Fee band from £ 4000 - 7000
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Michael McGrath provokes, stimulates and inspires change. Forget the fact that he is the first disabled person in the world to have conquered both North and South Poles and that he has the debilitating muscle wasting disease known as Muscular Dystrophy for a moment. In May he received the prestigious 2005 Business Traveller of the Year Award in Dubai.
He was included in The Queen’s 2004 Christmas Day Broadcast reinforcing diversity as a strength and earlier that same month, honoured by Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace for his significant contribution to national life. A successful consultant working in the area of diversity and inclusion, he is also the disABILITY Champion for Hilton Hotels.
British born with a cocktail of Irish and Brazilian blood in him and educated by the Jesuits, he is first and foremost a father, leader, motivator and change agent. His remarkable life story is one of consistently challenging adversity. He is both inspirational in terms of his daily battle in overcoming his physical limitations and driven in the way he imparts his can-do ethos to his audience. Articulate in delivery, he is living proof that the remarkable power of the human spirit is alive and well. A real person with real experiences delivering real messages that uplift human consciousness
Through his role as disABILITY Champion for Hilton Hotels operating at a strategic level, he drives organisational confidence by communicating with key industry stakeholders. He educates and inspires both employees, customers, agencies and professional industry bodies around DDA legislation, the practicalities, impact and commercial opportunities, influencing both brand and business thinking. His work with Hilton has led to further understanding of the needs of, and matters affecting, disabled guests throughout the Hilton estate.
As disability moves up the corporate agenda, Michael is regularly invited to share his experiences and insights with organisations around the world looking to learn about integrated access and inclusive amenities but also seeking to understand the business case in recognising the benefits of an inclusive culture – with >10 million disabled people in the UK with a combined spending power of >£80 billion per annum, delivering for example inclusive conferences in the UK that are accessible-for-all is unquestionably clear.
In April 2002, his undefeatable will to succeed and his relentless desire to push himself to even greater achievements led him to successfully reach the North Pole and in January 2004 to Antarctica and the South Pole. His polar experiences are laced with danger, incredulity and excitement.
After a near fatal aircraft incident on arrival into Antarctica and enduring 14 days on the ice, he and his culturally diverse team reached the South Pole having been man-hauled in the supine position the last 5kms. He ‘walked’ the final leg, a distance of 310 metres. Facing his worst fears head-on and feeling the cold terribly due to a woefully inefficient circulatory system and despite severe walking difficulties having lost 65% of his muscle bulk, Michael became the first disabled person to have reached both North and South Poles.
Established on the international speaker circuit and in the age of new adventurers, his infectious spirit is personified by the example of self-improvement he continually sets. In valuing difference, engaging presentations move people from diverse backgrounds and at all levels to make a tangible difference in both their workplace and personal lives. One of his key learning’s is to recognise what he calls the power within and that the journey towards achieving one’s goals is far more important than the final destination.
Undaunted by his debilitating condition, this truly insightful speaker has firmly grasped life head on. He continues to make things happen his way. Numerous magazine and newspaper articles have covered his extraordinary exploits with many radio and TV appearances. Sound commercial experience drawn from a business background in performance improvement, employee motivation and sales development enable him to customise his delivery by inspiring both small and large groups to reach beyond.
Michael is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of The Muscle Help Foundation whose vision is to see a world free of muscle disorders.
“In exploring human potential, we are intrinsically connected by muscles that bind us together, muscles that give us the power to function and achieve, muscles that enable ambitions and dreams to be realised” [Michael McGrath]
Areas of Expertise
Strong self-belief, meticulous preparation, focus and personal accountability are his guiding principles. Michael’s qualities of determination, courage, resilience, optimism and purpose of mind ensure all parties with whom he connects achieve positive outcomes. Beneath his personable disposition and appealing sense of humour, there lie profound messages that provoke, stimulate and inspire change.
From keynote addresses for conferences, seminars, corporate events and award ceremonies both in the UK and overseas, Michael shapes and customizes each presentation that he delivers according to client objectives. This versatile speaker often illustrates key messages and learning’s with stunning high quality images and high impact moments – audiences experience a roller-coaster of emotions through his innate ability to interprete information and then deliver using his unique blend to connect, enthuse and inspire his audiences.
By no means exhaustive, Michael has delivered on a variety of topics, themes and workshops including:
Ice, Slice & Adrenalin
Belief and The Power Within
Leadership in Action
pole2pole ~ What Goes Up Must Go Down
Working with calculated Risk
Flexing your Brand Muscle
Challenging Preconceptions about disABILITY
Inspiring others to Reach Beyond
Look at ME … not my disability
ABILITY, not disABILITY
Triumph over Adversity
The Disability Business Case
Focus on YOUR goals
Inclusion Today in business
Finding the Balance
Below is a selection of client testimonials that will not only provide you with an insight in terms of the impact that this speaker makes with his audiences but also demonstrates his versatility, thoroughness of preparation and genuine desire to ensure that client expectations are not merely met, but exceeded.
“Michael’s can-do presentation at our 2005 Barclays UK Banking Senior Leadership Conference was inspirational … in particular, he really brought to life the commercial imperatives of the diversity agenda … contributing significantly to the overall success of the event”
Alastair Camp, Managing Director, Medium Business & Agriculture, UK Banking
“Direct, considered, inspired and inspirational”
Daniel Kemmler, International Business Leader
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd Pharmaceuticals Division
“The reaction of everyone standing up at the end of your keynote delivery at our Senior Management Conference was a massive tribute – I have never seen that before!”
Sharon Dance, Director of Communications & Corporate Affairs
DHL UK & Ireland
“Michael had a significant impact at our 2005 Senior Management Conference by providing an inspirational message to all. His strong message of the powerful benefits to be gained by connecting with people was very well received; this will continue to add value for years to come in our internal relationships, with our clients and with our customers. Michael’s energy and portfolio of achievement in the face of adversity serves as a great example to all who are privileged to hear him speak”
Paul Kirk, Group Managing Director
“Superb presentation – keeping a lively audience like our Senior Managers & Executive captivated for 45 minutes is no mean feat! Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, illustrated in part by the standing ovation – your delivery was ‘inspiring’, ‘impressive’, ‘highly charged’, and ‘engaging’. The honest and direct partnership we enjoy with you as our ‘disABILITY Champion’ is the best way to ensure that we’re doing all that is practicable to make the Hilton experience even better for our disabled guests”
Wolfgang M. Neumann, Area President
Hilton Hotels UK & Ireland
“Thank you for a brilliant, thought-provoking speech that was entertaining, stimulating and moving. I will never forget it. I was in the Ondaatje Theatre as a member of the audience at the Royal Geographical Society. I am sometimes asked to recommend speakers and I will certainly recommend that corporate companies contact you”
[On inspiring the next generation of disabled explorers in further promoting inclusive adventure, December 2005, Equal Adventure with the Royal Geographical Society]
Tina Fotherby, Managing Director
YES Consultancy Ltd
“Inspiring and motivational, despite the challenging nature of our brief to deliver a message of hope and courage to an audience of people with muscular dystrophy and their families. You ensured that our 2005 National Conference closed on an impressive high note. We know that those who heard you speak will be inspired to greater things”
Muscular Dystrophy Ireland
“Michael is an inspiration. He has a thoroughly positive outlook for somebody facing such adversities”
Sir Richard Branson, Chairman
“A very polished speaker and an amazing story. Sometimes I need to hear experiences like these to realise my achievements so far are only a small percentage of what most of us can achieve. Inspirational without a doubt”
Lloyds TSB Women's Network
“He articulates with immense power and authority, engaging his audience both emotionally and intellectually”
Dr Hamish Stevenson, Founder & Director
Fast Track 100
“Michael was absolutely fantastic at our 2005 Annual Symposium and most certainly lived up to our expectations”
Welsh Housing Federation Association
“Michael McGrath’s keynote presentation at our Diversity Conference called ‘All Different, All Equal’ was inspiring, enlightening and highly informative. The audience of NHS professionals including senior HR and Healthcare delegates was captivated by his engaging delivery that focused on leadership, disability and teamwork’
Jan Togher, Director
Norfolk, Suffolk, & Cambridgeshire NHS Diversity Conference
“Our senior managers, employees and enterprise customers [IT professionals within Telecoms & Financial Institutions] from India and China were truly inspired by your presence and your delivery. What made it even more effective was how you linked your experiences to our Every Second Counts theme [signifying our mission critical response times in minimizing the time to market], the important business messages we spoke of and our organisational values. Your keynote session clearly established 'where there's a will there's a way' - it’s all in your mind!’
Thiru Sivasubramanian, Director, Operations
Torry Harris Business Solutions
“Michael communicates with immense power, sensitivity and balanced humour in a measured, eloquent, humble and controlled style. I can honestly say that he left our business both awestruck and honoured to have met a man who has not just overcome adversity but had the ability to completely remove adversity from his dictionary!”
Jeremy Tipper, Founder and Managing Director
“Fascinating, inspirational and extremely well received, giving the team much to think about. The audience was captivated”
Neil Jagger, Circulation Director MNCD
Daily Mail & The Mail on Sunday
“Your engaging style and infectious personality added real drama to your presentation. Staff were truly captivated by your powerful impact and ever since, you have been the talk of GOSE – your messages will be remembered for a very long time”
Paul Martin, Regional Director
Government Office for the South East [GOSE]
“Michael presented with humour and humility to 250 senior executives in the marketing, branding and PR worlds. Unquestionable, he is an inspiration and truly living proof that ability [and disability] is as much in the mind as it is in the body. He came across clearly and succinctly and with a modesty rare for someone who has achieved such great personal and physical challenges”
“Michael’s delivery at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts [BAFTA] in London was inspirational. There is no doubt that Michael has an incredibly positive attitude. He speaks with great eloquence and inspires the listeners to want to do more with their lives rather than just sit there and listen to a great adventure. He developed a real ‘can do attitude’ in many of his listeners”
Helene Bard, Director Global Mobility EMEA
“Clearly a skilled communicator able to work the audience and tailor his delivery to the company's message. After spending half an hour listening to Michael, my employees without exception [and that is something] felt more motivated, and left with a belief that if they put their minds to it, they could achieve anything! We were looking for a speaker who epitomized determination and teamwork. Michael undoubtedly fits this bill and I would highly recommend him to any organisation looking to motivate a team”
Ivan Greenwald, Managing Director
“It was obvious from the outset that Michael possessed the grit and determination to succeed … the presentation he gave to our Board of Directors and Senior Management in sharing both the excitement and hardships of his trip confirmed our expectations”
John Simpson, Chief Executive
The Mayflower Corporation plc