The changing of the clocks heralds the advent of summer, traditionally a quiet time in events world, so what better opportunity as temperatures rise and deadlines relax to take a slightly different look at what conference speakers and awards entertainers might suit an event.
Last time, in his blog Top Marks, my esteemed colleague Danny Lee reflected on the remarkable number of Marks and Marcs that have come to populate the ranks of motivational speakers and presenters. Lacking any original ideas other than another punning title, I’m going to look at the wonder of Tim in a blog entitled…
British Summer Tims
Whilst Marc/Mark may dominate in the area of motivational speakers, I would argue that the often neglected Tim represents the most flexible, illustrious and unique speakers.
I can’t deny there is many an impressive Mark/Marc, but the name Tim echoes greatness in economics, business, sport, the military and entertainment. At least one Tim has literately changed the world.
An insight into how the world operates through the prism of economics, risk and rational decisions? The FT’s Tim Harford is the master of finding enlightening patterns and ideas in the everyday, whilst dispelling some common myths around stats and their use.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Tim Geithner is one of America’s preeminent economic speakers and was the man in charge of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the financial crisis before leading the US Treasury in the aftermath.
Arguably the man who has had the greatest impact on modern life in the last 40 years, the inventor of the world wide web Tim Berners-Lee considers the implications of his creation and the responsibilities of society, government and business in ensuring its positive application.
On the eve of the allied invasion of Iraq, one man is remembered for instilling the sort of cautionary, yet inspiring and rousing message that leaders in all areas wish they could emulate. That man is Col. Tim Collins.
In the business world, Tim Smit is widely admired as the indefatigable entrepreneurial force that made the Eden Project a reality despite every sort of challenge on the way. Tim Campbell was the first winner of the BBC’s The Apprentice (before it became a reality show more than a business show) and has gone on to found a series businesses and social entrepreneurial projects. Canadian lawyer-turned-businessman Tim Richards reinvented the cinema chain with his Vue cinemas, bringing customer service, live events and comfort to an ailing industry.
Sport is not exempt from the power of Tim either, with Olympic gold medallist Tim Brabants combining world-beating canoeing prowess with his other life as an A&E doctor.
Only one Tim could bring these heavy-hitting speakers and world class achievers together; BBC presenter, foreign correspondent and acclaimed chair of the Doha debates, Tim Sebastian.
After all that serious business, it might be time to relax with some comedy, and surely one of the biggest names in comedy is the hugely talented Tim Minchin, writer of exemplary comic songs on everything from family life to JLA and their roster of speakers. Whilst pun-master Tim Vine keeps audiences laughing with his relentless string of one-liners. Self-appointed ‘shenaniganist’ Tim FitzHigham recounts his hair-raising comic tales of undertaking ludicrous challenges from sailing the Channel in a bath to running across a desert in armour á la Don Quixote.
So in conclusion, you may be thinking that a Mark would be the solution to your inspirational speaker or other event needs, but for real quality, look to a Tim.