My TEDx Talk

It was an honour to be invited to speak at the 2014 TEDxLausanne. I had always wanted to speak at a TED event. The members of the organizing committee were professional, hard-working and enthusiastic.

The other speakers were passionate and supportive.

And the audience was terrific!

Here’s my talk:

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  1. Great presentation! Love your thoughts, especially about taking the first step even if we can’t see the ending.

  2. Great talk john! Good thing there was no mention of the high school graduation!! All the best and liked the Russia photos and stories!!

    1. Thanks, Merv!

      I appreciate your comments and your sharing the link to the video. It was a lot of fun to do. Interesting to see the TEDx Talks of the other Toastmasters. One of them is a good friend of mine, Florian Mueck. Florian and I created RHETORIC – The Public Speaking Board Game™ together.

      And Siberia was an incredible experience. One for the books for sure!

  3. Huzzah, sir! Inspiring and demonstrative of great speaking technique. I’m curious, how much of the language have you picked up or are you gifted with many languages?

    1. Thanks, Dave. Glad you enjoyed the talk. As far as languages go, I spoke French and some Italian before we moved to Geneva. While in Geneva, I completed the United Nations course in Arabic and have brushed up a bit on my (still poor) German. I love languages, though, and am always picking up words and phrases in everything from Portuguese to Russian to Wolof! Geneva is a special place that way as there are people from all over the world here.

  4. What a captivating talk, John. I loved the pace and the humour.
    I’m about to do my 10th speech at Toastmasters (the requirement being “inspire your audience”), so I’ve been looking at various TED and TEDx talks, seeking inspiration to be inspiring! Your talk has given me food for thought to look at events in my own life to speak about, so thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Craig. Thanks very much for the comment. Glad that it has helped a little bit with your talk. Congratulations on completing your 10th speech in the Toastmasters programme. Onward and upward!

  5. Hi John

    Thanks a lot for this talk. Sometimes life seems to be a whole aisle of thresholds, and suddenly time starts when you draw (additional) faith of looking back on all the steps you have already taken.



  6. Reblogged this on Erlesenes, Erlogenes, Erlebtes and commented: Diese Angst vor dem Neuen hat so viel Beflügelndes, da freut man sich doch gleich noch mehr auf den nächsten Schritt.

  7. Absolutely inspiring, John! Public speaking ain’t easy, but with a little training and determination miracles are possible. Even a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step – perhaps with the first presentation, right? Keep up the good job and motivation for thousands! Thanks!

  8. Hi John,

    I find all your speeches great, and enjoyed a lot the humourous ones.

    This TEDx one is so inspiring. I shall encourage my fellow members at my Toastmasters club in Mauritius to watch your videos and learn from your site.

    All the best John.


    1. Hi Birendra,

      Many thanks for the kind message. I am glad that you have enjoyed my speeches and the blog. I have a friend from Mauritius and hope to visit your country one day.

      Regards to you and your Toastmasters colleagues.

  9. Hello John,

    This was an awesome speech and I like the way you narrated it. Content and flow were phenomenal. I agree with you closing comments on that ONE step with FAITH taken will change the direction of life.

    Best Wishes,


  10. Reblogged this on Life On My Lane and commented:
    This is a talk given by an old friend of mine from grade school. Even back then I knew he was going to go places in life. Well, I was right and I’m proud to share this video which is truly inspirational. (don’t let the title “Graduation Day” stop you from watching because it will be an inspiration no matter where you are in your life)
    Fantastic talk John!

  11. John, I listened for the first time your public speaking. its great and you are simply excellent at it. I greatly enjoyed it. What is all about Siberia?:))

    Marina Zamorina, GWG

  12. Hi John, I attended the last Spectacular Speaking Course in Barcelona and I’ve enjoyed a lot hearing again your voice and your manner of speaking 🙂 Hope to see you again soon. All the best. David.

    1. Hi David. Thanks for the kind comment. I very much enjoyed our time together in Barcelona. It was an intense couple of days, but very rewarding. I hope that our paths cross again. Until then, take care.

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John delivered a keynote address about the importance of public speaking to 80 senior members of Gore’s Medical Device Europe team at an important sales event. He was informative, engaging and inspirational. Everyone was motivated to improve their public speaking skills. Following his keynote, John has led public speaking workshops for Gore in Barcelona and Munich. He is an outstanding speaker who thinks carefully about the needs of his audience well before he steps on stage.

Karsta Goetze

TA Leader, Gore and Associates

I first got in touch with John while preparing to speak at TED Global about my work on ProtonMail. John helped me to sharpen the presentation and get on point faster, making the talk more focused and impactful. My speech was very well received, has since reached almost 1.8 million people and was successful in explaining a complex subject (email encryption) to a general audience.

Andy Yen

CEO, Proton Technologies

John gave the opening keynote on the second day of our unit’s recent offsite in Geneva, addressing an audience of 100+ attendees with a wealth of tips and techniques to deliver powerful, memorable presentations. I applied some of these techniques the very next week in an internal presentation, and I’ve been asked to give that presentation again to senior management, which has NEVER happened before. John is one of the greatest speakers I know and I can recommend his services without reservation.

David Lindelöf

Senior Data Scientist, Expedia Group

After a morning of team building activities using improvisation as the conduit, John came on stage to close the staff event which was organised in Chamonix, France. His energy and presence were immediately felt by all the members of staff. The work put into the preparation of his speech was evident and by sharing some his own stories, he was able to conduct a closing inspirational speech which was relevant, powerful and impactful for all at IRU. The whole team left feeling engaged and motivated to tackle the 2019 objectives ahead. Thank you, John.

Umberto de Pretto

Secretary General, World Road Transport Organization

I was expecting a few speaking tips and tricks and a few fun exercises, but you went above and beyond – and sideways. You taught me to stand tall. You taught me to anchor myself. You taught me to breathe. You taught me to open up. You taught me to look people in the eye. You taught me to tell the truth. You taught me to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. I got more than I bargained for in the best possible way.

Thuy Khoc-Bilon

World Cancer Day Campaign Manager, Union for International Cancer Control

John gave a brilliant presentation on public speaking during the UN EMERGE programme in Geneva (a two days workshop on leadership development for a group of female staff members working in the UN organizations in Geneva). His talk was inspirational and practical, thanks to the many techniques and tips he shared with the audience. His teaching can dramatically change our public speaking performance and enable us as presenters to have a real and powerful impact. Thank you, John, for your great contribution!

Sara Canna

HR Specialist, World Health Organization

John is a genuine communication innovator. His seminars on gamification of public speaking learning and his interactive Rhetoric game at our conference set the tone for change and improvement in our organisation. The quality of his input, the impact he made with his audience and his effortlessly engaging style made it easy to get on board with his core messages and won over some delegates who were extremely skeptical as to the efficacy of games for learning. I simply cannot recommend him highly enough.

Thomas Scott

National Education Director, Association of Speakers Clubs UK

John joined our Global Sales Meeting in Segovia, Spain and we all participated in his "Improv(e) your Work!" session. I say “all” because it really was all interactive, participatory, learning and enjoyable. The session surprised everybody and was a fresh-air activity that brought a lot of self-reflection and insights to improve trust and confidence in each other inside our team. It´s all about communication and a good manner of speaking!"

Jon Lopez

General Manager Europe, Hayward Industries

Thank you very much for the excellent presentation skills session. The feedback I received was very positive. Everyone enjoyed the good mix of listening to your speech, co-developing a concrete take-away and the personal learning experience. We all feel more devoted to the task ahead, more able to succeed and an elevated team spirit. Delivering this in a short time, both in session and in preparation, is outstanding!

Henning Dehler

CFO European Dairy Supply Chain & Operations, Danone

Thanks to John’s excellent workshop, I have learned many important tips and techniques to become an effective public speaker. John is a fantastic speaker and teacher, with extensive knowledge of the field. His workshop was a great experience and has proven extremely useful for me in my professional and personal life.

Eric Thuillard

Senior Sales Manager, Sunrise Communications

John’s presentation skills training was a terrific investment of my time. I increased my skills in this important area and feel more comfortable when speaking to an audience. John provided the right mix between theory and practice.

Diego Brait

Director of the Jura Region, BKW Energie AG

Be BOLD. Those two words got stuck in my head and in the heads of all those ADP leaders and associates that had the privilege to see John on stage. He was our keynote speaker at our annual convention in Barcelona, and his message still remains! John puts his heart in every word. Few speakers are so credible, humble and yet super strong with large audiences!

Guadalupe Garcia

Senior Director and Talent Partner, ADP International