I thought I would share my journey around how I became a speaker, many people are interested in either being one, or hiring one. Having a career as a speaker was not something I set our to do, but it is what I love doing the most.
Aged 33, with 14 years of business (employed) experience, I ventured into the world of entrepreneurialism after noticing a gap in the market for business people to connect online as friends. 4 years prior to LinkedIn, I released my community, Ecademy, to the world in 1998. This business grew globally and at its peak we had 5000 events a year around the world. As the co-owner of the business with my husband, I was privileged to host many event, the largest of which was monthly event in London, where we regularly had 500 business people come and enjoy our evenings on the first Wednesday of every month.
Hosting my own events was a real joy, the commercial challenge for me was to become a paid, ‘Professional Speaker’, this happened in 2002 when BT asked me to address their Women’s Network and share my belief about ‘Friendship in Business’ and ‘how to be YOU in business’. Being paid is a very different feeling, I was terrified, however, it went well, and that was the catapult I needed to call myself a ‘Professional Speaker’. My highest fee was in 2010 when I was paid £25,000 for an afternoon by an Airline.
From there, my expertise grew to what it is today. Using my experience, I published my book titled ‘Know me, like me, follow me: what online social networking means for you and your business’ in 2009, where I advised readers on the tips and tricks to guarantee connected, profitable and confident online social networking. It soon became evident that managing a speaking career was fairly demanding and so I turned Champions UK PLC. Since I made that decision I have really enjoyed the diversity of clients and sectors that they have introduced me to.
For years, I have successfully partnered with Champions. Collaborating to reach prospective businessmen and women across the country, I regularly lead events as the keynote speaker, with more exciting dates organised for 2019. Since 2017, I have motivated audiences through Champions, by sharing my story as a female business speaker. As a mental health and wellbeing advocate, I value the personal skills and developing talents of audiences across the country. In February 2018, I gave a talk based on my career as an inspirational female speaker in a competitive, male-dominated world, touching upon my experience with success and failure, whilst leaning upon my business ventures for contextual examples.
After Champions received, what they told me was “exceptional feedback”, my partnership with Champions grew and they invited me to deliver a keynote speech on the subject of bringing an idea to life, explaining the practicalities of creating a business, the c
ore skills that under-pin success, the belief, desire, skills such as producing a business plan and choosing the companies structure and
funding an idea. I pride myself on being an engaging motivational speaker, filling venues like the International House and influencing the younger generation through events like the North Warwickshire and South Leicester College graduation and awards ceremony. During the ceremonies, I was honoured to be the guest speaker, delivering an inspirational speech with the hopes of motivating the business owners of the future.
In January 2019 I launched my second book, “Business is Personal”, this has been my busiest year so far for speaking. I guess speaking is not just about your performance and credibility, it is also about timing. My personal experience of mental health, diagnosed with PTSD and a hidden form of depression called ‘Curse of the Strong’, is helping many people and companies become involved in the Mental Fitness agenda around leadership kindness, leadership vulnerabilities and also encourages us all to take proactive personal responsibility.
Thanks to my partnership with Champions, I am looking forward to countless opportunities in 2019 to share my story as a guest and keynote speaker. With my expertise in business and personal story of the trials and tribulations I have had to overcome, I am in a position to make a difference in the future of business.
I have written this to share a personal journey, but also to thank the team at Champions who keep me front of mind and seem to have the knack of uniting my story, delivery and experience to the right type of clients.
P.S. My book is on Amazon – Kindle, Audio and print HERE
P.P.S You can also order it on my website, I will personally send it and can sign a copy for you or your friend if you wish, I will be in touch if you order this way, click HERE for my order page