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Interview with Christoph Koch

Through keynotes, journalist and author, Christoph Koch is able to both inspire and entertain audiences with his authentic experiences. Read his interview below.

How has digital media and communication impacted modern day society?

The digital transformation of our media and communication environment has changed our world dramatically, and a shift like this has not been seen since Guttenberg invented the printing press almost 600 years ago. And even that is probably an understatement. The main difference is: We can analyze the changes that the printing press brought (economical, intellectual, religious) from a safe distance and in retrospect – while the digital transformation and disruption is still going on at an ever-increasing pace.


How do you help audiences understand the media business and how to adapt to this digital transformation?

I try to avoid the many buzzwords that are flying around – or if they are unavoidable to at least explain them properly and take a good look at what they really mean. I try to weave in many personal experiences, because people can relate better to that than to a person going through lots and lots of slides with numbers and diagrams. At the same time I make sure what I am talking about doesn’t get too anecdotal – so each participant can take home some insight applicable to his or her situation or the situation of their company.


What type of audiences benefit most from your keynotes?

It is usually companies or foundations that book me for middle or higher management. But I have also given talks to school kids, to psychologists or to a hall full of young entrepreneurs who just founded their first start-ups. It is really important for me to know beforehand what the audience is going to look like, since I don’t have a “stump speech” that I present. Every talk or keynote I do is handcrafted and targeted to the individual audience, its knowledge and its needs.


How do audiences generally describe your talks?

I make sure to check in with the audience and the organizers after every talk to see what went well and what can be improved in the future. So far the feedback has been very positive. I think most people like the natural and authentic way I try to give my presentations, but of course in the end that is hard for me to tell. One feedback that made me especially happy was from a group of Scandinavian managers who took a trip to Berlin to look at innovation and trends in the German capital. They spent two days in Berlin and saw a lot of presentations and talks and afterwards the organizer wrote me: „You did a great job and you were so interesting and inspiring. Everyone kept referring to you as we went along and many in the group said your stop was the best of the trip. I think you are a wonderful inspirational speaker and I think more people would love to hear your thoughts.“


What is the best experience you have had as a keynote speaker? 

What I like is when people get in touch afterwards. Either right after the talk or a couple of days later via e-mail, like I mentioned above. Because let’s be honest: Even during a bad talk or presentation most people, especially in a corporate environment, feel obliged to sit there, nod their heads and afterwards clap politely. It is afterwards that you get a feeling, if you really hit a nerve. If you sparked deeper thoughts, contributed to new insights and or an ongoing discussion.

One of the nicest things I received after a talk was a photocopy of a huge paper napkin. Two of the audience members from one of my talks had gone to a restaurant afterwards and got so caught up in discussing the subject of my presentation that they made diagrams and lists on the tray-sized paper napkin and sent it to me afterwards asking what I thought about their ideas. To inspire people like that and get a thought process going is the greatest reward for a speaker and something I continue to strive for with every keynote I present.


Read more about Christoph Koch here!

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