Having completed a number of speaking engagements on behalf of P&O Cruises in the Far East, the 1991 World 4 x 400 metre relay Champion, Derek Redmond, popped in to see us this week. He took the chance to have a look around the brand new extension, here at Champions (UK) plc, that has doubled the footprint of our headquarters in Leicestershire.
While he was with us, Derek, who recently signed a three year exclusive management deal with our in-house celebrity management agency, Champions Celebrity, pressed to ‘launch’ button on the new website we have built for him and gave us a quick interview.
He said of the new extension, “This is a great facility and a glimpse into the future of Champions. Your team is a really vibrant bunch and it looks like those that have moved into the new building are already growing into their new habitat. No doubt the next time I visit there’ll be even more new faces.”
Derek is well known for having overcome a string of injuries during his career and so, given the willpower he displayed on more than one occasion in his heyday, we asked him where he got his energy from.
He told us, “I think my energy comes primarily from my attitude and I definitely got that from my Dad. He gave me loads of advice, starting from a very young age, and taught me to take a business approach to my career. Not so much in terms of making money but more about meaning business and taking things seriously. Dad came from a very poor background in Trinidad but, when he arrived in Britain in the 1950s, he soon realised there were opportunities to be taken – that’s what he did!”
After an eventful sporting career, which also saw him represent England at basketball after injury put paid to his time in athletics, Derek forged a career as a motivational speaker. Having spent 17 years inspiring people in the work environment, he sees direct parallels between business and the world of sport.
“Sport is business and business is sport - some might see it as a cliché but there’s something to it. If you look at the mind sets of successful businesspeople and sportspeople, there’s not much difference at all. They’re self-starting, entrepreneurial and they never take no for an answer.”
“I have a unique understanding of what it takes to get to the top. No matter which arena you’re competing in, the same qualities are required and I have my own way of getting that across to my audiences. I know about the sacrifices you have to make and, from experience, I have learnt how to cope with setbacks and, ultimately, overcome them.”
While his audiences clearly take a lot away from his presentations, Derek himself definitely comes away smiling.
He explained further, saying “Simply put, I love doing them – I could talk for England and I really enjoy seeing people realise they can achieve more than they thought they could when they first walked in the room. I get a particular kick out of seeing the moment the penny drops for an individual, that moment of revelation - you can see it their eyes. That’s why I do it!”
“Every presentation is different to all the others – unique surroundings, a fresh audience – there are different dynamics at work every time. I get a massive buzz passing on my message and I like performing for crowds, often the bigger the better. An audience of 25,000 is a bit easier to read than an intimate one of, say, five people like one I did recently, as people tend to go with the flow and get involved. Small audiences perhaps make people slightly more self-conscious and the trick then is to relax them and get them to interact – that way I can feed off them.”
Derek Redmond is one of the most in-demand after dinner speakers on the UK circuit. To book him for your company’s next event, call Jack Hayes at Champions Speakers on 08453 31 30 31 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.