Dr Mark van Rijmenam
Global/virtual keynote speaker on the future of work
The Digital Speaker
Why listen to this episode?
Having a topic that is changing everyday can present a real challenge to public speakers.
While some speakers have “their talk” that they try to deliver everywhere, Mark van Rijmenam is someone who has no options but to update his talk everyday.
This episode is another must listen for event organisers because it shows the kind of thing you’ll want to look for when booking a speaker in a rapidly changing niche. Are they really up to date?
For public speakers, Mark’s journey has been a fascinating one. He went from identifying a topic people wanted talks about to becoming a paid speaker in a month.
Dr Mark van Rijmenam is a global expert and speaker on technology, especially the metaverse, blockchain, AI and how technology is changing the workplace.
He began his journey in 2012 when he realised that the world of work was about to go through another massive change.
Mark began studying these new technologies on his own. A month later he was invited to speak and give a keynote on the topic as the “expert” at an event.
His passion for the subject lead him to more speaking opportunities and he has been travelling the world ever since.
A PhD followed in which he studied big data and design thinking. But it was in early 2016 that he also discovered blockchain which became a major part of his work. In 2021 everyone started talking about the metaverse and he did too.
Mark admits keeping up with technology that is changing day by day can be a real challenge but he lives and breaths the topic. He has written three books and when he is not speaking about technology he is developing it through projects like Mavin.org and Datafloq.
Mark has also developed a digital version of himself to give keynotes around the world.
In Mark’s talks he offers insights into how the world is changing, how technology is having an impact on that and how we should prepare for the future of work.
Mark’s Top speeches
- The Future of Work
- How to Prepare for a Data-Driven Future
- How to Innovate in today’s world:
- How Will Leadership Change in Today’s World
Key Lessons from the episode
- Your network is vital – Mark was invited to give a keynote just 1 month after starting his study. This was due to his contacts. Mark also uses “Lunchclub” to network.
- Think about what topics are going to be the next big thing – Mark identified the metaverse, AI, blockchain and big data as topics people wanted to learn about He is now a hugely in-demand global speaker because people want to know about these.
- Think about what one thing you want your audience to leave your talk with. Is it a change of perspective, or one key fact, or one key message?
- Really study your topic – If you know you topic well you can talk for 20 minutes, an hour, even 5 hours about it when the autocue fails.
- Shortening and lengthening a talk – You do this by adding in and taking out the more granular details. Chunk up for shorter talks, chunk down for longer.
- Always find out what the client wants – Don’t frighten their staff just because you find a topic fascinating. They may not want to hear it!
- Nerves – If you don’t feel nervous before going on stage, it’s time to quit.
- Speaking speed – Could speaking fast help to engage your audience? It works for Mark.
- Be innovative – Mark has transformed himself into a digital avatar to perform virtual keynotes.
- Love you topic – You are going to spend a lot of time with it.
- Marketing – Share what you know for free. Give it away in articles, on Twitter and Linkedin.
- Be adaptable – When COVID arrived, he had to re-invent himself to survive.
- Advice for newcomers – Practise while imagining you are in front of an audience. Be ready to speak to yourself for hours in empty rooms to get your talk right. Speaking can also be a lonely world. You are often on an aircraft for hours.