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The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Choosing a speaker for your conference or event is a vital part of the planning that can mean the difference between success and failure for the whole occasion.
The right speaker will bring a gathering of any theme to life while giving each attendee a memorable experience. Choose from a well-known personality or celebrity to a speaker with specific expertise or interest to your delegates.
There are a range of approaches you can take when it comes to arranging your timetable and choosing your guests but looking into your speaker’s story is the first step.
Here are three UK speakers whose story really matters:
1. Tanni Grey-Thompson
Probably Britain’s most successful Paralympic athlete, Tanni Grey-Thompson is also an ambassador for disabled athletes and an extremely popular motivational speaker.
Tanni’s achievements as a Paralympic athlete in wheelchair racing include winning four gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games for the 800m, 400m, 200m and 100m events. Her total award tally includes nine gold medals, four silvers and one bronze in four different Paralympic Games.
Having performed at a world class level, she has also been a consistent medal winner in World Championships and even won the London Marathon six times between 1992 and 2002.
With TV Appearances on shows such as A Question of Sport, This is Your Life and Onside she is a well-known figure and a respected authority on disability sporting issues.
Tanni was also awarded the prestigious DBE in 2005.
2. Perry McCarthy
One of the most popular TV shows in the whole world is BBC’s Top Gear and the enigmatic ‘Stig’ has long been a big part of its appeal. Perry McCarthy is the original ‘Stig’ but there is far more to his story than being an integral part of one of the nation’s best loved TV exports.
As a top Formula One racing driver saw him work his way to the top with the likes of Damon Hill, Mark Blundell and Johnny Herbert.
In 1992, the Andrea Moda Formula One organisation chose Perry as their driver. Unfortunately, the dream did not pan out as well as expected, with the team stumbling from disaster to disaster.
Making the best of the situation, Perry now uses these experiences as the foundation for his superb motivational and after dinner speeches which are both hilarious and captivating. Perry has a winning sense of humour and is known for his roles as a programme presenter and TV commentator.
3. Ade Adepitan
Ade Adepitan is an inspiring motivational and sporting conference and keynote speaker. He is also a famous TV presenter and Olympic wheelchair basketball player. Having suffered childhood polio, Ade draws on a lifetime of personal experience in beating the odds and overcoming hurdles.
Ade was a member of the Great Britain team that won the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens and the gold medal at the 2005 Paralympic World Cup in Manchester. His TV work has seen him commentate on wheelchair basketball for the BBC at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and host shows such as Xchange on CBBC and report for Sportsround and the travel show Holiday.
In 2005, Ade was awarded an MBE for services to disability sport and he is the patron of disability sport charity WheelPower who are based at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympics.
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Speakers Corner is a London based speakers bureau providing high profile individuals and industry experts for conferences, public appearances and after dinner talks around the UK.