Wednesday, 26 April 2017 13:40

Nicola Cook


Nicola specialises in helping business leaders create accelerated growth and scalability in their sales function.

She has published two international bestsellers, which have been translated into 16 languages and her hotly anticipated third book is due out later this year. Nicola is 
invited to speak internationally and her firm Company Shortcuts was a finalist in two categories at the prestigious BESMA (British Excellence in Sales & Marketing Awards) in 2016, making the finals in the ‘Best sales trainer in the UK’ category, and 'Best Training centre’.

Nicola herself is a past winner at the North East Women Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2012, is a Fellow of the ISM (Institute of Sales Managers) and most recently has been added to the Smith & Williamson Power 100, which celebrates the top 100 individuals who help shape policy, champion, mentor, support and promote entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in the UK.

Originally from a blue-chip background Nicola held senior sales positions at American Express, Procter & Gamble and Gucci, before switching her focus, initially to a scaleup business where she was part of the management team that successfully scaled and exited, before starting her own consulting firm in 2004.

She’s brilliant at combining theory with practical tools and templates that business owners can take away to use directly in their own businesses and with their own teams to build a profitable and scalable Sales Engine for their own company.

Speaking Topics:

1. Building a Sales Engine for Growth

During this high energy and practical sales acceleration presentation for business owners and sales leaders, Nicola walks you through the four key principles of S.A.M© (The Sales Acceleration Model), the sales growth methodology that has added an average of +140% to the Net Profit of Company Shortcuts’ clients.
By following her guiding principles, a business that is struggling to build scale in their sales operation, or a business who is experiencing organic fast revenue growth but at the expense of margin protection and consistent customer experience, or one who is frustrated with flat sales growth and profit results; can and will achieve accelerated growth.

2. Sales Teams 2.0 – The new Sales & Marketing Eco-system

The landscape of sales & marketing has changed. Digital advancements have disrupted the buying cycle and most businesses are ill equipped to understand or manage a buyer’s needs as they engage with you.
Based on the latest research, Nicola will summarise the changes in buying behaviour against the four main types of buyers, before outlining how to structure, recruit and build a sales team fit for ‘The Age of the Customer’.

3. Sales Secrets© – The sales skills everyone in your business should know

It’s unusual (in the UK specifically) for individuals to want to be labelled as ‘in sales’, yet everyone in your business needs to understand their contribution towards revenue generation and profit protection, yet most have never been trained in the most basic fundamentals of selling.

Would everyone in your business know how to spot an opportunity, how to engage them, qualify them or what to do next? Nicola’s simple sales structure and techniques will enable you to empower your people and embed into your business the ethos that ‘sales is a culture – not a department’, ensuring everyone is equipped with the skill set to drive sales growth.

4. Stiletto Leadership

A fun and engaging keynote, underpinned by real research and latest thinking, peppered with anecdotes and real-life stories Nicola will share why we should celebrate the natural differences of masculine and feminine leadership, and specifically for female delegates, why they should tap into their feminine strengths to achieve their ambition, build teams and empower others. 
Inspired by Nicola’s personal stories and tales of mistakes she’s made, the impacting consequences and the successes she’s created by applying her own Stiletto Leadership style.

5. Design the life you want, don’t settle for the life you have – (specifically for teenagers & young adults)

Nicola donates a number of days per year to work with where she delivers this inspiring and uplifting keynote to young people at their school. Nicola is able to share her experience of growing up in a North East steel town where ‘The Company’ closed in 1980, at the same time the region was decimated by the simultaneous loss of coal mining and ship building, plunging the area into abject poverty but more sadly wiping away all hopes and aspirations of a generation.
Her story of how, from an early age, she decided not to be limited by or defined by the lack of opportunities or self-limiting mindsets of many of her peers is an important message that Nicola is passionate about sharing with young people as they themselves begin to make decisions in their own lives.

What people say:

“When it comes to sorting out your sales strategy Nicola Cook is the real deal; seriously knowledgeable, massively experienced, high energy, clear, generous, engaging and fun. She’ll relate immediately to your delegates, their business issues and, with laser focus, show you where to put effort into your Sales Engine for the best possible return. Book her.”

Karen Gray, ACE Chair

“The event was a roaring success and met all of the objectives that we set. It provided the right mix of support and challenge for both individuals and also the group as a whole. I know that a number of people moved out of their comfort zones and stepped up to the challenges that you set.”

Mandy Rutherford, Group Head of Learning & Development, Kingston Communications Plc

“We found Nicola to be very down to earth, this suited our audience perfectly.
Nicola engaged our audience immediately through her energetic delivery style and was able to break down the concepts she covered in to chunks that could be easily absorbed.
The feedback we received on Nicola’s session was extremely positive. 92.5% scored Nicola as an excellent speaker.

We highly recommend Nicola as an event speaker.”

Laura Nelson, Operations Director, RTITB

“Listening to you speak re-enforced my beliefs towards women in business and helped me accept that having a business that is part of who I am & is not a negative. Quite the contrary! Thank you for the inspiration!”

Ellen Green, Co-Founder, Blue Badge Company

“Totally exhilarating! I feel totally empowered. Nicola is full of energy and fun and is a great leader.”

Captial Shopping Centres Plc delegate

“WOW, what a massive kick up the b*m. Literally energized me into taking our business to another level.”

Maccine Hall, Director, Designs Unique

“I would have to pick out the sales session by Nicola Cook for special praise (no she hasn’t paid me off and I had never met her previously) as I thought her session was great. She shared some great information and advice that we could integrate directly into our day to day business.
I think sometimes you get to listen to great speakers but as an MD of a growth business you can walk away unsure how to implement their advice. The advice from Nicola’s session has directly helped us break our closed sales records in the 4 weeks hence as well as helped improve performance across the board.”

Chris McIntyre, MD Foundry 34, to Alastair MacColl the then Chief Executive of Business Link North East, following a Business Link sponsored seminar

“As you know I’ve recommend you for some time, but until this week, I had never seen you deliver and I was anxiously excited. I wanted to write to you and share my experience, it was amazing! You are amazing! Hearing the feedback from my client, the Chief Exectuive of the Officers Club and his most senior team was a very special thing for me.
Thank you, you are so talented and I appreciate you very much.”

David Harper, Chairman, HarperCo

“Nicola definitely is an expert in her field and the content was well presented. She has given me some great ideas to implement and it isn't often that one comes away from a morning feeling like you have gained exponentially. Thank you”

Prelude workshop delegate

“It’s 5pm on Friday and I can’t wait to get back to work on Monday morning and apply the knowledge gained to start getting the sales results we’ve always wanted but been too afraid to go out and get!”

Kevin Owens, Co-founder Your Film

“Nicola Cook has changed my perspective completely. What I’ve learned will benefit my entire team, colleagues, peers and family!”

Paul Thewlis, Capital Shopping Centres Plc

Published in Speakers
Friday, 10 March 2017 17:34

Shed Simove

GBS Shed Simove

Shed Simove is an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. His areas of expertise are CREATIVITY, INNOVATION, IDEAS GENERATION, SALES & MARKETING. Harnessing a constant stream of ideas from his astonishingly active mind, Shed has learned to transform his unconventional concepts into lucrative and original business ventures, which form the basis of his completely unique books, products, performances and motivational speeches.


Following a degree in Experimental Psychology at Balliol College, Oxford, and two years working in Disney World, Florida (as a Sixteenth Century Gentleman), Shed worked in TV Production, heading up programmes including ‘The Big Breakfast’, ‘Space Cadets’, and ‘Big Brother’. Shed soon became known industry-wide for making innovative, ground-breaking television shows. In 2003, Shed was appointed Commissioning Editor of Channel 4’s ‘Big Brother’ and throughout his TV career was also involved in discovering and launching many stars including Kelly Brook, Tess Daly and Russell Brand.


As well as a successful career in television production, Shed has forged a highly innovative merchandising empire – creating conceptual gifts, executive toys, best-selling adult sweets, books, greetings cards, and even his own currency. To date, Shed has sold over one million novelty gifts worldwide and has won ‘Gift Of The Year’ twice, once for a range of birthday candles that spell “You’re Old”, and more recently for the “Sound Machine” – a neat contraption that provides sixteen sounds for any occasion. His world-famous book, ‘What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex’ became an international bestseller despite consisting of two hundred completely blank pages.

It reached number 44 on the Amazon chart and has been translated in numerous languages, including Spanish, Dutch, Croatian and Mongolian.


Shed is an expert in IDEAS and can help make anyone’s ideas happen. Shed believes that "when an idea pops into your head, it can send you on amazing adventures - if you follow the idea through...". He fervently believes in ‘failing upwards’ by trying to launch numerous ideas and learning from the amazing experiences they bring.


Shed performs memorable and entertaining talks that showcase his conceptual products and the amazing adventures surrounding them. He uses his own entrepreneurial journeys to give a powerful insight into how the audience can be more innovative, delivering concrete techniques for creativity and new ideas for any business that will directly increase profitability. Plus, he shares his secrets for success and outlines the steps towards achieving whatever you desire – both personally and in the corporate world.

Shed excels at giving business teams the tools to create new ideas that directly affect the company’s bottom line.

As well as his keynote speech, Shed’s innovation techniques can also be used in the same session to tackle specific needs that the company has, generating ideas for new products, services and solutions that will directly increase profitability. As his talk is both entertaining and informative, it is also suitable for lighter occasions.


Shed’s ability to create new ideas, coupled with his skill to make them happen, mean that his range and rate of success is vast - and thus his performances are wonderfully motivational as well as entertaining. He has the 
ability to both inspire significant, ‘revenue generating’ changes and then equip the audience with the tools to make those changes happen.

Shed’s inspirational and hugely informative performances showcase his amazing career path, using props and visuals that add to the engaging and exciting stories he tells. Shed has performed his visual and inspirational corporate speech successfully to both entrepreneurs and non-business people alike. 

All of Shed's performances can be tailored to suit the audience to deliver a truly compelling, uniquely memorable, fascinating, one-off performance.


Shed's first book, IDEAS MAN, is the true story of this visionary maverick’s amazing adventures. At breakneck speed, Shed describes how dozens of his ideas came to be, how they succeed or sometimes disastrously fail.

Some of Shed's ideas include: a range of novelty remote controls, a groundbreaking documentary that involved him going undercover as a 16-year-old schoolboy (when he was 30) and the launch of his own currency – the ‘EGO’.

IDEAS MAN is a unique book written by a completely extraordinary character. A hilarious and inspirational real life tale of eccentricity and enthusiasm, it’s perfect for anyone who’s ever had a dream and wondered how to make it come true.

Shed is living proof that you really can make it happen...


To book Shed for a Motivational Speech that delivers a highly original, entertaining and inspiring take on creativity, success and entrepreneurship, please contact Jane Farnham (An ex colleague of Shed!) at Great British Speakers on 0044 1753 439 289 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


"I invited Shed to come and visit the Unilever UK & Ireland communications team to share with us some of the thought processes and "tricks of the trade" he uses to come up with great ideas. The session he delivered was dazzlingly good - full of energy, insights, inspiration and positivity. If you want to take an alternative, off-the-wall look at how you can inject some creativity into your team or business, then Shed's your man."

Paul Matthews, Press Officer, Unilever UK & Ireland

“Our commercial team spent a highly amusing and thought provoking evening listening to some of Shed’s real life journeys from mad idea to commercial product. This has caused a real buzz in the team and got our buyers thinking: ‘there’s another way of doing this’...”

Andy Wiggins, Group Innovation Director, B&Q

“‘Less talk and more action’ is the name of Shed’s game as he goes through countless number of practical tips on idea generation, and how to execute them as well. There are thousands of ideas practically staring you in the face, all you need is a bit of ‘Shed inspiration’ to be the catalyst and kick it all off!”

Desigan Chinniah, eBay UK

“Over and above my own expectations and desires from Shed’s presentation, the feedback from the business has been a huge amount of respect for Shed having the passion and tenacity to see an idea through to its natural completion rather than most who would have dropped it by the wayside. If you want to reinvent yourself or change the way you and your people think, he is an absolute must.”

Paul Alexander, CEO, Beyond Analysis

“Genius! Shed has captured his creative steps and delivers them with passionate, understandable and hilarious stories of his successes (and failures). Shed and his products are brilliant at challenging people to think differently and are great at kick starting any creative innovation session...”

Paul Scrase, Truth Consulting on behalf of SONY UK

Published in Speakers
Monday, 16 January 2017 14:52

Jessica Cunningham

GBS Jessica Cunningham

Entrepreneur and TV Personality.  Jessica rose to fame following her stint on the BBC show The Apprentice, with viewers backing "The TV gold star” to win after just the first episode.

As each episode unravelled Jessica was a firm favourite and likeable candidate with a warm and fun character.  She was said to have the personality of Jim Carey, David Brent and Keith Lemon mixed with the looks of Michelle Keegan!

The 29 year old has an extraordinary and infectious energy as well as a hugely positive outlook on life, which explains how she runs her successful clothing brand whilst raising her three young daughters or as Jessica likes to call them, The Three Queens - Poppy, Olive and Hatti.

The Derbyshire based business woman is also head designer and marketing/PR director for her clothing brand which is loved by many television personalities, and she is currently working on her own collection within the brand - "Boardroom to Boudoir" consisting of 6 business attire outfits and off the scale sexy lingerie.  This collection enforces Jessica’s belief that strong, successful women are still entitled to be sexy.

Being a fitness fanatic, a Reiki practitioner, mother of three and entrepreneur Jessica believes that there is no such thing as a stereotype!  She embraces life as much as she can.  She has starred in a low budget horror film, presented online series for many brands and also writes for local publications.

Jessica has consistently hit headlines in the short few months she has been in the media spotlight for her ‘breath of fresh air’ attitude to business and for her newfound relationship with fellow Apprentice contestant Courtney Wood.  Set to be a big star in 2017, Jessica welcomes new and exciting media opportunities.

For more information on corporate work please call Jane Farnham at Great British Speakers 0044 1753 439289

Jessica is available at Great British Speakers in partnership with White Management.

Published in Event Hosts
Monday, 28 November 2016 17:06

Neil Bentley

GBS Neil BentleyIt all started back in 1991, presenting on the infamous 103.2 Power FM. I held down the position of overnight host, while studying media and film at college during the day. Certainly a tricky work life balance for a 16 year old. Once graduated, I then set upon a journey around the country to gain experience and knowledge at a variety of the UK’s best loved radio stations. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to be part of the main presenting teams at Horizon Radio, Northants 96.6FM, B97 and TFM – before landing the dream job of daytime DJ at Galaxy 105 in Leeds.

Galaxy 105 was a huge turning point in my life. My passion of dance music and radio were fused together, helping me to ride the wave of the brand and deliver record breaking audience figures. I’d regularly DJ all over the country for brands like Deja Vu & Gatecrasher as well as further afield tours in Ibiza, Miami & Tenerife. It was here that I caught the attention of the management team at 95.8 Capital FM, who gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

In 2003 I became the afternoon presenter on the now legendary London station, working alongside Chris Tarrant, Jeremy Kyle & Neil Fox. I presented in front of 100,000 people at Party In The Park, was the go to expert for entertainment stories on Sky News and remixed a top 40 hit. This was also the time that heralded the start of my voiceover career, catching the ear of Haymarket Publishing and became one of their main live voiceover artists for awards on Park Lane – alongside Alan Dedicoat.

In 2008 I moved to Heart 106.2fm and was lucky enough to be given the Drivetime Show. In an ever growing competitive market I managed to score a number 1 position, while also becoming the main cover host for Jamie Theakston on Heart Breakfast. I presented alongside Emma Bunton, Gina D’Campo and Alexandra Burke. I interviewed a plethora of guests including Liam Neeson, Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins.

But it was the end of 2012 that was the most pivotal moment of my career, leaving Radio behind and becoming the founding member of webvid.

webvid is a boutique creative video communications agency that helps brands and events showcase themselves online. Since its inception we have grown a reputable client list which includes Post Office, Microsoft and BBC – and have grown into our third office in Vauxhall, London. As well as video I created a web development arm which helped to cement our digital offering.

In 2015 Swipe Digital Ltd was born to cohesively house our platforms like CrowdScreen and our Events CMS. CrowdScreen has become the go to social engagement display solution, while our CMS powers over 30 awards sites for clients including Haymarket Publishing.

All of this has become my life, my passion and my reason for being. I enjoy managing teams, taking risks and innovation. I had over 23 years in Radio, so in comparison my business career is just at the beginning. I very much hope to grow, learn and enjoy the challenges that lie ahead.
Published in Event Hosts
Friday, 14 October 2016 11:18

Tiffany Wright

Tiffany Wright dating relationship advisor journalist presenter at Great British Speakers

Tiffany Wright is a Romance Expert, Journalist and TV Presenter.

Tiffany started her career writing sex and relationship features for top national women's magazines including Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Marie Claire, Company and Elle. She was swiftly made the Sex and the Cosmo Girl columnist for Cosmopolitan magazine and then became Nuts magazine's Sexpert, offering men and women worldwide advice on dating, relationships and romance.

In 2012 she set up the UK's first proposal planning company and became a full time proposal planner, helping men and women all over the world propose in unique and amazing ways. This landed Tiffany a 6 part TV series on Lifetime, where she was filmed running her business and arranging out of this world proposals.

Tiffany now works full time as a romance expert and proposal planner helping people worldwide plan dates and arrange romantic events, as well as offering relationship, dating and sex advice.

She has also written two romance novels and is currently writing her third.

Published in Speakers
Friday, 14 October 2016 11:00

Sophie Morgan

Sophie Morgan inspirational disability campaigner entrepreneur speaker presenter at Great British Speakers

Sophie, 31, was paralysed from the chest down in a car crash aged eighteen.

After leaving hospital, whilst adapting to life as a wheelchair user, she joined the Fine Art Degree at Goldsmiths Art College, London. During her degree a second career opportunity arose, as she was asked to participate in a ground breaking expedition across Nicaragua ('Beyond Boundaries BBC 2004) and since then Sophie has gone on to establish a diverse and successful portfolio career; spanning across various creative industries.

Sophie is Director of three companies; 'Love Lines' a boutique Arts company, 'Empire Investors' a property investment & development company and 'Votal' a voting App. She is also an Artist and Portraitist, working and exhibiting in Bermondsey, London.

In addition to this Sophie is an award-winning campaigner, celebrated (Glamour Magazine & Cosmopolitans Ultimate Woman Awards) not only for her educational work within road safety ('Licence to Kill' BBC 2008) but also raising awareness of the access and attitudinal barriers facing people with disabilities.

She regularly reports on disability issues and current affairs for Channel 4, Sky and the BBC and has fronted two critically acclaimed BBC Documentaries, 'License to Kill' (BBC 2010) and 'The Worlds Worst Place to be Disabled?' (BBC 2015). More recently Sophie has been selected to co-host The Superhuman Show (C4 2016).

Sophie is a proud ambassador for Rex Bionics, Carbon Black & Why Not People and Patron of Scope.

Published in Speakers
Friday, 14 October 2016 10:04

Rebecca Jane

Rebecca Jane relationship expert and speaker at Great British Speakers

Rebecca is our relationship and infidelity expert and she is the current director of 'The Lady Detective Agency' heavily featuring in the national press and media. Including: The Daily Mail, Daily Star on Sunday, That's Life, BBC Radio and ITV's 'This Morning'.

For a young woman Rebecca has lead an extraordinary life, being married, divorced, a single parent and on both ends of the infidelity scale, all before the age of 25. Being an entrepreneur since the age of 18, Rebecca never let an opportunity pass her by. Her own heartbreak could of been a very sad story, but Rebecca's glass is always half full and turned her life experience into a national serving detective agency.

Rebecca is full of exciting energy, highly motivated but brutally honest.

Not only about her personal experiences but how to solve other peoples.

Never afraid to confront controversy head on, and taking no prisoners there's no relationship problem she can't handle.

Rebecca Jane's book 'The real lady detective agency' was published by Harper Collins in January 2013, and made the best sellers list in the first week of release.'

Published in Speakers
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 13:57

Amar Latif

GBS Amar L Facebook

Amar Latif is a blind traveller, businessman and TV personality with an astonishing track record of facing up to major challenges. Due to an incurable eye condition, Amar lost 95% of his sight by the age of 19.  Through sheer determination he has managed to turn an unpromising tale of loss, into one of truly inspirational achievement. 

In addition to his wealth of experience as a BBC and Channel 4 presenter, Amar is an award-winning entrepreneur. In 2004, Amar founded Traveleyes, the world’s first commercial tour operator to specialise in holidays for blind as well as sighted travellers.  Amar is very rarely in one place for long, but when he isn’t travelling, he is often giving his time to charity.  Amar is on the board of trustees for the UK charity, Guide Dogs and is a regular fundraiser/supporter of other blind-related charities including Sightsavers and the RNIB.  Amar also works with schools around the world taking students on a wide range of travel adventures whilst having them describe the sights to other blind travellers.  By broadening the mind-set of young people today, Amar hopes to create a more accessible world for those with vision impairment in the future.

Whether delivering a keynote motivational speech, or acting as an after dinner speaker, you can be sure Amar will move, inspire and energise your audience.

Published in Speakers