JA Alumni Finland's member Kalle Ulff is definitely a personality to remember - last NCM's participants have vivid memories about how he spent almost his entire speech standing on a chair! What's his secret to his public speaking skills and how has JA driven his comapany and life forward? Take a look at the interview and his answers to our questions!
How did JA influence your (professional) life?
"It has first and foremost given me brilliant friends and many different contacts throughout the JA Alumni network."
One of our JA Alumni Europe values is "We are JA Ambassadors". Do you agree and if yes, how do you give back to JA?
"It’s always a pleasure when I have the chance to do some keynote-speaking for any JA organisation. We, of course, will try and find partners to help JA youngsters gain clients and meet new contacts through our everyday work."
What was your best JA Alumni experience?
"Probably my first JA Alumni conference some years ago. The great thing about JA is that even if you do not know anyone you will instantly be accepted and there will always be someone to talk to and support you. It felt and still feels bloody brilliant!"
You are indeed known for being a pro at public speaking, and the results from the JA Alumni Europe survey show members would like to improve their public speaking skills. What are your top 3 bits of advice for public speaking?
- If possible, try to talk about something you’re truly and honestly passionate about.
- Then seek advice from professionals within that area, it doesn’t need to be a famous person, it just has to be someone you think is a great speaker.
- Let your personality shine, gather all your weirdness, let it show when you’re speaking. It will make it more enjoyable for you but also for your audience. And don’t worry if you get lost and don’t remember where you were. Ask the audience ”I’m sorry I got carried away. What on earth was my point? Do you know?” and do it with a great big smile.
Managing multiple own businesses at a very young age is not common for youngsters - how did you cope with the challenges?
"It's very simple. I have dyslexia, a lot of energy, little patience and a much
stronger right side of the brain (the creative side). This all comes down to great
curiosity and wanting to try lots of stuff."
How does your current product or service improve or change your customer's lives?
"I run a brand design agency. And Design is everything in life. Exceptional design makes peoples lives great; bad design makes everything terrible and miserable. And if you run an organisation, great design hives you measurably better business."
How would you describe yourself in one world?
"Curious. And as the great Stephen Fry said: …curious in both sense, avid for information and just plain odd."
This description would fit the rumours that you always wanted to be a police officer...
"Yes, and I still want to be. If someone from the Swedish Police is reading this, I’m willing to work for free, just call me!"
Imagine the following: If at the end of your life everything you have ever created was erased by a technical error - what would be your 3 words of wisdom?
"1. Curiosity is king.
2. Having fun is part of the process, not something you do afterwards.
3. Always challenge the question."
Do you have a favourite quote?
”Many, one of the is: "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Sir Winston Churchill"
To get to know you a little better we'd like to ask you some quick questions and as far as we know you come from the Swedish part of Finland, so to start with: Finland or Sweden?
"I’m very particular about this. I’m a Swedish citizen who happens to live in Finland. So Sweden. Definitely Sweden."
Always finished before deadlines or procrastination until the very end?
"Usually procrastination. But I think ”Creative process” is a better word 😉"
Delivery service or Home cooking?
"Eating and cooking is boooring. Delivery service!"
Early Bird or Night Owl?
"Early Bird. I can’t get anything productive done in the afternoon. I usually schedule all meetings after lunch and do all my important stuff in the morning."
City Jungle or Countryside?
"City. Although I love something "in between", like the place where I live. It's a suburb on an island in Helsinki, full of dogs, and families with small children and it’s a nice place to live, but the journey to central Helsinki only takes 30 minutes. That’s the perfect combination."
Sweets or salty snacks?
"Sweet. I’m a real fan of the typical Swedish Fika, I love to eat pastures and buns of all sorts!"