An Interview with Ed Stafford

1 January 2012

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

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 upon to 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.

Why did you decide to deliver corporate motivational speaking?

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.

Can you remember your first speaking engagement?

The Do Lectures 2010.

Which event has been your favourite and why?

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 highlight of the event and it gave me the confidence to know that I can speak about my experiences charismatically and humbly to inspire people from many different backgrounds. I was paired with Tim Berners-Lee which was an honour.

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

The Explorers’ Club in New York.

Who would you most like to share a platform with?

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Who is the most influential speaker you have ever heard?

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Do you use PowerPoint or other visual aids?

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

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

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

How do you like to be introduced?

Explorer and adventurer!

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

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

What are the most asked for topics?

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

Is your speech interactive with audience participation?

I speak for 40 minutes and then like to take a lively Q&A.

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

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.

Your favourite film?

Gladiator, Ridley Scott.

Favourite book?

Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks.

Favourite holiday destination?

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

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


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