The world record holder:
"There's always room for improvement"

July 14, 2014 By Mette McCall

 

 
Stig Severinsen freediving - Photography by Morten Bjorn Larsen
Stig Severinsen freediving - Photography by Morten Bjorn Larsen
Even if you’re a world record holder – and even if it’s your own record that you just beat.
This has been Stig Severinsen’s mantra since he started winning National Championships in swimming as a 9-year old and later became a four time freediving World Champion and a Multiple Guiness World Record holder. The records cover some quite literally breathtaking achievements: In 2010 Stig Severinsen became the first person to hold his breath for 20 minutes – a record he broke in 2012 by not breathing for 22 minutes. The Danish freediver also has world records in swimming the longest distance under ice with and without a wetsuit.

Severinsen was chosen “The Ultimate Superhuman” on the Discovery Channel programme Superhuman Showdown, and a documentary about him, Stig Severinsen: The Man Who Doesn’t Breathe, was produced for Discovery Channel for global distribution in 2013.

In his book, Breatheology now translated into 10 languages, Severinsen proposes that through working with the breath, a link can be created between body and mind that enables a person to control stress, increase energy, perform better physically and mentally, alleviate pain and improve health. The freediver is a frequent key note speaker at international events around the globe and has taken the same there is always room for improvement mantra to his public speaking career.

Why did you start using SpeakerScore?

I’m as fascinated with improving my own records as I am beating those of others. Teaching and giving talks is what I’ve devoted a large portion of my life to now and I want to constantly get better at it. Meeting people through the use of technology has always fascinated me and SpeakerScore makes it easy to get immediate feedback from my audience – without the hassle of sending paper back and forth and trying to get meaning out of an Excel sheet. I like that the feedback is immediate, I get it while it’s still fresh in the mind of my audience – and that they can use the tool on many different platforms, be it tablets, laptops or cell phones.

What insights has the tool given you?

It’s very interesting to learn how differently my talks are perceived by different members of the audience. The feedback varies widely with scores ranging from 20 to 100. I think even the people whose criticism of my talk that I disagree with is helpful. Because if I, for example, told a joke that people thought was irrelevant, even if I don’t think the joke missed the point, it still takes the focus away from the overall message of my talk whether I agree with them or not.

So basically I see all feedback as good feedback. You have to be humble. And I didn’t expect people to add so many personal comments to their forms when evaluating. I think it’s great that the tool, while being true to the universal four questions that all SpeakerScore evaluation forms contain, also lets the audience add their own personal remarks that don’t necessarily fit the template.

Did anything in using SpeakerScore surprise you?

Very few things in this world surprise me. But I didn’t know at first that members of my audience could upload photos from the talk directly to SpeakerScore when submitting their feecback, so it was a pleasant surprise to log in and suddenly see photos of me on stage gesturing wildly. What a great way to connect and share an experience!

Stig Severinsen, PhD – Author & Multiple Guinness World Record Holder
  • International keynote speaker
  • Author of the bestselling book breatheology
  • Master Degree in Biology – PhD in Medicin
  • Founder of the health & performance optimizing concept breatheology®
  • 4 x Freediving World Champion
  • Guinness World Record, Longest breath hold of 22 minutes
  • Guinness World Record holder – Freediving under ice without suit (250 feet)
  • Guinness World Record holder – Freediving under ice with suit and monofin (500 feet)
  • Danish Champion in Under Water Rugby & Double Danish Champion in Judo
  • Founder & President of Aarhus Freediving Club
  • Director of the Danish consultancy company BlueConsult
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