An Interview With Simon Calver
What can a typical corporate audience learn from your experiences?
To me there is no such thing as a typical corporate audience as everybody is operating in different companies and markets at different stages of development but that is the beauty of the experiences at LOVEFiLM, we have worked through from a very small start-up to a pan-European business bought out by Amazon. Leading these changes in a highly competitive environment has many learnings relevant for business people.
How did the corporate speaking start?
When I was working at PepsiCola in the UK we painted Concorde blue, took over the front page of the Daily Mirror, turning it blue and signed deals with the Spice Girls, people wanted to hear about how we did this and so I began to get requests to tell the story. The truth is that corporate speaking starts from the very first day you have a team and need to keep them engaged and excited about the business. The more passion you can create the better the results…
Can you remember your first speaking engagement?
Yes, and it was not a great experience. I thought I was telling a business story with learnings and the truth is that what they wanted was a ‘risque’ after dinner speaker. There was a lot of heckling in the middle but we got through it in the end… with my integrity and decency intact!
Which event has been your favourite and why?
The best event so far has to be presenting to 4,000 corporate Directors in the Albert Hall as part of the IoD National Convention. Before me, there had been lots of great presenters from the world of business, politics and sport but my focus was on Entrepreneurship and engaging with people about the learnings in the LOVEFiLM story was very exciting. The session was rated as one of the best of the day which was very rewarding.