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In this episode of The Speaker Show, Maria Franzoni interviews Jeremy Snape.
Jeremy Snape is a former England cricketer. He has a master’s degree in sport psychology, and he’s worked with and interviewed some of the biggest names in sport. He has supported global brands such as HSBC, Salesforce, BMW and KPMG with leadership development programmes and keynotes.
He’s also the founder of innovative digital learning company Sporting Edge and the host of the Apple top 10 podcast – Inside the Mind of Champions.
In this fascinating episode, we discuss:
- High Performance
- Digital Learning
- Future Skills for Leaders
Maria Franzoni (00:16): Hello and welcome back to The Speaker Show with me your host Maria Franzoni. Today, we are talking about resilience, high performance and psychology. 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. My guest is a former England cricketer. He has a master’s degree in sport psychology and he’s worked with and interviewed some of the biggest names in sport. He has supported global brands, such as HSBC, Salesforce, BMW and KPMG with leadership development programs and keynotes. He’s also the founder of innovative digital learning company, Sporting Edge, and the host of the Apple top 10 podcast – Inside the Mind of Champions. Please welcome my guest, Jeremy Snape. Jeremy, it is lovely to see you. How are you today?
Jeremy Snape (01:12): Brilliant. Thank you. Yeah.
Maria Franzoni (01:14): Fantastic. Where I am. The sun is shining. I hope it’s shining for you too.
Jeremy Snape (01:18): It is, I’ve got the blinds closed, which is a lovely choice to make early in the morning. Wonderful.
Maria Franzoni (01:23): It rare happens in the UK that we have to close the blinds. Anyway, I want to talk about your passion for high performance psychology. Where did that interest come from?
Jeremy Snape (01:34): Well, the founding moment of my business Sporting Edge was a strange place. It was in the middle of a cricket field in India. Probably 2001. I was playing cricket for England against India. The pressure was building in a one day international. It’s the biggest sporting stadium in the world. The Calcutta Eden Gardens, 120,000 people and England were desperate for a hero to step forward into the breach and calmly win this game against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and other big guns and all hopes were on me. But sadly I messed it up. I ran out Freddie Flintoff, who was the only chance of England winning the game at my own teammates. He sued off back to the pavilion and I was left in the middle of that enormous stadium with the biggest negative voice in my head.
Jeremy Snape (02:25): What have you done? That was stupid. You’re not good enough. You shouldn’t be here. And the next ball, which came down was from a brilliant Indian bowler, but that’s not what beat me. What beat me was my own self-talk and lack of confidence in that moment, I guess. So that emotional hijack made me realize as I was getting pounded with onion bhajis from the local school kids, that actually, you know, we speak a lot about strategy. We speak a lot about techniques, you know, we have all these meetings and full flip charts full of stuff, and those are nice intentions, but if our mindset’s not primed to be able to deliver that under pressure, then it’s no use. So, so I’d spent 20 years as a, you know, professional cricketer having balls thrown at me or hitting balls and practicing the physical and technical side.
Jeremy Snape (03:14): But to me, the biggest difference between our best and worst day was our in mind. And, and that’s the bit I wanted to explore. So it wasn’t all a sub story I played for England again and had a good career won eight trophies, got man of the match on England debut. So some great highlights, but I guess the thread for me was that I wanted to go inside the mind of champions, which is the name of my podcast and, and try and understand how they think, how they create these high performance habits, how they handle pressure, how do the elite coaches build brilliant teams that can withstand the public scrutiny? So, so that’s been the second half of my career that the research quest of trying to understand what is this winning mindset? What are, what is high performance? What are these elite teams? And it’s led me to some incredible people. So it’s a lifelong quest, I guess.
Maria Franzoni (04:05): That must have been an amazing moment to try and get over. And that’s an incredible story. And tell me, had you ever done any work before on your mindset before that, that moment in time where it went wrong?
Jeremy Snape (04:20): Well, likely. I mean, this is 2001 and sports psychology was just emerging really. You know, we were all big and brave and no one mentioned nerves before that. But the American sports seemed to be a decade ahead of us. And that started to read a little bit about it. And England had, you know, we, every sort of sports team had a pre-season psychologist, that came in and said, here’s how to set your goals and have a great season. But of course that’s not, when you need a psychologist, you need them when everyone’s falling out in the middle of August when everyone’s tired and frustrated because they’re not being picked or they’re injured. So I’d sort of dabbled with it, but I guess for me going and studying a master’s degree in sport psychology at Loughborough is it, was as a real commitment, especially while I was still playing and captain at Lestershire.
Jeremy Snape (05:05): And that really set me up for my second career, which, you know, gave me a chance to practice it and coach it and help people to avoid some of the traps and pitfalls, you know, that I’d got myself into, but it was really interesting at the back end of my playing career after I’d finished my master’s degree, I was actually in a one day final where the same situation presented itself. And I used some of the skills from the sort of emotional control, basically as the bowler, who was a brilliant bowler, was running in, live on television, 30,000 people. Massive final of it. One day 20, 20 game. I was now focused. I knew this was a defining moment, you know, cathartic moment. So it was like my redemption. And I thought, actually, let me just focus on my posture, my breathing, you know, my balance.
Jeremy Snape (06:01): And let me just play instinctively and let this ball come. And, you know, if it’s right, it’ll, you know, get hit. And actually that’s what happened. I played one of the best shots of my life, hit the balls, the boundary, and then was carried off in a blur of cheering and champagne by my teammates. And I think in India, I’ve been so fixated on the media’s expectation on what they might say. If I fail that my brain had gone worrying about the judgment and the shame tomorrow and the career, you know, what happens if I got dropped from England? What happens I might have to move house? My wife’s gonna leave me. It’s all gonna be the end of the war world. Yet in the moment, which we hear a lot about mindfulness that to me, is complete focus of the moment. The only thing that I can do is hit the next ball and be primed for the next ball.
Jeremy Snape (06:49): So, I actually had a chance to use some of the strategies that I’d learned personally, which made it incredibly powerful as a, not only a transformational story, but also it gave me the motivation then to coach other people, to, you know, experience that for themselves, which I think is incredible because so often we are our own worst enemy, aren’t we? And we get in our own way, you know, rather than opposition beaten. I think a lot of people can deal with being beaten by a better opponent. But we can’t very easily get over the fact that we’ve beaten ourselves.
Maria Franzoni (07:22): Yeah, absolutely. By making a mistake or a misjudgment. I like the fact that sort of, you’re relying on your instincts, I suppose, relying on all the training and all the experience that you’ve got and trust that you can do it rather than focusing on, you know, external things that you have no control over. I like that I might have to apply some of that. This is very good advice. So tell me, everyone’s talking about resilience at the moment. It’s sort of the, the buzz word, isn’t it? How important is resilience, would you say in sport and business?
Jeremy Snape (07:49): Oh, I think it’s one of the fundamental skills, you know, in characteristics of elite performers, but I do think we interpret it wrongly sometimes. I think there’s this macho sort of, image of a concrete block that is fixed and, you know, almost like a lighthouse, you know, sort of out on the cliff edge, that’s getting battered by the waves and just stays there and solid. And I don’t think that’s what resilience is at all. I think we’ve all got a natural energy flow through the day. You know, we’re gonna have periods in the month where we are really energetic and really focused, and we’re gonna have periods when we’re really, you know, recovering and a bit slower. And I think resilient people understand that energy and they use it. They’re not stubborn. They look out for the warning signs when they’re starting to get a bit stressed and they adapt.
Jeremy Snape (08:34): So a little bit like the, if that’s bamboo behind you, but it’s more like that with sort of roots, you know, thick roots into the ground, giving great stability, but that ability to flex with the conditions, you know, I need to be on my A game today. I’ve gotta push through it. Now I’ve got time to relax and flex and recover. So I think there’s lots of different elements to resilience, but ultimately it’s the ability to stay with the course to achieve my long term goals and endure, whatever adversity and setbacks come along the way, but that’s not a straight line, you know, there’s, you know, we’ve gotta dust ourselves down, keep getting back up, adapt and more than ever in the change in situation that we find ourselves in the business world, especially, and in sport, you know, your opponents are looking to knock down your strengths and limit your strengths and expose your weaknesses.
Jeremy Snape (09:28): So I think we expect, you know, performers to be just talented and stay there at the top of the game, but actually it’s much more about reinventing yourself each year. So somebody who’s been a top performer for 10 years is probably 10 different athletes, an entrepreneur that’s, you know, running a business, you know, it might be, might have five different iterations of that business to be successful over a decade. But I think we’ve got this idea that resilience is permanence and it’s stoic, you know, a concrete block and that’s definitely not helpful to be stubborn. I think we’ve gotta go with the energy flow and adapt and enjoy the entrepreneurial and the experimental nature of reinventing ourselves as we go.
Maria Franzoni (10:10): Completely agree with you. I think that’s really interesting. I’ve often said to people that, you know, I’ve had 20 years experience in the business and every year has been very different. It’s not the same year over and over again. And I think that’s so important to adapt. You mentioned recovery. That’s one of the things I’m really bad at allowing myself to recover. And I think sports people are probably a good lesson for us in that, that we can’t, you said, it’s, you know, it’s not linear. You have to, it it’s up and down. You have to allow that, that really excellent advice again. So here’s a difficult one, right? We’ve seen and heard a lot of stories about mental health issues in cricket in recent years. Why do you think that is? It seems like such a relaxed sport to me, compared to some of the others that are very violent, you know? So, why is cricket having mental health stories?
Jeremy Snape (10:56): Well, it’s a great question, but it’s got probably many layers. One thing that you could say is that Cricket’s been incredibly transparent and brave to pioneer the sort of courageous, you know, conversations around it. You know, we’ve had Marcus Trescothick probably a decade ago, you know, talking about how he sort of dropped himself from being one of the England senior players because he hated traveling. And the long sort of two, three month tours to the subcontinent or to Australia or wherever it might be was creating great anxiety. We’ve seen Jonathan Trott and Freddie Flintoff as well talking about mental health and some of the women’s cricketers from the England team. So I think you’re seeing a very mature and courageous and open culture talk about it probably more than the other sports.
Jeremy Snape (11:48): So that’s probably why we hear about it more from cricket, but then I do think there are some nuances within the game that make it, you know, slightly harder, which is the long tours that I spoke about. Although it’s a team game, the statistical transparency of cricket and the analysis is incredible, you know, in football, your team lost man United lost two nil, in cricket, you bowled 14 overs, you know, no maidens and you got hit for 83 runs and got no wickets, or you, you know, bated for 17 balls and scored two runs. You know, there’s no hiding place really as an individual, in sport, in cricket. So I think that’s another element, you know, that adds to it. And also it’s a very technical game. You know, you can get caught up in the analysis.
Jeremy Snape (12:39): I remember playing in it a great, you know, we had a very strong team at last year in one day cricket, and one of our top players scored a brilliant 80 odd to winners. The game he’d got out 10 runs before the end of the innings. And he’s sat there for an hour watching the footage of this last delivery that he got out, slowing it down and looking at his back lift and sort of micro analysis of these tiny mistakes. And of course, you know, if the video footage of every mistake you make in your life is there, you’re drawn to it. And, I think we’re just gotta be a little bit more balanced. And I think especially through the lockdowns, I mean, that’s been an incredibly challenging period for a lot of sports teams, because of course they’ve been in these bio secure bubbles as well.
Jeremy Snape (13:21): So eating it on your own, you know, a hotel room staying in quarantine in a hotel room for two weeks on your own, not seeing anyone it’s pretty challenging and that’s before the cricket starts and the cricket used to be the most intense thing, but actually now I think what’s going on off the field is the most intense pressure cooker because of social media expectation, all the bio secure, you know, limitations. And then when they get onto the pitch, they’re together, they’re playing and they’re actually doing what they love. So that’s actually quite liberating. So it’s been a really difficult time for elite sport. And I think that’s partly why crickets made the headline.
Maria Franzoni (13:58): That’s interesting. I hadn’t considered, of course the long tours, there must be very hard. You have to leave your life behind. And I hadn’t considered the fact, you’re right, the individual analysis. It must be incredible and yes, everything’s on video. You definitely don’t want to review everything. So it’s, that’s an interesting, I hadn’t realize quite what the pressure was and social media, of course always causing problems for everybody. Really. Let’s be honest about that. What about, when we’re talking about cricket, obviously, there are people who are just naturally talented and naturally gifted, and it’s the same in work. How important is that talent and how important is the mindset and the work? Is there a, what what’s most important would you say?
Jeremy Snape (14:40): Well, I think it’s, you know, you need a cocktail of both, really, to thrive, to get to the top. That’s the sort of raw talent propels you to the top of your career without a doubt. But to stay at the top, which is what we’re talking about, greatness in a career over maybe three decades in elite sport, it might be 10 years, 15 years. It’s like I mentioned earlier, if somebody’s a top sports star for 10 years, they’ve gotta be 10 different athletes because their opponent is watching every crack in their technique and trying to weaken it and they’re trying to limit their strength. So you’ve almost gotta find almost that blue ocean strategy that we hear about in business every year, which is quite exhausting, but that’s actually the fun. So I think I’ve spoken at a lot of sports academies and they think that, you know, talented little Johnny that’s coming into the Chelsea Academy or the Man United Academy, because he is, you know, can dribble around, you know, and do brilliantly age 10, that he’s gonna make it.
Jeremy Snape (15:35): We just gotta feed in carrots and he’ll get to be lion or messy, but actually I think your natural athleticism, your talent, your physicality in sport, and your intellectual engine and problem solving ability, capacity in business, that’s your passport into the club, really? And it’s, it’s your tenacity, your work ethic, your ability to learn and relearn, your ability to collaborate, your courage to step out of your comfort zone and take risks. Those are the kind of things that we’re looking for, because, you know, there are lots of, you know, players who will say the system failed them, but actually, you know, could you sit on the bench for months without the coach picking you, could you, leave home and go and live with a foreign family while you go and learn your trade abroad? Can you come back from an injury and have physio?
Jeremy Snape (16:27): And it’s really painful. Can you move clubs? You know, can you deal with the press scrutiny? That’s the filter that really decides whether you’re gonna be good enough and you know, the same things in the business arena. You know, you didn’t get the job you were hoping to get promoted towards you. You do get sacked and it’s not your fault. You know, you do need to learn new technical skills around digital or whatever it might be. You know, it’s constantly adapting and having that courage and that almost insatiable desire to improve day on day, that defines the elite performance. And of course we need an intellect, and of course we need a natural, you know, fast twitch fibers, but that’s the starting point really, rather than the whole story.
Maria Franzoni (17:09): I like that your talent is your passport. I might have to quick you on that. That’s really good line, excellent line. And that makes total sense. So, so what happens if, I’m sure this has happened in cricket and I’m sure it happens in business, perhaps if you’ve got a Maverick on your team, how do you manage that?
Jeremy Snape (17:26): Well, that’s a question I get asked a lot. I mean, I think, you know, when you study high performance and when you deliver workshops and keynotes on high performing teams, you know, you talk about this clear purpose, this shared goal, these roles and accountabilities, and these interdependencies between the roles and the sort of behavioral code that you put in place. And everything seems like a, you know, a Rolls Royce engine. But then of course we are not an engine and we’re not mechanics. We are human beings and we’ve all got different, you know, emotions and sensitivities and personality styles. And the Maverick is a really interesting one because I think sometimes we consider him the high performer. So an example would be when I started my career at Northhamptonshire an there was the fast bowler, Curtly Ambrose. He was six foot eight.
Jeremy Snape (18:17): He was an incredible bowler. We didn’t make him warm up with us in our liker shorts and run up and down in the ladders and touching the cones at nine o’clock because he was one of the best bowlers in the world. We let him read the racing post and have a cup of tea and come out when he is ready and he won us the game. And we gave him that flexibility because his talent, you know, his ability was so great. But he never bent the rules. I think the Maverick is a world class performer. They achieve 20%, 30% more sales than anybody else in the working environment. They create the creative in an advertising agency that no one else could have dreamt up. And it ends up being a, you know, a massive, you know, brand amplifier, or it’s the batsman that scores, you know, a thousand more runs than everybody else.
Jeremy Snape (19:05): And we tend to look at, you know, the over delivery of their performance. But what we don’t look at is like an iceberg below the water line. There’s actually a sunk cost. There’s like, there’s a hidden cost of the way, their negative behavior contaminates the rest of the team. So where you could have a 20% uplift in somebody’s performance, there could be eroding 6, 8, 3, 5, 9% off 10 or 12 other people in the team. And you end up with a negative situation. So despite this person, individually being able to defend themselves saying, well, I score the most runs, or I make the most sales from a cultural perspective. They’re actually costing you more than you can see. And I think it’s only when we look at that balance that we, you know, we’ve got a big decision to make, because if somebody’s outstanding as a performer, but eroding our brand and our culture and our ethics, then there’s only one decision to make really. And it’s a difficult one for people to manage, but it’s an important one.
Maria Franzoni (20:10): That’s interesting because I’m actually now, in my mind rewinding situations and organizations where I’ve been, where I’ve actually seen this play out and have that negative effect. And that’s fascinating, had never considered it in that way. So that’s quite insightful. So tell me, you’ve interviewed on your podcast, Inside the Mind of Champions. You’ve interviewed lots of thought leaders and future skills, talked about future skills of leaders. How would you summarize them?
Jeremy Snape (20:40): Well, I think my business Sporting Edge, obviously the sporting heritage is there. So I’ve been able to interview like Gareth Southgate and Eddie Jones, Dave Brailsford, Mo Farah, those kind of sporting legends and Shane Warren as we talk about Mavericks. But, then I’m fascinated by high performance. So I’ve interviewed ballerinas, I’ve interviewed futurists, I’ve interviewed technology specialist and a digital anthropologist looking how technology, the interface between technology and culture. So there’s some fascinating people. I guess the, some of the more bizarre ones I interviewed a tech prodigy who was on the, he was 14 years old when I interviewed him was on the board of IBM Watson, which is their AI platform. So he was this incredible polymath, sort of technologist that, that was, you know, finished all his school in age 10 or whatever.
Jeremy Snape (21:36): And now he was building the future of the internet. I mean, incredible. And then also two guys that were in prison with Nelson Mandela. I worked with the South African cricket team for a few years. And while I was there, I met, Denis Goldberg and Ahmed Kathrada and their story of resilience and tenacity and belief in that transformational purpose of overcoming the apartheid regime is truly incredible. So that podcast episode is I, I actually recorded that at the beginning of lockdown and I combined their insights of living on Robben Island for 26 years in isolation with the lady who runs the psychology for the space station. And she prepares the astronauts and cosmonauts to be in isolation in space. So, the episode’s actually called Mandela to Mars: Lessons from isolation. And it’s all about how do you cope when you’re on your own?
Jeremy Snape (22:29): And it’s about having a strong purpose. It’s about having a strong daily routine and that togetherness and that sort of sense of belonging that, that we need as a tribe or a group of people to try and overthrow something or to endure something. And I’m fascinated in the interconnections between Certislay and Formula 1 or neuroscience, and, you know, a wall street trader or a, you know, wellbeing expert and an Olympian. So those, that map of high performance for me is interesting. And when I deliver keynote speeches, unfortunate because of the video library that we’ve got to be able to bring those videos in behind me and that really brings the speech to life because ultimately I’m not the star of the show. I’m the narrator of the show. And we can bring in these global experts for their, you know, video insights behind me.
Maria Franzoni (23:22): That must have been really useful episode actually, during lockdown, when many people found themselves on their own to listen to that, that would’ve given them a lot of great advice. And I thought I was a bad name dropper, but you, I think you get the prize there. You dropped quite a few big names there. Thank you for that. That’s brilliant. So let’s talk about, you’ve mentioned your, the business Sporting Edge. Tell me a little bit about why you went, created it as a digital learning business.
Jeremy Snape (23:45): Well, I think for me, you know, the modern way of working, obviously now we’re in the hybrid space, you know, we need to create inspiration, but we also need to, you know, deliver learning in the flow of work. The days of going off to do an MBA are weighing. I think those courses are still popular, but perhaps not as much as they were. And I think people want fast dynamic tools to be able to, you know, improve them in the workplace. So basically what we’ve done over the last 10 years is create this incredible digital library of about 1,000 2 minute videos. And they all have a little technical strategy and a practical strategy for our corporate clients to use. So if you type into the platform, I dunno, resilience or goal setting, or, you know, women’s leadership or inclusion or whatever it might be.
Jeremy Snape (24:38): Then all the experts from around the world that we’ve interviewed from sport, business, technology, military, whatever, they all pop up on the screen with a two minute lesson, and you can integrate those into your zoom meetings or team meetings. And that’s providing a really powerful resource. And ultimately when I was in that field in the middle of India, I didn’t really understand psychology. I didn’t really understand high performance. And there was no one I could just go and ask, how do you cope? But I guess what we’re doing is creating this platform, which is a speed dial to the wisdom that you need to have a difficult conversation or to lead change, or to, you know, do the perfect pitch and presentation or whatever it might be. So it’s a great privilege for me to meet and work with those elite performers, but then be able to translate that into a toolkit that thousands of people around the world can use. And that’s, what Sporting Edge is all about.
Maria Franzoni (25:33): I love the fact that it’s like two minutes because, you know, we are also time poor. Then you can just get a two minute hit of advice that will just, you know, help you think differently. Do something, give you some support like that. So I want to finish on a little bit of a cheeky question for you. So as you know, we’re both podcasters and we both have guests that sometimes surprise us. So in your podcast, Inside the Mind of Champions, who is the most surprising guest,
Jeremy Snape (25:59): Well, it’s an interesting question. In my, the style of my podcast is slightly different in the I’m going back into our video library and an excerpt team, you know, extracting tiny insights. So it may be that I’m looking at one of the, one of the episodes was innovation seven ways. And I’d look at, let’s listen to a formula one expert, and now let’s listen to certislay. Now let’s listen to a Google exec. Now let’s listen to a neuroscience and we’re looking at innovation through those seven lenses of those seven different people. So it’s slightly different. So I guess I wouldn’t be surprised cause I had to create it that way. But, I think I interviewed David Smith recently and not many people would know David. And David’s a Paralympian who is actually battling with a rare tumor in his spinal chord.
Jeremy Snape (26:49): And I think for me, you know, there’s so many people that we hear in the headlines who win Olympic gold medals and shaving a second offer a time. But I think I’m most inspired by people who show real character and do the right things on a difficult day and stay true to their values and persevere. So David Smith’s story of, you know, getting ready for the London Paralympics and then having an operation on his neck and being paralyzed from the neck down, you know, after the operation having to teach himself to walk again, before got back into the rowing boat to win a medal is incredible. And living with that tumor like a time bomb is incredible. So that was surprised me in a way that I didn’t think, but then as I mentioned that the guys that were in prison when Nelson Mandela, I mean, you know, we can all talk about high performing teams, but the, you know, the treatment that they had and the methods that were put to them to try and break their resilience and to try and break them as a team of eight people, the solidarity that they showed for 26 years, the belief that they showed to stay together and stay true when they were offered pictures of their daughter’s wedding.
Jeremy Snape (28:05): And they turned them down because it was all manipulating to try and get them to tell secrets about what the ANC were gonna do. That was incredible. There was one, one excerpt from that particular episode that Ahmed Kathrada spoke about that when they got dropped off in 1960 odd, there was wet concrete on the jetty at Robben Island. And one of the inmates, one of the ANC group wrote in the wet concrete, the ANC will win and he wrote 1967 and 26 years later when they walked off that jetty to be free men. And with Nelson Mandela, they looked back at that massive block of concrete that had been battered by the shark infested waters off Cape Town. And that was one of their visions that they wanted to walk past that and know that that was true. And I think just that ability to hold that belief and that transformational goal in your mind, but do what it takes on a daily basis to make it come to life. Those things I think affect you on a very profound level. And so those are a couple of the, the examples that I think have surprised me the way they’ve, you know, impacted me, you know, more than anything.
Maria Franzoni (29:19): Thank you so much for leaving us with those inspirational stories. That’s amazing. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself, Jeremy. It wasn’t too painful.
Jeremy Snape (29:25): Absolutely. Yeah.
Maria Franzoni (29:27): Fantastic. And thank you everybody for listening to The Speaker Show. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating on Apple Podcasts and you can keep up with future episodes on the Speakers Associates website, which is (speakersassociates.com) or all your favorite podcast app. And if you would like to invite Jeremy to speak at your next conference or event, please contact Speakers Associates in plenty of time to book him so that you won’t be disappointed. I will see you all next week. Byebye for now.
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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.