I have been working at JLA for almost a year now, and the diversity of motivational speakers that we deal with never ceases to surprise me. Whether it is politicians, psychologists, sports people or astronauts, the variety of people that we come into contact with is one of the highlights of working for a speaker bureau.
With this variety in mind, I have chosen to focus on some of the motivational speakers that break the mould. It isn’t always the person who has five Olympic medals or climbed Mount Everest that motivates me (although these people are brilliant in their own right), but people with inspirational mind-sets and lives that have inspired me the most. Here I present my motivational speakers with a difference.
The first of these motivational speakers is Giles Duley. After a decade photographing superstars as an editorial photographer in fashion and music, Giles turned his back on glamour to concentrate on humanitarian projects. He has visited conflict zones all over the world, and in 2011 stepped on an IED while in Afghanistan, losing both legs and his left arm. Giles pulled through and less than two years later he was back, walking through conflict zones and photographing humanitarian crises. An amazing storyteller with a catalogue of moving and amusing tales, Giles knows all about determination and resilience. Giles’ passion for what he does, and the people that he meets along the way make him a memorable motivational speaker.
Professor Martin Elliott has had a career in medicine that spans three decades, as a leading paediatric surgeon as well as the Co-Medical Director at Great Ormond Street. A keen collaborator, Martin has worked with industries outside of healthcare, including motorsport and Nasa, to improve the processes and understanding of all involved. I grant you, this is not what people tend to have in mind when thinking of motivational speakers, but Martin enthuses about the complex issues raised while saving young lives, and is a real leader who has built a culture of accountability without blame. There seems to be few things that Martin isn’t interested in, and his ability to share his knowledge and draw an audience in is what makes him one of the best motivational speakers – someone who has been there and done it.
Alastair Humphreys is an adventurer with a difference. Without taking anything away from the amazing achievements of adventurers who are hard core, rugged types with rippling muscles and scars from fighting off polar bears, their achievements can seem totally unachievable to you and me. Having cycled around the world, a 46,000 mile trip which took over four years to complete, Alastair has come back with a message of surprising normality. His story has all of the elements that one would expect: grueling and lonely moments, massive highs that will create wanderlust in all of us, but his attitude is that everyone can do it. Alastair advocates for micro-adventures, which can be as simple as getting out of the city and camping in a field over night, to re-invigorate and motivate one to do more. Alastair is a normal guy with an extraordinary story, who has an infectious enthusiasm for life.
If you would like to know more about these motivational speakers, come along to the first JLA Speakers Breakfast of the new season on 6th September.