Some of my funny public speaking stories

Blue tongue
I had a period when I often felt tired after speaking. A friend, who is a singer, recommended me to drink a blue energy drink just before speaking to increase my energy. I took her advice and two minutes before I entered the stage an audience member pointed out that I had a blue tongue. Luckily, the brand I was speaking for had a blue logo, so I matched them. Always make sure you affirm and are in tune with the brands you are working with 😉

Sofie Sandell speaking

Sofie Sandell giving a talk in Belgium

Air-con problems
Last year I spoke at a design conference and was sitting in the audience waiting for my turn. The venue had no idea how to control the air-conditioning and probably set it to 10 degrees Celsius. When it was my turn and I stood up my body had turned into ice, including my face. I wanted to jump and run to get my blood moving but I was on next and there was no break between the speakers in this session. I spoke for about 25 minutes and by the end I could feel my arms again. The poor audience sitting in that cold room.

Dress issues
One early December morning I spoke at an event In London and I was speaking in a dress I’d never worn before. On stage I realised that I had it on backwards and that the collar of the dress was constantly touching my larynx. It was totally annoying and I spent a lot of time thinking that I should just leave for a moment and fix the dress.

Shopping in China
In 2014 I flew to Shanghai to speak at a big marketing conference. My luggage got lost and I had to go out shopping in Shanghai. I met up with my Chinese agent and after lunch he showed me a shopping mall.

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When I entered I realised it was a boutique shopping mall, perfect if you are only looking for a Gucci bag. I asked one of the staff if she knew any other shopping malls and she wrote down the name of one in Chinese which I could show to the taxi driver. He left me outside a large shopping mall and when I entered I realised it was another luxury brand shopping mall. This made me cry. I was tired, jet-lagged and sad and just wanted to find a normal shopping centre to buy all the things I needed for my stay.

Over the next three days I was going to speak and deliver workshops and I really needed something that looked better than the dresses I had in my hand-luggage. I walked into a shop and the people working there spoke okay English and showed me the way to the big Super Brand Mall.

Thank goodness for that. I found shops to buy some of the basic things I needed. It was problematic finding something that fit. If you are not extra, extra small you’ll find it hard to find anything that fits in China. In the end I bought a blue dress which is still one of my favourites. When you have to make an effort the things you purchase are more valuable. I’m wearing the dress in the photo below 🙂

Sofie Sandell jumping on the beach