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In this episode of The Speaker Show, Maria Franzoni interviews Anna Watkins who in 2012 cemented her place in sporting history at the London Olympics, winning gold in the double scull event and earning the nickname ‘Alchemist’ for her ability to turn lesser medals to gold. She is a mathematician and loves to give an analytical perspective on performance and how to win.

In this fascinating episode, we discuss a range of her views on issues including:

  • The use of data to improve performance
  • Peak Performance
  • Teamwork
  • Becoming an Olympian

Episode #205

How data can help you be a winner

Maria Franzoni (00:15): Hello and welcome back to The Speaker Show with me your host Maria Franzoni. In today’s show, we will be talking about what it takes to be a winner, but before we get started, let me tell you that The Speaker Show is brought to you by Speakers Associates, the global speaker bureau for the world’s most successful organizations, providing keynote speakers for events, conferences, and summits. In 2012, my guest cemented her place in sporting history, the London Olympics winning gold in the double skull event and earning the nickname Alchemist for her ability to turn lesser medals to gold. She’s a mathematician and loves to give an analytical perspective on performance and how to win. Please welcome my guest today, Olympic gold medalist, Anna Watkins. Anna, thank you so much for joining me. How are you today?

Anna Watkins (01:02): Good morning. Hi, I’m well, thank you. How are you?

Maria Franzoni (01:05): You are just a bundle of energy. I’m really looking forward to this. So listen, before we get started, I’m good by the way. So I didn’t answer. Thank you for asking, not used to being asked. Tell me, how did you first get into rowing? What was the interest there?

Anna Watkins (01:20): Well, you know, for me, I grew up in the Midlands in small town leeks. It’s very, very beautiful, quite small and rowing wasn’t part of my background at all. I went to my local comprehensive enjoyed school. It was quite a geek, you know, I love math and science and I just thought my future would be in that I always really competitive. So I was in the school sports teams and so on, but I was sort of tall and gangly and you know, I played netball, but I broke somebody’s arm once from tripping them over with my, with my big feet and legs. And so I just thought, yeah, I didn’t really see sports as my future at all. I went off to Cambridge to study natural sciences and really thought that that be what I would end up doing in something academic.

Anna Watkins (02:06): But when I got there, it was just such a, a wide new horizon. I remember going to the freshest fair and feeling like a kid in a sweet shop thinking, oh, I’m gonna join the ice hockey. I’m gonna join the windsurfing. And you, luckily for me, somebody saw me coming and kind of blocking out the light in the doorway and you know, said you you’re enormous. You need to be down at the river with you with your own kind. And I went did some novice rowing, just, just a fun with my, with my college Newman College. I was 18 by then and loved it, loved the sport, loved the people, loved the sense of sense of camaraderie. The, the feeling of, you know, learning and understanding something as a team and making those little improvements as a team. That’s what, that’s what got the bug for me. And the, you know, the amazing contrast that you could get from working really, really hard, you know, with lectures and so on, and then being out, out on the countryside, out on the river. So yeah, I just, I just got the bug from bug from there, but I never thought it was gonna take over my life in the way that it did.

Maria Franzoni (03:06): Do you know what you are hilarious for people who don’t know you, cause you’re saying you’re big and gangly, how tall are you?

Anna Watkins (03:12): I’m six foot. Exactly. So I spent enough time with rows now that I think I’m normal size. And then I go into a sort non rowing environment and think, oh,

Maria Franzoni (03:21): So you are tall, you are tall then. Yeah. Wow. So, so, so tell me, you learned, so you started rowing at 18, which is quite, quite not being rude, quite old to start rowing. Yeah. For somebody who then becomes an Olympian, how did you sort of learn really fast because you did learn fast.

Anna Watkins (03:37): Yeah. So what was strong right from the office when we did competitions on the row machine to get these bits of hair behind my, I was strong on the row machine. So I sort of knew that I had some potential from that and that really got my interest. I love, I love data. There was some evidence there. So I was gonna be able to sort of be, be powerful. But for me the real big questions, could I be technically good enough quick, quickly because you know, many people have been rowing since school and also could I psychologically manage cuz rowing’s very painful sport and I just thought I wouldn’t be tough enough. You know, I thought I would crack into the pressure and I, I wasn’t sure whether that was something that you could learn to do. So, you know being a geek, I set about really deliberately trying to understand those things and trying to make incremental progress now on the technical side I thought, okay, mass mass and science is a strength.

Anna Watkins (04:33): You know, I can try and understand the physics of, of this boat and try and translate everything that the coach says to me into an understanding how the boat moves and build a as picture. And that turned out to be a, a slow but thorough method. You know, some people who were more intuitive than me made, made quicker progress, but I think I got to a better place in the end. And then on the psychological stuff, there’s nothing for it, but to put, put yourself in difficult situations and get used to them and comfortable with them and learn to think, you know, think clearly under pressure like that. And then it was, it was possible to learn and that was, you know, that was a great revelation to me.

Maria Franzoni (05:11): I love the fact that you apply your geekiness to, to, to the learning. I really, I do, you know, I didn’t realize that rowing was particularly painful. So I’m learning a lot here. You, how did you feel before your first Olympics? That must have been an incredible feeling to know that you’re going to go into the Olympics? What, what, tell us what that was like.

Anna Watkins (05:28): So my first Olympics was Beijing Olympics. So back in 2008, it was quite an alien environment out in China for me. I was in a double skull and we’ve had a rough year. I’d had plan of fever that year. So I spent a lot of the year thinking that I wasn’t gonna make the Olympics at all. And if I did any, any result would be a good result. So we got there and I remember feeling a huge, you know, overwhelming sentiment, imposter syndrome. I remember walking into the Olympic village and the, the William sisters were arriving at the same time. And just thinking, gosh, this is real sports stars here. How can I even deserve to be in this environment? I’m sure that’s a feeling that loads of people will, will recognize. And I remember team GB medal started coming.

Anna Watkins (06:20): Nicole Cook got a bronze medal in cycling, and that was our first medal. And we had a sort of honors board in our team lounge and her name went on the bronze medal. I was like, gosh, you know, there’s so much excite for us, bronze medal. You know, any medal will be good. I’ll, I’ll take any medal. But I had this fear and I, I remember sitting on the start line thinking that I just need to pay to my strengths and this is a matter of physics. And if I can move the boat in the way that I know is the best way to move the boat, that will determine the speed of the boat. And that will determine the outcome of the, so all I need to do is, is zone in on the physics and just execute that and all of these unhelpful emotions need to just go and I need to almost not, not feel so.

Anna Watkins (07:09): So that was what I was trying to do in, in Beijing. Wow. We we had a really close race. Actually. We, we got into a fight that we didn’t expect to be in. The Chinese crew were rated really highly and we got in front of them at halfway and we were in a bronze medal position. I remember thinking, oh, gotta get a medal here. This is good. There were a couple of crews way out in front. And then as we got into the last minute of the race, at least my partner started calling you. We can do this. We can, we can win, you know, push, push for the goal basically. And in the last 30 strikes, I found this, this gear and I didn’t know I had it. And it was all to do with adrenaline relief, excitement. It released something, whether it’s by a chemical, you know, I still a geek.

Anna Watkins (07:54): I someone understand this, but what did it do to my body that made me be able to push something that I hadn’t pushed before. And we, we came charging through and we didn’t get through, but we got to within six inches of these two leading CRE and it’s all a photo finish, we’ve got the bronze medal, but that last 250 meters, I just you know, it wasn’t in the evidence. It wasn’t in the data for me. And so there’s else here, you know, there there’s some, there’s a real human element. I’ve got to understand how to tap into that when I need it. And if we’d have believed on the start line, then we were capable of the gold. What could that have made a difference? Yeah, of course it could. And you know, then I got really excited about London and thinking, okay, so I, I had a, and a, an awesome rollercoaster ride to get to a Olympic bronze medal. Now it’s gonna be really fascinating to try and to try and get a gold.

Maria Franzoni (08:48): Fantastic. You are, you are competitive, aren’t you? And you said actually earlier that you are competitive. And I love the fact that you keep referring for data. I’m gonna come back to data if I may, but I wanna, I wanna talk to you about the competitive fist because you had a, a, a, a partnership with Catherine Grainger that worked, worked well. How does that work when you are competitive? Talk me through that. What made it work?

Anna Watkins (09:09): Yeah, I mean, Catherine’s an, a amazing athlete as, as everybody knows, and she she’s so different to me. She is a absolute instinctive red mist kind of athlete. You know, she gets on the start line and she has a gear and she just loves racing. She loves that competitive moment. She loves the sort of eyeball to eyeball being in the, in the thick of it. And it’s so infectious and running with her. You know, we first got in the boat together three years before London, and I’d been in that, that boat for years by then the, the double skull again, and, and Catherine had been in, in bigger boats and small boats, but not in double skull. So I sort of had a good feel for the event. And I got in with her and we’re really, we’re built on the same framing, same sort of body size and so on.

Anna Watkins (09:59): And it moved. And I, I knew from that moment, there was something special, Kathryn, we can, we can set this event on fire together if we if we go for it in this event. And she brought those elements to me that I just found so hard to tap in, into, she gave me you know, those when I, when we were racing together, I was always excited. I was always looking forward to it. I was always just thinking, you know, come on, bring it to us. She just had that energy and it was infectious, but for her, this, this sort of incremental day by day, how we gonna find, you know, a millimeter today and a millimeter, the next, a millimeter that she’s much more bored with that. So we were really great than some of our parts. And we really appreciated what each other could bring to that partnership.

Anna Watkins (10:50): It was, you know, it had had a diversity and I think what made it work is we so appreciated what the other one was able to give. And we also had a, we also had a lot of trust, you know, we, we never let each other down in those three years, you know, not in any training session, not any day, never, never even, even sort of show a chin of a sort of weakness with what we were doing with the crew. And then we knew on that start line, we, we could just rely on each other.

Maria Franzoni (11:19): Wow. That’s an amazing relationship to have. That’s fantastic. I love that. I’m gonna let you geek out now because I know you’re desperate to geek out cause I know you love it. And actually I think it’s fascinating for, especially for business audiences to hear how you use data. Talk to me about how you’ve used data to your advantage. You’ve given us some examples, but I know this is something you can go really deep into. Tell us a bit more.

Anna Watkins (11:41): So in, in rowing, you’ve got some sensors on the the gates that the OS go into. You can, you can have the whole boat rigged up so you can get really detailed picture of all of different forces and different places and how, how you’re moving and going through these graphs. So I quickly found that I was a person who was going to tune into this, but something that I I found could give me a really big edge was, you know, you got, you got people who would love the data and, and look at that. And we had analysts in the team who would really understand how those grass related to how a boat should move. But then on the other hand, you’ve got people who are just very good physically and psychologically, and are a human level. They’re really great at communicating.

Anna Watkins (12:29): They’re really great at, you know, sort of intuitive things. And I found that the real interest was in mapping between the two joining, you know, and translating between between data and human. And so it’s all about it was all about asking the right questions, being able to dive into the data and find a, a real concrete answer and bring that answer back out into something very tangible, very real world that we’re actually gonna go and practice on the water right then you know, that that’s the joy and that’s what I, that’s what I found in consulting too. You know, so often there’s a siloed world. You’ve got people thinking strategy and, and leadership and people. And then the other hand, you’ve got people down I into it can be, you know, KPIs or, or, or big data. And unless you are, unless you’re asking the right questions, unless you know, what your source of value is and what you want, what’s gonna actually move in our case, the speed of the boat, or you, you know, in a business case you find, find real value, then the data’s worthless.

Anna Watkins (13:39): And because those people don’t tend to talk to each other enough, or you don’t have people sitting in the middle then I think that’s where the missed opportunities were. And I felt that in the, in the rowing world, that could be my, my secret source that I could, you know, I could pull stuff out of the data that people, and then, and then talk to Catherine and our, and our coach about it and say, you know, actually, you know, this little dip on the graph here you know, I think it means this feeling. And I think if we, if we move this feeling, I think that we’ll the bit will go faster and we’ll see it change on the graph. And that’ll be our, you know, we’ll have two bits of evidence.

Maria Franzoni (14:14): I like that. I think that’s brilliant. And I like that you talking about the two different sides, not necessarily coming together and that you’re sort of like the, the secret sauce in the middle. I like that. Do, do you also analyze your competition in the same way? Do you, do you do that, is that important to do?

Anna Watkins (14:29): Yeah. It’s, it’s important to, you know, the strengths of your competition and the sort of things that they might do without at any point, taking anything for granted or discounting the, the fact that they might throw some surprises, but we used to visualize loads. We used to run races in our heads and put scenarios together that the opposition might throw at us and how we would respond to them. So it was a, it was a, a balance have, have the information at your fingertips, but very much row your own race and think about how you are gonna take, take the race to them what you are gonna do that they can’t match. Never too much thinking, oh, you know, they’ve got, they’ve this strength, so how can, how can we come up to that? Always thinking, no, what, what are we gonna do to, what are we gonna do to them that they’re not gonna be able to live with?

Maria Franzoni (15:19): Yeah, no, I get that. And I get the fact that you should be focusing on, on what that’s good. That’s really good advice. Actually. I like that. So let’s come back to the human side and I, I will come back to the, the sort of the business content as a, well, a bit later, but I wanna come back to the human side of dealing with pressure. So you talked about how you felt before the Beijing games, but it must have been very different when you had to deal with the pressure of being at home at home games. How did you cope with that?

Anna Watkins (15:45): So London was a completely different scenario in terms of pressure, you know, Beijing, I was an unknown going into London, Catherine and I had had a lot of press, the, the guardian had put us as Britain’s best take for gold medal in, in 2012. Jessica number two. So we thought we, we thought we about have some plans to deal with it how we, how we dealt with it. So there’s a, there’s a couple of things that I found super, super helpful that I think can be stolen and used in other areas. One was having an incredibly robust framework for communication, so that all of the things that you wanna say could be said in a timely fashion, you know, my biggest fear was leaving something until after the finish line, because you, you, you tip Hering around each other too much.

Anna Watkins (16:39): So we actually did it as a jigsaw. We, we put everything that we wanted to put in our performance, whether it was a, you know, being the fastest to the first a hundred meters or whether it was having an answer for every scenario, all these different sort of psychological and physical elements, we drew them out. And then we would have weekly reviews where we would say, you know, how is this element doing? Is it in, is it out? And it just meant that we could talk about difficult things like, you know, or yeah, for Catherine, you know, she’d, she’d had some really grim experiences of getting you down in the last few hundred meters of Olympic final year. How is she ready with, is she ready with that? How’s she doing with dealing with that preparation is our coach. You know, he’s given us the right amount of feedback, you know, it’s hard to tell your coach sometimes just, you know, just be quiet and leave us alone.

Anna Watkins (17:26): But, you know, you need to have a framework so that you can say, you can say those things, and you can say those things when you’re all stressed, when you’re all a bit touchy and you, you, you know, you’ve gotta have a forum for it. You’ve gotta give each other permission to do it. You’ve gotta be in the habit of doing it so that you can do it under any amount of, of stress and pressure. Yeah, that was, that was a big one. That was a big one. The other one was more about how to get your brain into a space where you could think really clearly make really good decisions under pressure and kind of absolutely trust yourself with all of those very, very overwhelming, you know, emotions crashing over you and like the unpredictable emotions too. And what I learned over the course of my rowing is that terror and anxiety is really, really close to excitement in terms of your psychological state.

Anna Watkins (18:23): And so I think of it as a, as a sort of two a axis, you know, you’ve got you a terror over here and you’ve got excitement over here and here, you’ve got kind of being super opera and ready, and here you’ve got being asleep in dormant. And so you have to know whereabouts on those accesses, your optimal level of performance, you know, for some people it’s higher up here than others. And for some people they need a little bit of fear and fear is helpful. For me, fear is really inhibiting. Fear may made me close down. Fear made me not take risks. Fear made me tense. A fear made me think less clearly. And so I had to be excited. And so if I could, the more excited I could be the less afraid I was. And I’ve already, you’ve already spoken a bit about clap, how she brought that, brought that to us, but I would think, oh, I can’t wait until the first until the one minute call where we are going to push onto the, into our rhythm and no one’s gonna be able to live with us.

Anna Watkins (19:19): And I’m just really looking forward to that moment. And I, I hope that the Australians look fr and, and do a push at us because when they do that, I’m gonna do this and, you know, just kind of force myself to look forward to bit and force myself to find things, to be excited about. And, and with that way, it could have a, have a freedom and an enjoyment of, of something, you know, which otherwise could feel very crushing.

Maria Franzoni (19:44): Absolutely. And I’m with you though with regards to fear, if I’m scared. I absolutely like you, I close down, but if I’m excited, I don’t feel tired. I don’t feel pressure. I just can do. I, you know, I can’t sleep though when I’m excited, Which actually must be a big problem for you. If you are super excited about racing and, you know, you have to sleep, do what did you do to, or, or are you a very good sleeper because you’re exhausted at the end of the day.

Anna Watkins (20:10): I mean, normally very good sleeper and, you know, rowing training has that effect, but the night before the Olympic fine, I don’t think I slept much at all. But I wake up feeling fine. I think we just tapered so well. We were, you know, we were well rested into, into that. There was so much adrenaline and everything else going on. I don’t think my, my body you didn’t give

Maria Franzoni (20:31): It a chance

Anna Watkins (20:32): Already.

Maria Franzoni (20:32): Yeah. You didn’t give a chance to be tired. So you wait for, so tell me what, what are your favorite memories of London 2012?

Anna Watkins (20:42): I think when I first started to get an inkling of the specialness of, of our home games, there were a couple of moments early on. When we first arrived at Eaton Doy where we were racing and it of lake we were really familiar with, but the grandstands were up and the flags were up and it, you know, it felt like a stadium rather than a, a flat lake and thinking built was a playground. You know, they they’ve gone and built, they’ve gone and built us the playground. How lucky are we? And then the volunteers started coming and we would get, we would be training early in the morning and any sort of British crew would just get whoops and cheers, just from, you know, just from taking early morning paddle before racing. And the first day when spectators came into the venue, we were all in our kit.

Anna Watkins (21:32): British team had a hotel, the other side of the river. So we would come in on a boat and walk in actually the same way as the spectators did. And you know, bit loads of rowing events just totally ignored, but the, the spectators made a guard of honor oh. And said to the side and the British team, you know, we walked through with like it, and it just sort of clapped us in and, you know, it’s really emotional and just realized that we were part of something, you know, much bigger than going backwards quickly and about which talking quite self indulgence,

Maria Franzoni (22:08): It’s just an odd way to earn a living. Isn’t it? It’s just old. So, so tell me what do you remember about the race itself?

Anna Watkins (22:15): So the race I remember sitting on the start line and they call out the names of the sex cruise and usually, you know, two kilometers away in a rowing race. So from the finish line and the, the expectations were the finish line. So you normally, this is all done in sort of deathly silence, but for London, when the announcer called, you know, great Britain, there was a sort of pause time delay. And then you just heard this rumble coming up, the lake thinking, wow, this is it. We’re not going to be able to hear ourselves. Think when we get when we get in front of those stands, I remember coming off the start and, you know, a good start feeling that we were up and at speed and, and in our plan, really, really concentrating on, on just the strength we were on.

Anna Watkins (23:05): Trying not to think ahead, trying not to think what it all meant. Just thinking about executing that stroke to the, the best of our ability. Remember getting out ahead just in front of the Australians. And I remember Catherine being a little bit I thought frantic, she’d got this, she’d got the ski and me trying to judge whether, you know, it was too much, whether it was a little bit wheel spiny, whether it was efficient enough and trying to sort of call the right calls to get us into something super efficient. So I really, in that first half of the race thinking, you know, trying to do my job, which, which I love in the battle seat, you get to, you know, you get to analyze how the boat is moving, how Catherine’s moving how I’m moving, make the decisions and look around at the race and analyze what everyone else is doing, make this course.

Anna Watkins (23:52): And I remember our big rivals Australians, having a look, look at us, they were slightly down and they thinking they’re gonna do a push. You know, they’re gonna, they’re gonna do 15 strokes. And they’re gonna look around again to see what they have, what impact they’ve made aid. And so then made a call to Catherine and we did a push to slightly in front and they can’t see us and they look around again and we’re slightly further away. So they’ve put into some extra effort and it’s kind of actually further down and it’s, it’s playing with people’s minds like that. That’s actually quite fun if you are sort of evilly competitive. Like I am at those at that point in the very rating, you know, that we are thinking, okay, this is, you know, this is, this is, we should win this. And they’re thinking we might not win this, but you then have this, this, this battle in your head to not get ahead and not think, not start thinking, don’t mess up, don’t mess up.

Anna Watkins (24:42): Don’t mess up, but think do this stroke. How are we wanna do this stroke? I want just stay, you know, in the moment in the zone. But I will admit the last 10 or 15 strokes. There was some sunlight coming across the, the water, just glittering the crowd and the, the metal grandstand sort of stamping their feet. And the rumble was coming across you cuz which feel it in the handle for me thinking, I just, I just wanna bottle this if I, but just videotape this, this moment and this feeling, these last, last tense strokes and reflect the rest of my life, you know, that that’s all, I mean,

Maria Franzoni (25:14): I love that. I love that you were competitive. I like that. So we’re not gonna forget that you said it, you said it. So the couple of other things I really wanna cover before I let you go, I really want to talk about, because obviously listen to you. There’s so much, that’s valuable to a business audience in terms of data performers, getting feedback, communication so much there, when you are invited to speak to corporates and business audiences, what’s the main messaging that you try to leave them with, what are they asking for?

Anna Watkins (25:43): Okay. So a lot of the time I, I do you speak on, on use of data and I will then share sort of more depth about the specifics of how a performance is built together. So you know, everybody’s heard of, of Dave brass and his marginal gains. And I think it’s really fascinating in, in a business context or in a sports context. How do you break that performance down into those marginal gains? It’s all very well knowing that you’re looking for them, but how do you understand what those, what those levers are that are actually gonna move the performance? You know, for us, we have this goal setting structure where, you know, our O our objective was to win the Olympics. But then breaking that down again in to saying, okay, so what does a team that win the Olympics actually look like?

Anna Watkins (26:36): Well, there should be a team that can break the Olympic record. There should be a team that can, you know, chase other people out of the event that don’t even wanna race them. You know, it should be at that level. Okay. What does the team at that level look like? Well, they need to have these performance characteristics about the shape of their race, and what do those performance characteristics require in terms of, you know, our weight program, our nutrition program, our psychology program, you know, the orthotics in our shoes, how many grams of protein, all of those kind of things, and getting a, a deep for understanding that if we do this, that’s gonna move that, but we can’t do absolutely everything cuz even three to 65 days in a year. So what’s gonna move things the most. And you know, and I think for, for a business organization, it, the, the, when I, when I’ve worked with organizations when I talk about this, the analogies are perfect. You know, you, you look at your your actions and your KPIs and are they actually moving the source of value and do you understand how they relate to each other? And you know, this is where I think that joining together data sets for an organization can be really, really exciting and illuminating cuz it allows you to ask the questions, but so long as you know, what the sort of value is that you’re trying to, trying to move in the, in the first place.

Maria Franzoni (27:48): I like that. I think that’s really powerful. And of course then you, you have all your wonderful stories to tell around it and, and the, the great stories and the great images and, and it’s, I was something that people may not know about you. And I was fascinated to, to find out about this, you keep bees and you restore camper fans. I mean, when do you have time to do that?

Anna Watkins (28:12): Wait I’m, I’m lucky enough. We live out in the cots worlds and I love practical things and I really, really love where you get to do something practical and you should bring at the same time. So we bought a sprinter van, lots of people, you know, love, love a sprint, a van conversion. And we I drew the the interior on, on CAD and then had it cut with the CNC machine. It is lovely. We got, you know, bumps for our kids and climate woo holds and, and so, and I’m always tinkering with it and I put it new in it this week. So going up to Scotland for a summer holidays and, you know, the bees is really interesting. So cause it’s a whole new will to whole new will to understand, and with a little free son of danger, cuz you might get stung. And you get honey, you know, I’m

Maria Franzoni (29:00): A big fan of honey, big fan of honey. So yeah,

Anna Watkins (29:03): I just love, I just love learning new stuff. So I’m always gonna be getting into projects. I’ve got a bucket less as long as

Maria Franzoni (29:09): Yeah. You’re just a fulltime geek. Can’t you really that’s fulltime geek with an evil competitive streak who calls herself gangly. I mean you’re fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. So finally, what is next for you, Anna?

Anna Watkins (29:23): So for me I spend a big part of my time with with businesses doing either one, one of speaking engagements, workshops writing training programs, but I also undertake broader consulting programs too, just to you know, people want a longer term program. And also as a, as a former McKinsey consultant, I can offer something a little, a little broader than just, just an athlete perspective. So some, sometimes I’m sometimes I’m hired as an athlete and sometimes I’m a hired as a, as a, as a strategy consultant and I like to mix it up cause I like that to be interesting. And then the other part of my time I do some rowing coaching with, with young with young girls just getting into the sport cuz you know, I just love to be in touch. Love to be outside and love to feel that I’m, I’m getting to the and back to the sport. And I think in the longer term I’d like to bring those two things back back together and do some sort of more, more sports leadership type stuff, but family at the moment. So it’s a, it’s a bit of a mishmash project based, but lots of variety

Maria Franzoni (30:37): Know, it sounds like a lot of variety sounds really well balanced to me and we will be watching this space to see what happens next. When you bring it all together. Thank you so much, Anna, for being a fabulous guest. I hope you enjoyed yourself.

Anna Watkins (30:46): I really did. Thank you for talking to me.

Maria Franzoni (30:49): Pleasure. So now I just need to thank the listeners for listening to The Speaker Show. And if you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating on iTunes. You can keep up with future episodes at Speakers Associate associates website. I’ll put my teeth back in and that’s speakersassociates.com or on iTunes, Google podcast, or your favorite podcast app. See you next week. Bye Bye and thank you.

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Maria Franzoni is an established and recognised speaking industry expert and one of the most experienced speaker bookers in Europe.

As well as working with speakers, Maria also hosts live shows and podcasts. She currently hosts The Speaker Show podcast for Speakers Associates.

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