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Interview with John Hotowka

Our speaker John Hotowka is an expert on resilience, productivity and corporate success. He will give you and your people insights and simple, practical tools to build resilience and manage change leading to increased productivity. Read his interview and learn more about him and his speaking career!

How did you begin your speaking career?

After being made redundant 3 times in the space of 7 years in my short-lived career as an optician I decided to follow my passion and become a professional magician. In 12 years I built up my career where I was working for nearly half of the blue chip companies in the UK. I was flying around Europe entertaining their top clients and executive boards and using my magic to promote their products, services and corporate messages to large audiences (700+) at their events.

In 2002 I had a crisis in confidence and my business went down hill. I studied high achievers, NLP, Neuroscience and spirituality to find out how successful people think to achieve their goals, be resilient and manage change. I distilled my findings for personal use only. Because of my background as a magician I was asked by an old client to speak at a conference about mind-set. My insight and techniques resonated with so many people I was recommended and referred to speak at other events. Achievement Thinking was born.


How are your keynote presentations unique?

Firstly I use humour and magic to punctuate the points I make, if people are enjoying themselves they’ll listen, remember what’s been said and take action.

More importantly, in my view, is that I tailor my keynotes. The basic techniques and stories I use are more or less the same for every audience. Whenever I illustrate a technique or share an insight, it’s ok for me to convey how I use it but I’ll then give an example of a situation the audience can use it in.

I can only do that thanks to the extensive briefing process, I have to extract that information from the client.


Who or what inspires you most?

The success stories I hear from people in my audiences who have used the insights and tools I teach. It’s not only rewarding for me and reminds me what I’m doing works but also inspires me to give more.


Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?

It’s great when clients get phenomenal results using your insights and techniques.

I remember speaking for an organisation who’d organised a conference for their sales people. It was obvious the audience were not interested in being there. The speakers didn’t seem to connect with them either. I wasn’t looking forward to going on stage at all.

Not only was my session very well received, I was told well after the event that I had helped them hit their annual sales target three months early.

It’s great to know your insights and tools are transferrable and effective.


Describe yourself in 3 words – why these three words?

Inspirational, insightful, entertaining.

I have no idea why these three words, all I know is that these are the words used most often when I’m given feedback from my audiences.


Why do clients typically hire you to speak?

My clients typically hire me because their people are going through a lot of change and they want them to be more resilient, self-motivated and work more closely with each other.

Often I’m also hired not only because of the content but also as an energiser after lunch (when audiences typically are a little low on energy and need to be re-energised). Another good slot for me is the opening speaker of a conference. Because I talk about asking for help and collaboration delegates network more effectively with each other.

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