The Speakers Corner Team Member Q&A: Charlotte Sheridan

Jason Smith 22 March 2016

The first time most of the team met Charlotte was at a laser quest team night out late last year. This was not an extension of the interview process but the first opportunity to meet the team before starting with us properly in the new-year. It was definitely not the usual environment to welcome a new team member, but we applaud Charlotte for embracing the situation. It definitely breaks any ice; shooting people with a laser gun.

How are you finding it at Speakers Corner and being part of the motivational / after dinner speaking industry?

It’s incredibly interesting on two fronts really: in terms of Speakers Corner, I absolutely love the team. Everyone who works here works really hard and pulls together to deliver fantastic speakers for our client’s events. The other part, coming from a different industry, I am finding it fascinating that every day is different. One day, we’ll be working how to get a speaker’s guide dog on a plane and the next putting our heads together to find a fintech speaker , with a sporting background, who speaks five languages and knows a lot about food. A client brief can be that specific sometimes.

Charlotte with the team holding the first 'S'

Does it live up to your previous expectations?

It’s very different. My background is in social housing - and further back, property  sales . Both of these roles had a strong sales focus to it, particularly the latter. Having no previous experience of this industry the term ‘speaker agency’ said things to me like: bookings, volume and the like. However, I found the opposite to be true. The team here operate as a consultancy with the emphasis on understanding the customer’s needs, then giving expert advice on speakers and getting the right fit for a client’s event.

Have you noticed any similarities at all between the speaking industry and property at all?

Yes, for sure. It can be daunting buying a house or booking a speaker for the first time, so there are similarities in explaining the process of both and taking the client through that process. On the marketing side, it’s very different with property being so very sales focused. Here, on the other hand, is about communicating clearly about what we do and how we do it.

The consultancy aspect again?

Definitely, and that message was already being done really well and I’m here now to communicate the great things we are doing to a wider audience.

The 1998 film, The Wedding Singer

Do you have any a song, film and/or book that has inspired you or continues to do so?

That’s a good question, I’m going to have to think about that… I made the mistake once of answering a similar question too quickly. When being asked, by a film director, what my favourite film was; I answered The Wedding Singer, having just seen it, which was a little embarrassing. It’s a good film, but certainly not up there with Citizen Kane. I’m generally inspired though, by an author, song writer or director who is able to convey a worthwhile, if difficult, subject in a way that people take notice. I spent half my teens listening to Tracey Chapman. I think her songs manage to cover a huge range challenging subjects in a way where there the listener takes notice (the other half was spent being angsty to Alan Morrisette).

What do you do with the rest of your time mostly?

Planning mostly. I got married last year so there was a lot of planning for that. My husband and I then decided to sell out house so there’s been all the planning around that, which has resulted - thankfully - in it being sold. We’re now planning for a much delayed, and needed, honeymoon. So yes, planning.

You may have heard of the bucket list, do you have one and if so, can you share something from there at all?

It’s a weird one, but have always fancied swimming with the pigs off the Bahamas! I hope to have achieved this before my next big birthday, so maybe its one for the honeymoon planning!

Thank you Charlotte, a wonderful image to conclude on ...

There will be more interviews with team members over the coming weeks and months, in and amongst our usual speaker and staff created content. Do check back or follow us on Twitter to receive updates.

The Wedding Singer image courtesy of Wikipedia.

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