The speaking industry is going through huge changes at the moment. And in order to survive and thrive in this new age my guest today believes that you need to disrupt yourself. His name is Tom Sligting (AKA Tom Lightning) and he is a keynote speaker based in Amsterdam and a Professional Member of PSA Holland. In this episode of The Speakers Life we talk about how to add humour to your speeches.
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Hey, there is James Taylor and I’m delighted today to welcome my guest, the Tom Lightning. The speaking industry is going through massive changes at the moment. And if you want to survive and thrive in this new age, my next guest believes that you need to disrupt yourself. His name is Tom lightning. He’s a keynote speaker based in Amsterdam, and is also a professional member of PSA Holland. It’s my great pleasure to welcome Tom with us today. So welcome, Tom. Thank you very much, James, nice to see you again.
Thank you, it’s great to have you here. So share with everyone what’s happening in your world just now. Well, I, well, everybody, it’s summer now. So it’s July for if people watch this later, and everybody’s outside on the beach or having holidays. And I’m actually 10 or 12 or 15 hours a day you my studio, preparing because I’m so excited about a lot of new stuff. I I developed a lot of new stuff I think about and there is a lot of work to do, actually. And so I’m really into that I’m building your website, I’ve got my new weekly flocks. You know, I’ve been to Singapore for a couple of times. And every time you hear you need to to to to get out there. Well, I don’t have to tell you if you are out there every hour, I guess. So what I’m building on the whole speaker business perspective. So take it Take us back. I mean, how did you get into this very strange world of, of international speaking?
That’s very good question. Because international speaking, I haven’t been a speaker for the last 25 years. So that’s, that’s a strange angle to be a professional speaker. And I sometimes I’ve spoken in England or or important goal. So. But now my mindset is to be a global speaker, a global keynote speaker. And so I see that I see this way that I’m having my ship, and I’m just adjusting my ship, make it bigger, wider, and the range is going to be longer. So it’s not that I’m going to change something it’s not I’m going to be from a consultant to speaker or a doctor to Speaker, I have been a speaker for the last 25 years. But it is a big difference. If you work in the domestic market in Holland, to do company gigs, or you want to be an international global keynote speaker that is, but I really like to challenge. And that’s why I invested a lot in Well, the PSA Holland and the BCI international have been to Antwerp to Paris to Singapore. Tonight, I’ve got a meeting with a free for international speakers. So I’m really well last two, three years, do as much as possible to see what is that world about? and talk to the leaders who are who are in that market right now.
So tell us as you were you were starting to meet this, this transition from being a speaker in Holland primarily for the market there. I’m guessing you’re speaking mostly in Dutch, you’re speaking there having to make that transition to now speaking internationally. And I’m thinking you’re obviously going to speaking more in English there as well. Tell me, you know, as you were, first of all, what what was the key reasons that you decided you want to go international? Cuz I know a lot of speakers who do really well, and they just focus on their home territory, they don’t really travel outside? What was it about speaking internationally that, what made you want to do that? And then also, when you did make that decision, what were the first couple of steps that you took in order to start maybe researching or thinking about where you wanted to speaking?
Like, for the last 25 years, I am also a stand up comedian. And I do tailor made shows for companies. And I’m always booked as last speaker, because the last 2025 minutes, I just make everybody crazy. And that’s why people know me, that’s why people booked me. And that’s what, that’s what I’m good at, because I’ve got a lot of experience in that area. But I have also seen Well, I’ve done more than thousand companies show. So I’ve also seen thousands of keynote speakers. And to be quite honest, I mean, some of them are really good. And you can learn a lot from them. But I also have seen a lot of keynote speakers who were not that good. And then I and that’s actually I’m glad, because that’s actually why they booked me, they know there will be a speaker who will be having a good story, or a good message, but he will be a little bit low energy or a little bit dull or a little bit, you know, predictive. And that’s why they booked me because they said well, we have to end high, we have to end with a lot of energy and positive vibe. So I’m glad not all the keynote speakers have that well, because that’s why I made a living last 25 years. But your second question is why the transition? Then I thought, Okay, wait a minute, I’m getting a little bit older, I have seen the whole comedy scene in Holland and Belgium and, and then I thought, Wait a minute, what what if I was on that spot, and I combined all the years of experience and all the CEOs I’ve talked to the last 25 years or 20 years. That is a lot of content, a lot of information. And if I if I if I embrace that and make it some sort of bro, professionalize it, then I will be that keynote speaker. And that was just a decision I made three years ago. And then actually, the PSA Holland asked me, would you be a member, so I didn’t even approach they said, because we don’t have something, something someone like you in our group, you know, there are a lot of different speakers.
And I think that’s the best thing also, in companies, if you have a lot of different people from different angle, to do to be better and to learn from each other. So they didn’t had somebody with the background I have with a lot of speeches and the company. So I want you to be silent. And in the beginning, it was a little bit, I just said to Luke, and I thought it was hard that you have to go somewhere and pay for it. You know, I mean, if I open my mouth, I get paid. Now, of course, but you know, normally you know what I mean? If you do the performance, you get paid. But when you in the group of the P say Holland or UK or United States, thank you, we’re a group and you have to do it for each other. So it was a mindset thing. And then I said, Okay, I’m going to do it, and I want to learn as much as possible. And I just stood high. And and, and a lot of doors were opening for me when I made that decision was really, really nice.
I mean, you’d already obviously built up this, you were very comfortable on stage spoken a lot years, because you had that improv comedy background as well, you were very comfortable, but playing with audiences and the energy of audiences as well. Well, who the speakers are whether any speakers that you saw, who transitioned from being speakers, primarily in their home country, English wasn’t their first language, their mother tongue, to actually speaking in English, and really building an international speaking business.
That actually, to be quite honest, there were no real examples. For me, the only thing I knew that in the Dutch group where I am in, they’re all Dutch. And they’re all the first language is Dutch. And I think from the 12 people that I really work with 10 of them also speak in English. And that’s the second language. And for me, that was something, you know, to, it’s also a mindset thing, I’ve got to work on it and work on it every day. And I also acknowledge that I also see that I’m when I’m three days in Singapore, or I’ve been at a mastermind in London, and you talk to three days in English that is getting better and better. So it’s, you have to say to yourself, if you’re not native English, just go for it. And I know, I make a lot of mistakes. I know there’s some time I sent since I’m not that well, but it’s all about communication. So if you have the right energy, and you prepare, and you don’t care about the mistakes, I think a lot of people will will go for it. And if I say one more thing about that, I mean, Frederick Aaron told me once, because he’s easy. He’s He’s an example for me.
And I see all the other flocks he’s been named to. But that’s, that’s normal, because he is. He’s a really brilliant guy. And I asked him, because he’s from Sweden, and this is not English, too. And he said, Well, it’s only approximately 1% of all the English that he’s been spoken in the world. It’s a native Englishman, to a native Englishman, and the rest of the world is bad English. So he just said, welcome to the Welcome to the club. Okay, you’re in the 99%. I mean, the 99% bad English was welcome in the club, you know, it’s, you, you see it like that, you know, it’s, it’s just you have to do it. And some friends of mine said, well, it’s terrible, and you shouldn’t do it. And it only makes me stronger, to just go out there and, and don’t even think about it.
But I do think that people from Holland, you do have a, you have an advantage over a lot of maybe other non native countries vision non native English speakers, because I don’t know, when it goes back to the homes always have a strong trading country. And so most people I know, from Holland, they speak five languages, multiple languages, very good at languages. So I guess that puts you a little bit of an advantage because you don’t just know Dutch, you know, English of your French and German. Yeah, and maybe Flemish, you know, the other other languages as well. So you are in a bit of an advantage there. So you kind of started to launch yourself into the speaking industry, globally. And in this industry industry. I first saw you speak in Singapore, and I’ve never seen you before. And I didn’t know anything about you and you got up on stage. And you were you were really funny. And you were playing with the audience and you’re trying different things. And it was it was a great energy. And I just assumed you’d be an international speaker for you know, 20 years or something. So it came as an absolute surprise to me when you said that was like one of the first big speeches international speaker son, yeah, in English. So how did how did that feel? Because not only were you doing an international speech in Singapore in English, absolutely. Speaking to 300 or something professional speakers.
So that was a real hard gig. And it was the tailor made show. So it was not my standard keynote. All right. Frederick, Karen asked me because that’s why he, that’s why I met him.
He asked me can you make a real Taylor made show about humor in speeches, and you have half an hour? And that is pretty, you know, that’s a challenge. But I have, you know, that’s all I’ve got to do with with mindset. And as a professional speaker, you have to have the right mindset and have an insight how I look at it. I just focused myself, how would I be if I looked at myself? Would I would I like me, I would I like my own speech. And let us for a professional speaker or maybe any profession. That’s a wise thing, because then you step out yourself. And you’ve got to be honest. And you and I see myself working. So two days before the event started, I was sitting in that room. And you know, I see myself walking, I see the power, the energy, the the the be murder, everything I had on on stage.
And then you just imagined, do you want to be the normal guy or the regular keynote speaker that they are? Do you want to be outstanding? And you want to even love yourself when it’s finished? Well, I mean, the answer should be number two of costs. And that’s what you have to focus on. So never focused on what if people don’t listen? What if they don’t like it? What if I forget my lines, what if it’s all I don’t, I don’t even have one of those in my in my area. In my in my vision. My whole vision is I’m doing the utmost best speech. And, and that is because I’ve been in a lot of situations that I needed that technique. I’ve played for four or 5000 people I’ve played before Julio Iglesias, and people didn’t even know that I was on, I flew to Afghanistan, I had the most difficult performances ever. And that’s the only way to survive, to see yourself do vision shot you got your yourself and and see the best version of yourself. And that’s actually a phrase that I use in my speech right now, but I come up with that one that’s real, genuine, the best version of yourself. If you focus on that one, well, the possibility of the outcome that it will be the best version of yourself is much higher here. Then all the all the difficulties you see, and if you see well maybe I cannot do it because if that’s the vision, you will you will drop out.
I love seeing even great comedians on stage or great speakers you really a very comfortable using humor and and and so the jokes well in what they do. Because I know how much work goes into crafting those things. Everyone outside it looks like wow, this person just naturally funny. And they’re obviously love naturally going to get this huge amounts of thinking writing creating material. So for those speakers are watching this just now what what any kind of smooth, simple piece of advice, if they want to add more humor to the speech, if maybe they feel like that you just mentioned it earlier, that kind of speaker that goes up in their stages, it’s very good, but maybe a little bit better than boring. And what they can do just to lighten it and add humor to the speeches.
Well, if you if you see your speech as it your track, so let’s say it’s 3030 minutes, and you want people to laugh. If you have if you have audio track of a comedy show, it goes like like this. So why Mr. Yellow, red, yellow, red, yellow, red, yellow, red, that’s too much. But if you if you record your speech, and you see only a green, a green area, that you know, wait a minute, there’s not a lot of buzz, there’s not a lot of, you know, so then you just have to find it. So you look at your speech, you said, Wait a minute, after 10 minutes, I’ve got this story about my son, there’s gotta be something in it, then you just have to have to look for it. Because it doesn’t happen just because you asked for it, you have to look for it, it’s you have to work for it. But this is a way to look at it. Because people just want humor. And that’s, that’s, that’s a big balloon, you know, that’s, that’s nothing, you have to grab it. But if you say after nine minutes, because it’s called. And then I want about bias or an opening or at the half or then you know exactly where it is. And then you just try to try to find it. And it may not happen the first time. And then you work on it with the comedians do that to why a lot of comedians go to, to open mics. Because when they have a really, really good phrase or a really good one liner, it’s you know, it’s one out of 10 that they they instantly habit nine out of 10 they work on it and they shape it and they take a word off and they in between and and suddenly it’s a totally totally different angle. And there is the best one liner that ever had.
That is 123 months work. So when you wouldn’t when you’re let’s say you’ve got that nine minutes and you think I need to have something I need to lift it I need to add some humor or something to to that that piece. Where do you start? You are you are you think do you use like visual, again, mind maps to can a map map? And in some communities you can a main maps? Or are you just going on long walks and playing with the ideas? Or Where’s your inspiration coming from?
For me? It’s like like you said the mind map? So if I would be creative, never be creative behind a computer screen? Because then it’s then it’s analog, then it’s 12345. and creative process is something that yes, well it’s create creates while you’re working on it. So if you get a big sheet of paper, I even work on flip over papers, because then you have endless crossing and arrows and red and white and yellow. So in the middle, you just say well, I want to joke about this. You don’t even know why what what is all possible is that you’re you’re because you’re a father because you did because that that and then suddenly, something comes out of it. And that can take one or two hours, but can also take two weeks. But that’s the time you’ve got to invest. Yeah, if it’s not your profession, if you’re not trained to find the humor, it’s going to be kind of take longer, go even paper, if you even you also have to have the skill to do it on stage and multiple times. So that’s the biggest that’s the biggest challenge and be willing to fail and be willing for that to try that thing.
And it doesn’t work or you don’t get i was i was a work in progress show from a comedian recently a British me Ricky Jovi’s great, really funny guy. And he was he was doing a whole series of trying at new material, and it’s very small little club, and to see what was working. And even as he was because because everyone knew that is this is a work in progress. He would say things like, Okay, well, that was not going to make it Is it because you feel it in the room or like lovely, far too far. And that we actually bumped into him the next day. And then there was one particular line of jokes, which I’m not going to place it because they’re so rude. And so out there that it’s if you know, Ricky Jabez, you know that you can go out there by action. I said this, I said, I said to him, I said, I really liked what you will do it like that thing there. Were UN there. Yeah. And he said, Oh, no, I think I think I’ve got something there. But it’s not quite, it’s not quite there yet. So I could see it in his brain. He was like working through how I could How could develop it, how he could push a little bit further. And that’s once again, these are all the skills that comedians use all the time. The things that speakers are trying and need to add into the shows as well.
And if you’ve ever been in frame because when you make up a joke, don’t bring it as a as a joke. That’s very important. Because if you if you say something like, you know, if you say this as a line in between, and people laugh, it’s great. If people don’t laugh, you just go on. So it’s not a big hustle. I mean, for a comedian, it’s like a dun dun dun da bomb, there’s got to be laughter because it’s you push the one liner into the room, but a lot of laughs into keynote speaking or because people don’t expect it because it’s a serious talk. And then don’t be bring it as like, because of that. No, oh, okay, it was.
But if you just say it, and five people are laughing and say, okay, there must be something in it. And then you work on it, change your work next time. 10 people laughing and before you know, you’ve got it fixed. And then you can bring you this job because you believe in it. But before the job is finished, don’t bring it as a job as a professional speaker. Just say yes. Just Just put it out there.
I think I think it’s exactly here. We said he tried to add him every seven minutes is a dog and seven minutes before adding something in otherwise, it’s just it’s too much. It can be too much for the audience. If you just said, you’re saying you know going into the red you don’t get near that level. Like what I said he just looking at speed seven minutes, it’s got to be something seven minutes, and then you record it to do it. And it’s beautifully, you know, and balanced for him. And for him is seven minutes. Okay, for an hour one is one good laugh, okay. For me, it’s like, you know, every two or three minutes, it got to be something interaction, but left. But it doesn’t have to be it just happens.
So that’s also important. I mean, you don’t you don’t need humor, it’s something you you just use to to feel better. And because it’s the sort of arrangement you make with the audience, and if they laugh, they love you a little bit more because there are some some empathy for you. And and the chance that they will listen to you even more focused is higher when they have laughed about you or something you sad because they respect you. And that’s all in that in that package.
Yeah. So and as you’re you’re making this transition from being a speaker in your own country to being an international speaker. I often think that humor is one of those challenging ones in terms of how to how humor travels. Yeah, I see some. There’s actually a great speaker. It’s called Tim Gods from America. Really, really funny, funny guy. And his humor is such a it’s so International, so humanistic, it would work, whether it wherever we give it in the world doesn’t matter, the face of America. And I saw another speaker the other day, Mike Walsh movies, a British British Hong Kong speaker. Yeah. Mike is a futurist. So it’s very kind of high tech stuff. But he because he has a little bit of the British thing that’s going on there. He uses a type of humor, which is almost like making fun of himself. And kind of downplay because it kind of takes the edge off the futurist part as well. When you’ve been, you know, either for yourself, when you see those speakers who are using humor that you really admire that are doing internationally, what what are they doing? Well, what those speakers are able to take humor and make it International. So watch any audience is any kind of things, patterns that you’ve noticed there?
Well, the main is a very simple answer, but the most thing is think globally. Because if you say, if you got an opening line, like, you know, at the bus station near my house, no, it’s I mean, even if you if you know, living near my house, you don’t even know what I’m talking about. And some comedians do that. I mean, I work a lot with comedians from the United States. And they come over to Amsterdam, and I said, You know, I live in the Bronx, and you’ve got this and that there will be no, you know, and they go totally flat out. But if you say something about relationship, if you say something about your economic system, if you say something about Nike, or or Apple or something, everybody knows that. So you know, so think think globally. I mean, if if they’ve got phones in India, and they’ve got cars in Guadalupe, or so, and relationship and hate and love, and and everything between it. So your topic is got to be something that if you are in a bar in Singapore, or a convention in South America, people would have to say, Yes, I know what you’re talking about. So that’s, that’s the most simple answer, globalizing.
And one of the things that I think what, regardless of which audience where you’re speaking in the world, is using props to do things because it’s, it’s a visual, it’s a visual way of doing now, I think you’re fantastic. You obviously love using props. I’ve seen you speak a couple of times. The last time we were both speaking at an event in Paris together, I think possibly is the only event I’ve ever spoken at where they had to lock the doors, because there was actual Riot going on outside. But anyway, that’s the story. But you you actually put a prop along and and had real fun with us. Yeah, yeah, two props on that one. So tell me about why you use props, why you like using props, any, any things you’ve learned along the way that other speakers can learn from?
Well, the first of all, is we’re not making it up, I just do it. I never think what might people think and it’s not real keynote thing. And, you know, it’s like, if you make it up, just do it. And maybe I’ve done a lot of things that I stopped after five or 10 times. But now I’ve got something this crazy, credible sizer and I’ve got some some trust in it, that is going to be a sort of flagship for me. And there’s, there’s two two main reasons why I do it is, you know, maybe see whatever. The first one is, because I just make it up. I didn’t, I didn’t said I hadn’t needed to Bro, I had a story about Angry Birds, because that’s a crazy company, you know, 70 million customers in three months. And now, after three months almost bankrupt, you know, it is a crazy business model. So if you talk about disruption, they are a great example. And then you think, Well, where’s How can I can I, you know, make this example more visible more and more engaged, mobile. And then it said, well, an angry bird is, you know, making stuff. They break stuff. And I want to interfere, I want to ask somebody in the audience, and then you have to say Angry Birds can be a microphone in it and wait a minute, then if you use a catapult, so it’s ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, you know, it’s just a creative process. I but I never, in a set of comedy, I never have used props and company gigs. I never use props, because you’re the last 20 minutes you walk on, and you kill the show, and you go, but now as a keynote speaker, there are no boundaries for me. And maybe it’s not normal. Maybe Booker’s won’t book me because they say well, magnificently, your Come on, it’s going to be serious business.
But that it gets to will be some Booker’s who say, Man, we’ve never seen something like this. And we needed something totally different and give it a try. So and well, to be quite honest, let’s say we’ve we’ve met in Paris, the 45 speakers, were there over there. And they’re always three or four, you remember, not 4590 35, not even 25. And I’ve learned that from all the festivals I’ve played, I’ve played a lot of theater festivals. And even when I’m a speaker at a big con convention, and there are five or six or seven keynote speakers, and the director and the marketing guide, or 1230 speakers, they only remember you because of something. And I don’t say it has to be abrupt, but it can be a beautiful image can be a beautiful sentence, it can be your stage performance, it can be your suit, it can be your interaction, or it can be a problem. And for me, it’s a couple of those things I just said, and I know. I mean, I only have this crazy catapult Iser for one or two months. I’m not sure yeah, but you are going to be the guy with the catapult.
Yeah, yeah. But you probably should own you should probably get a domain name, catapult. speaker.com. Well, look at it be because it’s funny because people are I know number of speakers this which they don’t almost used in their domain name, don’t use their name. They use what they’re kind of known for, like, exactly, Rob older woman is the wingman, your wing man calm. And we get to know them from that as well. But I think the other thing that that does having the visual prop. So now I’m sure everyone’s gonna have to go online and see your cat. Please do. The nice thing is certainly that the catapult Iser is it was not a word in Google. catapult Iser, 25 pictures. So you can go find that one. But it’s also that thing when people go into the office on the Monday morning, or the net, you know, a few days later, oh, you went to that conference?
What, you know, what was it like, okay, and it’s, it’s what I think Malcolm Gladwell he calls them the n equals the the popcorn or the sweets or the candy or something where you might be at an event for two days. But you you you want to be happy to have the idea of the thoughts that you give to the audience, or the thing or some action or some prop that you put into the mind, which is easy for them when they get in the elevator on a Monday morning with their colleague, going from elevate, you know, grand grand level up to the sixth floor ever floor there on the exit? Oh, yeah, I saw this guy, he did this really funny thing with the such and such. And then it’s then it goes from the well Tell me more. And then obviously, when you tell me what what he’s actually it was talking about disruption. That was that was really what I’m talking about.
And so it’s a big flag. Yeah, you put a flag in somebody’s head. And and you will, you will just be remembered by that. And that’s actually why they and it’s a lot of fun. And I was talking about I’m talking about disruption, disruption my audience. So if you if you ain’t a big catapult of two meters to an audience. Don’t do this, you know. I mean, it’s I mean, I didn’t even know that when I made it up. But I it’s you call it walk the talk. If you talk about disruption, I have to disrupt my own audience. So and that’s what I do. And I will do it even more than that will be even more things. Because I’m not thinking, is it possible? Or what would people think? Just do it, you know, I just wrote a beautiful song, a jazz song, and I just want to close off with a jazz number. And song and all the, all the highlights of my keynote about digging deeper and better version of yourself are in the lyrics of that song. And we sing it along and people, well, sort of guilty pleasure thing. They hate singing. But they also if you do within a group, you see the lyrics, they will have to sing along, especially when you’ve got the microphone, you just push it somebody under his mouth, that’s pretty disruptive.
So I’m working on a lot of other stuff. Yes, because it’s, it works. And for it’s also fun, it’s creates a lot of energy, it creates a lot of, you know, unique kind of, of keynote. And everybody should do that in her or his way. I mean, if you are a normal scientific speaker, be a normal scientific speaker, but I am this high energy, crazy creative guy on stage. So I have to be that it would be totally stupid. If I would talk for 45 minutes in a technical way, like a lot of blah, blah, blah. That is that that’s not me. So you’ve got to be honest to yourself, that’s the only only tip I can give.
So you sweeten the medicine a little bit, I guess in terms of this disruption, because disruption could feel like maybe a negative thing that’s going on, we’re being disrupted, and it feels like something is happening to us. We you flip it around with the audience. And so you’re known for his idea about disrupting yourself, you know, we can go as a huge area disruption, but I thought what might be useful to talk about just now, before we start to finish up is obviously your speakers you remember, you and I are working together? And what areas are you seeing the you finding is most disruptive just now in the speaking industry? And how can you trying to disrupt yourself as a speaker in order that you can build an international speaking career? Well, how can I disrupt myself, I think that it’s got to do with, with guts. And that’s, you know, I created all this content and and, and, and six staff to disrupt yourself and, and the chemical dyes are, and now I just have to go out there and shout of the roof that I do that. And that’s exactly what I do. For the last eight weeks, I make days my make those weekly flocks. Actually, I’m a performer, I’m a speaker for 25 years. And the last two months, I only posted in English, because a lot of people from Malaysia, to Hong Kong to to Singapore, but Paris, they react on my on my stuff. And so I focus on the global speaking and I I act like a global speaker. That’s that’s, I mean, that’s what you have to have to do. I mean, you you cannot wait that somebody calls you and asked what situation is, so I have to go out there. And I mean, we are in the mid summer. So that’s why I just finished all my website, and I’m finished all my content for my flock for the next two months.
So now I am just to catch up with you also, I hope is find some booking agencies who find to see my videos of that’s credible ties through CD energy. I’ve got more than 45 testimonials of people, you’ve seen my show. And I mean, if you if I ever feel bad, I never feel that I’ve ever feel bad. I’m going to look those testimonials because then you see 45 loving reactions of people who like you were surprised were blown away. So that’s also something you have to do. And last time in Paris, I said to two or three speakers, when they were finished. I mean, I mean, you’re sitting here get asked testimonials. No, no, no, no. And I was asked, you’ve got to do it. And they they really think me with two hands after that. Because you have to go over that rich is stupid. You go to somebody, here’s my iPhone, what do you think of me? What do you think of me? I mean, but you have to do it. It’s so much worth and I mean, you need that, especially when people are going to look you up. You need some testimonials. I mean, I can make beautiful websites. But I could make a website have a bakery tomorrow, but I can bake bread.
It’s funny, you know that there is a us talk about the bridge bridging from someone, you’re getting a testimony from the one I the one I’ve always used in the past is if I’m lucky enough that I’ll have someone with me. And what if someone comes up with you, when you come offstage? invariably, people come up to you, and they want to talk to you. And I love that thing you mentioned there, or this thing really means a lot to me there or I’m going to try this. And and they’ll say it to me. I said, That’s fantastic. Would you mind saying that on camera just now. And then I just I basically just cost me just as a as the camera. And I we you know, you get a lot of those really, really, really quickly as well. Absolutely. So you know, you’re you know, I love working with speakers like you as well, because, you know, every speaker is coming from a different place. And I think where someone like you is you’re like, like a, you know, a great car, you’ve got that, you know, great engine, the body work great. All the technologies really, really there as well. And my job then is to provide that field. It’s to provide that jet fuel in there. And you know, don’t directing a little bit as well, because you have so many the component pieces. Yes. And now not every speakers have come to this party.
It’s funny you say this? I thought about it, if you would ask this question for how do you how do you feel this this afternoon because you know, speakers lose a lot of metaphors. I would have said I feel a little bit like a sort of Elon Musk, creating this Tesla. And everybody loves it, and everybody likes it. But you know, they have to be sold. Me. So that’s exactly now you use this is metaphor. You are like this beautiful car, with engine with everything in it. And it’s it’s there behind a window. And everybody’s Oh, man, look, it’s great. I would like to ask one. Well, you know, there’s got to be somebody you said, Well, he’s out there, you know, you can drive from actually. So to be close to God, that’s a great metaphor. You guys actually had that before to close off? Yeah, you definitely you definitely want to be in the Tesla as opposed to what was the name of the car they used in Back to the Future I adore. DeLorean a DeLorean Loria actually made in Northern Ireland, I think you were made those cars. I know what really great, interesting cars, but they’re just like, it just did what Tesla, you know, it’s just, they’re really well made. They’re well constructed. The technology is great. And it’s just giving them the fuel. So So I mentioned to your speakers, your speakers, you members, well, what what, what things have you been finding, you know, being a speakers, you remember what you valued about your membership?
Well, you know, I’m always honest. And the point is, I see speaker speakers, you as a big database. And what I mean by that is that you’ve got to do 95% of the work you’ve got to do by yourself. So if you really see speaker us as a coach, that is sort of you know, I will will take you along and that is not speakers you. So actually, I’ve been a member for one I’ve years and maybe three weeks ago, I opened the website, and I saw some interesting stuff that I needed. But that’s okay. I say now into the mirror myself here. That’s my fault. Because I could do that a year ago. But nobody taught me. And you don’t have to tell tell me, maybe you could that’s okay. But it’s, you know, it’s. So my point is, there is a lot of information, and I just downloaded the PDF what to do to go out there and that there are some interesting things. But it’s not that you are going to mail me like Tom, I didn’t hear something from you last month. And I thought we agreed this or that. So speaking you is a sort of that is a sort of train and but you’ve got to be on the on the platform, and you’ve got to step into the train. Yeah. And then everything is their beverage, food content, everything is there.
But you you’ve got to have the initiative SS speaker, I think and I think, like you said, like the members they get most from it is those those who are they are self self motivated, in terms of doing the things and they can going line is it’s funny, you know, different speakers will, will get feedback at different times some, it’s almost every day, they’re sending in questions, because they’re working really intensely on something. And other times, I’ll go for a couple of weeks or even a couple of months, because they’re they’re on the road speaking, they’re actually out there doing the thing that the know they should be doing. And they come back as Oh, I’ve tried this, but this thing isn’t working. And now I want to move into this new territory. And now think I’m about I’m on the road all the time. And I need to add some back end revenue streams, because I want to be more critical of the kind of gigs I do as well. So that’s another level that you go to with them. So I’m good. I’m glad you’re finding new things all the time as well. And I let’s go to some other tools. What other tools or apps do you find very useful for yourself as a speaker tools or apps?
Well, I, I don’t use a lot of tools or apps, because I think it’s a it’s a pretty much a mind thing, you have to have everything in your head. And I’ve got this, this this little beautiful board over here and everything when I’ve got an idea I just write it on. And sometimes I look at it, and I just take something out of it and kind of work on it. Because that’s also what happens in the creative process. You, you you, you have this and this and that. But you have to focus on one area, make it make it good, and then go to the booth, put it aside. And then you can focus on another area, like website or content or customers or opportunities or whatever. If you do it all at the same time flocks and social media, then it’s going to be chaos. So I just have this this big board over here with a lot of words on it, I guess. Take one word one. Topic one pointed, I have to have to do. And I’m just work on it till it’s done, actually. So one word, finish finish website. That’s that’s where mean two words. But that can be two weeks work.
Yeah, a bit. But it’s good to know that you’re capturing those. A lot of people, I need to do this for them. They never capture it. And it never gets done. Because there’s not it’s not getting measured in any way. And what about a book, if there was one book you would recommend to speakers? It could be on speaking or could be on humor or on business description. What would that book be? I mean, I’m actually writing reading it down for the second time. And I think some other speakers said it to that it’s being a global speaker of Frederick Heron. I mean, that is a sort of very simple, you know, it’s like, yeah, sure, of course, yeah. I knew that are out there, don’t do this. But you know, it’s still it is something you know, if, like a small sentence, if you want to be a global speaker focus on global customers. That’s one sensor said, but that’s really powerful. You said in three minutes ago, sometimes you are in a sort of area of clients of schools, or or, you know, I mean, you won’t be a global speaker, if you perform for schools. That’s my opinion. So if you use that sentence, look for global companies, if you want to be global speaker that is very powerful. And that’s only one sentence out of the book. So, I mean, that is a sort of, I mean, it’s not a Bible, it’s just a sort of mini hand pocket book that you have to reach. And everybody’s got something different out of it.
Yeah, I guess what because where you’re based as well, there’s a lot a lot of global companies that have their headquarters in Amsterdam or New York and Brussels and because to you as well, and many of them have been your clients over the years so then it’s about using that relationship to be able to say you know, or go to Malaysia you know, as anyone I can speak you’re in your Malaysia office, and to build those relationships. What about what’s in your your speaker bag? You obviously have your capitalized? I don’t know. How do you say it again, cap? Get appetizer has to bow ties and your capital ties a good word. But what else are you carrying with you to your speaking gigs? keras I always try to film my shows. And I’ve got new a bag with five cameras. Five cameras. Well, yeah.
It’s one 4k cameras. I’ve got one expensive camera. And actually, I bought four cameras secondhand. And maybe that’s also good tip today’s I guess I just had a look. What were the best cameras eight years ago. So if you would go to you, Japan eight years ago, that’s not that that’s that long ago. And every Sony is something they would say this is our flagship, you know, the best camera. And they are out there the market now for 2530 euros for 2530 pounds, because it’s seven or eight years old. And people want the newest camera 4k. But actually, those cameras are pretty good. They have three CCD sensors in it so they can with different lights, they are really good. And I’ve got just 16 gigabyte memory card in it. And even if you lose one of somebody steals one, okay, whatever, you know, it’s 30 euros, and I’m always my 4k, big Sony camera, I put with the technician forward for the big angle. And you can zoom in because nobody uses 4k. So you can do. But the other four cameras, you just put bomb bomb bomb bombs. One one from the back is always really nice, because then you see the audience. And then you can make a sort of semi professional editing instead of one camera. Because one camera is never professional. That’s Yes, that’s a nice footage. But it’s never a movie. It’s never too. You can never engage with one point of view.
So these cameras that you’re getting, are they like, former camcorder style cameras, or are they regular? Like, I guess you can call camcorder style. Yeah, Panasonic, but it’s a three CCD, and they are 25 euros now. Second hand, but they had brilliant food. It’s because those cameras were $900, seven years ago $900. I actually have one of those cameras. And I think I bought it secondhand. It was about $200 I got in Canada. And I feel I’m pretty much all of my first lot of courses for one of my other businesses on that. And the other day, I walked out how much money I’d made. And it was insane. The ROI of this one simple, Carol, I just put up on a tripod, the courses under there. So as you see it doesn’t have to be overly technical. You have your cameras. I mean, did you have your tripods for the right part? Or?
I bought some, some, some cloth. Yeah. with with with a with a mountain it? You know, they they really they because the tripod is always a big hustle. You know, it’s like a big thing. Yeah, but if you’ve got a clot No, I have it right now. But it’s something like like this. And there’s a claw and you can just screw it somebody or somewhere like this and put it on. camera ready? Yeah, no, it’s that really works well, because then I mean, it’s not much based in my in my suitcase, also because it’s a small clock. And you can there’s always a pipe or or something that you can just screw it on. And you get four or five cameras, different angles, and you just, you know one hour that you can film 90 minutes with a full battery and a 60 gigabyte memory card. And you have the cameras as a visual. So what about the sound? Well, you doing to record the sound when you speaking?
Well, if I’ve got this on my 4k camera, I’ve got an external microphone. And so that actually works really well. And if I if it’s a real nice performance, I’ve got this zoom or or I can take it it’s an external audio record system. Yeah, you just go to the technician. And you say I’ve got an XLR here. Do you have an output and Kudo? Of course, they always work along and you just put it there and you can you can put it in six hours before that you can put it on record, because you know that audio is not that much data. So even if I’m at four o’clock in the afternoon, I install it at 12 o’clock, I put it record and even if there were some really good key speakers, keynote speakers before you have you’ve got one on tape, you can listen tell it but no telling you. I’m also guessing that many of the speakers are speaking the same events for you. They might be coming up you afterwards see any chance I could get that footage like that? Yes. I just sent a big movie to Bob OE and and Lloyd Luna is a 30 minute movie with four cameras, I we transfer to Lloyd Luna, he was really happy with that. Fantastic.
So I won’t even have questions we finish up here. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning. And you had to start from scratch. So no one knew who you were, you’d never been booked, you don’t have any contacts anymore. You have to completely restart. What would you do? How would you restart your speaking business? research? I mean, you I mean, Fred Waring always says that you need to speak at least 100. People to to to to get your content. And actually, you know, I my content is actually like i said i did more than thousand company shows. And that is my, my big bucket of information. I talked to hundreds of people for two or three hours before I do a gig. And then you hear a lot of inside information. Sometimes you cannot even share this information about fusions or or or people who are getting fired, whatever. But then you also hear why and what we when we talk about disruption. Family, you know, little bit what is going on in this company and why is this division is doing well. And this division is doing so well. So that’s all the insights I have. And the last couple of years I just started to go five years ago, I didn’t even know I needed that information. But now I sort of remember all those kinds of conversations. And I make notes, of course. And when I look at those notes, I see a sort of pattern. And that’s what I can use. When I talk about disrupt yourself. I know what it is when you’re in that room. I know what it is to to work for a company and not everything goes well. And they ask a live too much. And so that’s my area of research. But if I were to start over again, you meet your bucket of content, not from the internet, not not because you see a TEDx. But but it’s got to be personal. It’s got to be from you.
Having those conversations, that’s great, great advice. And if people want to reach out to you maybe to recommend you for a speaking gig or to connect with you to learn more about what you’re doing, where’s the best place to go and do that? Well, I’ve got this website next global speaker calm and it’s working right now. It’s I hope this afternoon it will be ready. Please have a look. Next Level speaker calm and of course LinkedIn. Tom slick think slash Tom lightning. I think if you google Tom lightning, I will be there because when I do SEO, I always put my names on every picture that I put on my website, whatever. So I mean, if you do a little bit of research, you will you would have, you will have to find Fantastic. Well, Tom, thank you so much for coming on today, sharing all about all the incredible stuff you’ve been doing how you been building your speaking career is great to have you as a speaker, as you member as well. It’s always a delight working with you and seeing your speaking career go from strength to strength, and hopefully we’ll be sharing a stage again together in the near future. Maybe you know, maybe if you’re going there, Maybe yes, maybe yes. I’m telling you that too. So I mean, there’s this it’s a cool loud read right now. So we’ll just we’ll see you in the maybe anyway, February. You heard it here first. So you may see us in Namibia. Don, thank you so much. Take care. Thank you very much YouTube.
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