Imagine: you are standing on a stage and look straight into a darkened room full of people. You read enthusiasm in their faces. People are standing, applauding and cheering. You feel a wave of positive energy coming in your direction. You have just finished your keynote and have managed to tap into your audience’s emotions. They trusted you and you were able to take them on a journey. You were able to motivate and inspire them. This feeling is indescribably beautiful.
This is the result of a great keynote that every speaker wants.
Throughout the course of this blog post, I will show you what the ingredients for a brilliant speech are.
A keynote that will: –
remain in the memory of your audience.
Maybe you want to give a good keynote yourself. My 7-point guide brings you closer to this goal.
1. Why do you need an outstanding keynote?
First of all, think about what you want to achieve with a keynote.
If you want to tailor your keynote to an event, you should also be aware of its goal. The goal of the event must be clearly defined and determined in advance.
The term “keynote” refers to the vocal sound that a choir is tuned with. A keynote tunes the audience to a topic that should be seen in a larger context. This sounds very strategic, but is the actual purpose of a keynote.
A good keynote may – no, should of course – also be entertaining. With a keynote, the central message of an event is conveyed to the audience in a relaxed manner. The presentation should provide impulses, trigger a specific topic or stimulate critical discussion.
Many keynotes are only 20 or 30 minutes long, although they can last up to an hour and a half. Must be able to win the audience over to your topic and to the central idea within this short space of time. You have to do everything you can to get the goal, the product or the vision across to the audience in the best possible way.
This is where the real difficulty lies when creating a keynote. The goal is quickly recognized, but it takes experience to skilfully implement it.
2. Know your audience
Now that you have set the goal of the keynote, there is one no-less-important point: you need to know your audience.
What is the average age of the audience?
Are there more men or women present?
What do the audience members do professionally and in what roles?
What is the emotional involvement with your topic?
Are the participants familiar with your topic or are they beginners?
Are the attendees here voluntarily or is it “part of the job”?
A good keynote is harmoniously focused on the audience. The wording used reflects the language of the audience.
The better you know your audience, the better you can emotionally engage them. That creates trust. If the audience trusts you, that’s already half the way to a successful keynote. Above all, knowing how your audience feels about the topic is essential. Your audience will feel understood and in good hands with you.
3. Clear structure and dramaturgy are the essence of an outstanding keynote
A good speech is characterized by a clear structure and dramaturgy that fits the topic. Does my keynote follow a clear theme? Is there a comprehensible beginning, middle section and conclusion to my speech? Is my entire keynote aligned with the main objective? Do I have enough examples or stories in my subsections?
A good keynote speaker pauses in the right places and varies the tone, tempo and volume. Similar to a narrative, an excellent keynote creates dramatic tension. Good keynote speakers don’t fall out of the sky, especially when it comes to the challenge of maintaining the right tempo. This is where point 6 comes into play.
4. Creating emotions through storytelling
In addition to creating dramaturgical suspense, a keynote should also contain various magic moments. In other words: it can be emotional. Storytelling is more popular than ever, because what better way to engage the audience than a speaker using figurative and flowery words to convey a topic? The speech should be filled with life so that it can develop its own dynamic. So: your speech is given life by your stories.
Creating emotional moments is incredibly important. The audience is immediately awakened by a perhaps provocative introduction right at the beginning of the speech. That way you create interest and can gracefully move on to the main topic.
The end of the keynote can also be a real highlight. You can leave a good last impression with a concluding anecdote or striking question. In this way, the audience is encouraged to think beyond the keynote.
After all, that’s the purpose of a keynote. If your keynote is still a topic of conversation at the bar, you’ve already done a lot right.
5. Activate your audience
Not only is an audience that sits quietly and passively in its seats mind-numbingly boring for the keynote speaker; there is also a danger that the audience will miss the target and the topic. With a good speech, the audience is both energised and challenged.
But how do you do this most effectively? The answer is by challenging your audience while always listening to your listeners and viewers. The audience must feel that they are being invigorated and taken on a journey, because this is the only way to achieve a transformation on all levels.
Of course, the activation of the audience is also crucially dependent on your own energetic state. You have to be in the highest possible state yourself. If you want to spark the fire in others, you must first of all burn for it yourself. More tips on how to increase your stage presence can be found here.
6. Practice makes perfect
The perfect keynote does not fall from the sky; nor does the perfect keynote speaker. Successful keynote speakers regularly practice their speeches. They carefully prepare the content and all necessary materials. A test audience is often given the opportunity to enjoy the speech in advance so that the presentation can be optimally prepared. Many hours of work are invested until the speech is ready.
It’s not primarily about the content, but about details such as dramaturgy, structure or the rehearsal of punchlines. The right body language is also an essential part of a convincing presentation. And since the message should also travel, the right voice training is also part of the ideal preparation.
When practicing, the focus should always be on the audience. A test audience can give you helpful tips on how to immediately improve your speech. If there is no audience with whom you can practice the speech in advance, record your own speech at home with a video camera or cell phone. This gives you the opportunity to watch and optimize individual sequences over and over again.
7. Flexibility and improvisation are the key points to a great keynote
Last but not least: the ultimate discipline! What distinguishes a good keynote from an outstanding one? An outstanding keynote is characterized by the fact that the speaker does not stick rigidly to his speech, but can react flexibly to what is happening in the audience. Here, direct input from the audience can also be incorporated into the presentation. The more the audience can identify with the keynote, the more valuable the feedback.
A total focus on what is happening in the room at any time during your keynote is also valuable. For example, the technology can sometimes fail, meaning that improvisation is then called for. An often-practiced keynote leaves enough free space within the content to react flexibly to unexpected events. If you are an experienced speaker and you have already given the keynote several times, you are quite capable of changing your speech during the presentation without the audience noticing. It is important that you always keep your goal in mind, because as long as you know where you want to go, you will find a way.
Keynote from an amateur or from a professional?
This question may sound a bit provocative. Basically, whether you are an amateur or a professional keynote speaker, it takes a lot of practice to deliver a captivating keynote. This is because keynotes are not just simple lectures; they are strategically-sophisticated speeches that pursue goals. Product keynotes á la Steve Jobs, for example, were crucial to Apple’s success. Even with speeches by great speakers like Bill Clinton, Tony Robbins or Arnold Schwarzenegger, nothing is left to chance.
You need time to practice and rehearse your speech and to feel comfortable on stage. Possible challenges arise when unforeseen situations arise, for example if all of a sudden the technology fails or a heckler in the audience interrupts you. Inexperienced performers will have difficulty coping with such disturbances. They lack the practice and experience to be able to improvise flexibly.
My tip: if the quality of a keynote at your event determines the well-being of your company because an innovative product is to be marketed or certain values are to be transmitted, follow the example of the big boys; leave nothing to chance and get a professional keynote-speaker.
Have you ever held or experienced a keynote yourself? What makes a keynote so special? Leave me a comment about it!
Everyone who has ever hosted an event knows that it is extremely important to find the right person to host it. The success or failure of an event is down to the presenter. His or her task is to lead the audience from A to B in style.
Maybe you know it or have experienced it before: you excitedly attend a wedding party to which you’ve been invited as a guest. But the DJ unfortunately has no sense of timing and no aptitude for gauging the mood of the guests and the songs are also not adapted to the guests. In summary, the DJ does not have the right skills to turn a party into an unforgettable day. The result: the wedding party is a failure and the bride and groom are annoyed that they did not search carefully for the ideal person. The most beautiful day of their lives has become a failure. Such an experience is avoidable, and I’ll show you how to avoid it.
In this article, I will demonstrate to you how to find the ideal host for your event. We are not only looking for the right presenter; n, we are looking for the perfect presenter.
By reflecting upon the following questions, will reach your goal:
1. What do I want to achieve with the event?
We start with a few basic questions:
What do you want to achieve with your event?
What should your audience do?
What is the basic goal of the event?
With this question, we lay the emotional foundation. Because every event, every seminarand every festivity has a goal as its basis.
Let’s take our above mentioned wedding celebration. The emotional goal is the following: the invited guests should feel comfortable. The party should be remembered as a glittering, unique celebration by both the wedding couple and the guests.
Or let’s take a sales event, such as the notorious advertising sales-events for rheumatism mattresses. Here it becomes particularly clear; if the presenter is not excellent and well-trained, he cannot convince the audience and the goal is missed. The meeting remains unsuccessful and only a few mattresses will be sold.
Also with seminars, which are to convey “only” knowledge, the ideal presenter is an important asset. If he or she does not succeed in captivating and inspiring the audience, valuable information remains unheard. The goal of “imparting knowledge” is not achieved.
You surely realize that it is of the utmost importance to think in advance about what you want to achieve with the planned event.
The next question we will ask ourselves is no less important.
2. Who is my audience?
If you are planning an event, a gathering or a party, you should know exactly who the presenter is supposed to captivate. The host works like a bridge; he or she is the link between the audience and the actual goal of the event. This is THE main objective as an organizer.
This means that the answer to this initial question determines which presenter you will look for. The more homogeneous the crowd, the easier it is to find the right presenter. The more complicated and diverse the audience, the greater the challenge in finding a suitable host.
So, define your audience. Distinguish whether you are more likely to deal with chairmen of the board or a young party-audience. The better you are informed about the demographic details, the better. Also consider why your guests want to attend the event. What is their emotional involvement? What is the general attitude of the audience towards the planned event?
Of course you won’t be able to answer this question in detail. However, the better you know your audience, the easier it will be to find the right presenter for your event. The presenter should be able to speak the “language” of the audience – not only figuratively, but often literally as more often than not, a language other than his or her native tongue will be required for an event.
Let’s move on to the third question.
3. What should happen at the event?
After thinking about the goal of your event and who your audience is, we now come to the content. Before you find the ideal presenter, you need to think about the content. It is similar to the what in which every master chef thinks about the ingredients that go into his creation.
These ingredients or contents can include:
Performances involving a band or solo artist
Short rounds of talks
Content in the form of a lecture
Of course, it is not only the content that counts, but also the structure that the ideal presenter should adhere to. You are the editor of your event, and the right presenter puts your thoughts into action. Create a director’s plan. And don’t worry, if the plan is not yet set in stone and you are unsure… the perfect presenter will gladly support you with his experience in planning.
Now we reach the crucial point.
4. What does the ideal host have to bring along?
The most important thing: the presenter must suit you and your image or your event.
All previous considerations are taken into account when thinking about the ideal presenter. “Suit you and your image” also means that you need to be clear whether you prefer a host who reflects you and your personality or one that polarizes and emotionally charges your brand.
Think about whether it makes more sense to choose a man or a woman who is more suited to your audience and topic. For some target groups and topics, it is also important to find a person who is the right age. The question is always: do I trust this presenter to lead this group?
But the most important thing is that the facilitator you choose is confident and has the necessary authority. If he or she is multilingual and already has experience, the probability that you have found the right person to lead the group increases.
Of course, your considerations are also influenced by the question of the budget. What budget is available to you? Please keep in mind that you can expect higher quality if you are willing to spend a little more. Unknown newcomers are cheaper than known TV stars. However, the experienced event-presenter will often be more profitable for your event than a well-known TV face.
In any case, ask for experience in the different fields. My industry experience has shown me that very few TV presenters are also good event presenters. Why is that? The explanation is obvious: presenters that strictly work within the medium of television usually have little or no experience in intimate,, direct contact with the audience. In addition, you can’t just cut something out or repeat a scene at a live event; live is live!
Event presenters who have frequently hosted live events are often much more flexible and able to react confidently to small challenges and disturbances.
When asked what the ideal presenter should bring to the event, the following considerations also play a role:
Is there a director on site besides the presenter?
Do I have an assistant for the presenter in case of a complex presentation?
Or is the presenter himself or herself responsible for directing and staying within his or her allotted time?
Good hosts are flexible and adapt to the circumstances.
5. Where can I find the right host?
After you have worked through all the points, we will work together to find the right host for you.
You can do this in the obvious way: ask Google! You will find hundreds of answers to this question from Google and Co. But which one is the right one?
The next possibility is to contact professional presenter-agencies.
Or you can ask friends, other companies or colleagues who have already gained experience with presenters. Recommendations in this area are well worth it.
Do you sometimes ask yourself why some concerts just can’t be topped? Why performances of global stars like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars are not only unique but almost magical? These top stars do not only fascinate their audience musically but also work hard and constantly on their stage presence.
With a performance thought out in every detail and a unique stage presence, the master of them all – “Jacko” – has thrilled tens of thousands of spectators at his performances, catapulting his songs into the musical universe.
Now you might think that you either have stage presence or you don’t, but I don’t see it that way; you can definitely learn and be trained in having stage presence.
In this article I will show you how you can win over your audience with simple exercises. You can do these exercises a few days before the performance, but some of them can also be used as a booster right before.
What is stage presence?
When I talk about stage presence, I do not mean the pure physical appearance. For me, presence on stage is connected with charisma. I want to create a feeling of presence in my audience. I reach this energetic state by controlling my thoughts and by being present in the here and now. The audience and I form a union. We interact with each other. I am the conductor who directs the events.
Through constant training, I succeed in captivating my audience again and again. At the same time this is a longer process of becoming aware.
If you manage to improve your effect on stage, you will be surprised to find that this will not only help you on stage but also improve your everyday communication.
Firstly I will introduce you to seven small exercises with which you can very quickly achieve a greater amount of stage presence.
7 simple exercises that achieve immediate results
1. Mark your territory
Focus your attention and alertness wherever you go. Get into the habit of “marking” unknown rooms and places. This will give you a feeling of security. You control the room, nothing can upset you, you practically inhale the atmosphere of the room surrounding you. You can do this exercise anytime and anywhere.
My tip before a performance: get familiar with the stage and with the room in which you will perform. Don’t arrive five minutes before and jump onto the stage. Enter the room, sit in the audience. Notice the air circulation. See which way the light goes. Touch the walls that border your creative space today. Feel the room and its energy. If you have already rehearsed your performance regularly a few days beforehand, you create a so-called morphogenetic field. In other words, you have left an energetic footprint that you can use. On the day of your performance, make sure that you move in the same paths as you did on the days before during your rehearsals. You step equally into the already existing energy field. If you succeed in this, the performance will practically be a piece of cake.
2. Love your audience
This is an exercise I do regularly just before my performances. Stand behind the curtain and feel the energy that the audience radiates.
Is it joyfully excited?
Is it tense?
Do you notice a nervousness?
Practice over and over again at perceiving the energetic fields. Every person, every living being, every room generates energetic streams. Send your audience consciously positive feelings. Love your audience and your audience will love you.
The power of thoughts and your own creative power can become conscious to you through visualization exercises. Visualize receiving a standing ovation from your audience at the end of your performance in the run-up to it. Imagine your audience enthusiastically listening to your speech.
Visualizations are particularly effective if you capture them on a large whiteboard or a large sheet of white paper. You focus the energy on a positive outcome.
4. Put yourself in the state you want to see your audience in
This is a powerful exercise for your stage presence to carry out just before your actual performance. Be with yourself, bring yourself into the emotional state you want to create in your audience. Get on fire for your performance. Mobilize all your strength, all your positive thoughts for your performance. Close your eyes and put your hands on your heart and feel your own life energy. Remember: if you want to light a fire in others, that fire must first burn within you!
The audience’s first perception of you is a crucial moment that decides whether your performance will be a top or a flop.
Be yourself and give the audience time to perceive you consciously.
Don’t come in, wriggle around and attack the audience with a flood of words.
Some entertainers and comedians have gotten into the habit of doing this: they come in and immediately a word bombardment is shot at the audience. This may be successful in some genres, but should be a conscious choice and not something that is done because an individual has got into the routine of doing it. Speakers have a stronger presence when they radiate calm and first of all… arrive. You can find more helpful tips about this in my blog post about non-verbal communication.
6. Timing is what counts
The right timing is not only crucial in everyday life, but also extremely valuable on stage.
When you are on stage, perfect timing is like a well-rehearsed choreography. You take breaks, build up dynamics, decrease your speed and avoid speaking and acting too fast, approach the verbal climax and take your audience with you.
As an exercise, I recommend that you rehearse the perfect timing several times. Let a friend film you, study the video and try out several variations. You can also consult a trusted person for feedback. If you feel that your initial chicken dance has now turned into a royal waltz, you have reached your goal.
7. Involve your audience
Your audience is part of your stage presence. If you don’t manage to pick up your audience where they stand, your whole performance, your visualizations and your timing can be as good as but the overall performance can still be a failure.
You can practice this wonderfully in front of a mirror, making eye contact with an imaginary audience. Imagine who your audience is: what are the needs and expectations of the people listening to you?
Stage presence is not only important for the stage
As you have read, stage presence is more than just the physical presence on a stage. Practice the effect that you desire to have upon your audience and your listeners. Because everyone you meet in your everyday life is somehow your audience that you want to inspire. Can you shine on a stage? Can you develop your full effect in everyday life – with family, friends or business partners?
What makes a great stage performer for you? What does this person have to do to captivate and inspire you? Let me know in a comment and if you want to work with me on your stage presence, please write me a message.
Today I would like to discuss a different kind of interpersonal communication that is at least as important, if not more so, than the use of your voice. I am referring to what is known as “nonverbal communication”. This term is generally understood to mean communication without words, using only the language of your body.
When does non-verbal communication begin?
Basically, communication starts with the preparation of the topic in question. You will prepare yourself. Your speech, if you are a speaker, will be announced, and your audience, just like you, can get into the topic in advance.
The visible nonverbal communication, which is what this article is about, begins at the moment you are perceived by your audience: with the first impression. This first impression is created at breathtaking speed. While old studies said that it takes a good seven seconds to get a first impression of a person, new studies come up with even more incredible results: after less than a second, the first impression has been made and your subconscious has taken control of whether or not you like a person. A lot happens in the subconscious. The first impression is a combination of the actual current perception and experiences that you have had with similar people in the past.
Everyone is conditioned to the fact that they can decide in this short moment whether a person is dangerous or not. This dates back to primeval times when humans were hunter-gatherers.
So always remember :
There is no second chance for a first impression.
In addition, the so-called “halo effect” is another thing that can make an impression on an audience. The first time you perceive somebody, your brain draws conclusions about the characteristics of the respective person solely based on a positive external perception. To put it plainly: when you see someone who appears positive to you, your brain makes you believe that they must be a good person.
This halo effect is particularly strong in people who are generally considered attractive. The characteristic “attractiveness” can then outshine all other strengths, and also weaknesses. But what can you do to not only be present on stage, but also be perceived positively?
Professor Albert Mehrabian of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) has published a study that breaks down the perception of a personality at the first impression in percentage terms as follows:
55% of people perceive you primarily through your body language; that is through nonverbal communication.
38% through your voice, i.e. through verbal communication
and only 7% name the content of your words as the main focus of their first impression.
Of course this does not mean that voice and content are unimportant, but emphasizes the importance of nonverbal communication. In the following sections, I would like to show you three ultimate tips, which I experienced in action myself as a 3-time world champion dancer during my active tournament-dancing time.
I have been actively participating in Latin American competition-dancing for over six years. One of my trainers was Franco Formica, one of the best Latin dancers and three-time world champion in Latin American dancing. For me, dancing is one of the best exercises to strengthen your stage presence.
In this article I have brought you three special tips from Franco Formica so that you too can inspire your audience through your nonverbal communication. These basics are of course also valid for speakers and presenters.
Nonverbal communication: 3 keys to win your audience
1. Stage presence attracts attention
It is the dream of every person who stands on stage to cast a spell over the audience from the very beginning. For me, the best entertainer who ever stood on a stage is Michael Jackson. He was not only the King of Pop but also the emperor of stage presence. At live performances, the first minutes are often crucial to win the trust of an audience. Michael Jackson was a master at it. He did not come on stage, he appeared. Jacko was famous for standing there for minutes like a statue: motionless, but full of presence and charisma. He was aware of his audience. He absorbed the energy and reflected it back to his fans. This strength is perceptible to the audience.
It doesn’t matter whether you are performing in front of a large audience or just a small group or even if you are just facing one person. First give people enough time to perceive you. Personally, I find it unpleasant to meet a person who immediately, without giving me the time to arrive, verbally blasts at me. Every single person in the audience feels the same way when a stage actor or speaker is full-on at the very start of a performance and immediately goes all out to impress the audience. It can be extremely unsettling.
If you want to speak in front of an audience, first of all get there. Stay calm on stage. Don’t immediately start rushing into your speech. Stand in your full presence and perceive the audience and the energy emitted. I don’t recommend for you to stand in front of them for minutes before you make your first move, like Michael Jackson did. Instead you should wait for a moment until a certain tension is noticeable. Then you can start.
2. Carry the audience with your energy
One does not have to be spiritual to feel the energy that arises between the speaker and the audience. Maybe you have been to an event or workshop before. Good speakers manage to captivate their audience. They have charisma and an “aura” that draws in the crowd.
But where does the speaker create his energy? His own personal energy is created in the area of the breastbone, i.e. in the centre of the body.
Now when you are standing in front of the stage, imagine that a spotlight is installed at a 90 degree angle in front of your chest.
When you stand upright, your center opens up to the front and your audience is touched by your radiating energy and drawn into your spell.
It is very different when you stand on the stage with your shoulders hanging down and your gaze directed towards the floor.
Your effect on your audience will fizzle out. You seem insecure and powerless and your energy only reaches the first two rows. Unfortunately for many of us hanging shoulders have become part of our daily life. That is largely due to our daily work at the computer and wrong posture. If you want to shine on stage, you have to work on your posture.
My tip to you: work on your posture, practice in front of the mirror. Focus on standing up straight, having an open and free view into the audience. Work on your body tension. You can succeed with a little training. I can think of a saying that almost everyone has heard from their parents at least once: belly in, chest out.
3. Create a setting for your audience
Metaphorically speaking, frame your audience. Let your inner energy flow from your center over your shoulders, elbows and hands to beyond your fingertips and embrace or frame your audience. Imagine invisible threads running out of your fingers that represent the connection to your audience. As in the previous example, pay attention to your body tension.
A little tip: Your elbows should never go behind your shoulder line.
That is where the energy breaks and you can no longer pass it on to your audience.
If these world-champion tips inspire you to improve your nonverbal communication, write me a comment or send me a message and we can work together on your world-class body language.
What do you think makes for a fantastic stage presence? Who comes to your mind when you think of the perfect first impression? Tell me more about it in a comment!
Successful networking? In this blog post, I explain how you can successfully build a profitable and sustainable business-network.
Many of my friends feel uncomfortable at the thought of networking. For them, this goes hand in hand with a sense of obligation. They then hang around at sometimes more, sometimes less cool events that might be important to them and try, almost desperately, to make small talk. You kind of get the impression that the next root canal treatment is just about to happen at their dentist or that they have to file their annual tax-return.
Today I want to show you
how easy it can be.
how much fun networking is.
what joking around has to do with successful networks.
how you can use your “Dream 100” to do that.
what you should avoid.
Is successful networking a must-do?
As already mentioned, many people have a strange connection to networking. They associate the term “networking” with the fact that they have to sell themselves or chum up to people. Ask yourself: What do you associate with networking? Let’s look into the question of why you should network at all.
Imagine the following: you are planning a challenging mountain-tour. Before you go off, you have two choices. You can go your own way and run the risk of falling foul of numerous pitfalls. Or you can go your way with friends who already know the way and who can give you useful tips. This is how you can imagine targeted networking works. Many things are easier in a team.
With friends and a supportive network, the path to your success is easier. You will receive emotional support and at the same time you can rely on other people’s experience. A good network is also a gigantic knowledge pool with real experiences and practical knowledge.
With a well-structured network of like-minded people, your journey to your goal will speed up. Goals that still seem to lie in the distant future are drawing much closer. In many respects, a network is a multiplier that is unfortunately far too often underestimated. Most people know that already… But the question that they often ask is: “How do I get access to such great people?” And it should be fun at the same time!
Start your network now!
There is one think that you should be aware of right from the start: successful networking is always a matter of person-to-person communication. No matter how successful your counterpart is, inside we are all human. Always start communicating on a personal level; no one likes to be reduced to his position or profession.
Try to find out what you can do for the other person, what he or she needs. Successful business-deals always go via a path that entails keeping in mind the emotions of the other involved parties. We love spending time with people we like; this is the same in people’s private lives as it in business.
If you can’t connect with the person across the room, don’t. Sometimes it just doesn’t fit. You don’t have to be comfortable with just anybody. Don’t get angry, just look for people who suit you. This is often best for both sides. Be aware of your own value and stand by it.
5 opportunities for successful networking
Here is a guide to how to build up a great network. It’s based on an extremely exciting article on the subject, and is my version of it.
Get a VIP ticket for a great event! Sounds simple, and it is. But it’s surprisingly effective. There is no faster access to influential people than through a VIP ticket. Find out which events are particularly exciting for your industry and arrange to get a VIP ticket, then surround yourself with the successful people in your industry. These tickets are an investment, but make you come across in a different light. Your future network assumes that you are already successful, because after all you have paid a great deal for exclusive access. Believe me, a VIP ticket gives you access to rooms where the real business is done on a beer mat while making small talk.
Become the host of your own event Find a good location and invest time and commitment. Bring successful people together. They love such situations and will love you for it afterwards. Such “masterminds” can even be extremely lucrative, if handled properly.
Support successful people with your expertise For successful people, time is money. What they cannot do themselves, they delegate to others. Try to build on that and make your knowledge available. This creates valuable connections, your own expert status is strengthened and you also receive references that will help you move forward.
Work as a volunteer at events, seminars and congresses Working as a volunteer creates countless opportunities for you to be seen by successful people at industry events. In the course of my career, I have volunteered at countless events and never regretted it; I always got much more back. In life, it is always a matter of give and take.
Become part of an event yourself: Speak about your topic at an event as a keynote speaker Of course, you should already be an expert in your field. You will be surprised to find that after the first talk, the next gig can follow quickly. Giving a presentation on a stage automatically increases both the quality of your performance and your perceived authority. This can be a real network-booster.
Build your network strategically
The events should have a connection to your expertise. Planning is key. Create a media calendar for the whole year. Check which events, seminars or meetings cover the topics that are important to you. Check the guestlist. Be picky. Always remember that your counterparts also judge you by your network.
Work on your “Dream 100.”
What is the “Dream 100”? The roots of the concept lie in American top-salesman Chet Holmes, who uses the term to describe the 100 most important potential contacts for your company. These can be customers, stakeholders, influencers and much more: simply people who can promote you and your company in some way. Here less is often more. If you’re looking for new opportunities to market yourself or your business, stick to your own Dream 100 and try to get them onboard. A targeted focus is better than sprinkling your information thinly everywhere!
Think carefully about how you can bring added value to these people and constantly work on your relationship with them. This will bring you by far the greatest success in the long run. Successful networking is all about brining up the discipline to consistently take the right steps. In one of my previous posts you can learn about how to build your discipline.
The art of small talk
For me, small talk is nothing more than the Austrian term “Schmäh führen”, which roughly translates to “joking around”. In other words, be relaxed and preferably yourself! Please avoid political topics, as you can find yourself on thin ice with such subjects. Talk about what is happening at the event or just ask the other person what brought him or her here today.
My most important tip: listen and ask interested questions. Successful people like to talk and are happy about listeners who show true interest in them. But they also have a great sense of when people just want to benefit from their success.
Events are usually not places where in-depth discussions are held. Make an appointment for lunch, a so-called follow up. You can practice small talk. Use every opportunity to make small talk with the people around you. You’ll come to find out that in time, you’ll really enjoy it.
I love successful networking
For me, networking has become second nature. I actually do it all the time. It’s almost automatic, because for me it is nothing else but communicating. Together, it is usually easier! When you are at the beginning, you should not start out completely aimlessly, but make a plan. Start where you feel comfortable, whether in personal or virtual encounters. Often, promising relationships in the real world also arise from online networking. After all, this is how online dating works.
As a professional keynote speaker and presenter, my voice is naturally my greatest asset. In the past, I have hosted large events with tens of thousands of viewers and listeners. My voice must be ready for use at any time. Regular voice-training is therefore part of my everyday life.
My initial perception of my voice was forged in primary school. We were supposed to record something with a Walkman and then play it back in front of the class. My first thought: “What? That’s not me. Who was that talking on my tape?” By perceiving my voice with my inner ear, it sounded completely different than I had imagined.
In 2009 I started to work as a presenter and invested a lot of time and of course money in professional speech training. I practiced every day, took well over 70 individual lessons and participated in a large number of workshops. My entire training lasted almost 13 months. And my voice training continues to this day.
Voice training can also make everyday life easier
I firmly believe that voice training can not only be helpful on the job, but also beneficial for your everyday life.
A trained voice that is strong and pleasant whilst simultaneously being characterized by clear pronunciation opens doors in private life as well as in business. People who have a strong voice are perceived as self-confident and strong personalities.
The voice should not be reduced to a mere means of communication; it is much more. It not only conveys the content of a speech, but also conveys emotions and shows whether what is being said actually corresponds to our opinions. The voice is therefore an important indicator during a discussion or a speech.
Everyone has an individual pitch
We all have a very natural pitch when we speak. We feel comfortable and can speak without effort. This pitch is called “indifference pitch”. Stress, fear and other emotions influence natural indifference. As a result, your voice sounds distorted when you are scared. In extreme, exceptional situations, the voice can even be completely absent.
In addition, there is the so-called “psychorespiratory effect”, which can be significantly improved by voice training. This effect is responsible for whether the owner of the voice appears likeable or not.
A nasally-speaking person is often classified as arrogant.
Speakers with a very sharp voice are often perceived as aggressive.
When a speaker has a stuttering voice, the listener often suspects an untruth in the statements.
An exaggerated way of speaking is also associated with incredibility.
With specific voice training exercises, you can easily find and strengthen your natural pitch.
How do you find the right pitch?
Every person has an individual speech-pitch in which they feel comfortable. If you become more nervous or hectic, you will automatically speak a few notes higher than you are used to.
Here is a trick to help you find your “feel-good pitch”:
Think of your favorite dish and say “mmmmhh”. This pitch is your natural speaking pitch. When you speak naturally, your voice varies up to 5 tones and always returns to your natural speech pitch.
A little exercise if you are out of balance with your voice: At the climax of the discussion, if you threaten to drift into higher tones, say “mmmhhh, I understand”. In this way, you can elegantly slide back into your natural pitch and signal: “I am confident, calm and relaxed and do not allow myself to be provoked.”
Which voice elements can you influence via voice training?
The voice is a fascinating instrument. Although we have vocal cords, the voice is not a string instrument but a brass instrument. You find your ideal voice through a combination of various elements such as pitch, speech melody, speech rhythm, speech speed and volume.
The pitch determines how many notes your voice has in its repertoire. This ranges from one octave, i.e. twelve semitones, for an untrained voice to three octaves for a trained voice. Interestingly, however, many people shy away from using their full potential and move within three to five semitones when speaking. That’s about it. So it’s no wonder that the speech or presentation quickly becomes somewhat monotonous or even sleepy for the listener.
Dare to play a little bit more with your pitches here. It is important that this does not happen randomly. If you want to emphasize a word in a sentence, just like you emphasize important things in a book, then you can go up or down with your voice. You can also use your pitch to emphasize particularly emotional moments.
2. Speech melody
Our voice always follows a melody. This speech melody has three possible courses:
Up the stairs: When the voice goes up.
Down the stairs: This is where your voice goes down.
Straight ahead: We stay at about the same pitch.
We are often taught that when we ask a question, our voice goes up at the end of the sentence and at one point we go down. Nothing could be more unnatural! If you go down with your voice at the end of each sentence, it sounds as if your car’s engine is constantly dying. You’re not getting anywhere. Not only will it be exhausting for your listener, but it will also sound as if an elementary-school child is reciting a Christmas poem.
What many people don’t know is that a paragraph equals a thought! If you were talking normally with your friends, you would never get the idea to go down after every sentence with your voice, but always after your thought. Keep it that way when you talk in front of people. You are welcome to play with your speech melody within a paragraph and thereby emphasize or accentuate individual words. But do not go all the way down with your voice until the end of the paragraph.
3. Speech speed
Do you know this one? In discussions there is always the discussion participant who speaks with an incredible calmness and thus gains the upper hand. Approximately 120 words per minute is considered a moderate speech-speed.
It has also been found that visual people tend to talk faster, while kinaesthetic people have to “feel” their words and therefore usually talk much slower. Auditive people find their speed mostly in the middle range.
Even more important than the actual speed at which you speak to your listeners is the rhythm. Always talking at the same monotonous speed quickly seems boring. Variation is the magic word with which you inspire your audience; but how?
Adapt the speed to the emotional state you want to convey: if you are sad or bored, you are more likely to speak at a low tempo. Anger and excitement, and also joy and euphoria will increase your speed.
Tonality tells you how to use your voice and what effect you can achieve with it. Do you have a full voice or do you regularly croak, especially towards the end of the sentence? This is primarily influenced by your breathing and the air you have available when you are speaking.
If your breathing always gets stuck in your chest and you cannot use the whole resonating body of your belly, you cannot expect your voice to sound full. If you regularly run out of air at the end of the sentence, you will be unable to avoid a croak. Imagine that your belly works like a balloon and gets smaller while you are talking and fills up again as soon as you breathe. This will give your voice more volume, fullness and a much more pleasant tonality.
With every conversation and with every speech, it is also important that you vary your volume, and also adapt to the situation and to your listeners. By lowering the volume, you can quickly create a feeling of intimacy, which automatically increases the attention of your audience. Headlines and keypoints can be projected to listeners with increased volume.
Daily voice-training is worthwhile
For many of us it is self-evident: if you want to build an athletic body, you have to train daily. Why should it be different with the voice? As a presenter and keynote speaker, daily voice training is one of my must-dos. How does it work? Put aside ten minutes a day in which to read your current favorite book out loud. Record yourself regularly and listen to how your voice sounds. Do you like what you hear? You’ll find that with regular, targeted training, your voice will turn into a real jewel.
What question comes to your mind when you think of voice training? Can you envisage that a powerful voice, which you can use consciously, can bring you advantages in your everyday- and professional-life? How can I help you to make your voice a beautiful instrument?
In this article, I will tell you about the first times I took part and worked at hybrid events. As you may have already guessed, the current situation will bring about profound changes in the events and conference industries. Digital platforms and technologies must be further developed to take into account the social distancing currently demanded by society.
The events market as we know it has so far been characterized by hall-filling live seminars, some of which were held by keynote speakers or motivation trainers in front of more than 1,000 participants. These events were only limited by the size of the event locations, their capacities and the amount of time that was available to hold them in.
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, online seminars and events are already being held via platforms like Zoom in front of an ever-increasing number of participants.
A hybrid event closes the gap between offline and online presentation and combines both to create a forward-looking perspective.
Hybrid events: a symbiosis of offline and online events
Hybrid events can be held in different ways. Basically, there is always a real event held, for example on a stage. The speakers or the presenter are live on site, and other speakers can be added via video. There can be different possibilities for the participants: as is currently the case, they will probably only be present virtually whilst at home or in the office. However, in the future it is quite likely that some of the participants will attend live on site and others at home in front of the screen – online and offline, so to speak. This removes the need for travel, especially for larger events and congresses whose participants have to travel a long way to attend, and can therefore save time… and on top of that it’s good for the environment.
For the organizers of a hybrid event, time and location restrictions are lifted. At events with several trainers, coaches or keynote speakers, one of them can be highly present on stage while another speaker joins the discussion via video call from a location within a different time zone.
Simply put, at a hybrid event we have a very real physical space in which the director sits and the host performs. At the same time, the webinar or congress is attended online by an interactive audience. This combination of off- and online opens up completely new perspectives in terms of number of participants, location and time dependency.
My first hybrid event: PLF Live 2020 by Jeff Walker
A few days ago, I participated in a 3-day event held by Jeff Walker.
Events by Jeff Walker have always been first class when it comes to technology. PLF Live 2020, which for the first time took place exclusively online, went beyond the scope of what I have experienced so far. The events format has been raised to a new, unprecedented level.
There were 2000 participants “present” from every imaginable corner of the globe. The audience was connected live via video. We, as participants of an outstanding web-congress, sat in our living rooms or in our offices. Thanks to the live event production, I always had the best view and was able to follow the course of events. Jeff Walker himself had an even more impressive view. He not only looked into a camera in front of him but also 10 big-screen TVs with 10 big video-calls with more than 200 participants on each. It felt to me as if I was sitting in the middle of a crowd of enthusiastic participants in a really cool congress. It was mega.
However, I would also like to say in advance that the congress was orchestrated with impressive technical finesse. The preparation was excellent. One day before it took place, there was a personal registration, just like at a live event. Here I was connected via Zoom to a nice lady in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She explained the event platform to me and showed me where I could download my workbook. The whole event was at the highest level of technical sophistication.
The next level of hybrid events: Tony Robbins’ Virtual UPW
What Jeff Walker created Tony Robbins took to another level. This last days I was working as a Trainer for Tony Robbins at his Virtual UPW (Unleash The Power Within) with almost 23,000 participants from 138 countries around the world. Tony Robbins even built a studio for 9 million dollars on which he can simultaneously see 3,000 participants.
Virtual events with that number of participants are currently in the pioneer phase and it won’t be long until this will be a real alternative. Also from the view of someone working at a virtual event this is a very exciting alternative. Through the chat function you have a better interaction with participants than if all of them are sitting in their place. The possibility for them to just go in a breakout room to get personal attention is also very thrilling. Needless to say that you also have to have the necessary staff to make all of this possible. If you want to be part of a virtual UPW yourself you can get your tickets here.
Why are hybrid events the future?
Hybrid events differ from traditional events in a number of important ways.
The biggest difference is the incredible range. The event organizer is not bound by physical or geographical barriers or time limits. The individual participants can join the event from anywhere in the world.
This advantage also leads to the next plus point: a resulting cost efficiency. Hybrid events optimize the return on investment simply by generating a greater amount of attention and via a larger number of potential customers. They are accurate, efficient and can accommodate large numbers of people.
A single hybrid event can replace several local public-events across the country – assuming, of course, that the theme remains the same.
The limits of a hybrid event
While hybrid events have many advantages, they also have certain limits and therefore not all events will be replaced by such a format. Whilst such events are capable of simulating the networking factor via small groups, they certainly cannot replace it. At a great congress, nothing can replace a dinner or valuable conversations with exciting participants and speakers. In addition, great events often attract enormously interesting people from all over the world, who deem it to be worthwhile to travel there to meet their next business partner or “accountability buddy”. By the way, one of my next posts will be about networking.
While you can of course absorb everything online, the live atmosphere and energy that goes with it cannot be replaced 100%. PLF Live also worked with music, but the experience out of the computer speakers is quite different than listening through the big sound system of an event hall. In short, hybrid events have their justification and future, but also their limits. I can hardly imagine a music festival or concert with this format.
Not every online event is a hybrid event
Now some of you might think… “that’s nothing new”. Webinars, which are streamed in front of an online audience, have been around for a long time. Facebook Live is the best example. Every day, thousands of coaches go live in front of an online audience.
The decisive factor is the technology used. A hybrid event thrives on the interaction with the online audience and the involvement of the individual participants. The viewers sitting at home experience the performance in the same way as the guests sitting in the front row, only with greater convenience. No one has to drive for hours to a venue and then check into a hotel for multi-day seminars. Both those who attend live at the venue and those who are connected via their PCs can interact with the speaker and get in touch with the others who are present.
You want to host a hybrid event? I’ll help you!
Hybrid events are only possible due to ever-faster internet access and ever-better technology.
Anyone can participate in a hybrid event 24/7 via smartphone, Ipad or PC from their home, office or on the road.
For organizers, the technical requirements that have to be created are more difficult to meet. In order for a hybrid event to be as top class as I experienced with PLF Live 2020 or Virtual UPW, first-class and highly-trained staff must be able to direct the event. Cameras and microphones must not only be good, but outstanding. I can explain to you in a personal conversation how this works and what to pay attention to. Based on my many years of events experience and technical know-how, I can certainly support you in creating your hybrid event.
Hybrid events are certainly a format with a lot of potential, which we will experience even more in the future. It makes a lot of sense to experience an event at home in front of the screen without having to travel for days to get to it, and it can also be a lot of fun. At the same time, it will probably never completely replace real face-to-face communication with a goosebump atmosphere and exciting networking opportunities.
What do you think about hybrid events? Have you already been part of one? How do you think events will develop in the future?
How do I become a successful presenter? – 7 tips from an expert
My first blog posts were mainly about how you find your passion to inspire your audience and how you constantly take your enthusiasm to the next level.
In this article, you will learn how I managed to become a successful presenter and how I ended up hosting top events like the matches for the national football team’s matches and the ATP tennis tournament in Vienna today as well as the warm up of a TV show like Dancing Stars.
Today you won’t get boring advice from me that won’t get you anywhere; I will give you 7 valuable tips that you should remember if you also want to become an aspiring presenter or host amazing events. They are suggestions that will drive you forwards if you have a burning desire for hosting events or shows on TV.
As a mentor, I will show you how to do it. This contribution is also an invitation to you:
Take the easier way and learn from my mistakes and of all those who, just like you, were at the beginning at some point.
1. Stay true to yourself and go your own way
It is important to stay true to yourself, especially at the beginning of your career. You certainly have an idea or a vision of yourself that drives you; stick to it and don’t let it unsettle you. I too have been tempted to change myself to make another leap up the career ladder, or even to take a supposed shortcut to earn money faster. It is important to resist these temptations and to remain true to your own course.
If you manage to remain authentic, to always be the best version of yourself, you will grow in people’s minds into a personality that will remain in their memory. And don’t forget: your audience will notice when you slip into a role that is not you. Authentic growth is personal branding in its purest form.
2. With determination you will achieve your goal
Setting your goal is an important step on your path to success. Define your goal, create a vision board, for example, and write “I am a successful host” in capital letters as if you had already achieved it. Always keep your goal in focus and set smaller milestones so that you don’t lose your motivation.
Many people fail because they don’t believe in the goals that they set for themselves. They oftentimes blindly chase their life’s goal like the donkey chases the carrot and do not realize that the path to the goal is equally important. On the way to success, they run out of breath.
So that you do not lose focus on your big goal:
train your discipline
strengthen your will
show some backbone.
Especially at the beginning of your career You have to stay on track and pursue your vision with one hundred percent focus, especially at the start of your career.
For example, in the early days of my career, determination in my goal of “I am a successful presenter” meant regularly picking up the phone and asking if I could present events.
Because let’s be honest: if you are at the beginning of your business, no matter which one, it is just as important to find a way to pay your bills in addition to the whole set-up.
But determination also means sticking to the decisions you have made, without any ifs and buts. The path is often not clear from the beginning, but the direction must be clear to you. I made an important decision from the beginning and I’ve stuck to this decision and pursued the goal until today: I have explicitly decided that I will be successful.
3. Learn to deal with disappointments
An American proverb says “the road of success is paved with many failures”. In other words, there are often stones on your road to success. In order to grow and always stay true to yourself, you need to develop strategies to deal with disappointments.
Whether you are a stadium announcer, a presenter or if you want to be successful in another profession, you will experience disappointments on your way to the top.
Disappointments will cross your path from time to time.
My strategy for dealing with disappointments is not to ask “Why is this happening to me?” but to ask myself “What can that teach me?” Sharpen your eye for both situations and people. In time you will learn not to set your expectations too high, but to adapt them to reality.
4. Even a presenter learns from mistakes
“A wise man learns from his mistakes. A wiser man learns from the mistakes others made before him.”
JOHN C. MAXWELL
Learn from your mistakes. It is your mistakes and your way of dealing with them that makes your personality grow. Don’t let the mistakes you make damage your self-confidence. Mistakes are just part of it.
And even better: learn from the mistakes of others. Take a close look at why a successful entrepreneur in your network suddenly stumbles and see this as a chance to avoid making the same mistake yourself.
5. Build your network: anywhere and at any time
You have probably already heard that a good network is the key to success. Perhaps you have also heard that you should network. But what does that actually mean? For me, it means nothing more than chatting with others in a relaxed and friendly manner and, as they say in Vienna, “being a fool”. This special Viennese term, “Schmäh”, stands for a special kind of small talk. It has almost gone into my blood; no matter where I am, I always try to build up a relationship with the other person. Business goes through people! Get into the heads and memories of the people around you. Build relationships.
Be strategic in your network building. Write down which people can be valuable to you. Create your own “Dream 100“: a list of 100 people or companies that would be your dream network. Go there: to the events, to the restaurants, to clubs where there are people with similar or the same goals. Think carefully about where people who inspire you are. Always be present and either never or only rarely miss events that can take you further.
At the same time, stay away from people who only waste your time, money and above all energy.
However, entrepreneurial or financial added-value should only be of secondary importance. Always think about what you can bring into your network as added value. You will see that the result of your efforts will not be long in coming and will come back to you.
6. If you want to be a successful presenter, invest in your stage presence
Always think carefully about your priorities and what goals or things you want to spend your money on. The investment in yourself and your stage presence should be at the top of your list. In order to be who I am today, I have invested a significant amount of money in my own development over the past years.
With my goal “to become a presenter” clearly in mind, I paid money right at the beginning for professional training as a speaker. In addition, I have worked on my voice with voice training, taken singing lessons and even had sessions with a speech therapist. Acting lessons were also part of my program in the all-round stage package.
For 6 years I was a passionate competition dancer – I not only loved competition dancing, but it also improved my stage presence.
It is still important to me to invest in my further education. This is an investment that pays off for me.
For example, if you are also aiming for a career where you perform on public stages then I can only recommend for you to work on your presence.
Invest in something that will help you advance on stage or as a personality.
My very personal tip: a coach or mentor may seem like a huge investment at first glance, but it pays off.
7. Stay down to earth
A sentence from one of my mentors Tony Robbins, who has accompanied me for the last two decades:
“Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years”.
In most cases, success does not come overnight. The beginning is often marked by seemingly “empty miles”: meetings and conversations that lead to nothing measurable at that moment. Success comes to those who stay on track anyway. Even if success is achieved, it is important to stay down-to-earth and focused on the long term.
The first years mean for you:
staying on track
accepting and coping with with failures
investing in numerous different areas of your personal development
remaining authentic while at the same time further developing yourself.
You can see it’s a lot to do. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve if you follow a few of my tips. My tips are no guarantee for success, but with their help I am now a successful and regularly booked host.
My tips here are not only pointers for people who want to stand on stage and become a host, but also for everyone, not only for those at the beginning of their business or career. Gaining visibility and constantly working on one’s own personality are enormously important.
My tips in a nutshell, so that you can take a look at them from time to time on your way to success:
Stay true to yourself and go your own way
Consistency doesn’t mean boredom
Learn to deal with disappointments
Learn from your mistakes
Build your network anytime and anyplace
Invest in your stage presence
It’s cool that you have read the whole blog… please take a minute and leave me a comment: What can you take from it for yourself and put into action right away? What are the most important building blocks of success for you?
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We are in incredibly exciting times right now. Economic uncertainty. Where are we heading. How do I continue. What some are looking at with lots of concern others take as an opportunity to try something new in this exact moment. If not now then when?
This is exactly the situation that I was in twelve years ago after the big banking crash as it was the last time the economy collapsed. Looking back at it now it was a big gift for me. If this wouldn’t have happened I might have ended up as a “normal” corporate employee and possibly wouldn’t have dared to chase my passion. I am very grateful for that to this day because otherwise I wouldn’t be an event host, keynote speaker and executive legacy coach.
So I’m taking you on a journey. A journey where you realize that you also have the skills to find and live your passion. For this, I would like to tell you the story of my career – how I developed into someone who today, without fear, can stand on big international stages and entertain an audience. I will tell you how I make the stage my personal “Home of Magic Moments” and how I perform when it counts.
Find your passion = a life full of enthusiasm
My career as one of the best-known speakers in the German-speaking world began in 2008 when I finished my studies (business administration and sports management). I was very inexperienced and asked myself a lot of questions:
How do I find my dream job?
What do I want to be an expert in?
What am I passionate about?
It was important to me not to be good at some 9-to-5 job, but to pursue a goal for which my enthusiasm will never fade. I wanted to find my purpose in life. Even back then, I observed many people in my circle of friends and closer surroundings who were successful, but who were not passionate about their work. People who were overstrained in their work and always far too close to a heart attack or burnout. In short, people who did not know their calling. People who did not enjoy their job.
There is not only one dream job – it depends on your passion!
I was already aware at that time that only with the right attitude towards life would I find my purpose, and thus also a dream job. A profession that would satisfy me in the long term and on top of that, as the icing on the cake, so to speak, would bring me success. I had to be able to find THE thing that was my passion and that also matched my personality. During my studies, I had already tried out many things, but in the long run, I was not satisfied. I wanted to find something that would really fascinate me. My passion was already there, it just needed to be discovered.
But how do you do that, especially when you have no idea what really satisfies you in the long run? I started to ask questions to myself, to dig deep inside myself and to observe myself.
What Tony Robbins and sports events have in common
Since 2000, for example, I have been working a lot with the world-class coach and bestselling author Tony Robbins. I absorbed his seminars and information like a sponge. Even then, as now, I had a very quick comprehension. I was also particularly fascinated by major sporting events.
Ronny with Tony Robbins in Hawaii 2001
When I was in large stadiums and watching international football matches, I felt an electricity in the air. I noticed that for a little while the world revolved around this one event. It was like being in a cosmos all of its own: a universe of excitement. I knew instinctively that’s where I wanted to go.
Finding your purpose: It’s all about timing…
Interestingly enough, in the same year that I finished my studies, the Rapid Vienna football club was looking for a stadium announcer for their youth academy teams. So for the first time, I hosted two matches in front of a small group of about 150 people. Little did I know, that that was to become the corner stone of my career. In the following years (between 2008 and 2012) I hosted a Rapid Vienna youth football match about once a month for almost 4 years. One year later, again somehow by chance, I was at a festival for sports university students. When the party was almost over and the sun was already rising, I took the initiative to ask a colleague if the position of stadium announcer for the local ice hocke team – Vienna Capitals – was available. She had no idea but she would ask. The next day she called me and said: “We’re looking for someone.” And, yes, that’s when my career really started.
Ronny at the American Football World Championship 2011
So in 2009, I hosted games with an audience of 3,500 to 4,000 enthusiastic people at a time. In 2011 I hosted a match of the national soccer team for the first time and the Austrian cup final. I was also invited to host the American Football World Championship 2011. After positions at the Youth Olympic Games (2012) and the World Ski Championships in Schladming (2013), I was asked to host the Erste Bank Open – Austria’s most important tennis tournament – since 2014. In addition, I have also completed a speaker training course. It was clear to me that this was a great opportunity, and I wanted to do everything I could to improve myself. As the old saying goes… there is no second chance for a first impression.
How to find your passion with the right questions
The right questions to find your passion
But I would like to come back to the question of how I found my passion and my purpose. It was actually quite simple: I asked myself the right questions at the right time.
What do I like to do in my free time?
What topics do I like to talk about with my friends?
What inspires me?
What moves me emotionally?
What do I like to spend money on?
What has inspired me since my childhood?
What topics do I like to read about and what interests me?
To find your passion is not only a question of motivation but also of observing what touches your heart. Finding your passion has a lot to do with emotions. Only when your audience, or in my case my viewers, realize that you are passionate about what you do can you be successful in the long run.
If you are still searching for your purpose, I can only recommend that you listen to yourself. Do not put yourself under pressure, but take all the time you need, because this is an important decision that will stay with you for a long time. Finding your one true passion is not just something you can do within five minutes; it took me months to discover where my journey would take me. And what I want to highlight as well: finding your purpose has nothing to do with finding a well-paid job!
There are also people who find their purpose in a social or charitable field and who are successful on this level. Everybody defines success differently.
Does finding your purpose equal guaranteed success?
Once you have found your passion, it does not necessarily mean that you will become a millionaire in no time at all. However, it is very likely that if you do something you are passionate about, you will be very successful. If your profession is your passion, success, depending on how you define it (money or fame and status), is an inevitable consequence. To be clear, when you think about your purpose, it must not be primarily about money. Do it like me! I have always been firmly convinced that everything I do with enthusiasm will be good and successful. If I am good at something, or even the best in the world, then I will not have to worry about money. Then a way will open up to monetize my actions as well.
And last but not least, another very personal tip: try to spend as much time as possible with the people who inspire you and who are your role models. For example, if you want to become a coach, surround yourself with others who have been working in this profession for a long time and build up a network of coaches. I followed this tip myself and now I work as a coach in Tony Robbins’ team, something that I had already put in my head as my goal for 2001. It took 15 years until it became a reality.
What is your great passion? What are the biggest obstacles to discovering or pursuing that passion?
Your opinion is important! Comment here!
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Working in a home office is more popular than ever before due to the current situation. In order to do this right some restructuring is necessary.
I myself have been working as a self-employed person from home for more than ten years. Therefore I can say that I have a lot of experience in terms of “home office” or “working from home”.
Two weeks ago, I gave a webinar on this topic. In the webinar “Focus and Fun in your Home Office“, I talked with the participants about the advantages and disadvantages of working from home.
With this blog post, I would like to support companies that are facing the challenge of leading teams from a home office for the first time. Large companies that have already digitalized work processes had already started to outsource work before the crisis and let their employees work remotely. For small- and medium-sized companies, working from home is often still uncharted territory for employees, and is fraught with many reservations, expectations and fears. It requires a restructuring and reorientation of many companies.
At the same time, however, I would like to encourage employees who are now at the beginning of a completely new way of working to see working from home as an opportunity for greater freedom and flexibility.
Let’s take a closer look together at the following issues relating to the home office:
What are the major challenges associated with working remotely?
What conditions should the workplace in your own home meet?
How do you deal with distractions?
How do you structure yourself most effectively in the home office?
How can we replace the physical interaction between colleagues?
Will remote work only remain as a phenomenon in times of corona or will the working world shift in this direction?
Which factors are necessary for a successful restructuring of your company?
Is your home the ideal workplace of the future?
In the current situation, many people think that the workplace within their own four walls is the cure-all. Cost savings at companies and free-time management on the employee side are powerful arguments for this. But what conditions must be given to make working in “Utopia” a reality?
In my opinion, there are two parties here who have to ensure that the home-office workplace can be successfully implemented. It requires restructuring on both sides.
The company is responsible for creating the best possible workplace in the employee’s home and for creating the basic conditions for digital working. The digital connection must be 100% and the hardware and software must be up-to-date. The external conditions must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. An ergonomic desk and desk chair must not be missing.
Employees must organise and structure themselves. They must be aware that their company workplace has now been moved inside their own four walls. This means for them that: They are responsible for keeping their workplace safe and clean. There should be no toys from their son lying around that could be distracting. Documents must be arranged and traceable just as if they were sitting at a desk in the company.
A workplace at home requires more structure and mental support from the company than the traditional office workplace.
What are the challenges of working in a home office?
In my first webinar, I created a small survey. The results are certainly not representative, but do suggest some challenges.
A little over a quarter of those surveyed complained that the home office would not be the best place to work.
Almost 18% of the respondents fear that they would be too distracted in the home office.
23% are certain that working from home would be accompanied by a loss of motivation and therefore a loss of productivity.
Over 30% fear that contact with colleagues would be missing.
These challenges are not only a matter for the employees alone, who are now supposed to work from home; companies must align their corporate strategy to provide mental support to employees via mindset training and coaching.
How do I bring structure into the daily work-routine within my own four walls?
As mentioned above and also clearly mentioned in my interactive webinar, successful working in the home office is dependent on a daily and weekly structure.
It is important that you focus and realize that this time is not a vacation. Get up at a fixed time, create a realistic situation and motivate yourself.
Set intermediate results for each day and week in addition to the goals that your company has set for you.
Add variety to the structure by including periods in which you can relax or prepare your lunch.
In my last blog, I talked specifically about this topic and introduced you to my “Hour of Power“. Have a look again and see if you can use some of this for yourself.
Creating structure is also related to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation is the motivation that comes out of you yourself. You are responsible for that. Work daily on your mindset and allow yourself to be supported.
Extrinsic motivation is the responsibility of the company, with targets and bonuses that you can achieve. In principle, intrinsic motivation is definitely the more valuable one, because it comes from within and does not wear off over time. How you can best find your passion and thus your intrinsic motivation I will explain to you in one of my next blogs (you can already register here so that you don’t miss any blog posts).
A little trick for intrinsic motivation is to prepare yourself for your working hours by dressing appropriately. An agency manager of an insurance company, for example, prepares himself every morning before work starts as if he wanted to visit a customer.
How do you protect yourself from distractions at home?
A very special challenge for many employees who are new to the idea of working from home is to establish a working structure from the very beginning. It is important to master the balancing act between working and the role of mother or father.
The only thing that helps here is to establish clear rules right from the start:
Get a fixed routine.
Let your family members understand that mum or dad does not have time to play at this moment.
Organize yourself in such a way that you can clearly separate the activities that you carry out in your position as an employee from your role as a family member.
The company can support its team members in the home office, for example by providing time recording programs. This makes productivity transparent for both the company and the employees.
Strengthening group spirit via digital meetings with colleagues — is that possible?
A big challenge for many people is the prevailing feeling of working completely alone. The colleague with whom you had a chat during your lunch break and who has become almost like a friend over time is now sitting as isolated in their home office as you are. And he or she is struggling with the same challenges.
The supposed social isolation can be interrupted by targeted meetings with colleagues. There are many technical possibilities for this.
Meetings and conferences today are conducted, for example, via
and many other tools possible. A sign that such tools are already being used by many companies and employees can be seen, for example, in the share price of Zoom Inc. which has almost doubled since the onset of the corona crisis.
Another idea is to arrange joint breaks so that the group feeling is maintained and doesn’t get lost. Lunch together can also be combined with a Zoom call to exchange and update each other.
It should be noted here that online meetings require other rules of conduct in addition to the technical component. In a normal meeting, it is very easy to exchange information with a neighbour, but online it can quickly lead to confusion if everyone talks at the same time. Therefore, many tools offer the possibility to engage in both group chats and individual chats to enable you to discuss things collectively whilst talking to a specific individual on the side.
What are the great opportunities of the new working world?
For all of us, letting go of tried-and-tested work structures can unleash enormous potential in companies and also in our own personalities.
Not only are work trips saved; restructuring the world of work generally means
higher levels of creativity
more time for family
The advantages for companies are obvious; remote working means, among other things, cost savings for them via the elimination of office rent. They have the opportunity to react much more flexibly to overtime caused by new projects. Special tasks that do not arise permanently can be outsourced to external specialists.
Employees are not only more flexible in their fields of activity, but they can also work from anywhere in the world. They have the chance to specialize in the field of work they really enjoy. Flexibly deployable specialists are more in demand today than ever before. They can work on numerous different projects with different clients at the same time and thus gain further independence.
Crisis over — was that it with the restructuring?
Even after the crisis, the world will continue to turn. There will be more companies that recognize the positive effects of working in a home office and save entire office complexes.
In the long run, there will be fewer cost-intensive trips to a one-hour meeting somewhere in the world. In the future, decisions will be made in digital conferences. It must also be said quite clearly that there are no digital limits. We are technically so well positioned that there can be global conferences with 1,000 or more participants.
Many companies will also ask themselves the question: How do I deal with the current employer-employee situation? I can well imagine that this traditional working model will be used less and less and that new structures will be established.
In the future, companies will probably outsource more and more, on a project-related and global basis. At the same time, more employees will become freelancers and work on different projects for several companies, sometimes even simultaneously.
This means that “specialists” will become more and more in demand on the job market and for every current employee the question should be asked: What do I want to be a specialist in?” Even the classic time-versus-money model will probably give way to more and more result-based earnings models.
In which direction do you think the working world will develop? What experiences have you already had with working from home? What feelings do you have about the current restructuring?
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