How I went from a regular job and someone with a pathological fear of public speaking to writing four books and working with companies like Facebook, Coca Cola, Boston Scientific, Allergan, Workday and British Gas.
“Walk on air, against your better judgement”. Seamus Heaney
Before there were over 2,000 presentations and a successful speaking business, there was a quiet, in many areas, introverted early thirty something. A decision to take up exercise a few years before (to lose weight) had unlocked an energy inside me that over the next decade and beyond saw me challenge my own comfortable daily existence to living beyond the comfort zone -and where I began to set ambitious and challenging goals in many different areas of my life.
In my thirties and forties, I developed a passion for sport and running/triathlon in particular. Years of involvement in those culminated in a decision to undertake some extreme sporting challenges such as running 32 marathons in 32 days (2010) as well as completing a DECA Iron Distance Triathlon (2011) which consisted of swimming 24 miles, cycling, 1,160 miles and running 262 miles.
“Work harder on yourself, than you do on your job.” Jim Rohn
The biggest decision however and one which proved to be a game changer for me was a decision in 2005 to confront a fear of public speaking. I was beyond terrified addressing an audience that day of just four people, but the confidence I got from taking it on and standing up and presenting was huge. It also taught me that life rewards effort.
On reflection, for the past 20 years or more, I have invested heavily in my own personal and business development. Perhaps I was following the sage advice of Self Help and Business Philosopher Jim Rohn, who said ‘Work harder on yourself, than you do on your job’. I was investing in personal physical fitness, stronger mental resilience, further personal and business education and setting a higher bar in my career and my business. I became a more focused person with a clear vision for what I wanted in my life and the areas I needed to work on. I realised that the keys to my own growth and success were linked to Physical exercise, a positive attitude (even amidst challenging times) a growth mindset combined with a commitment to improvement - and a willingness to get uncomfortable on a very regular basis.
This culminated with a decision in 2009 to set up a Speaking and Training Business.
“What is a city, but it’s people.” William Shakespeare
Over the next few years, I was invited to share what I had learned with a wide variety of
corporate clients all of whom understood that all companies, are in fact, people.
In the past decade I have shared ideas and strategies with companies like De Puy, Microsoft, Workday, Facebook, Salesforce, Oakley, United Drug, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi and many, many more. I encourage people to stretch themselves whilst showing both the personal and business benefits and the outcomes possible.
Ironically my business is dependent on my ability to capture my audience’s attention and to be an impactful speaker. With that in mind, I have spent the past decade learning, honing and further developing my speaking skills, In the early days, I focussed on overcoming my own nerves and showing up with confidence. Once I mastered that, I focused on the art of speaking and how to stand out on stage and impact your audience whether it five people or 500.
“I could have listened to him all day.” Dominic Burke, TravelSavers
Now I spend a lot of time now sharing insights with nervous and even fearful speakers and
people who need to deliver important messages. In 2020, we launched a new membership site for aspiring and ambitions speakers who want to deliver more creatively, stand out from other speakers and get in front of more people.
Rather ironic I feel, when I reflect on that first talk I gave in front of just four people!