Interview with Beatrice Freeman on

— How did your speaking career begin?

As a result of 20 years in opera, I have a huge need to be heard. As me. Not as yet another character, not in the words of other people, but talking about the things I’ve experienced and learned from (most often the hard way).  So when an email about a competition happening in two days appeared in my inbox, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to find out what it’s like to speak from a stage. It was past the deadline to apply, but I asked for a cancellation slot, got it, walked in and won it. I’ve been told it was due to my original material and authentic delivery. I guess I was ready. It felt natural.

— What is your most unique experience you have had as a result of your job?

Every time I speak, someone suggests I should write a book. People find my observations interesting as I have a very different angle on most things. One less busy October afternoon I sat down to write and got up 12 days later with a book. (I did sleep and eat in the process.) I thought this would be a nice little birthday present to myself, Introverts Make Better Networkers. I never really planned to write a book at all and it is a straightforward result of speaking.

— Can you provide 3 tips for successful networking?

1. Treat business networking not as a social event, but as a business event.

2. Practice what you’re going to say and thoroughly prepare it in a shorter and longer version a few days before the event.

3. Really listen to what the other person is saying; don’t waste “the listening time” on thinking what you’re going to say next. If you don’t listen, you won’t be able to give – and giving is what networking is all about.

— Why do clients typically hire you to speak?

I’m often told that it’s refreshing to have a story-teller who is neither a sportsman nor a politician. I have a different take on life because of my seven careers and also because I’m a serious enemy of all nonsense and muddiness. I help find the clarity. Thanks to my background, I’m able to help organisations improve personal impact and resilience. As for opera, opera is just a job like any other job; I do sing better than an average businesswoman but I’m certainly not a diva.

— What are your biggest goals in your life and career currently?

It’s important to me to help charities and I specifically admire The Prince’s Trust. I would love to speak or sing at their fundraisers.

— Who and what inspires you most?

I’m always inspired by anonymous kindness. It’s humbling and very beautiful. I see a lot of it in London. Just last month, I was coming home after a very tiring day and I tripped over my long coat going up the stairs on the tube in the evening rush hour. I was terrified that I’d be trampled to death by the speeding crowd.

What actually happened, as I was hitting the ground, I was lifted up by three different people. They checked if I was alright and disappeared. All of the accident took about two seconds. No one stayed to be thanked: they helped a human in need and dissolved a potentially dangerous situation. Just like that.

Get in touch using the Contact Box and ask Beatrice to be part of your event, either as a comedian or as a motivational speaker. If you prefer to speak to your speaker bureau, Beatrice is represented by A-Speakers, Parliament Speakers, Blank Canvas Entertainment and Great British Speakers.

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