What I learned from Motivational Speaking in Helsinki, Finland

I recently returned from Finland, where I gave a keynote speech at a management conference. Since this was my first time speaking in Finland, I did extra research to ensure that my message was well-received by the audience of senior leaders.

Finland is the Happiest Country in the World

As of March 2023, Finland has been ranked the happiest country in the world six times in a row. The World Happiness Report is based on ratings of self-reporting of their quality of life in various dimensions. I was curious to see whether Finns felt happy and so interviewed as many as I could about their ranking.

From taxi drivers to event planners and executives, I was curious how a country with a short summer and long winter could score so, highly.  

The taxi driver was incredulous about the results and showed me a foggy weather forecast to make his point, but then he was originally from Estonia so perhaps I should exclude his data!

The answer lies in what Finns don’t do rather than the weather in Finland.

Finns don’t compare themselves with their neighbors. In Finland, it is uncool to brag about material things or overtly show wealth. At the venue where I was giving my speech, I spoke with two members of the event team who were curbside greeting attendees. I asked if there was ample parking as the audience consisted of 200 C-Suite and Senior Leaders. Their answer was that leaders in Finland don’t always drive fancy cars and are happy to take public transport.

This is a powerful self-leadership insight into happiness, set your own standards instead of comparing yourself to others.

Finns don’t take nature for granted. In Finland, employees enjoy four weeks of summer holidays and the majority use this time to immerse themselves in nature. Even in cities, such as Helsinki, nature is close, and the population takes advantage of this for their peace of mind, energy, and relaxation.

Finns don’t break the circle of trust. Finnish people tend to trust each other and value honesty. If you drop your wallet or leave your laptop at the library, you are likely to get it back.

Research shows that the higher level of trust within a country, the happier the citizens are. This begs the question; how do you show up for your community? What can you do to build trust?

Motivational Speaker in Finland

I was engaged to give a leadership speech about being human and driving accelerated results. I was therefore surprised when the organizer kept asking me if I was excited. Is everything OK, I asked. Yes, everything is fine, but we want you to raise the energy of the audience.

Finns are known for being reserved but with 25 years of experience as a Global Keynote Speaker, I know how to connect to a culture and to make the audience psychologically safe to participate.

Having spent some time in Asia, I can open my motivational speech in Malay, Indonesian, Thai, or Mandarin, and then quickly get a laugh by saying, “… and the rest of the speech will be in English”.

I learned that in Finland, there is one word, that has multiple meanings depending on context. I was therefore able to walk on stage, pause, make eye contact with the audience, and just say, “Nonein”.

You could feel the energy shift in the room.

This, combined with some well-timed table discussions resulted in the audience being highly engaged and with the help of a facilitator with a microphone, vocal too.

In Conclusion

I thoroughly enjoyed my short trip to Helsinki, Finland, and would love an opportunity to speak there again. Next time I will make time for a Sauna and a dip directly into the sea.

MySpeaker Finland is my speaker bureau in Finland, and the event was brilliantly organized by Management Events, who arranged for this amazing visual recording of my speech.







If you found this content useful, PLEASE SHARE 
it on your favorite SOCIAL MEDIA
using the buttons provided.


Get a Free Chapter