Speak the Future: Interview with Jacob Bøtter, Author and Entrepreneur

Conferize’s “Speak the Future” series features speakers who are currently changing the conference world. For more info check out our “Speak the Future” Manifesto
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am Jacob, a Copenhagen-based author and entrepreneur. I am the author of two management bestsellers, NQ and UNBOSS. Both of which I spend quite a lot of time talking about at various conferences. I am also an avid user of Twitter and other social platforms.

What is your favorite area of expertise to present?

My focus is on how to build radically different organizations. Organizations that don’t have all the answers themselves, but involve millions of people through self-regulating mechanisms rather than bureaucratic structures.

How did you find public speaking?

I absolutely love it. It is the best way to try out new ideas and have them validated in seconds. I have a couple hundred keynotes under my belt now, but every keynote is a new experience which is really rewarding for me.

What have been some of the key conferences you’ve attended or participated in?

I’ll narrow it down to one: Reboot in Copenhagen. I have attended this conference year after year after year, because some of the smartest people on the planet show up here. Sadly it hasn’t been around for a couple of years, but rumours say that it will be back next year? Nudge, nudge @mygdal ;-)

Why do you think conferences are important today?

Not sure I would say conferences are important, but getting new inspiration and participating in dialogues between industries are some of the most important tasks of a knowledge worker in the 21st century.

Have you noticed any significant trends in the Meetings Industry in the wake of digital/mobile developments?

Not sure I am the right person to answer that question, other than loads of bad PowerPoints?

How would you like to see conferences change more in the future?

More interaction between attendees. Shorter, but better, keynotes. A focus on having speakers that can speak, rather than speakers that might have something interesting to say, but don’t know how to say it.

As a speaker, what do you feel you need right now to strengthen your profile in the conference world? Tools, technology, network etc.?

My profile? Well, that is 100% based on recommendations. I have never been hired for a conference because someone found me on Google. All of my many hundred keynotes have been booked because someone recommended me. So that would be boosting recommendations.

Advice to aspiring speakers?

Drop the bullet-points and the standard PowerPoint format. Focus on what you’re trying to say. Narrow it down to a few stories rather than a hundred. Make those stories count. Make them personal and give a little bit of yourself every time.