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Journey to the Speaker Contest with Gopal RajGuru

As we are on a lookout for the next speaker talent ready to walk on stage at Nordic Business Forum 2019, we have another source of inspiration for all aspiring speakers! To help you get going with the applications for the Speaker Contest 2019, we interviewed Gopal RajGuru, one of the finalists in Speaker Sourcing Contest 2018, whose presentation was entitled, “The Tea bag Effect – 5 Secrets to Peak Performance”.

Journey to Speaker Contest Interview

Nordic Business Forum: Hi, Gopal! Let’s start with the big question… Why did you want to participate in the Speaker Contest (formerly the Speaker Sourcing Contest)?

Gopal RajGuru: As a professional trainer and keynote speaker for more than 20 years, I have followed the Nordic Business Forum for many years and when there was an opportunity to be on that stage, I was very anxious to apply for the contest to see if there was a possibility I could be there with some of the people I admire a great deal. I enjoy giving keynote addresses very much and have done so for both small (25) and large (10.000+) audiences and wanted very much to have the opportunity to address the Nordic Business Forum audience in Finland, where I do a lot of my professional work.

NBForum: Tell us about how you chose your subject. What went into that decision?

GR: Given the choices provided by Nordic Business Forum, I focused on the one with which I have the most personal experience – leadership as the catalyst to create and sustain peak performance. I also teach leadership in my professional work and believed that the content I could provide, even in a very short presentation, could benefit the people in the audience. The leadership development workshops I do are designed to provide very pragmatic tools and concepts that the participants can put to use immediately, and my hope was to be able to provide that even in the large format of the Nordic Business Forum Helsinki audience.

NBForum: How did the journey go while you were competing in the Speaker Contest?

GR: It was interesting to meet all the other participants – I was in the qualifying round in Oslo, so I did not have the opportunity to meet the ones in both Helsinki and Stockholm, but I did watch their presentations online to get a feel for the type of presentations against which I would be competing. I enjoyed meeting the other speakers and gained some interesting insights from the presentations as well… overall, it was a very enjoyable experience, and I may well do it again.

NBForum: How would you reflect on the experience in hindsight?

GR: In addition to meeting some really terrific people, both the speakers and the staff at the Nordic Business Forum I learned some interesting things from the speeches themselves. I suppose also a personal insight was that other than the topic, there was no real guidance at all on the type of content for which the judges were looking, and it would have helped me a great deal to know what they were really looking for so I could adapt the content to their specific needs. This is what I normally do in the course of my professional work, and it was totally missing in this experience. The results, I suppose, show this very clearly.

NBForum: Do you have any advice for someone else wanting to participate in the contest?

GR: Pick a topic about which you are passionate and in which you believe – this helps you focus, and to be fully authentic in the presentation. It may or may not resonate with the judges, but it will with you and the audience, and being true to yourself is, in the end, the most important thing.


Speaker Sourcing Contest Finals 2018 – Gopal RajGuru


About Speaker Contest

We are on the lookout for a game changer. Nordic Business Forum is hosting its annual Speaker Contest (formerly the Speaker Sourcing Contest) – with qualifying rounds in Helsinki, Stockholm, and Oslo – in which we hope to discover ingenious talent, innovative concepts, and intriguing perspectives from professionals and first-timers alike. Speakers who impress the judges and make it to the final round will compete to win €30,000 and a spot in the speaker lineup for Nordic Business Forum 2019.

Are you working on the next big thing? Have you got an inspiring speech that you have always wanted to try out in front of an audience? Do you think you have what it takes to speak in front of thousands of people?

APPLY FOR THE SPEAKER CONTEST 2019 >

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