Caspar Berry is a speaker on risk-taking and decision-making. A former professional poker player and co-founder of Twenty First Century Media, Caspar uses poker as a metaphor that looks at the issues of embracing risk and the fear of failure.
Caspar started his career as the lead in the first BBC 1 series of Byker Grove, alongside Ant and Dec. He went on to read Economics and Anthropology at Cambridge and, after setting his sights on becoming a professional film writer, had his first screenplay produced. By the time he was 23 Caspar was writing for Miramax and Columbia Tri Star. Then at 25, he took the decision that would dramatically change his life: he moved to Las Vegas and became a professional poker player!
He played poker professionally for the following three years of his life during which time he made a good living pitting his wits against the game’s best known players. In 2002, he returned to the U.K., co-founded Twenty First Century Media and built it into the fastest growing audio visual media company in the North East of England. It was whilst still at the helm of Twenty First Century Media that he began his career as a speaker and a catalyst for new thinking within business.
Caspar returned to his television roots as the presenter and poker expert on a number of TV shows, most notably: Poker Night Live (voted Britain’s best poker show) and Sky Poker, the country’s premier nightly poker show. He could also seen on Sky Sports and was the poker strategy writer for Flush magazine and the poker adviser on the latest James Bond movie, Casino Royale.
Caspar is a highly distinctive corporate speaker with a unique and challenging message that forces people to question many of the things they take for granted. Drawing on his diverse range of experiences in poker, business and life, he has created a range of workshops, seminars and speeches that deliver powerful and pertinent messages about the way we think, particularly when it comes to risk-taking, communicating, decision-making and innovating.
Working with companies such as BP, Nestle, Nationwide, AXA, Barclays, Cisco, Citigroup, The Metropolitan Police and The Shaw Trust, Caspar is taking a fresh look at the way organisations make decisions and communicate in order to gain a competitive edge. The key message is that understanding how to take calculated risks is critical in the creation of dynamic leaders and managers who will innovate and change the world around them.
Caspar’s emphasis is always on provoking a change in the behaviours of the participants for the greater good of themselves and their teams. His overall aim is to break people’s patterns, to energise and motivate and to provide tools not rules for collective change - it is for organisations to apply his lessons in a way which is most useful to them. Audiences feel incredibly challenged but in a way that is never prescriptive.
The metaphor of poker is a fun and original one which gets people involved and engaged, but crucially, it provides, just a starting point from which to explore these themes in a business-focussed way. Often, after a session, clients choose to play poker for fun and although this is optional it provides a perfect end to a day of learning, challenge and stimulation.
The concept of this session is that participants will:
The benefits of the session include:
Why is all this relevant for people in business? Because in business we have to make hundreds of decisions a day. Some are financial decisions, mostly we are investing the other great scarce resources: time, energy, attention, status, reputation, respect.
The psychological and economic principles that govern our processes behind these investments are fascinating and numinous in their application.
Overall the session gives participants new tools - not rules - to use in order to make more proactive and more informed decisions and to better understand the actions of those around them.
A central theme for Caspar is to give people a better understanding of how risk and uncertainty works using poker as metaphor, in order to empower them to take more risks in their professional and personal lives.
Aligned to this are Caspar’s insights about decision making, innovating and communicating which illustrate his belief that organisations get the most from their people when they are allowed to experiment, take risks and explore their world.
In tandem with this is a key message that stresses the advantage of understanding, harnessing and guiding the subconscious mind in a structured down-to-earth way for maximum results in all these areas.
"Our audience of Company Directors and decision makers are used to hearing some of the best speakers on the circuit but the comments after Caspar Berry's talk were of universal praise. `Polished, fascinating and relevant’ was the feedback with many members telling me that Caspar was, `Most definitely the best speaker this year’." - Events Committee IOD Herty Breakfast
"Brilliant, intelligent messages delivered with passion and knowledge" - Nestlé
"The event was just the right balance of getting the message across combined with a great amount of fun and interactivity. The energy Caspar puts into the event is infectious. Everyone in the team said how they came away with higher levels of motivation and a clearer understanding of how well thought through calculated risk taking can be of benefit to them and the business. Definitely recommended!" - Mark Bainbridge, General Manager, Media, Sony
"We found the session illuminating and entertaining and in particular helped us understand better how investors in general behave when winning and losing. Absolutely recommended to help understand these 'black swan' times that we are in today." - Alan Higgins, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley, Private Wealth Management
"Caspar uses his experience to present a unique and captivating presentation/workshop all around learning to fail in order to succeed. I came away feeling energised and entertained. I would recommend this to others because it really gets you to think about your own mind-set in a very different way." - Patrick McCann, Head of Training, Berwin, Leighton Paisner
"This was one of the best client events we have held in recent years. The pre-dinner talk was very entertaining and the post-dinner poker tournament was highly polished in execution and very professionally run. Overall, our customers thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Highly recommended." - Declan McEvoy, Senior Proprietary Trader, Citigroup
"Caspar is individual, charismatic, energetic – doesn’t need to try at being bright – he just is! He has a real presence, he makes you want to learn and listen. The day itself had great pace." - Guy Hayward, Managing Director, Hudson
"Caspar has excellent and well thought through material. He is able to take principles from Poker and provide relevant insight and application for business. It certainly challenged the group to think differently. Caspar is a highly energetic, engaging and charismatic speaker. He stays on brief and time and is very flexible adapting to the needs of the group." - Helen Pyman, Marketing Capability Director, Brand Learning Partners
"Takes the wraps off risk taking and decision making offering a completely new angle for me. - Very helpful." - Mark Clarke, Chief Inspector, Surrey Police
"I thought the session was excellent." - Karl Trumper, Sales and Service Director, Barclays plc
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