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Spotlight: We shine the light this week on Helen Pointer


Photo of Helen PointerHelen Pointer, an ex-NHS 'Super Matron', was tipped as one of the 'hottest' motivational and training talents in the marketplace by the 2009 Speakers for Business Showcase. She talks to about feeling the fear and doing it anyway…


Name: Helen Pointer

Job title: Public speaker and caricaturist


  • I draw the best out of people through motivational speaking
  • I coach interview and presentation skills, managing change, dealing with problems etc. And draw 'on-the-spot' caricatures at all kinds of events

    1. Why did you become a caricaturist, coach and public speaker?

    I really enjoy public speaking. With years of management experience combined with my ability to draw caricatures, I realised a keen interest in what I deliver and have accepted every challenge since!

    2. What do you love best about your job?

    Inspiring people through laughter and connection.

    3. What do you find most challenging?

    When I pick on the boss of the company as my first 'victim' or volunteer and they are not well-liked by their colleagues, I can sense the tension in the room (no heckling) and I have to work hard to provoke discussion. The caricatures can suggest the problems in a non-threatening way and it's extremely rewarding when this leads to a positive outcome.

    4. What's the best advice that you would give to someone new to coaching and public speaking?

    Accept every gig that comes your way. Observe and meet as many other speakers and trainers as possible. Always carry a pen with you. I often draw for my supper!

    5. What's the best advice that's been given to you that has helped you in your career?

    Get up there and always look excited!

    6. How do you see training developing over the next few years?

    Hopefully overwhelmed with opportunities to teach through empathy. I do not get up and speak alone. I turn it around and get you, the audience, to do the talking. I gently nudge everyone through the comedy of my caricatures to bring all the issues that they find difficult and challenging to discuss.

    7. What's the best career help book that you've ever read?

    'Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway'

    8. What's the best event within the training community that you've ever attended?

    'Train the Trainers' with Inspire Change.

    9. Who do you think is the most inspirational member of the training community and have you ever met them?

    Martin Clarke of Inspire Change, and yes, I am lucky enough to have worked with Martin on numerous occasions.

    10. What else would you like to share with our readers?

  • Always say yes to every challenge
  • Engage with everyone - it's exhausting and keeps the audience alert
  • Be honest and show how much you're enjoying your work. It's infectious!


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