Tel: +44 (0)20 7607 7070

Biography: Ed Stafford

In 2010 former British Army captain Ed Stafford became the first person to walk the full length of the Amazon River - a Guinness World Record.

859 days. 6,000 miles. 50,000 mosquito bites. British explorer Ed Stafford reached the Atlantic in Brazil – two and a half years after he started his epic adventure in the jungles of Peru.

His journey began in 2008, and living off pirhana and rice, he made his way through Peru, Colombia and Brazil. When his sponsors cited the recession as a reason to pull out, Ed’s GPS system failed, and his medical insurance lapsed, the chances of achieving his goal seemed minimal. But with sheer grit and unparalleled fortitude, Ed persevered and realized his dream.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes said: “One of the most impressive aspects of his performance throughout this expedition is Ed's absolute determination to succeed. On an almost daily basis, he must have faced obstacles which would put most people off. His is a truly magnificent demonstration of the stubborn grit which you need to succeed in such difficult and dangerous terrain.”

Honest, pragmatic and laid back, Ed’s motivational business messages are full of value - with leadership, adversity, risk and perseverance as his main themes.

"We thought he was brilliant! Everyone gave great feedback on his talk and we would highly recommend him. His story was incredibly inspirational and he told it in a wonderful self deprecating way which made it very entertaining."
Dunnhumby

To succeed against all odds, Ed had to overcome daily challenges, including flooding, electric eels, venomous snakes, jaguars and suspicious local tribes. Ed and his travelling partner were even held on suspicion of murder for two days! In an area rife with drug trafficking and terrorism, strangers are treated with wariness and distrust, and fear caused locals to become hostile. To win them over, and to ensure safe passage, a hot , thirsty and exhausted Ed, had to remain focussed and positive. Using only his sense of humour, natural charm and innate survival instincts, he had to learn to communicate and ingratiate himself to cynical tribesmen.

Ed took the British public with him on his adventure, by blogging and filming throughout. His ability to survive the world’s most hostile environmental and human challenges endeared him to the masses, and he spends his time motivating audiences to achieve their dreams.

An army boy from a young age, Ed left full time education and won a position on the prestigious commissioning course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. In 1999 he was commissioned as a British Army Officer, and the following year he gained a Northern Ireland medal. He then spent time as an instructor at RTC Lichfield where he oversaw several hundred Army recruits through their basic training. Ed left the military in 2002 as a captain.

After the September 11th attacks, Ed was offered a position as a UN contractor advising electoral workers on planning, logistics and security matters during the first ever presidential elections in Afghanistan. In a terrifying turn of events, his election counting centre was rocketed by terrorists, and his airport camp was mortared.

Recently Ed has appeared in his own television show on the Discovery Channel. The show sees him set off to Venezuela, Botswana, Romania, Borneo and the Australian Coast. In each place he spends 10 days with no clothes, no food, no water and no one else to talk to but his camera. However he does make it out alive!

For further information or to book Ed Stafford, please contact us on info@speakerscorner.co.uk or call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070

Interview with Ed Stafford

Question:

Why did you decide to deliver corporate motivational speaking?

Answer:

I want to share the unique skills I developed during my two and a half years walking the Amazon to help others achieve their goals. I want to pay the gas bill too.

Question:

Can you remember your first speaking engagement?

Answer:

The Do Lectures 2010.

Question:

Which event has been your favourite and why?

Answer:

Surprisingly - the Do Lectures 2010. It was an inspirational event packed with remarkable people and I thought that my talk wouldn’t be intellectual enough. In fact many people said my talk was the high-light of the event and it gave me the confidence to know that I can speak about my experiences charismatically and humbly and inspire people from many different backgrounds. I was paired with Tim Berners-Lee which was an honour.

Question:

If you could speak at any event, past or future, what would it be?

Answer:

The Explorers’ Club in New York

Question:

Who would you most like to share a platform with?

Answer:

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Question:

Who is the most influential speaker you have ever heard?

Answer:

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Question:

Do you use powerpoint or other visual aids?

Answer:

Keynote for images and I can use video footage of the expedition too.

Question:

Do you have a preferred audience size – are you as comfortable with a small audience as a large one?

Answer:

I can speak to any size of audience really – small is more intimate but big is easier.

Question:

What is the difference in your presenting style dependent on the audience makeup?

Answer:

I try to find out as much as I can about the group I am speaking to and adapt which stories and anecdotes I draw that will best suit them. There are so many stories to be told that I can pick and choose easily without weakening the talk or lessening the feeling that the audience has heard my whole story.

Question:

How do you like to be introduced?

Answer:

Explorer and adventurer

Question:

Do you always like to do a briefing call before the event?

Answer:

If there’s something specific that the client needs then I would like a briefing call

Question:

What are the most asked for topics?

Answer:

Inspiration, dedication, commitment, courage, teamwork and decision-making.

Question:

Is your speech interactive with audience participation?

Answer:

I speak for 40 minutes and then like to take a lively Q&A with the audience

Question:

Do you have any funny/embarrassing speaking anecdotes you care to share?

Answer:

Hundreds. I could fill 40 mins with self-deprecating stories of things that went wrong or were just amusing if I wished to. Such as inadvertently holding hands with Cho, my Peruvian walking partner, as we ran towards the Atlantic Ocean being watched by the world’s media.

Question:

Your favourite film?

Answer:

Gladiator. Ridley Scott.

Question:

Favourite book?

Answer:

Birdsong. Sebastian Faulks

Question:

Favourite holiday destination?

Answer:

Ibiza – the nice side. But don’t often go abroad on “holidays”.

Question:

What’s your tipple – wine, beer, champagne?

Answer:

Guinness

Other speakers you might like

  • Aidan Halligan

    Aidan Halligan

    Professor Aidan Halligan was the former Director of Clinical Governance for the NHS; his keynote speeches…

  • Karren Brady

    Karren Brady

    One of the UK's most recognisable female business figures, Karren Brady is the former MD of Birmingham…

  • Martin Johnson

    Martin Johnson

    Captain of the World Cup winning rugby team in 2003, Martin Johnson CBE is an inspiring and motivating…

  • Ben Hunt-Davis

    Ben Hunt-Davis

    With an Olympic gold medal under his belt, champion rower Ben Hunt Davis runs Will It Make The Boat Go…

Agile web development by Byte9