Interview with Chris Skinner
What is the message you hope people take away from your presentations?
That the future is exciting, visible and can be predicted; that there are great opportunities for those who seize the visible future; and that innovation is a good thing.
What made you decide to become a professional speaker?
I’ve been a spokesperson for my mainstream career in business for over twenty years. Therefore, when I became independent, I knew I had a style that people liked so I tried out a few after dinners and keynote speeches. Having been invited back many times to speak again, I guess it worked.
How are your keynotes unique?
I’m not a joker or funnyman, but my speeches mix humour and knowledge to give insight. It’s what used to be called edutainment – educating whilst entertaining. That’s what I think my keynotes deliver. They are very international views also, as I travel globally and regularly speak to foreign language audiences. That’s where I learned early on that keynotes need to be highly visual but not wordy. Finally, I’m very British and therefore you need to like British humour when you hire me!
What types of audiences benefit from your keynotes?
I talk a lot about changes in society, economics, business and technology, so anyone interested in the future but particularly those interested in the future of financial services and banking.
How do you combine banking and history in your keynotes?
In many ways, you can only talk about the future of something today if you know its history yesterday and, in the case of banking, that’s particularly true. As most folks know, my core stomping ground is banking, which is an industry that is both reviled and revered and always has been. Having researched finance from ancient Babylon through the Renaissance and Industrial Revolution to today’s world of mega global connections, I therefore provide a lot of insight into how banking has become what it is today and where it is going tomorrow.
How do you believe the banking industry will look in 10 years?
I tend to focus upon the future from a commercial viewpoint and hence my real focal point is what’s happening in 18 months to three years so that the decision makers can take advantage of near-term change, so ten years is too far out for realistic predictions. Nevertheless, if you want a few predictions, there will be fewer banks; more global, large, too big to fail banks; far less branches, about a tenth of today’s numbers; and at least one more financial crisis, but far less significant than the last one.