An Interview with Simon King
If you could speak at any event, past or future, what would it be?
I would have liked to have given a presentation at the Kyoto summit to try and motivate world leaders to care for life beyond the next round of votes.
How did the corporate speaking start?
I have been speaking in public since I was 18 years old. Many of the presentations I gave then were for charitable bodies and over time these engagements have been bolstered by commercial and corporate events. My work as a television presenter, particularly in the many live programmes I have presented, stands me in good stead for public appearances and speaking.
Can you remember your first speaking engagement?
I really can’t remember the first- it would have been too many years ago!
Which event has been your favourite and why?
I had fun presenting a motivational lecture to IBM using the dynamics of life in a pride of lions to mirror business strategies. Lecturing at the Royal Geographical Society is always a thrill, given its prestigious history.
Who would you most like to share a platform with?
I have been lucky enough to share a platform with Sir David Attenborough on a couple of occasions, so this ambition has been realised.
On average, how many times a year do you speak at corporate events?
About 30 plus.
Are you as happy speaking to 50 as to 1,000 people?
The number is irrelevant, I simply hone the presentation to suit.
How do you like to be introduced?
Simon King, naturalist and film-maker.
Do you always like to do a briefing call before the event?
A call or notes, I like to have a reasonable understanding of the client.
What are the most asked for topics?
My life in the wild places of the world. Conservation and climate change. How to achieve the ‘impossible’ views/shots of wild creatures.
Is your speech interactive with audience participation?
Yes, some more than others. I enjoy the interaction.
Do you have any funny/embarrassing speaking anecdotes you care to share?
Hopefully there’s lots of fun in my presentations, lots of laughter- intentionally. I’m not easily embarrassed.
Your favourite film?
Jean de Florette and Manon de Source, Gladiator, Amelie.
The Old Man and the Sea- Hemingway, The Peregrine- J Baker, Of Mice and Men- Steinbeck.
Favourite holiday destination?
Don’t do many holidays. Shetland, Shela, BVI (maybe- just about to go there!)
What’s your tipple – wine, beer, champagne?
Champagne and also Ardbeg whiskey
Country or townie?