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What is the Stand Up & Speak Up Challenge?

It is an opportunity for professionals like you to come on stage and share stories that
matter to them and with that inspire the likes of many.

Here is where the art of public speaking meets the challenge of
competition. At each event, the three best speakers of the evening will
be selected. And among the three, one speaker will be specially awarded as The Judges’ Pick.

At the end of the year, all speakers selected throughout the year will have the opportunity to compete again against each other in our Stand Up & Speak Up Challenge Grand Finale.

Where one of them will then select The Best Speaker of the Year.

What is it for you as audience?

If you are a business owner, entrepreneur, corporate leader, someone who is interested in, and care about, the spoken word, this event is for you! 

Be ready for a dynamic, entertaining and learning experience where you will hear inspiring and thought-provoking stories well-crafted, well-delivered, which will expand your perspective about public speaking.

By listening to “on-the-spot feedback” the judges will give to each speaker, you will have the opportunity to learn more about what works and what doesn’t when you are on stage.

Plus, you will meet like-minded professionals who understand the important of having a message which is clear and deliver the impact intended. And we hope that inspires you to challenge yourself to be the next on stage.  



Diversity Together

Tuesday, October 29th from 19h to 22h
At Karl der Grosse


Here is where the selected speakers in the challenges in Zurich and Munich will challenge each other again.
Date and venue will be announced soon.


From C-level executive to certified coach, author, and inspiring speaker

From waiter to sales and strategic business partner

Charismatic, innovative, and result-driven Marketing Leader

Founder of Visibility Awareness Stimulator

Your Magic

Your Magic

Your Magic


Founder of the Institute of Charismology

Senior Manager at KPMG Switzerland

Peak Performance Coach

Founder of Marina On Air

Global Consultant on Corporate Health

Communication Strategist, Investor, Speaker

Lawyer and Business Advisor


  • 7 high caliber speakers will present 5 min speeches
  • 4 judges will judge on the areas of: structure, body language, uniqueness, stage presence
  • Impromptu challenge: here is where the audience gets fully involved. Anyone in the audience can stand up, go on stage and give their best shot in a two-minute presentation about a given topic
  • Learning opportunities
  • Network opportunities

The core behind Stand Up & Speak Up Challenge is to offer a fun and entertaining evening packed with amazing stories, but also, learning opportunities for the audience, and for the speakers.

After each presentation, each speaker will receive on the spot straight-to-the-point feedback from each of the judges.

This way they will know what they could have done better and where to improve for the next time. And the audience has the benefit of learning from it.


19:00 - Doors open

Registration & Networking

19:30 - Let’s begin!

What you should expect

19:45 - Speech Competition

After each prepared speech presentation, each speaker receives on the spot feedback from the judges

21:00 - Impromptu Challenge

Let’s have fun while judges count the ballots. Here we get the audience actively engaged and have the opportunity to Stand Up & Speak Up

21:30 - Winners announcement
22:00 - End of the evening


Event dress code: Business casual

We believe every person has a story to share, and that every story matters.

What is your story?

Stand Up & Speak Up Challenge is Europe’s Premier Speaking Contest where passionate speakers come on stage for the opportunity to transform the lives of the entire audience through original stories.

It is also an opportunity for speakers and for the audience to learn from the feedback of each judge after each presentation.

Are you ready to brand yourself as a professional speaker? 

If so, keep reading!

As a speaker for us you will…

  • Get a chance to compete for a prize package valued over thousands, including but not limited to… coaching that will enhance your speaking skills, speaking engagements, online courses and much more!
  • Get an opportunity to bring visibility to yourself and establish your brand as an award-winning speaker

You will leave Stand Up & Speak Up Challenge with…

  • A new sense of purpose through creative expression and the thrill of competition
  • Lifelong connections with other passionate speakers
  • Pictures and a speaker video (by order) that you will be able to use in your own self-promotion marketing and social media

Our goal is to have original stories that not only empower, and inspire people, but also, and very importantly, stories that move them into action! 

If you feel you’re up for the challenge, check the conditions below before applying.

Three speakers will be selected as the Best Speakers of the evening. And they will compete again, in the Grand Finale in December, against other speakers selected throughout the year.

However, among the three best speakers of the evening, one speaker will be specially awarded as The Judges Pick.


What's in it for you?


  • Prize package from Tulia
  • Visibility as speaker in a diverse community
  • Exposure to people in the professional speaking community
  • Promotion of yourself and your brand
  • The thrill of competition
  • Connect with other passionate speakers
Contest Details
  • 7 Speakers
  • 5 minutes original prepared speech on the theme provided. Speakers start losing points at 5:16 minutes. If they reach beyond 5:31 minutes they will be disqualified. 
  • Speakers will be judged in the following areas: structure, body language, uniqueness and stage presence
  • Three speakers will be selected, and all three will be allowed to compete again at the end of the year with the finalists of the year
  • Among the three winners, the best speech will win a special prize from the judges
Criteria to Compete:
  • Provide a headshot and fill out registration form
  • Compliance to the timing and format of the event
  • Good to above average speaking skills
  • 120CHF (110 euro) Entry fee (only if you’re accepted). Not refundable in case of cancelation of participation 
  • Mandatory team meeting via Skype or Zoom prior to event (Usually 2-3 weeks prior to event)
  • 5 minutes original prepared speech on theme provided
  • Support to promote the event in your inner circle, community and Social Media
Provided that you agree with all criteria above, go ahead and fill the application form below.


Please fill the form below

Full Name*
Phone Number*
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Important Note: Applying does not guarantee that you will be chosen. Our decision is based on several criteria, in order to bring the best and the most unique and authentic stories to our stage. Good luck!


B.A. Business Studies with a major in Leadership

Bachelor of Arts in English and in Tourism

Global Marketing Strategist and Stand-up Comedian

IT consultant, Stand-up Comedian, Champion Speechmaker


(100 pts)

4-5 minutes


Timing Criteria (4-5 minutes)

Green at 4 minutes
Yellow at 4:30 minutes
Red at 5 minutes 
Grace period: after reaching 5 minutes speakers have 15 seconds to wrap-up their speech, up to 5:15
Points Loss: Speakers start losing points at 5:16 minutes – one point per secondIf they reach beyond 5:30 minutes they will be disqualified. At 5:31 minutes the microphone will be muted and they will have to stop

Speakers will also be disqualified if they speak less than 4 minutes

“… because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Steve Jobs

“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first”

Ralph W. Emerson

“The world is in search of people who are willing to Stand Up, Speak Up & Lead”

Tulia Lopes


Diversity Together

tuesday, october 29th, from 19h to 22h


here is where the selected speaker in the challenges in zurich and munich will challenge each other again.
Date and venuw will be announced soon.

Never miss another speaker announcement

By entering your name and email you accept to receive communications from Stand Up & Speak Up Challenge, which is linked to the activities of Speak Up & Lead Academy. They are news about our events, trainings, conferences, workshops, and access to exclusive invite-only events. 

Don’t worry, we hate SPAM too!


Our vision at the Stand Up & Speak Up Challenge is to bring awareness of how people can use a stage to create an impact that has the power to transform other people’s lives. For that, we will offer an  inspirational and entertaining evening packed with amazing stories but also learning opportunities for the audience and speakers so they can hone their speaking skills further.

Our mission is to provide the platform and become a reference, and support, for speakers who are seriously seeking to become professionals in the trade and want to spread their messages globally.

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Speak Up Network

As it is said, “your network is your networth”, and we live by it.
In each of our international events we create a welcoming, dynamic, diverse and safe environment where valuable connections are facilitated, business ventures are aligned, collaborations are established, new friends are made, and old friends are met.
Our aim is to create platforms where professionals can learn, share and impact positively the lives of many others, and also build bridges between countries and continents.
Become part of our tribe.

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Speak Up & Lead Academy

We live in uncertain times for careers and businesses. And, at the top of it, “average is over!”
As professionals, we need to be constantly honing our skills.
We believe that effective communication, public speaking and leadership skills are the foundation for any professional who wants to succeed in their careers and businesses.
To support that, we run regular workshops, training and mentorship programs for the ones who really want to make a positive impact in the world by raising their voice above the noisy crowd.
We are encouraging everyone to Stand Up, Speak Up & Lead!

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About the founder

Tulia Lopes is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who is committed to “give voice to women” across the globe. Her journey started almost three decades ago as an architect, then walking her path through the IT business, and then ten years ago embracing the world of communication, public speaking and leadership development.
She is the founder of Stand Up & Speak Up Challenge; Speak Up & Lead Academy; AWE Summit; and she is also the author of Leading in High Heels.

Her mission is to support promoting gender equality by bringing diversity to stages worldwide, and helping women to find, own and unleash their voices.

We believe that together we go farther

Ulrike Seminati

Ulrike Seminati is a certified coach, author, and inspiring speaker who is combining her experience as a C-level executive with accredited Swiss coaching and training methodologies to bring people potential to another level.

She has developed effective face-to-face and online programs to enable people to step out of their shadow and to live fulfilled and truly happy lives.

Ulrike believes in the unique power of authenticity and shows paths so that our lives can unfold in an incredibly positive way!

“You can’t just wait to be motivated to do what is necessary to achieve your goals. You have to get out there and make it happen for yourself.”

Daniel Gasser

From waiter, store-man, driver, stonemason and software engineer to salesman and strategic business partner. Daniel Gasser has gone thru bankruptcy, depression and other hard times in life.

A year and a half ago, he decided to change his mindset completely and as a result is successful in every quest he’s undertaking.

By the way he discovered his passion and talent for public speaking and not even a year after his first speech at a Toastmasters club, he is now on his mission to tell people that if he could get over negative thinking, being broke and depressed to being strongly positive, happy and successful, then everybody is able to do so.

“We are what we think. Happiness and success is therefore a decision to take and a way to think.”

Silvia Torchio

Passion for acting in theater, fun with business presentations and a genuine interest in motivating people. This is what has brought Silvia to the Stand up and Speak up Challenge.

Silvia has been a Commercial and Marketing professional for the last 15 years and is currently working for a start-up biotech company. Born in Italy, she lived also in France, UK and Switzerland where she really feel at home.

In addition to her background in Sociology, Politics and Business, since 2016 Silvia has been training in Coaching that she perceives as an extremely powerful way to connect with People and with her own Inner Self.

Not being a professional speaker nor practicing public speaking daily, Silvia consider The Stand Up and Speak Challenge as a personal Challenge and a great opportunity to learn and develop.  

Your Name

Your BIO


Martin Altherr

Martin is Europe’s #1 Self-Transformation-Expert. For 20 years, he has helped people with his “Self-Transformation-Code” overcome their fears, break through their blockages in an easy and sustainable way, and close the gap between where they were and where they really wanted to be.

He has worked with more than 5,600 people and has provided them with tools to help them achieve what mattered the most to them. Also, how to use their full potential for a successful and fulfilling work and private life by redefining the limits of the possible.

Martin’s clients include self-employed and employees, Hollywood actors, athletes, doctors, therapists and entrepreneurs.

Christian Hollitscher

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Awin Tavakoli

Awin is a lawyer, business advisor and speaker with roots in Iran and base in Switzerland. 
With over 15 years of colourful career background – from sport to mathematics, real estate, banking and law, she decided to become an entrepreneur and launched her own business in 2017. 
Currently, she runs a boutique advisory firm in Zurich. Her mission is to help business owners protect and grow their businesses by providing them accessible legal advice and risk mitigation tools and trainings, as well as negotiation and dispute resolution strategies. 

Awin has gone through a lot of challenges in her personal and professional life, which she decided to share on stage with others out of a heart-felt passion.

Naomi Isaacs

After 3 years secondary school teaching in England (English, Biology, Music, Visual Art) and
17 years in business in Germany (from two-finger-typist to the boss’s secretary), she finally jacked it all in (1986) to do what she’d always wanted to do … SING!

She knew it wouldn’t pay the rent, but luckily she was born with a passion for teaching, so between singing with her band (jazz), giving singing lessons and workshops in many areas of music and personal growth, she is now a happy person, giving workshops and master classes worldwide.

Her clients/pupils include actors, singers, singing teachers, trainers, seminar leaders, business executives, medical doctors, speech therapists, psychologists, public speakers, as well as people who just want to enhance their enjoyment of singing, increase their joy of living and re-dis-cover their natural charisma!

Her “Mantra” is: “I am just one example of how a human can also be. I am like you.”

Inés Kaps

For 17 years Ines has built bridges between business and IT by delivering effective project and change management in global projects.Now she is supporting the women who are changing the technology agenda and becoming the next generation of leaders. Her coaching focuses on how the individuals can fine-tune themselves to help the organisation. She specialises in relationship management, understanding how to set boundaries, deal with conflicts confidently and manage politics with ease and respect.

Her aim is to help women leading international teams or running global projects to have more time and joy at the end of the day.

Mario Giraldo

Mario is Austria’s Premier Full Potential Expert, Executive and Leadership Coach, Trainer and Speaker.

He works with executives and entrepreneurs, with small teams as well as with large groups who simply want to be, do and have MORE in life. He shares with them the knowledge he acquired during 20 years as an engineering-professional and how he managed to achieve peak performance, and life enjoyment in spite of a burnout as well as adversity in the workplace.

Mario turned from an “engineer of structures and buildings” to an “engineer of people”. Using the principles he has learned over the last 20 years as a highly specialized engineering combined with the most powerful techniques from neuroscience he helps his clients to get structures and systems to live to their full… their MAXIMUM potential, to be more productive, get more energy and keep their edge, both personally and professionally. 

Marina Duarte

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Betty Sam Mathew

Dr. Betty Sam Mathew has dedicated her nearly 15 year career to supporting individuals and organisations create healthy lives and environments, first as a physician and currently as a Global Consultant. She is founder of Swiss Corporate Health, a startup that supports leaders and organizations who understand that the secret to unlocking world-class performance and sustainable growth lies in investing in their employees. 

She is passionate about taking an integrative approach to health that addresses the intellectual, emotional and even spiritual dimensions of wellbeing to create greater transformation. 

In 5 min she will take you on a journey to discover that the diversity of your world is the very platform from which you can create a unique impact in this world. 


From Introvert to International and from losing everything to World Champion – This describes Christian’s journey through life best.

As a communication expert he empowers women to find their passion, their voices, and to speak up for their rights in society and in companies. 

 “I know and there is even proof that only cooperation and communication on eye-level between genders will help us solve the tremendous challenges we face in relationships, companies and environment.” 

Awin Tavakoli

Awin is Switzerland’s Leading Business Protection Lawyer. She runs her own boutique Advisory Firm in Zurich and serves international clients by providing them exclusive advices in law and business. 
Awin‘s mission is to make law accessible and understandable to others, and to help her clients resolve their disputes amicably and respectfully – outside of the courtrooms. 
Born and raised in a large academic Kurdish family in Tehran, Iran, Awin has combined her colourful background and her burning passion for change and innovation by building up a business model that disrupts the dominant legal practice. 

Awin uses her voice on international stages to spread her story and her message globally, and become a leader in the Industry.

Benjamin Schweikl

Benjamin discovered the stage as a vehicle to move people. He is a dedicated Toastmaster and won the 2019 European District Finals for the Evaluation Contest of Toastmasters International.  

Prior to that, Benjamin run a successful studio in Munich with two business partners from the Training For Warriors Franchise which originated in the United States of America. The weekly classes were centered around physical and mental performance training.  

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies with a major in Leadership.

His passion is all about communication, transformational speaking and leadership science.


Darya Juric

Darya lives in Munich with her husband, young son and daughter, and is deeply passionate about Toastmasters. She remained devoted  to Toastmasters through the last decade because this is her source of inspiration, motivation and education.

She sees Toastmasters as the unique opportunity to grow, get empowered and empower others through honest and compassionate feedback.

Darya holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and in Tourism. She works in the area of IT Governance and Information Security at Allianz. If she is not at work or with her kids, you will find her jogging through Ostpark.

‘Truth without compassion is cruelty’

Ineke Vermeulen

Ineke Vermeulen from Belgium, based in Munich, has been working first as a developer, portfolio manager and global marketing strategist for over a decade for Siemens and currently Atos, a global IT powerhouse with roots in Europe.

Since 2013 she has also dedicated herself to inspiring and motivating students to improve their chances in the market, specifically in the areas of IT Governance, Organizational Behavior and Intercultural Communication. She’s also a distinguished member of Toastmasters, a leading global organization for leadership and communications where she held various leadership offices and now focuses on mentoring and coaching.

In her spare time, you can find her on stage in the comedy circuit of Munich, because humor is a basic human right!

Her specialty is energizing people to perform at their best, whether it is start-ups preparing their investor pitch, students preparing for a successful life or business leaders crafting a motivational keynote.

Mell Kelly

What do you get when you combine an IT consultant, a stand-up comedian, a champion speechmaker and an Irishman living in Germany?

Mel Kelly, of course! And no other.

With a freshly unique take on technology trends, working as an IT guy and living internationally, Mel delivers insightful, intelligent and hilarious keynotes at business events across Europe.

And he does it all in English or German, no less. Mel is a regular at IT conferences and corporate trainings for smaller companies and multinationals.

Mel is a seasoned performer – he’s been through the fire as a TEDx speaker and has made television appearances on Bayerische Rundfunk.

What’s more, he is an award-winning Toastmasters speaker and bestselling humour book author who’s been entertaining and inspiring audiences for over a decade with funny and fascinating performances.

Tulia Lopes

She is the mind and soul behind Stand Up & Speak Up Challenge. She is a communication architect and leader in high heels.

To learn more about Tulia, visit

Her motto: “I’m creator, if I don’t find a door, I build one. “


Giada will be challenging you to come on stage to give a 2-minute impromptu speech on the topic of her choice.

Would you dare to Stand Up & Speak Up?

Norberto Amaral

Norberto is a communication consultant, event organiser, creativity and innovation management consultant. 
He is the organiser and host of TEDxPorto, one of the largest TEDx events in the world; extensive experience in training for public speaking, presentations and event organisation.
He organised, was a speaker or moderator in over 100 events of TEDx, Ignite, speech competitions, creative sessions, strategic workshops, among others.

Norberto will be coaching the speakers on how to carry out their speeches with passion, confidence and persuasion.

Tulia Lopes

She is the mind behind the scenes.
With a decade of experience internationally as speaker and trainer she knows that without having a clear message, no matter how good your idea is, you won’t get too far.
With that in mind, she decided to create this platform to give opportunity to professionals to share their messages and, with the thrill of a competition, learn what they have done well, and what they still need to improve.

Tulia will provide the speakers with the guidelines and rules of participation. She will also support them by sharing the key elements they have to have in mind to prepare their best speech, own the stage, and impact the audience.