Inspirational Speaker

James has been an established motivational speaker for a number of years and has spoken at hundreds of corporate events across the world, including the US, Asia and Australia.

His practical and pragmatic lessons include the importance of interim goals, breaking the task down into small, achievable steps, each one of which increases the commitment to the overall goal; the need for self-belief; the willingness of others to help if only you dare to ask and finally, the value of persistence.

You can also download his speaking biography here.

Key points covered

Why do it?

What motivates James? What could motivate you?

Organising and logistics

The need for a network; the value of persistence; setting intermediate goals

Setting the context

Just how hard is it to cross the Atlantic/Summit Everest - and how is it done

Places and people

It's a big and interesting world out there and there is nothing better than the personal experience

Rising to the challenge

What happened, what went wrong, what went right

The rewards

What it feels like to achieve your goals – supported by stunning pictures and video from the Atlantic and the summit of Everest

Helping others

What others can learn from this and how James look to support others through his endeavours


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  • “James came to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to speak to an audience of Officer Cadets who were nearing the completion of their training and preparing to take over command of soldiers.  James was asked to speak about leadership challenges he had experienced during his various expeditions.  He delivered a well structured presentation with enthusiasm and confidence and was able to draw the audience into the excitement of each of his adventures.  James was very approachable throughout and was eager to engage with and answer questions from the audience during and after his presentation.  His self discipline and ability to motivate himself was clear throughout and is an inspiration to all who were present.
    Major MT Cansdale MBE PARA|SO2
    Sandhurst Royal Military Academy
  • “James Ketchell's story is truly amazing - he captivated the audience of 300 IT professionals with his tales of dealing with the challenges of  nature,  self-determination and of course a little bit of danger thrown in - much of what he talks about can be applied to the corporate world - 90 minutes have never gone so quickly.  
    Ravi Prakash, General Manager 
    Wipro Technologies
  • "James is an engaging and exciting speaker. His story is a unique one combining personal challenge, adventure, adversity and achievement. I can thoroughly recommend James as his story is authentic and relevant to a business audience whether large or small. He leaves you to draw your own conclusions in a witty and often understated way, which makes it all the more appealing and different. James is not your typical motivational speaker, but rather a very motivated speaker!"
    Anthony Ainsworth, Commercial Director
    Avis UK
  • "James was invited to speak at the bi-annual RBS Portfolio Management Conference and drawing upon his various experiences and challenges James was able to relate his talk in a highly effective style to the Conference theme. By using a visual presentation full of breathtaking photos and videos that really brought home the scale of the challenge that James undertook, combined with James' natural, easy going style, he was able to establish a strong rapport with the audience and bring his experiences on Mt. Everest to life. James' journey from a serious motorbike accident to then go on to be the first Briton to successfully solo row the Atlantic Ocean and solo summit Mt. Everest is truly powerful and motivational. The focus, drive and ambition that James exhibits is enormously inspiring and RBS wish him all the best in his next project, Pushing Limits and any other future challenges."
    Paul Brosnahan, Head of Portfolio
    Royal Bank of Scotland
  • "James came to speak at the recent staff development event for staff from the School of Human Science at St Mary's University College. He gave an extremely interesting and entertaining account of his recent single-handed row across the Atlantic and his summit of Mount Everest. His relaxed presentation was illustrated by a breathtaking series of photographs and a selection of fascinating anecdotes. His talk had broad appeal and captivated the administrative and academic staff within the team and many commented that it was ‘inspirational’ and it certainly was an excellent way to start our academic year, illustrating what can be achieved through sheer determination and will power."
    Ann Kennedy, Chair Staff Development Committee 
    St Mary's University College
  • "The mark of a competent speaker is their ability to connect to their audience. I have seen James speak on two occasions to a mixed audience of adults and teenagers and he has a great ability to connect and inspire his audience. I was also impressed with James’s ability to work to the brief I gave him and use his words and style to meet my communication targets. Often speakers who are highly motivated are so focused and driven that they are not approachable and flexible. James has the unique trait of being motivated and focused but is also extremely approachable and personable"
    Simon Carter, Assistant Director, The Scout Association
    UK Scouts