As well as a coach, I am a motivational speaker. I’ve been addressing audiences in one context or another for over 25 years, but these days I mainly present the two talks that evolved from my experience living through depression, training as a psychotherapist and working as a public-speaking coach.
Psychology has always fascinated me and I’ve spent many years studying it, pondering on it and trying out different approaches to see what different results I might get. In 2016 a friend suggested I should put together a motivational talk, to focus what I’ve learnt and package it in a way that’s accessible to anyone who needs to hear it. I gathered some thoughts and a large group of friends and acquaintances and showed them, as it were, my block of marble. Afterwards, I asked them whether they considered my material was valuable enough to make it worth sculpting something out of it. They encouraged me to go for it – and what emerged was, in fact, two talks: How to be Perfect… in your own way and Life Lessons from Public Speaking.
The following July, I presented How to be Perfect… at the Buxton Festival Fringe. It was well received and generated some juicy discussions, and thus began my career as a motivational speaker.
Since the website you’re reading is all about public speaking, this seems a good place to tell you about my talk Life Lessons from Public Speaking. As mentioned above, I’ve been addressing audiences for more than a quarter of a century. I also, as you know, teach public speaking, so I see it from both sides, all the time. Over the years, I’ve realised more and more how the advice I give my clients about a speech or presentation applies equally to the way they present themselves and interact with other people in daily life. There are many parallels between public speaking and life, in terms of how we prepare for it, engage with it and cope when things go wrong.
The job of a motivational speaker is to stir the audience’s enthusiasm and determination to bring about positive, lasting change, and to shed light on how to do that. While this talk is of more direct interest and help to people who do a bit of public speaking themselves, the life lessons have universal application.
This is a talk about the practical and psychological factors that make for a successful and fulfilling life, how to recognise when and why these are missing and how to implement them for yourself.
This talk stands well as either a keynote speech or as part of a group training course in public speaking.
It lasts 45 minutes and is usually followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.