Simeon has been a BBC radio and television presenter for over 25 years, is an award-winning author and is a regular writer on the UK’s flagship panel game Have I Got News For You.
He runs a successful communication training company serving global clients, coaches keynote speakers and is a sought after speaker in his own right. His TEDx talk ‘Aristotle, the Ultimate Stand Up Comedian’ has developed into a funny and insightful conference speech on how everyone can engage and persuade an audience using Aristotle’s tools of rhetoric – but you don’t have to learn ancient Greek. It’s as easy as remembering how a joke works.
His years of experience as a television presenter make him an invaluable coach for people wanting to confidently deliver their message when under pressure, and his talk ‘The Confidence Trick’ does exactly that. Using interactive exercises and a wealth of amusing video clips, he shares memorable tips on how body language can influence an audience and affect how we feel. This is the perfect energiser for a conference and is regularly deemed an event’s most popular talk.
His newest talk, ‘Be Afraid’ is a witty and inspiring speech exploring why we fear the unknown and why embracing those fears leads to positive outcomes. Simeon has spent his life drawn to do scary things, perhaps the craziest of which was persuading his wife to give up their home and their jobs and take their 3 daughters out of school for a year to drive around the world in a camper van busking Beatles songs for UNICEF. Bribing their way past armed Syrian border guards was only slightly less frightening than being cast in a Bollywood film.
Realising his path to becoming a horror writer was via a lifetime of being drawn towards fear, from extreme sports to nerve-wracking career choices, he started to ask why. He consulted philosophers, psychologists, spiritual leaders and scientists to satisfy a simple curious question: why is our fear of the unknown paralysing yet also liberating? In other words, if doing something scary is good for us (and he proves that it is), then why is it so daunting, and how can we overcome that?
Scattered with humour and anecdotes, his powerful message in favour of embracing fear pulls references from Neural Plasticity to Buddha. It’s the perfect conference speech for teams facing change or those being encouraged to think beyond their usual area, or for anyone who simply enjoys a laugh that makes you think.