Annie is an engaging and captivating speaker. She can also share her story of an eight-year rowing career that encompassed the full roller-coaster of highs and lows – most notably when her four man crew were overtaken in the final hundred metres of their Olympic final in Beijing, and television pictures showed every detail of their grief on the podium as they received their silver medals.

Annie was a speaker at the TEDx Cambridge University event in March 2019. Watch her speech here where she investigates whether competition, and competitiveness, gets the most out of us as humans – or whether it brings out our dark side.

TEDx Cambridge University

Annie spent most of her rowing career trying to work out exactly why she put herself through the gruelling training regime that championship sport demands, and it was this desire to find out her ‘why’ that will enable you to get a unique insight into the ingredients required to achieve award-winning performances.

Testimonials include:

Lunch and learn type event to 50 staff at a sports agency: “We had the pleasure of Annie coming to our studio a few weeks ago to give a very insightful and thought-provoking talk. As a sports agency, not only was the content and subject matter super interesting, but also very relatable to a business and our day to day working environment. The team were really engaged and I’ve had several personal comments and messages saying how much they enjoyed the session. I would happily recommend Annie to any of our clients and/or network and will actively be doing so. Keep up the good work!”

One-hour in-person workshop/keynote as part of a Senior Associate conference, 30 delegates, international law firm: “Waking up this morning feeling energised and inspired after yesterday’s Senior Associate conference. Time for self-reflection and motivation courtesy of the awe-inspiring Annie Vernon who spoke like my conscience – it’s fascinating to see how psychology in sport has so many direct parallels to our careers in law.” Senior Associate.

Two-hour virtual training webinar on confidence and motivation, 20 delegates, international bank: “Feedback is amazing – thank you. This is absolutely spot on and really engaging. MD, EMEA research and global insights.

30-minute keynote at a networking event, 100 delegates: “Annie Vernon gave the most inspiring talk on mindset in sport – advice we can absolutely take on in business.” CEO, city centre development company. From the same event: “No slides needed, just a great story of how you achieved so much in the world of rowing. What stood out is how you can then tie this into business and give people an insight into what determination and dedication really is.” MD, office solutions provider.

One-hour keynote speech including exercises as part of a conference, 100 delegates: “Annie took great care to understand what we wanted from her presentation, and on the day she really delivered. Her speech was inspiring, motivating and full of advice tailored to our organisation, and the activities she prepared helped us put her words into practice. Friendly, engaging, and a natural public speaker, she made a witty, fascinating speech that had everyone’s attention from the start and gave us plenty of clear takeaways.” – MD, adult learning organisation.

Two-hour training webinar on confidence, 12 delegates: “a wonderful session … absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much for everything you have done for our team. It really has been so insightful and so worthwhile.” – Associate Professor, UK university.

“We booked Annie to speak at an event and she was so good she became the first repeat keynote in our history. With a warm and personable style, she is comfortably able to relate the dedication and commitment of an Olympian to mere mortals with ease. As well as being great in front of an audience, guests commented how, one to one, she was equally as engaging and amiable.” – Networking host.

90-minute keynote as part of a two-day course, 100 NHS consultants: “A huge thank you to Annie Vernon for speaking at the Endeavour Medical Remote and Restorative course for Consultant doctors. Annie gave a very insightful talk on building relationships under pressure which was refreshing to hear at a time when the NHS, and its senior staff, face ever mounting challenges. Although many of us in the room could not imagine the pressures experienced by Olympic athletes, Annie drew many relevant likenesses of the pressures faced by doctors and how the need to build meaningful relationships within our teams is vital, no matter the setting.

“The three messages I will take forward into my professional life are:

  1. A little bit of FRICTION is not only a good thing, it vital to ensure optimal team function. Annie made a witty yet moving example of ‘not winning silver, but losing gold’ at the Beijing Olympics because she felt her team didn’t have enough friction.
  2. Make changes, keep ADAPTING until you get it right. If a relationship or team isn’t working, don’t be afraid to make changes… This took Annie to the front of the boat not the back.. and more importantly made the boat faster!
  3. If today isn’t your day, make it an 8/8 DAY and be happy with that.

“Just as athletes have off days in training, we all have off days too. As doctors we often feel like every day has to be 10/10 in achievements at work and at home. If things aren’t going your way, recalibrate and focus on making this day an 8/8 day. Changing your mindset can make a huge difference to how you approach your next challenge and how you feel about yourself at the end of the day.

“Thanks Annie, it’s not often we are lucky enough in the NHS to hear from such inspiring individuals outside of the sphere of medicine. Learning from others coming from completely different backgrounds gives us an innovative and fresh approach in how to build teams under pressure.”