Watch the 3 minute speaker reel.
“Make the most of yourself….for that is all there is of you.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Regardless of the topic, I always invite my audiences to be inspired, to gain new insights and to interact. My heartfelt wish is for people to come away feeling empowered, transformed and ready for action!
It’s about opening people’s minds and hearts to the amazing possibility of . . . themselves, through encouragement, learning and humour.
Speeches and workshops are all about empowering audiences to speak up, enabling and inspiring them through the topics of personal impact, presentation skills, and confidence.
For your presentation I can play it straight or provide infotainment by giving a fun and informative performance.
And when you want to lift the energy of your conference or meeting with the power of inspirational speaking, whether with a rousing opening keynote or an uplifting closing speech full of audience interaction, stories and entertainment, then look no further!
Need a workshop or masterclass for your corporate or STEM audience? I help your staff with communications, workplace empathy and more. Take a look at my page ‘Soft Skills for STEM & Corporates’. Find out more here.
I’ve performed on 4 continents in front of many large audiences and written jingles for the likes of Oracle, as well as speaking on the TEDx stage. In addition to my performance and training background, I have a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and I’m often called upon to speak on communication skills and confidence to STEM-based groups.
Contact me to set up a call if you’d like to find out more about my talks or workshops, or click the ‘Book Shola’ button with some info about the date, time, location and audience size of your event, and we’ll get back to you soon. I customise all my talks to suit the audience, getting to know your business or group before I prepare the speech.
Although I love speaking, performing and teaching and have authored two books on communications, this wasn’t always the case.
Years ago, in my first corporate job, as a management consultant working in Princeton and New York in the USA, I struggled so much to step up and make myself heard, that I was put on probation.
A lack of empathy on the part of my employer at the time? Possibly.
I’d received no formal training or mentorship.
But what I quickly realised was that what got me into that job – degrees from top universities and on-paper potential – wasn’t enough for me to be successful.
Thankfully, with the help of a kindly colleague, I turned that situation around and managed to stay in that role, very successfully, for several more years. However, on returning to the UK and taking on an account director role at a small design firm, I soon floundered again.
This time, I was afraid to speak up in meetings for fear of making a fool of myself or seeming to not know what I was talking about.
Despite many late nights spent reading journals and preparing presentations, my lack of confidence showed through.
This was around the time of September 11, 2001. The Twin Towers tragically came down and the aviation industry was in tatters because no-one wanted to fly.
One of our big clients was a national airline and the design firm I was working for began to struggle.
At the end of my 6 month probation period, I was called in to my boss’s office. The firm needed to save money and I was performing poorly in meetings.
An obvious candidate to let go, the inevitable happened and I was out of a job.
This experience led me to question myself. What value did I have to offer? Did I even deserve to be in the workplace?
I checked out of my corporate life, trained to be a coach and worked on myself. It was during this time that I began taking singing lesssons – a childhood dream – and it was the confidence I gained from singing that eventually led me towards public speaking training.
A helpful speaking coach encouraged me to sit an exam in speaking, which I aced, getting the top mark that year in all the exam centres globally, and I realised that yes, I did have what it takes to speak up and be heard.
Since then, I’ve made it a part of my mission to help others in the workplace who struggle to reach their potential because of lack of confidence or haven’t had the training that would help them communicate effectively and persuade with power.
Helping others realise their potential is what makes me tick. It’s why I love speaking from stage and sharing frameworks, tools and most importantly, the opportunity to try them out and be transformed in the room.
SPEAK UP ON THE SPOT: practical suggestions to help you answer difficult questions and speak on your feet at work and beyond (interactive talk or workshop)
Excellent for corporates, conferences, associations and other groups wishing to bring out the best in their attendees and encourage confident communication. The talk uses material from Shola’s upcoming book of the same title. Key learnings include:
- use of on the spot speaking frameworks to speak powerfully and coherently
- coverage of the various kinds of difficult questions and how to answer each one without appearing evasive or getting defensive
- performance strategies to feel at ease during tense or high pressure moments
HOW TO BE A D.I.V.A. AT PUBLIC SPEAKING: powerful presentation techniques from the bestselling book (interactive talk or workshop)
Excellent for corporates, associations and women’s groups. Uses the analogy of pop singers vs speakers and songs vs speeches to help inspire your audience to speak up and communicate with authenticity and power. Please note that this talk is suitable for all genders; D.I.V.A. is an acronym. Key messages include:
- be a DYNAMIC speaker to engage your audience
- be an INSPIRING speaker to connect with others using stories
- deliver VALUE to build trust
- be AUTHENTIC to foster inclusion and diversity, and to build courage and confidence
Optional follow up materials include paperback or PDF versions of the accompanying book, and online video training.
TRANSLATING TECHNICAL KNOW-HOW INTO PERSONAL IMPACT: become inspiring, influential and invaluable to colleagues and clients
Whether you’re a STEM professional, a lawyer or an accountant, these days technical know-how alone isn’t enough to ensure continued career success.
This is a high energy, interactive keynote or workshop. Participants walk away transformed, having used the skills there and then in the session.
Key learnings include:
- Become an effective communicator using speaking frameworks
- Understand and use the principles of persuasion to influence colleagues and clients
- Learn to make a greater impact during meetings
Optional follow-up materials are available including worksheets and online training videos.
WANT TO INCREASE LOYALTY, PRODUCTIVITY AND MOTIVATION IN THE OFFICE? EMPATHY IS THE ANSWER!
In a highly competitive market for top employees, company culture is becoming increasingly important. How do you use workplace empathy to attract and retain great staff? This is an insightful, practical and interactive talk for leaders, managers and staff on the ground, that will change your workplace for the better. Shola also shares personal moments from her own career and asks participants to get involved with their ideas and responses. Key topics include:
- What is empathy
- The business case for an empathetic environment
- How can you ramp up the empathy in your workplace
- What would you do if… – scenario-based group exercises
Available as a keynote through to half-day workshop.