Lessons from

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"My most valuable lesson from 20+ years as a professional speaker: Do not be a speaker." Professional Speaking Episode 285.


In this episode of Professional Speaking I share one of the biggest insights I have had in two decades of speaking. It is about the power of, and value of, finding and defining your "Brand Moniker”.

It is about not being or defining yourself as “a speaker”.

And it might just change how you look at speaking, the profession of “being a speaker” and about what you do.

Find your Brand Moniker and you find your true direction.

I am "The Creativity Explorer". What is your "Brand Moniker”?

If you cannot view the video here, check it out on youtube:

If you enjoyed this video, please do not forget to click “like” and subscribe to my channel to get more inspiration on creativity and public speaking.
If you know anyone who is looking for a conference speaker on creativity, change / disruption and global or human mindset, please send them to

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The Big Virtual Speaking Debate: Sitting down or Standing up? (Professional Speaking. Episode 284.)


In this episode of Professional Speaking I have made a video about the two "camps" in virtual speaking: Should you be standing up or should you be sitting down?

In the video I show some of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach to help you master both.

And to be clear: I am in BOTH camps :) I think some speeches are better delivered sitting down and some are better delivered standing up. It depends on the speaker, the topic, the audience, the brief, the client and so on.

Make sure you master both so you can use the most appropriate technique. (And if you have a favourite technique that is fine too :) My favoruite is standing up.)

As an audience member which technique do you prefer, let me know in the comments?

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A few simple steps to transition from a "zoom presentation" to a proper Virtual Speech Experience. (Professional Speaking. Episode 283.)



For this week I created a short video (2+ minutes) where I show the difference between a “normal web cam experience” and a “professional virtual speaking experience”. The difference is amazing.

As professional speakers we should deliver professional virtual speeches - not just “webinars” or “zoom calls”.

That means that it just is not enough to use the normal equipment on your computer, you need to upgrade to a “virtual speech set up”.

Check out the short video to see the difference that a few, simple tweaks can create.

If you cannot view the video here, check it out on youtube:  

If you enjoyed this video, please do not forget to click “like” and subscribe to my channel to get more inspiration on creativity and public speaking.
If you know anyone who is looking for a conference speaker on creativity, innovation, change or disruption, please send them to ...

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Speakers: Stalk yourselves. (About repeatedly rewatching ourselves speak) (Professional Speaking. Episode 278)

April 19, 2020 By Fredrik Haren

“Watch yourself speak.” That is one of the most common advice out there for becoming a better speaker if you ask experienced speakers.

And it is probably the advice that beginner speakers ignore the most. They know they should be watching themselves speak. But they don’t.

But you should.

And not only film yourself once and watch it once.

But film yourself often. And watch yourself often.

After 25 years of speaking and more than 2000 speeches delivered, I still do.

But here is the “expert tip”: Watch the SAME speech over and over again.

Because every time you do you will see different aspects. (Just like watching a movie over and over again. Every time you rewatch a movie you notice new things.)

And when you have watched the same speech 10, 15, 20 times then you start to notice small subtle things that you do that you would never notice would you always insist on only watching each speech once or twice.

I have just spent...

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The simple secret to a great speech: Have fun. (Professional Speaking. Episode 272)

 March 1, 2020 By Fredrik Haren

“Have fun!”

That was the words I found myself saying to two of the other speakers of the conference I spoke at earlier this week. (The conference was LEAP – a great HR conference in Bucharest, Romania with enthusiastic 700+ attendees (

I could, of course, have chosen anything to say to them, but I picked “Have fun”, and in this episode of Professional Speaking I want to share why I think that is the best advice to tell a speaker before going up on stage.

So why is that?

Enjoyment is contagious. (Now, in these COVID-19 times the term “contagious” is perhaps not immediately connected to “joy”(The Coronavirus is serious stuff), but “contagious” is still the best word I can think of. A person having fun at their job (be that a bus driver, a waiter or a speaker) will affect the mood of the people around that person.

Having fun makes you less nervous. And being less nervous...

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Do Not Just Aim for Being Inspired. Aim for Being Inspiring. (Professional Speaking: Episode 271)

 February 18, 2020 By Fredrik Haren

This might be a strange post but it feels right to write it. I say strange because I am going to write about me inspiring others.

The last few days I have, for example:

a) gotten an email from a man from Mongolia (Ankhbayar Batbaatar) who wrote to me out of the blue – to tell me that he is “my big fan” since a friend gave him my book “The Idea Book”.

b) received a book by an American woman (Lousie Karch) with a copy of her book (Word Glue) and that she happily told me in a sweet note that she was inspired by my book.

c) gotten a photo sent to me from a man in India (Jugdish Ahuja) which shows me how he has a picture of me speaking on a big stage as his desktop picture on two screens (!) to inspire him to dream big about speaking.




As a Swede living in Singapore that is just so inspiring to me to hear I have been inspiring others.

It is my firm belief that people who do what they love and...

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One Important Aspect of Writing A Universally Human Speech (Professional Speaking: Episode 270)

February 13, 2020 By Fredrik Haren

I am a strong believer of writing speeches that works on people from all over the world. The reason for this is, as a global speaker, I speak all over the world (I spoke in 24 countries last year alone). But also because many speaking assignments for professional speakers will be for international/global audiences (meaning people in the audience will be from many different countries).

For both these scenarios (speaking globally, and speaking for international groups) you need to have a speech that is universally human – a speech that goes to the core of humanity.

I recently delivered a new speech (a speech I had never delivered before) and I knew the audience would be diverse (from 14 different countries from 4 continents).
So how did I know that the speech would land?

I tested it on 4 people from 4 different countries. An American, a Frenchman, an Indian, and a Filipino.

And when I say “tested” it I mean I ran...

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The most intimidating stage for a speaker. And how to handle it (Professional Speaking. Episode 267.)

January 26, 2020 By Fredrik Haren

See something strange with this picture?

Yes, all the seats are facing each other, not the stage.

That makes it harder for the speaker to connect.

But the really unusual set up is that the boss has a chair facing the OPPOSITE way.

There is a big LED TV so he can see the slides, but to see the speaker (and for the speaker to see him) he has to decide to turn around…

So how to deal with this as a speaker?

I saw this set up the night before my speech and considered having them change the layout of the room, but it was not an option.

To make the room work better I decided to:

1) Keep the energy up from the start to get the chairman to turn his chair around to see what was happening

2) Walk into the room a few times during the speech to create a better human connection with the room.

3) Network with the senior leaders (the ones that would be sitting in the blue chairs) during the dinner to have a personal rapport with them.

Lesson: You can not...

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A super trick for building connections after a speech: “The call for approach” (Professional Speaking. Episode 266.)

 January 14, 2020 By Fredrik Haren

** Announcement: Read the end of this post for a special announcement about mentoring! **

“Call for approach” means that you – during the speech, and preferably close to the end – give the audience a reason to come up to you after the speech.

You could say things like: “I am writing a book on xxx and would love to hear your examples, please approach me after my speech if you have a good story”, or “If you want more examples do not be afraid to approach me after the speech.”

The reason for the “call for approach” is that many audience members are afraid to approach a speaker. They might be shy, introverted, intimidated or even star struck. By giving them permission to approach you you encourage them to come up – giving you valuable opportunities to connect, network and research.

I promise you you will get more people coming up to you after your speech, and by people approaching...

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How to speaking at client events is different. (Professional Speaking. Episode 265.)

 January 11, 2020 By Fredrik Haren

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...

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