I speak for free a number of times per year.
Just last week I spoke for a number of teachers and principals of elementary schools in Singapore. Why? Because teachers to amazing work and as someone who has children living in Singapore it felt like the least I could do.
But I also recently spoke for, for example, a women’s network. Why? Because they are not running a corporate business and if they are not commercial, then neither do I have to be.
I try to spread out the pro-bono speeches between different groups, audiences, industries and situations. If you have a group who would benefit from a speech on innovation, change or global mindset but who doesn’t have the budget to bring in a professional speaker, please drop me an email and explain the situation and let’s see what we can do.
January – a great start on the new year
January is normally not a very busy months for a professional speaker (global conferences is not so often put in the first month of the year.)
But this year I still got to travel quite a lot.
I spoke at:
A global conference in Germany, for a tech company with headquarters in the USA.
A Asian conference in the Oil & Gas industry for a consultancy company with its HQ in Norway.
For a Chinese conference for an Life Sciences company with HQ in the USA.
At a conference in Sweden for the the local employees in Scandinavia/the Nordic countries for a global car company with its HQ in Germany.
And for a global conference for venture capitalists who had flown in from all around the world.
I also got to do a speech in my “homeland” Singapore.
A healthy and inspiring mix of industries, audiences, countries and cultures that made me feel that we are off to a very good start in 2016.
Time to summarise a global year.
2015 has been yet another global year for me – which is fitting since I am “The Global Conference Speaker”.
I did 80% of my speeches outside my home country of Singapore.
22% of my speeches were in Asia. (Excluding my speeches done Singapore)
17% of my speeches were in the Americas.
29% of my speeches were in Europe. (7% were in my native Sweden.)
7% of my speeches were in Africa/Middle East.
5% of my speeches were in Australia.
All in all I spoke in 22 different countries – on 5 continents in 12 months (bringing the total number of countries that I have been invited to speak in to more than 60. This year I added Croatia and Brazil to the list.)
But numbers can never really summarise all the amazing moments and experiences that makes up a year for a global conference speaker.
Just some of the many, many interesting speaking assignments that I did in 2015 include:
A global conference for BMW in Munich
A global conference for MINI in London
A global conference for Bentley dealers in Manchester
The Asia Partner Conference for EY.
The Global Conference for Nexia in Rio De Janeiro.
A South- and North America Tour for BMW (including speeches in Sao Paolo, Mexico City, New York and Las Vegas).
The Distributor Conference for CANON for Europe/Africa/Middle East – in Paris.
And many, many more.
I got to work with companies from all kinds of industries, from banks (Like Standard Chartered in Bangladesh) to travel (Booking.com in Thailand), to space (Rymdbolaget in Sweden) and government (a conference for awareness of people with disabilities in Abu Dhabi.)
And many, many more.
The more i travel the world, the more I meet people from different cultures, countries – or industries -, the more I feel that we all belong to one big group – and the power and the possibilities that would be unleashed if we all truly understood this would be amazing.
It is the possibility of getting mankind to think and act as one with the best interest of all that keeps me motivated to spread my message of innovation, creativity and the positive aspects of having a global mindset to as many places as I can.
I can not wait for 2016 to begin so I continue this journey.
(Picture of the wall of my house – yes, I like to remind myself to have a global mindset even when I am home.)
November – Around the world (again)
For the second time in three months I went around the world in 8 days or less.
This months it was an epic trip that took me from Singapore-Tokyo (where I had Sushi) – Houston (where I had Hamburger) – Rio (where I had rum) – Portugal (where I had tapas) – Switzerland (where I Schnitzel) – Amsterdam (where I had cheese) – Istanbul (where I had tea) – and Kuala Lumpur (where I just had a quick transfer 😉 before coming back to Singapore again 204 hour after I left.
I got to speak at the global conference of Nexia,
for global managers at Credit Suisse,
for top managers at ING,
for clients of Bentley in Sydney and Melbourne,
and -very exciting – for 1700 Partners of EY from 22 different countries having their conference in Singapore
(For the EY conference I got the share the stage with people like Steve Wozniak (creator of Apple II computer and global ideas wizard), and Linda Yueh (BBC presenter, Adjunct Professor of Economics at London Business School, and Visiting Professor of Economics at Peking University.)
All in the month of November.
October – A busy not so busy October.
October is normally one of the busiest months for a global speaker, but this year I blocked off half the month to be at home with my family to welcome our newborn child.
Yet I was still able to squeeze in some really fun assignments. Such as:
Speaking for Project Managers in Romania.
For local government employees in Skövde, Sweden.
At a big Europe/Africa/Middle East conference for Canon (in Paris, France.)
For clients of Standard Charter bank in Bangladesh.
and for automotive executives in Singapore.
So many different experiences, such different countries, such different speaking assignments, such different clients – and such different worlds to be a global speaker for half the months and a local dad for a new born the other half.
September – Back on the horse again (that should be plane)
After two months of Paternity leave/vacation I was back on the road again in September in my role as the Global Conference Speaker.
It kicked off with a bang as I got to go around the world again. Delivering a speech for the global innovation team of VISA (at a conference in San Francisco) and then scoot off to Croatia for a big management conference in Split, before closing the around-the-world trip by coming back to Singapore just 5 days (!) after leaving.
I also got to connect to my native Sweden by speaking to students in Lund – and for business executives in Malmö.
And also did some speeches in my new home country Singapore: including for 800 directors at the Singapore Directors Conference – and for the best sales manages across Asia at AIA (both having conferences in Singapore).
It’s great to be back doing what I love. And it is great being back on the planes getting to see our small, little, blue planet from above to remind us how we are all on this planet together.