Mika Poutala
Blog Newsroom Nordic Business Forum 2018

Journey to the Speaker Contest with Mika Poutala

Get ready for Speaker Contest 2019! Last week, we interviewed the Speaker Sourcing Contest 2018 winner, James Hewitt, and to keep the inspiration coming, we continued on this year’s contest journey with one of the amazing finalists, Mika Poutala! With the 4-time Olympic speed skater, Mika, we got to dive into the theme of peak performance through his topic How Three Hundredths Of a Second Changed Me.

Journey to Speaker Contest interview

Nordic Business Forum: Mika, could you tell us what were the reasons you wanted to participate in the Speaker Sourcing Contest 2018?

Mika Poutala: I just retired from speedskating (4-time Olympian) and I knew that I 
wanted to be a public speaker after my career as a professional athlete. When I heard about the Nordic Business Forum speaking contest, I knew right away that I have to participate. This could the stepping stone to my new career.

NBForum: How did you decide the subject of your presentation?

MP: It was fairly easy for me because I have been trying to improve my 
performance every single day for the last twenty years or so as a part of my career as an athlete. Also, I understood that I have evidence for my topic, which is why people 
are really listening to what I am saying.

NBForum: Could you tell us a bit about your journey in the Speaker Sourcing Contest?

MP: Actually, the hardest part for me was the 3-minute video that everyone had 
to make to try to qualify for the competition. It was hard to get 
excited for your story, when you were speaking alone in front of a camera in such a short time as 3 minutes. I always get excited when I step in front of a bigger audience. After I qualified for the competition, I went to Stockholm for the qualifier and made it to final among the other talented contestants.

NBForum: What did you get out of this experience?

MP: The best thing for me was the feedback that I got out of this. 
Especially the speaking coaches Nordic Business Forum arranged for us for the finals, made me understand my message more in-depth and make the whole presentation better. That alone was worth the experience.

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

MP: My advice is that you really need to concentrate on your 3-minute video to qualify. Speak to some professionals and ask for their help to learn and to get the most out of your presentation. But most of all, be excited about your topic and show the excitement to your audience.


Speaker Sourcing Contest Finals 2018 – Mika Poutala


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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