He looked like nowt but a slip of a lad when we first clapped eyes on him
A mere whippersnapper as we say up North
It was in 1996 at the newly opened and very prestigious Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. Steve Mc Dermott (then with very dark hair.See below) was running his first ever conference for 500 people. I was there and it was all very exciting.
That’s when we first met Brendan Barnes who in 2016 is celebrating 20 years in business. He did this in style by hosting a champagne reception on the terrace of The House of Commons. Inside the Palace of Westminster looked like a set from Hogwarts. Very splendiferous.
Steve became one of Brendan’s first professional speakers for his then new speaker’s bureau called Speakers for Business. It does what it says on the tin and has been very successful.
That same year Steve spoke at a speakers showcase along with a man who has become one of the most watched speakers on TED. Sir Ken Robinson.(The guy leaning on his hand to the left of Steve.)
That day the speakers were all ranked and Steve was very excited to come in as a very close second to Sir Ken. It was 1996 after all.
It has been quite a journey for both Brendan and Steve. Steve is now the 3 times winner of the European Motivational Speaker of the Year award, bestselling author and co creator,along with yours truly, of The Confident Club.
Maybe we could ask for a rematch with Ken?
Brendan also set up the London Business Forum delivering exceptional speakers in wonderful and wacky venues. Including Steve, Sir Richard Branson and the aforementioned Sir Ken Robinson.
He has raised much needed money for Help The Hospices by asking his professional speakers (including Steve again) to push their comfort zones and to do 20 minutes of stand up at the world famous comedy store in Leicester Square.
Brendan has become an excellent speaker in his own right. On the night of the celebrations he spoke really well telling lots of personal stories. He was self-deprecating and very funny. He even made the many professional speakers that were there laugh out loud. Please see photographic evidence below. Steve now with grey hair and champagne along with David Taylor.
So to sum up:
1 Take calculated risks
“Fear is fleeting, regret is permanent”. Bungee Jump Master
2 Remember there is no failure only feedback (another one of my favourite beliefs.)
3 Celebrate your achievements. It doesn’t have to be with champagne on the terrace of the House of Commons overlooking the Thames and The London Eye. But if you can manage that then please go for it ( and please do invite us).