2022 at Great British Speakers saw live in-person events return with a bang! Although, hybrid and online events are still available for a number of reasons: differing levels of lockdown, organisations with strong CSR initiatives believe sticking with virtual platforms is more sustainable, and the pressure of the economic fallout from Covid, inflation and the war in Ukraine.
This move to hybrid events was no more evident than at a global IT provider’s sustainability project in September 2022. The keynote speaker provided by Great British Speakers was former Grand Prix World Champion, Nico Rosberg, who explained perfectly how going digital can help provide us with a more sustainable future. Since his retirement from the high octane world of F1, Nico has completely immersed himself in sustainable businesses and technology having invested in over 40 eco friendly innovative companies and created a worldwide initiative called Green Tech.
For reasons of sustainability, the event was held online to a global audience of IT professionals. Due to his immense workload, Nico’s contribution was recorded ahead of the show in his home town of Monaco. Great British Speakers founder and director Jane Farnham selflessly bagged the terrible job of heading off to Monaco to take part in the filming. It’s a tough assignment, but someone had to do it!
In November, we had the fabulous Oti Mabusi hosting a STEM awards ceremony in central London. You may know her from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, having won the show in 2019 with actor Kelvin Fletcher, and again in 2020 with comedian and musician Bill Bailey. However, prior to her career in professional ballroom dancing she studied civil engineering at Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa, making her a perfect choice for women in the STEM field.
It probably comes as no surprise that with post-lockdown living, came associated mental health issues, a problem which still continues today, compounded by the ‘Cost of Living Crisis’ – more of which later.
At Great British Speakers we’ve had a huge series of different mental health talks booked on all aspects of the subject. One of the most impactful and open was for a group of city lawyers who booked the fabulous Anna Williamson to talk about one of her most passionate topics – post natal depression.
Having suffered first hand, Anna talked openly about her situation and most importantly listened to the audience, creating a wonderful rapport with colleagues from every level of the legal practice.
Anna is an experienced TV and radio broadcaster, No1 bestselling author, counsellor, life coach and Master NLP practitioner. Anna has two very successful podcasts. Firstly, Breaking Mum & Dad, where Anna brings the no-nonsense conversation about parenting and paternal mental health from her book to life, alongside other celebrity parents and her partner Alex. She also co-hosts LuAnna with Luisa Zissman, which is a light hearted podcast where both debate and talk openly about topical issues. It was voted Top 20 Listeners Choice two years running. Throughout 2022, Luisa and Anna took their podcast on a nationwide tour, selling out venues from London to Glasgow, Nottingham, Manchester, Hertfordshire, Leeds, Bristol, Dublin, Brighton, Cardiff, Birmingham and Southampton.
To book either Anna Williamson or Luisa Zissman contact Great British Speakers on 01753 439289
While post natal depression isn’t simply a female centric topic (10% of all dads suffer from it), we did have a number of other talks around female health including the wonderful Dr Nighat Arif talking to the NHS for National Menopause Day (October 18th, shown here on our useful Awareness Days calendar).
For further inspirational speakers and insight into this huge topic, take a look at our blog on Women’s health here
Mental health is not a gender specific topic, but men are notoriously reticent in coming forward with conversation around suicide and mental health. On World Suicide Awareness Day, we had tremendous demand for speakers, in part instigated last year with bookings for Roman Kemp following his programme The Silent Emergency which put a spotlight on the topic. One of the most authoritative speakers on the subject we have is Steve Carr. Steve talks about suicide, addiction, and homelessness from personal experience. Not only does he speak extensively (especially within the NHS), he is also able to assist organisations in building Mental First Aid structures and policies in place, so there are long lasting sustainable changes made.
Frequently, we come across speakers who suffer from physical disability – such as the World’s Strongest Disabled man, Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Dave Walsh and Motor Neurone Disease and Prostrate Cancer speaker Clive Branson. They’ll often tell you that the mental health issues of coping with a disability or degenerative, terminal illness can often outweigh those from the original illness which creates another dimension to talks around resilience and health in general. Clive has quite rightly had a fantastic reception from clients in a whole range of industries.
In October we had former A&E Doctor and star of TV’s Love Island Dr Alex George return to university to talk about how to keep healthy during your time in further education. These events took the form of an interactive chat in front of several hundred students. Alex was keen to take questions and create discussion which, even though it was a fairly large audience, he pulled off magnificently!
The Cost of Living Crisis hit hard in 2022, and unfortunately it shows no sign of getting any easier any time soon.
In July, we had the amazing Gemma Bird – AKA ‘Money Mum’ talking online about how you can save in a simple and easy way. However, you may be surprised at the audience – they were internal colleagues of a international high street bank!
As a mum-of-two, Gemma has turned her obsession with saving into her personal brand, sharing discounts and bargains with her thousands of followers. Gemma is also a popular author, blogger and vlogger, with content full of helpful tips and advice on how to save money.
Other popular Cost of Living speakers are Peter Komolafe, and creator of Money Magpie Jasmine Birtles. From earlier in the year you can see Jane chatting to financial advisor Emmanuel Asuquo about savings, inflation and investment.
Great British Speakers recently took part in a global awards event in London, and alongside the fabulous host Jemma Forte, we had to provide an expert speaker to address global marketing and branding experts, and advise them on meeting the challenges of a world economy in chaos.
We needed to look no further than the incisive mind of brand guru Chris Sanderson. Chris is co-founder of The Future Laboratory, where he is responsible for delivering the company‘s extensive global roster of conferences, media events and trend briefings. Clients include Retail Week, Selfridges, Chanel, Harrods, Aldo, H&M, General Motors, BBDO, Design Hotels, Condé Nast Media and Omnicom.
Now all of that and a lot more is in the past, what about 2023? Well, it’s looking really exciting already, and to make it easy to plan your next year’s events, we’ve created an interactive online Awareness Days calendar. So, no matter who your audience may be it’s easy to find the right topics for next year, be it Pride Month, Black History Month or Disability Awareness Month, to name a few.
If you’re still not sure who would be the perfect speaker for your event, then the team here at Great British Speakers can help you choose. Contact us on 01753 439 289 or email email@example.com as soon as you are ready to start your search.