Interview with Richard Tyler
How did you go from the West End to the Speaking Circuit?
It happened in a blur. Mostly by accident rather than by design! If I’m brutally honest, I was bored of singing. I need to freshen things up a bit. I left my contract when it ended at Phantom and started hunting down my next opportunity. I would ANYTHING. Except prostitution. I talked to people, networked, annoyed potential employers, turned some jobs down, applied for many that I didn’t get and stopped auditioning.
I was asked by a friend to help them work through a presentation they needed to give – they wanted a dash of va-va-voom. I spent some time with them and found it fascinating. They laughed lots and stretched their style significantly. I was hooked. Here was an extraordinary way to use all my talent and skill to make a difference. One thing led to another and I was asked by more people to help them.
I found myself spending 3 years with a Learning and Development consultancy – the rest is history. I set up BTFI about 9 years ago and found myself being asked to speak at more and more conferences. Looking back, the transition was simple….
What types of similarities do you experience between the two kinds of performance?
They are intrinsically linked. The attitude of a performer is key. It drives every choice they make in the moment and helps them un-pick what just happened and what is needed next. Performers have to be present and with their radar on as that is where they have greatest choice.
Performers strive for the extraordinary. Good does not delight and enthrall an audience! Good does not please many customers either! Leaders have to perform – turn up the impact as required (or down), be present, make choices, present themselves, connect with people, tell a story, encourage others to tell their story and continually refine in order to dance with extraordinary.
How would you describe your keynotes?
Sailing close to the edge. Fun. Uncomfortable. Challenging. Energetic. Energising. Refreshing. A stretch. Participative. Provocative. Not for those that are happy with ‘good’!
How does humor factor into your talks?
Heavily. I’m not comedian though. It’s a fact – people learn more when they are having fun and enjoying themselves. If I can help people access that place they will engage more with the messages and therefore are more likely to take action as a result. I like having fun too. However, I believe that leaders and their businesses HAVE to be a better place as a result of working with me so, although we laugh and play lots, there is a serious message wrapped up within it – change and progression require an upgrade of attitude and new action.
What types of lessons and tools do audiences walk away with?
There are many, and I am always eager to ensure that the messages fit snugly with the clients brief. I am not keen on ‘off the shelf keynotes’ so prefer to tailor them specifically and then adapt them ‘live’ during the session. I don’t believe that what I deliver is rocket science. It’s actually very straight forward and yet produces monumental shifts.