At JLA we provide hundreds of after dinner speakers each year, with humour being the key attribute for lot of enquiries. Whether it is a comedian who comes on after pudding for twenty minutes of stand up, or a string of anecdotes masterfully woven together, entertaining after dinner speakers are hard to beat. Telling good jokes is an important skill for after dinner speakers; the ability to deliver meaningful content that keeps an audience captivated over coffee can add a huge amount of value for organisations. With this in mind I have compiled a selection of after dinner speakers that deliver insight as well as the occasional one liner.
The Foreign Editor at The Economist brings up to date geopolitical insight, creating an image of what is happening in the world that is both coherent and compelling. Robert has travelled the globe researching areas as diverse as political upheaval Africa; what Trump means for business; and the implications of the rise of China for Asia and the West. Robert’s speeches shift depending on the events of the day, as he ties in the different strands of world events. With such a broad range of interests, Robert’s challenge seems to be what to leave out, rather than what to put in – something of a theme amongst political after dinner speakers!
One of the most recognisable and well-respected British Athletes of her generation, Kelly Holmes is a speaker who audiences rightly get excited about. Her story is inspirational, charting the ups and downs of remarkable career that led to one of the most memorable Olympic performances of the modern era. When it comes to resilience there are few speakers that can match Kelly’s will to succeed, something that becomes clear as both a conference and after dinner speaker.
Drawing stories from a varied career, Ellis is a hugely entertaining speaker who has dealt with some of the biggest names in business and entertainment, from Murdoch to Cowell. Very funny and charismatic, Ellis’ real skill is taking on a brief and ensuring that his content resonates with the audience, leaving people motivated and with actionable messages that they can take away and apply at work. Having the audience rolling in their seats while leaving them with useful takeaways is quite the skill.
Interesting stories are a key tool for after dinner speakers, and a look through Hannah Fry’s research is both entertaining and gives real insight in to the uses and failures of data. Hannah uses some fascinating examples around how data science and mathematics can be used to solve problems as varied as shopping habits, transport and violent crime. Her latest book examines the machine learning and artificial intelligence, exploring whether we should believe the hype, what is possible at the moment and in the future.