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Biography: Graham Poll - Read interview

Graham Poll


Others say

"Grahams performance was excellent. He was very funny and was never inappropriate. He was very easy to deal with on the day and didn't even grumble when he was hounded for autographs."
Jane Rymer Events Ltd

"Very entertaining speaker"
Stourbridge Rugby Club

"Just to say how pleased we were with Graham Poll, who was our after dinner speaker. We had 150+ attendees at dinner - a combination of our members, who are independent electrical wholesalers and our suppliers of electrical equipment. Graham held the audience extremely well, despite the fact that the majority had had a fair few drinks by the time he came on. I have nothing but excellent comments about Graham and I would have no hesitation recommending him to others in the industry."
Independent Buyers Association

"Talk was tailored specifically to our company's needs"
VPS Holdings Ltd

Graham Poll is the best known and most experienced English football referee of all time.  Whilst his achievements are considerable, including the  FA Cup Final at Wembley stadium in 2000 and the first referee to reach the milestone of refereeing 300 Premier League matches he will always be remembered for issuing one player with 3 yellow cards at a World Cup match during the 2006 final competition in Germany 2006. He is a proficient and experienced motivational and inspirational keynote and after dinner speaker.

Motivated to achieve at the earliest possible age, Poll left education to follow a highly successful sales career in the FMCG marketplace after learning the principles of selling in the business to business world of office equipment with Canon UK Ltd.

"Graham was outstanding. His stories had our crew's total attention. He made us laugh but also told some great truth's that we would never get to hear otherwise, he also took the mickey out of a couple of the guys around the table and when doing Q&A at the end he was honest and forthright."
Howdens Joinery PLC

An excellent communicator and presenter, he quickly progressed to first and then second line management and for 7 years oversaw a rapidly expanding direct sales force at Coty UK alongside his refereeing career. Forced to leave full time employment in 1999 due to his dedication to achieving world recognition in football, Poll started his own business with another ex- sales director from Hays and fellow International referee, Graham Barber. Together they developed an internet site which they negotiated the sale of for £1.5m in 2001 before becoming a full time professional referee.

Graham Poll is an excellent after dinner speaker combining his sporting experiences with  his experiences of the sales world, producing a humorous and insightful view of the importance of motivation, teamwork and leadership.

Speaking Topics

Graham Poll is Famous for refereeing the last FA Cup Final at Wembley, being the first to adjudicate 300 Premiership matches and for issuing 3 yellow cards to the same player.

  • Leadership
  • Motivation & Teamwork
  • Sport

For further information or to book Graham Poll, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email info@speakerscorner.co.uk

Interview with Graham Poll


How did you get into corporate speaking?


Well I was a Sales director and always enjoyed delivering company results at conference and motivating the sales force and then after developing as a sporting speaker it seemed a natural progression.


Which event has been your favourite and why?


Probably hosting an event for VODAFONE – in Athens at the 2007 Champions League final.


Why do you enjoy being a speaker?


It gives me a real buzz which I used to get walking out with the teams before games in huge stadia.


Who would you most like to share a platform with?


Boris Johnson


What can a typical corporate audience learn from your experiences?


A wide variety of things including handling high pressure situations, recovering from adversity, being a strong decision maker, managing upwards, the importance of teamwork. Plus what David Beckham is really like, different management styles (Ferguson v Mourinho), and how you deal with Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira.


What match would have most liked to referee?


The World Cup Final – preferably between Brazil and Argentina.


What’s your biggest achievement this year?


Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats – well it will be when I have done it (June 1-14) in aid of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.


What’s your favourite way to spend a Sunday?


Walking our dog with my wife and then a family meal with some lovely wine.


What personal ambition must you fulfill before you die?


This changes as I achieve things. It was to run a marathon, then cycle Land’s End to John O’Groats, next could well be a sky dive and then who knows as there are so many options.

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