What a year! When it started on January 1, 2018, I thought, Oops, this will be a tough one with so much traveling. Today, I look back at a year full of experiences, moments, and growth. And I love it! All I can say is, Thank you! Thank you, my dear super clients, for continuing to grow with me. Thank you, my dear super friends, for being there for me everywhere I go. Thank you, my dear super family, for being my past, present, future. Thank you, my dear super Rose, for never stopping pushing me beyond my own limitations. Thank you, my dear super Álvaro, for inspiring me with your unconditional love.
You all made this year one of the best years of my life.
Here are some random highlights.
Two Skype coaching sessions on storytelling with the one and only Mark Brown. He opened my ears to focus more on rhythm in speaking.
The Ball Must Go In – Five times I could deliver my signature keynote speech on the scientific art of persuasion. I especially loved the after-event party vibes at the Morrison KSi event in Lyon.
At my traditional carnival speech gig in my home village I learned a big lesson: No Call-the-Room (spontaneous commenting on a spontaneous incident during a speech) with rhymed speeches… 😉 This must have been the longest blackout in my 13 years of active public speaking.
Unforgettable also the residential weekend of Toastmasters in Czech Republic. They invited me as their keynote speaker. It was in a motel in the middle of nowhere one hour in the east of Prague. But we turned it into the middle of everything that makes Toastmasters such a great organization: Great workshops, great speeches, great conversations, great bowling sessions, great Pilsner Urquell.
Skiing in Crans Montana with Rose, Alvaro, John and Julie Zimmer. What can I say… amazing.
In Stockholm I stayed at the hotel Rival. Its owner is Benny Andersson from the band ABBA. And it just feels like ABBA. The reason for the trip was my first engagement with Rovio, the creators of Angry Birds.
For eight years now, thank to my great friend and leadership guru Conor Neill, I have been involved in educational programs of IESE Business School. The annual highlight: extensive week with 120 Executive MBAs in Barcelona together with my fellow facilitators and friends Conor, Tony Anagor, Tobias Rodrigues and John Zimmer. Totally transformational!
In my second half of my club presidency at Rotary Club Barcelona Europa we continued to help those in need. The absolute highlight was our club trip to my hometown Coburg in Northern Bavaria. I saw places I hadn’t seen in 45 years. Lesson learned: Invite tourists and you will learn.
There are three things we shouldn’t talk about in Toastmasters: politics, religion and… sex! Olivia Schofield, my English power ball on stage, and I thought, What the heck! Our workshop at the European Toastmasters conference in Athens in May was called: Sex & Public Speaking. The 350 participants felt the heat!
Open trainings are a horrible thing to organize, but I organized two Charisma Boosters in Barcelona anyway. In the end, these open trainings available to everyone are also a great platform to meet new brands, people and friends. One of them is Max Viessmann, a powerful co-creator of tomorrow. We will do great things together in the future. Thank you, Frauke, for making it happen.
It takes 11 guys to build a football team. We didn’t play football in Vilnius, Lithuania, but we were 11 guys. Stag weekend time. I love you, Christoph!
Talking about weddings. What a mega blast we had with Yves & Alex at the Amalfi coast in Italy. This was one of those heartfelt weddings with big hearts only on the guest list. Rose, Alvaro and I loved it so much that we’ve even forgotten about the flight that got cancelled on the way back to Barcelona.
Teaching English teachers in public speaking is a challenge. But it is also true that public speaking is a mountain without a peak. They loved it so much that they created a song for an event using learnings from my keynote The Ball Must Go In.
Mountains, horses, the sound of the hidden creek – one of my favorite retreat venues is the Racó dels Angels, 1.5 hours in the north of Barcelona. In July we retreated for 5 days together with Tobias and little Irene. Endless BBQs, endlessly profound conversations and two shirts I forgot there.
In August, Alvaro traveled with us to Singapore and Eastern Malaysia for the first time. It was a new world for the little man, but not a huge challenge. He loves hot and spicy food. Like father like son.
The Vilnius gang reunited at the second big wedding of the year. When a passionate Brazilian lady and a crazy Berlin-style German marry in Spain, you can imagine the outcome. And Christoph delivered a Mount Everest of wedding speeches. I was more than proud of my friend.
Spectacular Speaking is family. Our annual event took place in Berlin again in September. Olivia, John and Peter, what can I say… you are amazing!
Zug, Switzerland. Roche Diagnostics. 121 IT guys. That ball went in! My best keynote speech, to date.
Bucharest must love me. And I love Bucharest. Metro Systems (Metronom) is already client number three who called for my services in that vibrant town.
In October, I launched keynoteboutique.com. My bar talk pitch is, It’s like a model agency for professional speakers. It is my first baby step towards more entrepreneurship. It is all there. 17 amazing speakers with big hearts. Let’s see how this baby will grow in 2019.
Country number 14: Cyprus. Thank you, Guido!
After more than ten years, Rose and I went to the cinema for the first time. That must be a worthy entry for the Guinness Book of Records! For me, an absolute cinematographic highlight: Bohemian Rhapsody.
And this is it.
Thank you, 2018!