Speaking

“We really enjoyed your talk – you manage to be stimulating and funny, which is no mean feat.”  Churchill Women’s Institute

Ping at That's Oxford

Talking about table tennis at That’s Oxford TV

My speaking career has taken me all round the UK, from Glasgow to Gloucester. I’ve been a keynote speaker at conferences and done numerous talks, lectures and workshops for many different organisations both in my previous work in the Church and as a freelance speaker. I’ve broadcast on Radio 4 and various local TV and radio stations.

I’m highly experienced at working with all kinds of groups, small or large, and my talks are entertaining, thought-provoking and accessible. I am a regular speaker on the Oxford Federation of Women’s Institutes circuit.

“Thank you so much for coming to do our Tuesday Lunch talk at Holland House, everyone I spoke to had enjoyed themselves immensely.”

My three most popular current talks are:

Ping Pong Piffle: Romance, Villainy, and 11 surprising fun facts about table tennis

You’ve heard of table tennis. You’ve probably played it somewhere, sometime. Now hear the true story of its origins, the spectacular side of the top-level game, and the secret confessions of its lowliest players. From stories of romance across the net, table tennis bad boys, and the trials of competing in the over-85 World championships, this light-hearted talk features the answer to such questions as:

  • How long did it take to play a single point in the 1936 world championship – and why did the umpire have to be replaced?Otmoor WI Wiff Waff
  • Was table tennis really once played with knitted balls? (Could YOU knit one?)
  • Is it ever a good idea to play mixed doubles with your spouse?
  • How can table tennis balls save your life when flying?
  • What’s the connection between Ping-Pong and Hoovers?

I include practical demonstrations and activities where possible (even if you don’t have a table tennis table).

I can also offer a workshop-style event called Wiff-Waff and Waffles, which introduces people to table tennis in a fun way.

The Invigilator who set fire to his trousers: tales from the exam hall

With over ten years experience of invigilating exams and my work as a trainer of invigilators around the country, I have a huge fund of stories about the lighter side of exams. I’ll share

  • The funniest-ever exam room announcement
  • The secret code of invigilators
  • Which innocent-looking everyday items are banned from exam rooms
  • The most unusual exam room interruptions
  • And what to do if your invigilator catches fire!

Feel your age, and enjoy it anyway: How to thrive as we agecard 50

In this talk, I’ll:

  • Introduce you to the Seven Senior Dwarves: Crumbly, Fumbly Grumbly … and their friends
  • Ask why birthday cards think it’s all downhill after 21
  • Get your best ideas of what to call really old people (“Real Seniors”? “Oldsters”?!)
  • Tell inspiring stories of people who thrive in old age, despite the knocks they’ve taken
  • Share my 5 top tips for thriving as we grow older
  • Give a prize for the best of your tips for thriving as we age

 

My fees vary depending on the size and type of group, for example, £30 + travel for a talk to a typical Women’s Institute group.

Contact me for further information, letting me know your requirements. I am happy to travel any distance, provided reasonable travel expenses (and overnight accommodation if necessary) are paid.

“I would like to say a very big ‘Thank You’ on behalf of the ladies at Steventon WI we all enjoyed your talk about invigilating very much and I know for all those who have never done it before it was quite an eye opener to find out what goes on today as it is all very different from when we sat our GCEs all those years ago.  I hope too you enjoyed visiting us and I will keep your name on our records for any future dates.”