Learn about Business Improvement | A Q&A with Andy Hanselman

Andy Hanselman 1 January 2012

Which event has been your favourite and why?

Wow, there’s been so many! Top 3: Successful Selling Conference with the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management. This included speakers from all over the world – the USA, Australia, and me from Sheffield! The second was Peaks and Pitfalls, a conference with The Entrepreneurs Forum in Newcastle Upon Tyne, I enjoyed this as there was a fantastic, entrepreneurial buzz, as there always is with their events. The third was Senior Managers Strategic Conference in Rome – great people, beautiful city!

How did the corporate speaking start?

Back in 1989, I worked for someone else in a training and consultancy business and found myself, dabbling, in the speaking side of things when no one else was available to do it!

Can you remember your first speaking engagement?

Cash flow forecasting for start-up businesses! A colleague was stuck in a traffic jam and I was volunteered to present. I knew very little about it – and went through a 5-minute emergency personal tutoring session over the phone with him before I got going! It all went very well!

And your last event?

Maximising Customer Relationships. – a keynote on marketing and customer service to 120 business leaders at a Cornwall Chamber Of Commerce event.

If you could speak at any event, past or future, what would it be?

The TED Conference.

Who would you most like to share a platform with?

Wow, again, so many.... Nelson Mandela, Seth Godin, Tom Peters will do for starters!

On average, how many times a year do you speak at corporate events?

50 – 100, some small, some big.

Do you use PowerPoint?

Normally, Yes, but have done lots without!

Are you as happy speaking to 50 as to 1,000 people?

Yes, without doubt – smaller audiences allow more interaction, discussion and debate.

How do you like to be introduced?

Here's Andy Hanselman... I'll do the rest

Do you always like to do a briefing call before the event?

I think it's imperative – the more I know about the audience, their mix, their issues, their needs and their challenges, the better I can develop and deliver a presentation to address those things – I don't have any scripts!

What are the most asked for topics?

Sales and marketing, customer service, how to create more customers, how to keep customers, differentiating your business in the marketplace, leadership, maximising people performance, and maximising profitability.

Is your speech interactive with audience participation?

It obviously depends on the purpose of the presentation and the time available. Wherever possible, yes, undoubtedly – the more I can engage with the audience, the more I can help deal with the issues they face.

Do you have any funny/embarrassing speaking anecdotes you care to share?

I was once running a seminar at a very busy hotel on creating delighted customers to about 100 sales and marketing executives. We’d got going, and had started with an interactive session where people got to know each other. I then started doing my stuff and as I was in full flow, when a hand went up, “excuse me” said a shy looking guy, “this isn’t ‘Health and Safety at Work for Drainage Engineers’, is it?” He’d got the wrong seminar, and embarrassingly left the room to find the right one. About an hour later, there was a knock on the door. It was my Drainage Engineer friend... “can I come back in please? This is a far better seminar than the one I was supposed to be on”!

Your favourite film?

Some Like It Hot! Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and of course, Marylin Monroe (and any Austin Powers film).

Favourite book?

Can I have 3 please? - Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolf, Purple Cow – Seth Godin, Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell.

Favourite holiday destination?

So many to choose from again – New York in the summer is outstanding.

What’s your tipple – wine, beer, champagne?

Mine's a pint please!

Country or townie?

I live in the countryside, enjoy busy cities, but like to get out in the wilds too!

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