Before envy becomes the bitter pill, I prefer to grow on it. That is why I decided to join the mentoring program of the German Speakers Association (GSA). I have been a GSA member since 2018.
12 questions to my mentor, may I introduce: Antje Heimsoeth.
Born in Munich, coming from Rosenheim. She has been awarded "Lecture Speaker of the Year 2014", in 2019 with Top 10 Trainer & Influencer and in 2017 with TOP 100 Success Trainer (ERFOLG magazine). Among managers and the media she is considered the "most renowned motivation trainer in Germany" (FOCUS). In 2019 she was appointed to the senate of economy and thus became part of an exclusive circle of personalities from economy, science and society. Antje Heimsoeth's publications in well-known publishing houses such as Haufe, C.H. Beck and SpringerGabler underline her expertise.
We have been working together in the GSA Mentoring Program since September for the next 12 months.
1. Speaking to Corona will experience a very strong change. Live events will become less. Exhibitions will be reduced in size. Seminars will run digitally. How do you see the future for Speaking?
It is difficult to say at this point in time. I have made the decision to transfer my work to the academy. Also in view of the fact that I had cancer, I would like to travel less. Speaking also means sometimes when things go well 5 days five cities. That is exhausting with preparation and follow-up. A lot of things will be done online. We have to see if the organizer wants it to be like a live performance. Then I have to go to a studio and add it up financially. If I do it in the sense of a webinar in my home office, there is no professional stage, I show the Power Point via the platform. But I also notice that organizers are grateful if you personally give the presentation live. You reach people in a completely different way than online. You can feel the energy in the room.
2. Does our plan to hone speaker qualities still make sense at all?
Yeah, that definitely makes sense. Because if you want to have assignments as a speaker, then you have to work on the qualities. It always has a positive effect on your abilities as a seminar leader or trainer. I will always get my own input and work on it.
3. What are the similarities between talking live in front of an audience and talking digitally? How do I score most points with the listener?
The most important thing for me is the personality! You can have the perfect technique with all the bells and whistles, as I sometimes see with colleagues. Awesome effort with light and cameras, but if I don't have personality, no content and no stories, then nothing helps. And that doesn't change with digital work.
Besides, the structure of a speech must be good. The important thing is that you have to get into the same digital state as Live. I solve this with the so-called "stage clothes". I don't usually put them on. This means that I am now able to get into a "live stage mood" in front of the screen very well, even digitally. I sit and don't stand as I do when I speak, but I am far enough away from the screen. So I can also underpin things with my hands. That is very important for me.
4. I work in companies and accompany the change process from A-Z, i.e. I am not only allowed to experience the depths but also the highs and lows and the successes at the end. What is it like as a speaker? How do you experience the AHA effects?
This is different. Now, for example, I have an assignment in a university. The professor saw me live on a cruise ship 3 years ago, listened to my podcast and now gave me an assignment. If people still remember content years later, that is exactly what I want to achieve. 1,2,3 things implemented, then I have reached my goal. It should bring something to my listeners. Also just recently a director of a zoo called me. His employee followed a lecture and was enthusiastic. These are my AHA effects.
5.You also work with competitive athletes and accompany them as a coach at big competitions like Olympia. Does the way to the gold medal really begin in the mind and not on the cinder track?
The path already begins on the cinder track, but should be accompanied as early as possible in the mind. Not every athlete needs a mental coach, I have to admit. However, it is very helpful, especially for the boys, because they are often plagued by stage fright. Unfortunately it prevents a good competition. It is definitely won in the head and lost too.
6. What role does the audience play? You are also active on international stages. That's why we fit together well. What are your experiences regarding the reaction of the audience in different countries? Does the audience react differently to English lectures?
I was also on stage in Beijing and in St. Petersburg. There it was translated and I didn't understand anything. The reaction then came displaced. It is quite strange. English goes quite well. The audience always goes along with the culture. Often English is only a foreign language for e.g. the Japanese, like recently. Then the reactions often turn out differently.
"Frankly, I no longer admire anyone. That would mean I lift the other one up into the air and become Little Antje. "
7. Stage fright is a big topic. Do you still have stage fright?
Yeah, I have stage fright. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It is also not my goal to have no stage fright, because "without" one does not prepare oneself intensively enough. It also puts me in the right mode, "the ideal performance range" (from sports) or "flow" called. Only in this mode we are really good.
8. How often should one practice a good speech before and do you advise to really learn the speeches by heart?
Ask yourself: Are you talented or less talented? How many presentations have you given so far? In my opinion, you need at least 100 lectures to be really good. I no longer learn my lectures by heart. A colleague once advised me to do so, and I paid him dearly. I followed the advice well-behaved. Due to stage fright, I didn't know what I had written down in the lecture anymore. It was one of my worst performances. That's why I don't do it anymore.
9. Regarding the GSA, Corona was a blessing for me. Since I live in Barcelona, I finally had direct contact via Zoom with the group. Corona was only a curse or also a blessing for you? What did you learn from this time?
The bottom line was that it was more of a curse. Mainly because you can't help it. The only thing I blame myself for is that I didn't start the online business earlier. It's incredibly bitter; I had an assignment in May. A roadshow all over Germany, a job in a dimension I've never had before. It's good that 50% was transferred in advance and the project was postponed to 2021. Everything else was really cancelled. It was a chance to see how corporate values are really lived, not just on paper. Cancellation fees were paid by the fewest.
I have learned, also through my surgery in spring, that it is good to be at home.
For society it has a great effect, the virus. I myself have always travelled a lot in the world and know what it means for tourism now. This occupies me very personally, because we do not know how it will continue concretely. An end is not in sight.
10. You will open your new seminar center in Rosenheim in 2021. How do you deal with the new rules? How do you develop new concepts for training? Keyword: Inspiration.
I have adapted all hygiene measures, everything is adhered to. No drinks, no snacks, no sweets, etc. Unfortunately no delicacies at the moment. Plexiglas panes between the participants, for safety. I can do less small group work, otherwise methods remain as before.
11. You want to know what I was really jealous of? Your contribution to Gabor Steingart, The Eighth Day. Chapeau. Did he just call you?
Ah yes, they called me. So his team, not himself. I was very pleased about that and it also generated orders. I will be contacted about this today.
But there will be more in this direction. For example in the magazine "Impulse", or in the renowned magazine in the equestrian sport "Die Reiter- Revue". There will be a live seminar or webinar, we don't know yet.
12. Admiration for someone can drive you when you look at your own goals? Who are your role models or mentors?
To be honest, I no longer admire anyone. That would mean that I lift the other one up into the air and become "Little Antje". If anything, it would be René Borbonus. He is rhetorically really brilliant in his stage appearances. Or even Michael Rossié. I really appreciate the conversations I had with him, his words, his laughter and the hints he gave me. But admiration is a big word for me.
At the moment I have no mentor. My motto is "Learn from the best". I always interview interesting people and ask them what made them successful. I learn from that. That is my way.
Of course I also look to America, but basically I go my own way without looking left and right much. My colleague Silvia Ziolkowski has a great attitude. She often seems to me to be very much in her midst, she treats people incredibly respectfully, always has a compliment to give and is also behind the GSA - I think that's great.
__________________________________________________ Thanks for the interview, dear Antje!
11 really exciting months lie ahead of us. I am very happy!
Updates here in the blog as well as in Instagram @amelungandpartners and @antjeheimsoeth.
PODCAST Antje Heimsoeth, Erfolg beginnt im Kopf