And the Winner is…

March 22, 2010

Did you ever had that moment where you are sitting in a room full of people and some contest was going on? Then suddenly the crowd’s attention goes up and the speaker on stage says: “And the Winner is…” a couple of seconds filled with extra silence…and then your name pops up! What? Was that my name? Sure? People start to look your way and spots find a way to you. You get up and slowly move towards the stage. Almost there, you realize this is actually happening! And you start to smile 🙂

This is exactly what happened to me a couple of days ago! Where was I and what was going on? Let me start from the beginning. As you know, I am a public speaker and share my message regularly on stage. Several friends asked me if I would join the Professional Speakers Assiociation (PSA). I am already a member of so many organisations that I intended to decline. People from all over the world suggested me to do that, some insisting more than others 🙂 So, finally, last tuesday, I decided to join PSA Holland, the Dutch chapter (no Belgian yet!) of the Global Speakers Federation (GSF). One of the goals that I made that day was to be on stage for them on their next convention (honestly I was thinking of 2011!). And I enrolled for the PSA Holland 2010 Convention immediately afterwards. This convention took place last weekend.

So, upon arriving, I registered and started to network a bit. Jan Vermeiren was also present and he introduced me to some of the people he knew. One of them was Christine Morlet, negociation expert and organizer of the “Elevator Pitch”-challenge. She asked if I where interested in joining a game and of course I said yes, actually not sure what I said yes too 🙂 Anyway, she explaines that at this PSA convention they are holding an “Elevator Pitch”-contest. The only thing I need to do, is present myself on stage in less than 120 words and less than 2 minutes. Most participants enrolled for it before the event and some backed off and so she was a couple of contestants short. So, I volunteered. Was that smart? I’ll answer that later on…

I presented my “Elevator Pitch” and was already satisfied that I got the visibility, let alone the feedback from the jury. It was well organized and they had a life voting-system (Sendsteps for more info). Because I was sitting behind the camera-man, I wasn’t really paying much attention to the scoreboard. But you know what happened next, right? Exactly! Before I knew it, I was on my way to the stage and jumped right on it! With a big smile, because I had won! And the Winner is Bert Verdonck with 52% of the votes (Can you believe it?)! Yes, the first price is a relax weekend in the Provence (France), thanks for asking 🙂

What just happened here?

Let me share you my personal “Elevator Pitch” according to the above rules and share some of the feedback that I got, from the jury and other participants.

“Most professional speakers are always looking for an audience, right? How fast can you be on stage before your target audience? We all want a shortcut! As the newest PSA Holland member, I did it in less than 3 days to be here in front of you! That is exactly what I do. Shortcuts! With Genius Shortcuts I teach you practical tools and tips to save you 2 hours/day or hack away other frustrations. I am a lifehacker and I help people through keynote speaking, trainings and workshops. So, think about how you would feel if one of your biggest frustrations disappeared forever? Come and see me afterwards and I will share free Genius Shortcuts so you can feel happier!”

Some of the feedback that I received:

  • Relaxed, great & pleasant voice, to the point, looked at the audience and the jury, great timing, radiant, great connection with the audience, fully present on stage, you walk your talk: you speak easy & simple, very good pitch, clear message from the start, well developed pitch, great impact, engaging, surprising opener, good pause and excellent posture.
  • Points to improve: wear your jacket (I forgot to put it on before walking on stage!), take more time (I only used 1 min instead of 2, so more room for extra details), not always clear what it really is about (lifehacking?), start smiling before you get on stage, explain better, give more examples, can be more confident, a bit too vague and explain more who your target audience is.

I am really thankful for all the feedback that I got and I am looking forward to sharpen this elevator story even more.

Why do I tell you all this? So you know how important it is to know your own Elevator Pitch. And to look for your Genius Shortcuts to find an audience or clients faster. Of course, it is also proof that you don’t have to be a longtime member to get the necessary visibility. Finally, it is important to receive feedback from other professionals, so that you improve. If no one ever tells you what you could do to improve, you don’t move forward, let alone become better at what you do…

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eDay 2009

September 13, 2009

eDay 2009eDay is a community initiative designed to raise awareness of the benefits of recycling computers and the hazardous nature of electronic waste (e-waste), while offering an easy way for households and schools to dispose of old computers and mobile phones in an environmentally sustainable manner. Through Rotary North Harbour, I commited to contribute and give back to New Zealand by participating as a volunteer for this eDay.

As part of Crew 11, I was in charge of interviewing drivers about their awareness of e-waste issues. Here where my questions :

  • How did you hear about eDay?
  • What is the main reason for bringing your computer waste here today?
  • If there was no eDay, how would you dispose of your computer waste?
  • What other e-waste do you have that you would like to recycle?
  • Would you like to hear about today’s results and eDay updates via email?

Bert Verdonck interviewing on eDayBy giving back to the community and in this case a project that fits rather well with what I do. My public speaking, training and coaching about Genius Shortcuts is mainly focused on using the computer in an easier, more efficient way. So, it makes perfect sense to contribute some of my time to an event like eDay.  Most of you already know that I dedicate about 10% of my time to charities and good causes. Our main project is Go Bananas, which will get a kiwi chapter in the near future…

Although we had rain and quite some wind, lots of people where bringing in their e-waste. These are the results of our eDay : 1,128 cars bringing in 46 tonnes of e-waste! In total 16,391 cars delivered 966 tonnes of e-waste! An awesome result! If you want to know more about e-waste and eDay in particular, I recommend you to visit eDay’s official website.

Oh, did I tell you several famous Kiwis attended this event? One of them was Peter Fox (Olympics – Sailing), who participated at our North Shore City event.

So, what did you do this weekend to contribute?


Paul Meert

April 12, 2009

Paul Meert Infotainment, Change in NO TIMEPaul Meert is the founder of Infotainment, Change in NO TIME and also important: a personal friend of mine 🙂

Now, here is an interesting story on how small the world can be…

Paul was asked to write an article for a Belgian think-thank organisation VKW Metena (Dutch). He was doing some research and thought about creating a link with Dale Carnegie. Dale lost everything during the crisis of 1929, before building a new empire, becoming the expert on “positive motivation” and interpersonal skills.

Why do I tell you this? Well, while using Google to find background info on Dale Carnegie, he saw an interesting link to Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book. Although Paul has read most (if not all) of his books, he did not recall this particular one. So, he clicked on it and to his surprise arrived at my blog! Yes, last year I wrote an article on this Golden Book sharing Dale Carnegie’s insights.

Now, isn’t it mindblowing to find my blog on the 3rd place in Google, while researching Dale Carnegie? At least that’s what Paul was thinking (in fact, me too!) 🙂 As a lifehacker, I confirm that I use several Genius Shortcuts to improve not only my life, but also my Google ranking.

Everyone has his specialty and for those who haven’t seen Paul live yet, he is an outstanding public speaker! I’ve seen him already on several occasions and every time I am blown away by how good he really is! So, your next chance to see Paul is on the 12th May in Ghent. Next to Tomas Vieira and Ben Decock, he is hosting a seminar on “Managing without Ego”. In fact this seminar is not only about “Managing without Ego” (Tomas), but also about “Managing without Time” (Paul) and “Managing without Worries” (Ben).  I was told that they bring inspired ideas for unlearning the past and revealing an abundant future! Laughing is a genuine part of this seminar, so bring your smile 🙂

Enjoy Easter,

Bert Verdonck
Lifehacker & Life Coach
Create, Connect & Contribute


Interdependence Day

March 31, 2009

XL NationToday is Interdependence Day, also called National Day for XL. Today XL Results Foundation embarks on the next chapter of the journey. XL 1.0 steps up to become XL Nation 2.0.

Every nation has a Declaration of Independence and so a focus on national interest. XL Nation as the world’s first global nation will have a Declaration of Interdependence. It will have a focus on global interest that is inclusive not exclusive. This means that our ability to sign federation agreements with charities, learning institutions, other organisations and eventually other nations as either service providers or program partners will be an important part of our growth in influence and scale towards achieving World Wide Wealth.

Now you know why we are here: to achieve World Wide Wealth.

Within XL1.0, by 2008 the amount of value being delivered was phenomenal – over 2,000 events around the world, content, learning delivered every week in stories, magazines, 24 hour radio, videos. The problem was most even the most active members would only ever get to 5% of this value, which made it a very inefficient and ineffective use of resources. In XL2.0, the focus of XL Nation should be 100% on Effective Giving.

When Roger Hamilton & Dave Rogers started the XL Results Foundation in 2001, their vision was a way to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals without needing to rely on governments or other institutions. What better way then bringing entrepreneurs together could have achieved this? Today the history continues and we are creating the next chapter.

So, where are we now? Well today, the Bali Convention takes place and about 10% of the Founding Members Citizens of XL Nation are there to sign the Declaration of Interdependence. The new flag will presented and several speeches will inspire us even more. Our XL Vision 2020 is growing and more is being donated every day!

What can you do to step up? Join XL Nation now and start giving effectively! If you need a hand, let me know…

Now it’s time to celebrate the birth of a new nation! Party time 🙂

Enjoy every day,

Bert Verdonck
Lifehacker & Life Coach


Go Bananas!

March 23, 2009

Showing up and helping people in need, stepping up for charities and giving back to society in general are very important for Tonia and me.

In 2008 I have dedicated about 10% of my time to contribute to these initiatives.

Our main charity projects is Go Bananas. Our goal was to find a way to help Kevin Allen, the Banana Man, with his amazing goal of providing 1,000,000 meals for the forgotten orphans in Zululand, South Africa. We decided to step up and set ourselves an ambitious goal of 10%, which is a whopping 100,000 meals.

As most of you already know we created a challenge for ourselves to walk 100 km (60 miles) in 1 day. Supporters could sponsor us for every km we walked. We also found a number of corporate sponsors and presented several banana deals.

With additional help and events, we received more money. We finally calculated the new total and we are so happy!

We gave € 6,417 to Banana Appeal in total!

This means that we surpassed our ambitious goal and more children will be fed thanks to all our sponsors and supporters. This eye-wathering result made us realize how great we have it in our own life. Not only do we have a roof over our head, but also plenty of food, drinks and even a car. We go on holidays and enjoy time with friends and family. I feel so grateful every day! Do you too?

Coming back to Go Bananas, we enrolled to participate in a radio quiz Quizt’t on Radio 2. This Thursday 26th March, we’ll be headed to the studios in Ghent with several supporters. So, if you are willing to support us, you are most welcome to join us too! We need at least 20 supporters! Mail me and I’ll send you the details. The winner of the quiz takes € 1,000, which would be a great start for 2009!

Of course, we are still accepting gifts for Go Bananas as well. This year will be a special year and I’ll be back with updates and plans for 2009 later.

In the meantime, think about your own actions to step up and give back to society and charities. Now would be a great time to take that extra step! And if you can’t choose which one, give me a call, we always welcome extra support for Go Bananas!

Have a great week,

Bert Verdonck
Lifehacker & Life Coach


New Zealand Tour!

March 21, 2009

Mount NgauruhoeIt’s official now! I am going on a tour to New Zealand in September! Next to Auckland, I will also host seminars at Wellington and Christchurch. I am looking forward to contribute to a lot of people and teach them how to boost their efficiency. As we are finalizing dates and venues, I will inform you later on about the exact dates and details.

In the meantime, download my audio CD, learn several genius shortcuts and benefit from the extra time that it saves you…

Have a great day,
Bert Verdonck
Lifehacker & Life Coach


London Calling

February 9, 2009

Today I am in London to participate in my boardroom club. I’ll explain this in a future blog, because I am thinking of creating my own similar club in the Belgium as well…

In the afternoon, I will be participating in the XL Power UP meeting, a classic (not quite :-)) gathering of London’s XL Life Members.

And tonight I’ll be co-presenting the infamous XL Momentum session, together with Tracy Julliard. In the footsteps of worldclass speakers like John DeMartini, Mike Harris and Roger Hamilton, Triumphant Events set the stage for a fantastic evening! Our goal is to bring clarity on why XL World was created. On top of that, we’ll share insights in social media and shortcuts (lifehacks!) to help all members achieve more online through XL World.

Tomorrow I’ll be hosting my first workshop for women entrepreneurs in London. Gaia Gold is a brilliant new network, gaining interest very fast with several outstanding women taking the lead. “Genius Shortcuts for a Flourishing Life” will be focusing on how to work more efficiently, to create more time for yourself. I’ll share several tips & tricks, when applied, that will alter every participants’ life (forever?)!

Tomorrow evening I have a “next steps” meeting with Tracy Julliard. After a debrief from the XL Momentum event, we are definitely accelerating to second gear 🙂 Also several products are being created. Oh, by the way, did I mention that as an XL Life Member, you can already enroll for our first Webinar : XL World : Extraordinary Results Online! Book your ticket right now!

Stay tuned, I’ll be back for more 🙂

Enjoy every day,

Bert Verdonck
Lifehacker & Life Coach
Create, Connect & Contribute