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Highly entertaining keynotes drawing on experiences from the publishing industry

Claire Irvin

Claire Irvin

travels from UK

Content Director and one of UK's leading brand specialists and content strategists, social commentator and event host

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About Claire

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Our keynote speaker Claire Irvin has spent her career collaborating, working and socialising with some of the biggest names in show business and entertainment. As one of the UK's leading content editors and brand specialists, she is responsible for some of the most successful magazine launches and relaunches in British publishing history.

Claire Irvin is one of the UK’s leading content strategists and an editor, social commentator and event host. As the former Editor-in-Chief of magazines SHE, Company, ELLEgirl and Sugar, editor-at-large of Grazia and OK!, and deputy editor of InStyle, she has presented at numerous awards events, from buzzy breakfast catwalk events such as Company‘s High Street Fashion Awards, glamorous Claridge’s lunches such as SHE Inspiring Women Awards, and cocktail party gatherings such as InStyle Best Beauty Buys. She has co-hosted black tie awards ceremonies for several hundred people such as the industry-defining Mother&Baby Awards, and frequently presents with famous faces and holds intimate lunches for clients and celebrities.

Claire Irvin is the author of six Sunday Times best-sellers, including fiction, four celebrity co-writes and her latest book Mindfulness for Women: Declutter Your Mind, Simplify Your Life, Find Time to Be (2016). Each book has led to speaking opportunities, most recently at Words by the Water, a literary festival of words and ideas, and the invitation to host private events such as Tara Palmer Tomkinson’s 40th birthday party.

With her ample experience from the world of publishing, Claire Irvin is a frequent speaker at conferences and panels, from keynotes and presentations at internal conferences to headlining events such as Mumstock – a conference on marketing to mothers. She has hosted her own book launch parties and magazine relaunch parties. Additionally, she appears on mentoring webinars such as Everywomanclub’s Voices of Experience.

Claire Irvin is also Chair of the BSME, of the UK’s highest profile and most prestigious media associations, with whom she hosts monthly industry events and two major awards ceremonies: BSME Rising Stars Awards and the British Society of Magazine Editors Awards. She has worked on the launch of one of the greatest game-changers in magazine history, and has given some of the biggest names in popular culture their first taste of fame with magazine columns; Alexa Chung, Peaches Geldof and Lily Collins to name a few.

Claire Irvin is a keen champion of causes, educating and inspiring audiences, and she has campaigned at the highest level to change policy and people’s lives, going as far as campaigning in parliament and participating in a heated media debate with Bob Geldof about the sexualisation of preteens. Her audience, as she puts it, ranges from preteens to silver surfers to that most difficult of gigs, boisterous journalist peers. Always well-prepared, funny and highly entertaining, Claire Irvin draws on her personal experiences and anecdotes in the publishing industry, tailoring her talks to suit audience and occasion.


See keynotes with Claire Irvin

    Keynote by Speaker Claire Irvin


    As the ultimate case study in non-mindful living, Claire Irvin went through a mindfulness programme for the creation of her book Mindfulness for Women and became the living, breathing proof of the benefits. In her keynotes on the topic, she uses anecdotes and practical examples to show how audiences can benefit too, sometimes even involving the audience in a meditation themselves! 

    • The principles of mindfulness
    • Techniques
    • Incorporating mindfulness into a busy modern life
    • Mobile mindfulness
    • Finding headspace in a world filled with ‘noise’
    • Where, when and how to meditate
    • How to improve relationships with mindfulness


    Keynote by Speaker Claire Irvin

    Parenting/working mums

    Claire Irvin’s approach to parenting is based on the idea that you are still you: that no one undergoes a personality transplant when they have children. Whilst values, practicalities and priorities change, you can be a great parent without fundamentally changing your personality. Becoming a mum does not have to be a by-word for becoming mumsy. Claire shares her own experiences and elaborates on how she manages a demanding job, writing best-selling books, tending to her committee roles, being a great mum, trying to be a great wife, and having an actual social life in the meantime.

    • Why aiming for ‘have it all’ generally means ‘having to do it all’
    • When you’re the world’s worst breastfeeder
    • Getting rid of mum guilt – whether you work or parent full time
    • Managing your work/life balance
    • How to manage the unspoken rules of motherhood
    • Dealing with schoolgate bullies
    • Maternity and paternity leave


    Keynote by Speaker Claire Irvin

    Sexualisation of teens

    At the height of their social power, teen magazines not only sold half a million copies a month, they played an important role when it came to providing their readers with sex education. As Editor of the biggest one, Claire Irvin caused huge controversy with her openness and propensity to deal with things ‘as they are’ rather than ‘as they should be’. She came under fire for her perceived role in the ‘sexualisation of teens’ and spent many mornings on the breakfast show circuit and evenings on the phone to the Daily Mail debating about this with her highest-profile critic: Bob Geldof.

    Whilst social media has changed the world of young girls almost beyond recognition, the issues remain the same – vulnerable young girls are not properly educated about sex and relationships, often suffer from low self esteem and are in danger of the ‘pretendships’ offered by the internet and social. Issues that Claire can address on this topic include:

    • The horror of Sugar’s problem page letter
    • Addressing low self esteem in teens
    • Dealing with things ‘how they are’
    • How to help young people take care of themselves
    • Campaigning: eg Company’s ‘Play safe’ sexual health campaign (supported by Calvin Harris, Alexa Chung, Paolo Nutini and many more)

    Keynote by Speaker Claire Irvin

    Eating Disorders and Bullying

    With Claire Irvin at the helms of the magazines, readers confided in the teams of Sugar and ELLEgirl as if they were their best friends. Gaining preteen and teenage trust gave Claire a shocking insight into the truth about the culture of eating disorders, low self esteem and bullying.


    Keynote by Speaker Claire Irvin


    Claire Irvin believes that everyone has a book in them – it’s just a question of finding the opportunity to write one! Claire shares her experience with how to do this – and with the process of writing a book in itself (especially when it involves someone famous). Topics include:

    • Writing with an anonymous author – and keeping them that way
    • Living with celebrities and getting inside their psyche
    • Coming up with a plot – fiction or co-written fiction
    • Writing non-fiction


    Keynote by Speaker Claire Irvin


    According to Claire, working as a magazine editor is like living one dinner party anecdote after another. There is never a dull moment and most of them are ones other people want to hear! Topics include:

    • Rethinking a brand – and living it
    • Creating a niche
    • Understanding a readership
    • Setting an agenda
    • Sourcing stories
    • Securing exclusives
    • B-list celebrity egos
    • Planning VIP parties and star weddings
    • Trend forecasting
    • Staying ahead of the zeitgeist
    • Discovering editorial talent and launching it as a ‘face of’ or poster girl 


    Keynote by Speaker Claire Irvin


    • Current Travel Trends.
    • How to Plan a Family Holiday on Any Budget.
    • Multi-Generational Holidays.



Interview with Claire Irvin

How much does humour factor into your talks and presentations?
I like to make my speeches fun (where appropriate), inclusive and entertaining and to pepper my speeches with funny anecdotes and levity. Some occasions offer up more opportunities than others, of course. Much is about reading my audience and having the confidence – and the content – to respond to them accordingly. If they are more appreciative of a serious approach, I will tailor it as such – but if they seem up for a laugh, let’s go with that too!

What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?
I just enjoy it! I like the feeling of holding an audience’s attention, of interacting with them and sharing experiences. I enjoyed being on stage and acting and dancing as a child, and public speaking/hosting awards are the closest thing to it that my chosen career offers – though please note I hung up my tap shoes a long time ago.

Who or what inspires you most?
I admire pioneers, Mavericks and strong women – people who are thought leaders and aren’t afraid of being an individual. I’m lucky that I get to meet a lot of all of these – from all walks of life – and am proud to call many of them friends.

Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?
I love it when as a speaker you get great chemistry between yourself and an audience – and co host of course. But my favourite moments often stem from when things go wrong – typos in the autocue, a no-show from an award winner, or a celebrity co host who turns up drunk, or late, or falls over then bursts into tears on stage, for example. You’ll have to book me to find out more!

What is the main message that you hope audiences take away from your talks on the sexualisation of teens?
We are all guilty of sexualising our teens via the culture we have created and live in. That’s the programmes we watch, the way we talk, and the expectations of gender roles, relationships and body image that we harbour. So therefore we need to equip young people to deal with this. One is never too young to know right from wrong. Knowledge is empowerment, and age should not be a barrier to knowledge. If a girl is old enough to be potentially pressured into something she doesn’t want to do, then she is old enough to be properly educated about sex and be able to openly talk about it with her peers and her influential grown ups.

What was the most eye-opening moment for you while researching mindfulness for your new book Mindfulness for Women?
My mindfulness journey was more a series of surprises than just one eye opening moment. With every week that I persevered with it there seemed to be a new benefit – more patience, better sleep, more head space, a calmer approach to life that meant firstly work became less stressful and then my relationships with family and friends improved. The best one has been my increasing self discipline in focusing on the moment – so important in appreciating the time I have with my children rather than being distracted by email and phone – and one that pays for itself over and over.

See keynotes with Claire Irvin
Non-binding request for Claire Irvin

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Keynote topics with Claire Irvin