Keynote Speaker – My Approach

I endeavour to inspire audiences by sharing practical insights in a thought-provoking and relaxed way. My style is direct, honest and interactive as audiences like to be ‘enter-trained’ (not just entertained!) A healthy dose of appropriate humour is also important. This combination has worked well as I’m fortunate to be in demand as a motivational and keynote speaker.

My talks are designed around a specific theme that falls under the umbrella headings of Personal Development and Leadership. All my talks contain an engaging combination of distinctions and tips and most importantly include that ‘feel good factor’ so audiences leave feeling empowered, positive and with an expanded sense of possibility.

Signature Talks

Personal Branding – How to consciously enhance your reputation

  • What is Personal Branding and how it differs from reputation
  • Why personal branding is important from a leadership and career development perspective
  • The factors that influence your personal brand
  • Why creating a personal brand means taking ownership of your behaviours, attitudes and emotions
  • How to start shaping your own brand
  • Raising visibility for the right reasons

Dealing with change – what life is like outside your comfort zone

  • People don’t resist change, they resist feeling uncomfortable
  • The concept of comfort zone (behavioural, attitudinal & emotional) and how we make our lives ‘more comfortable’ by forming habits and routines
  • What habits are no longer serving you?
  • How we respond when we feel on the edge of, or outside our comfort zones
  • Overcoming fear, both real and imaginary
  • Reframing change for ourselves and others

What it really means to ‘Add Value’

  • To earn more or to raise profile you have to add more value
  • What does adding value really mean? Viewing ‘VALUE’ as an acronym
  • Knowing your audience and the solution you provide to their problems
  • Leveraging your skills and insights to connect what you do and who you are with your ideal audience
  • What makes you unique? No one can replicate your story, your experience. Modern trends in uniqueness including social media

Authentic Leadership - Having the confidence to be yourself

  • What does authentic leadership really mean?
  • The three foundation blocks of authentic leadership
  • Taking full ownership of our behaviours, attitudes and responses
  • Why true leaders take responsibility for the energy they bring into a room
  • Developing the confidence to show up as our best selves
  • The relationship between Thinking, Feeling & Acting that is central to ‘managing our own state.’

Boost your Motivation

  • What is motivation?
  • What motivates and inspires us
  • Common motivational factors including the ‘needs’ we seek to satisfy in and out of work
  • Factors that drive behaviour in ourselves and others
  • Practical tips for boosting your motivation including how to develop a results-focused mindset

Personal Leadership – taking the lead in your own life & career

  • What do you want? How will you know you are on the right track unless you know your destination?
  • Taking ownership of what is within your control, which includes your response to the uncontrollable
  • Creating a vision for your own life and career based on what’s important to you.
  • Why leadership starts by taking the lead in your own life
  • Building the skills of leadership in practical ways
  • Why leadership is the balance between realism (the way things are) and optimism (the way you want them to be.)

Work Life Balance – Finding Equilibrium!

  • How to really measure your current work/ life balance
  • Ways to ensure ‘personal life’ is not just what’s ‘left over’ after work
  • What’s your blueprint for a more equitable work life balance?
  • Why it’s no longer work life balance, but work life blending
  • Why it’s all about tolerances and boundaries
  • Simple strategies for ‘switching off’ and quietening a busy mind

How it works

If you are a conference organiser we will start by having a chat about your desired results for your event, what you feel your audience would find useful and most importantly how you would ideally like your audience to think and feel after my talk. Based on my experience of speaking with thousands of people over the years, I will offer some ideas that I believe will work well and through this consultation process we will finalise the content.

My talks can be tailored to accommodate different time slots and many topics can be expanded into a more interactive workshop depending on your specific requirements.


  • Thank you for all your advice James, the different techniques definitely helped me big time in the interview, finally got word that I got the job and start next week. Delighted.
    M. McLoughlin
  • The feedback was that I did a great interview and a very good role play. I actually enjoy it! I learned a lot about myself during the Interview Skills Coaching session, stuff I’ll put to good use in many aspects of my life.
    C. Ahearn
  • I got the job! Thank you James. The interview skills coaching session was extremely helpful. The feedback was that I came across like a leader and presented myself in the correct manner and that was thanks to James.
    B. Ennis
  • Since completing my series of Executive Coaching sessions with James, I am more efficient and effective at work. I am achieving more whilst at the same time being less stressed about it. I am now able to work through tasks and challenges that would have troubled me in the past, with a greater sense of ease.
    European Claims Manager, Captive Insurance Company, Dublin
  • This is the most appropriate and accurate personal development that I have ever experienced and it will stay with me.
    Sales Executive, Aon Consulting, Dublin
  • Working with James was like working with my better, rigorous conscience. It was his ability to think clearly, and address issues in a step-by-step approach that allowed the impasses in my business life to disappear. I made progress by dint of this tenacity, leaving each of our sessions feeling good about the prospect of achieving realistic goals. In summary, it was a great personal and professional exercise which has been rewarding and worthwhile.
    Founder & Managing Director, Marketing Company, Dublin
  • I enjoyed the training day greatly and it clarified several key things with me and prompted contemplation in helpful directions. The course was well paced with ample involvement from our side. Everything was explained very well, with the right tone for the audience I thought. The fact that James was using very concrete, powerfully simple concepts, some of which could have been misrepresented by a lesser speaker, and delivered them in an accessible and down to earth manner, allowed the continual insights to prompt thought and consideration. Not a small achievement or ability in my book! All in all a very enjoyable, worthwhile and thought provoking day.
    Alistair McBride. Director. Cultural Capital
  • I found the 3 day Train The Trainer course excellent in all aspects. James has changed the way I look at training. He passed on so many tools and tips to us that will really help. The course was such a pleasure to attend.
    L. Brown, Aer Lingus
  • This (Train the Trainer) programme was one of the best courses I’ve attended in the last few years. Course content was excellent and much learning was achieved. James Sweetman was extremely professional and delivered the course in a very enjoyable and participative way. I learned alot which I will use going forward..
    Pat Hall – Dublin Airport Authority
  • James Sweetman delivered a number of workshops at the National College of Ireland. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. 'Increase awareness and focus', 'enhanced motivation' and a 'willingness to take action' were some of the comments shared by attendees. James' style of delivery encourages participation and creates a cohesive and relaxed environment in which to learn. The experience was best described by one student as 'thought provoking, powerful and memorable'.
    Stephen Kennedy, Student Services Officer, National College of Ireland
  • Having found myself in need of clarity about my career, I picked up the phone and arranged a session with James. He provided me with some great practical knowledge to take forward with me. I have since got real clarity on my career and personal direction. To anyone in need of some practical help, James' coaching sessions are a true help and you will benefit anyone both personally and professionally.
    K. O’Byrne (Dublin)
  • After only three sessions, I began to develop a deeper belief in my own inner ability to achieve my ambitions. The sessions provided me with clear objectives. Analysing my strengths and weaknesses, realising what was stopping me from achieving more, I developed strategies to turn these apparent weaknesses into signals for me to believe in myself even more. Establishing clear goals and writing down my goals, helped focus my mind on realistic targets for the future. The energy I wasted on worrying is now spent on 'doing'. The techniques used to develop my confidence, were not only beneficial, but also great fun.
    David Creevy, Classical Guitarist
  • The course was nothing short of fantastic. I am confident that as a result of this Presentation Skills course I will now actually enjoy giving my regular presentations. James was fantastic. He was approachable, accommodating, informed and informative. I’ll be recommending this course to colleagues. Very beneficial.
    U. Treacy. Commercial Manager. Cuisine de France (Belfast)
  • I thought that the course (Influencing & Negotiation Skills) was fab. James is a really effective trainer. I tend to go to a lot of seminars, talks... so I interact with trainers all the time but James' whole style and method was just in a league of its own.
    Nina Lyons, RiseCreatives
  • The Professional Effectiveness course was one of the best days I have ever spent on a course. It was helpful from a work point of view and it was also a wake up call as regards self-awareness and self-improvement.
    E. Preston, KPMG
  • The workshop was very educational and enjoyable. It will definitely help me in my day to day dealings with people. James made me feel at ease as soon as I walked in the door and this continued throughout the day.
    H. Mullen, Kantar Media
  • My coaching session with James allowed me to clear my mind for the first time in years. That sense of calm allowed me to clearly identify the truly important things to me and let go of unimportant things negatively affecting my life. It then provided me with practical resources to retain that sense of calm and clarity. It enabled me to start understanding and making the changes I want to improve my life. It wasn’t easy, but like most things that require hard work and commitment, was very much worthwhile.
    D. Dolan
  • The Train the Trainer course presented by James was one of the best courses I’ve ever attended. James’s delivery was very comprehensive and covered all the subject areas expected and more. The course was well structured and enjoyable. I would happily recommend James as a trainer and coach and I’d be very happy to attend one of his courses in the future.
    M. Gee, Aer Lingus
  • After you reach a certain age, people (including me) tend to think that they’ve seen it all, done it all…”nothing can surprise me”- Man was I wrong! What James presented to us was nothing but AMAZING! The strategies covered (in the Leadership workshop) were exactly what I needed- ways to stop negative thinking and how to boost the way I view myself and my confidence.
    A. Williams Microsoft (Norway)
  • What a fabulous coaching session; healing, restorative, enlightening, freeing and many more delightful words. James’ attuned sense of what I was willing to let go of, as well as what was most appropriate to my needs was spot on.
    F. Bhrian, Dublin
  • The time that I spend with James was very helpful. It has made me more structured in my approach to work. This has enabled me to be more relaxed, confident and enjoy work. I feel now I am much more of an asset to the company and contribute to the growth of the companies sales.I am now in a position to make more money which is why I am in sales.
    R. McConnell, Sales Consultant, Friends First
  • The Interview Skills Coaching session gave me an amazing gift, the permission to just be myself. It was really powerful. Without all the clutter of insecurity and panic in my head, I could see everything really clearly.
    L. Parsons
  • I found James’ Interview Skills Book and coaching invaluable, easy to apply and follow in the interview. And I was offered the job.
    P. Halpin
  • Working with James is not work – its enlightment of self, throwing back the veil of who we are and releasing the inner human in a way I never would have thought possible. His insight, guidance and pure enthusiasm lifted me to a whole new and exciting personal place. Can we be better than what we are? Always! Can we see how to become better? Not necessarily. To me, this is the key James very ably illuminates – he encourages you to tell yourself things you already knew – but had perhaps chosen to ignore or bury inside. Post working with James, it is now clearer how I can better contribute, both professionally and in the broader community. Pure awesomeness!”
    K. McDonnell (Dublin)
  • James Sweetman has had, and continues to have, a significant and very positive influence on colleagues, our culture and indeed our ways of working. James has a unique ability to see through the noise of any issue, decipher the underlying reasons and respond accordingly.
    MD, Lloyd's Pharmacy, Goretti Brady
    MD, Lloyd's Pharmacy,
  • Positive, inciteful and motivational, with a natural presentation style - James’s workshops are one of the highlights of our professional programme.
    Peter Johnson Director of Jobnet
  • I love working with James. Always well-prepared for the individual, group or audience, he is focused and wholly present. He is generous and kind. Simply put: James is a professional and a gentleman. His recent talks on ‘Professional and Personal Effectiveness’ and ‘Making a Positive Impact in the working environment’ were incredibly valuable to the students, adding to their self-confidence and sense of excitement about their first day of work in a new, international setting.
    T. Gilien Director, Programmes & Work Experience Abroad,Boston College
  • James is much more than a coach or trainer. He’s your personal guide to unleash the power of self-awareness while driving you through the most unexplored place of your life: yourself. James will help you to nurture a sense of gratitude for your life, accept what you cannot change, create new horizons and see your life from different angles. A “killer application”, “a must have app” for your life and your business.
    D. Recalcati, Area IT Manager Microsoft
  • James’s seminar (Personal Branding & Leadership) was simply one of the best I’ve been to in a number of years. I came away with a real sense of having new skills and outlook on how effective my communication skills are. James has a unique talent in that his presentation skills are truly engaging. He has an ability to take topics that are pretty complex and bring them to life for the real world. If you get an opportunity to work with James or attend one of his conferences, sign up fast!
    Tim Ryan Marketing Controller Glanbia
  • Our company has used the services of James Sweetman for several years now, from one-to-one coaching to group sessions; everything from personal development to confidence and presentation skills. James is as diverse as we need him to be without ever deviating from his core beliefs and teaching. In all instances James has understood the needs of the group or individuals and works with us to get the best from them. He has won over all sorts of individuals within our company with his unique style and methods and we regularly get requests from staff to have more sessions with James.
    E. O’Doherty Managing Director Mindshare

Client Companies

Take The Next Step

A thought-provoking and stimulating talk is a great way to set the tone for a conference or meeting, or to serve as an energiser in an afternoon session. Get in touch with me and we can chat through how I could add value at your event.

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