About the Speaker Contest

Our Speaker Contest (formerly the Speaker Sourcing Contest) is a relatively new event, with the first of its kind being held in 2018. Over 170 people applied to our inaugural contest, 24 people were selected to attend our live qualifying rounds, and one winner was selected by a jury of audience members and Nordic Business Forum representatives to join the speaker lineup at Nordic Business Forum 2018. James Hewitt was our winner and he was paid a 30,000 € speaking fee.

Some of the videos of our past speakers are available to watch on our YouTube page. You can also read the written recap from our Helsinki, Stockholm, and Oslo qualifying rounds, as well as the Stockholm final round in 2018.


How it Works

Step 1. Applications

Applications are open to anyone, anywhere in the world until 31 January 2019! All presentations must be in English. You can apply to speak about topics relating to one of the following themes: innovation, marketing, or leadership. You should be prepared to give a 12-minute speech on this topic.

Step 2. Qualifying Rounds

24 people will be selected by our judges to compete across three in-person qualifying rounds. Two contestants from each qualifying round will be selected by the jury to progress to the final round of the contest.

All times are local to the city in which the qualifying round takes place. These events are invite-only but will be streamed on our website and Facebook page for free. To see what’s available to watch, head over to our “Watch” page!

Step 3. Final Round

Six finalists will compete in the final round of the Speaker Contest. This round will take place in Helsinki at the Helsinki Airport on 23 May 2019, from 17:30 to 20:30.

This event is invite-only and will not be streamed for free. Instead, it will be hosted on our official event live stream platform. If you would like to watch the final and evaluate the finalists, you can purchase one of our live stream season passes.

Step 4. Nordic Business Forum 2019

At the end of the final round of the contest, we will announce the winner who will be invited to speak at Nordic Business Forum 2019 and earn €30,000 for the speaking engagement. Make sure you get your ticket to see the winner and the rest of our fantastic lineup!



31 Jan
Application deadline

12 Mar
Oslo Qualifier

13 Mar
Stockholm Qualifier

14 Mar
Helsinki Qualifier

23 May
Helsinki Final Round

9-10 Oct
NBForum 2019

Contest Information

For General Applicants

Our contest rules are quite simple: stay on topic, stay professional, and stay kind. We aim to create an encouraging and positive experience for everyone involved at each stage of the contest, and we are supportive of all participants from all backgrounds.

Nordic Business Forum will not cover your travel to the qualifying rounds. If you are selected from the open applications for our qualifying rounds, you will need to plan for your own travel and accommodation to and from the qualifying round. If you are selected for a qualifying round, you will be invited to a virtual coaching session for your presentation, courtesy of our partner MySpeaker.

For Finalists

You will receive a travel stipend from Nordic Business Forum as well as an online coaching session with one of our board members. The coaching session is meant to give you individual feedback and suggestions for improvement ahead of the final round to help you up your game. If you are selected for our final round, one of our team members will be in touch with you to arrange this session.

For Audience Members

Each of our qualifying rounds and the final round are all by invitation only. You are able to request an invitation if you’d like. We will consider serious requests on a rolling basis.

Click here to request an invitation to the 2019 Speaker Contest finale on May 23rd.

If you’re invited to attend any Speaker Contest event in person, you’ll have access to the entire session, as well as exclusive networking with light refreshments. We strongly urge you to arrive on time to be able to participate in evaluating the speakers – late arrivals will be allowed in but may not be able to vote.

For Live Stream Viewers

Though our audience for the Speaker Contest is by invitation only, anyone is able to participate in the voting/evaluation process with our live stream broadcast.

For the qualifying rounds: You do not need to sign up for anything ahead of time to be able to watch the broadcast of each event. We will publish a link to the live stream broadcast, which will include a short voter registration form. Make sure you enter your details in that form anytime before the start of the event and then bookmark the page. You’ll want to come back to it a few minutes before the event begins to get started watching and voting. You will receive instructions for the evaluation process during the course of the event so make sure you watch closely!

If you are only interested in watching our qualifying rounds, you can also tune into them on our Facebook page. They will be live streamed there for free, without the option of voting/evaluating the speakers.

For the final round: In our Speaker Contest final, our audience and panel of judges will decide which of the six finalists will make it through to speak at NBForum 2019 and earn €30,000 for the speaking engagement. This is a paid event broadcast and is included in our live stream season passes. If you would like to watch and participate in the final round, you can get a season pass here.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at info@nbforum.com for further information.