That small change that makes a big difference

Fredrik Haren

One of the most common questions I get as a global speaker is: “Do you customise your speech a lot?”

The question is often asked in a way where the person asking thinks that I am going to say that I do change a lot depending on WHERE in the world I speak.

But I do not.

I consistently argue for why I think a speakers speech should be so “human” that it works in most places in the world with no or very small changes.

By making the speech “human” you are more sure to get people from all over the world connecting to your message.

But having said that, what I do do is to change my speech to fit the specific audience I am speaking to.

There are few things event organisers hate more than speakers who come in and do their “Stump speech” without a feeling for the group they are speaking too. Speakers who are tone deaf to what this particular audience want or needs to hear.

Take the speech I did for Sony Pictures Television sales reps on conference in Bali today.

In my speech I must have referenced the TV-industry at least 20 different times, using things familiar to a TV industry expert to illustrate my message.

After the speech my client came up and, in a very happy voice, said: “Thank you sooo much. This was just what we wanted. I specifically liked how you connected your message to our industry.”

You could probably have taken 50 minutes out my speech and have me deliver it at a shipping conference, a tourism conference or a conference for IT-administrators (my message is about human creativity and our inabilities as humans to change fast enough.) But those 10 minutes or so where I spoke about the TV industry specifically is what made the full one hour speech feel relevant, insightful and interesting for the Sony Pictures Television sales representatives.

Lesson: Those small changes that take your “great speech” and turns it into a “great message” for the specific audience that you are speaking to is what makes all the difference.

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