Speaking at conferences, meet-ups and events

Conferences, events and meet-ups

I started public speaking back in 2006 with a presentation about social media at a small PR event in Newcastle, UK.

Since then I’ve enjoyed speaking at, facilitating or chairing more than 45 conferences, events, panels, meet-ups & training courses.

I’ve loved speaking for audiences ranging from small groups right up to keynoting for a 1,200 person conference in New Zealand.

Nowadays my talks are a mix of virtual sessions and face to face events in Europe.

I’ve also spoken at schools, universities, government departments and private corporate events.

If you’d like to ask me to speak at your event please have a look at my speaking FAQs or get in touch.

Some favourite speaking themes

My talks have spanned a range of topics over the years, reflecting my career and evolving professional interests.

In recent years I’ve been focussing mainly on progressive organisational design, leadership, culture and performance in technology businesses, including:

“What the scaling journey really means for start-up leadership teams”

“Five mistakes scale-up leaders make and how to avoid them in your start-up “

“What does it take to scale teams at pace?”

“The unexpected personal challenges founders experience on the scaling journey”

“What really changes inside your business when you scale – lessons from the inside.”


What topics are you talking about at the moment?

Check out the themes above for a sense of what I’m spending most of my time on nowadays. It’s mainly about how to build and scale resilient progressive technology teams and companies. The topics I cover in my email newsletter are also a good idea of what has my attention and is interesting to audiences.

Can you create a custom talk for us?

Yes. You’ll need to brief me properly so that I understand what outcomes you want for your audience. Because of the research, writing and rehearsal time, custom talks cost more than adapting an existing one.

How much does it cost?

It depends! Contact me and we can chat through the range of fees I charge for presentations, chairing and facilitation.

To speak at an event, I’ll need to have travel and accommodation covered as a minimum, plus the speaker fee if you’re a for-profit event. There’s no speaker fee if you’re a community or not-for-profit event as long as your values align with mine.

Do you pay to speak at events?

No. The whole “paying to speak” thing is bullshit and I don’t entertain it. It gives a sub-par experience for event attendees. Please don’t try contacting me to see if I’ll make an exception.

What about speaker diversity?

If you want me to speak at an event with multiple speakers or panellists, I need to understand the mix of people you’ll be working with.

It’s important to me that conferences and events I work with provide platforms for diverse voices, so please bear that in mind. I will ask and I do reject offers where diversity hasn’t been thought about properly.

What information do you need from event organisers?

Here’s a useful checklist of what I need to know, so please try to provide as much as possible upfront – it saves me asking!

  • What’s your event?
  • Where is it?
  • When is it?
  • What audience are you expecting?
  • Do you have a specific topic in mind?
  • How long is the slot?
  • Do you have a code of conduct?
  • Is this event free for people to attend?
  • How did you find me and why do you want me in particular?