Testimonials for Talks – from event sponsors and audience

“Absolutely riveting… I can’t praise the talk highly enough. If you ever get the chance to hear Brad speak, seize it.”  Claire Jones, UK

Brad delivered a terrific, fascinating and extremely motivational session at the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum this year – his passion and knowledge about the great age of exploration is extraordinary, and this made for an excellent addition to our agenda.

The 150 marketing directors in attendance hugely appreciated hearing from one of their peers, and there was a lengthy queue of people looking to get a copy of Brad’s book, ‘When your life depends on it’ signed at the end of the event. I’d thoroughly recommend him.

Joel Harrison

B2B Marketing - Editor in Chief

Thank you so much for your talk tonight. Really passionate and inspiring…. exactly what I needed to help my own decision making.

S. Lawrence, London, UK

Present Day Club testimonial

Brad Borkan’s talk about life lessons we can learn from the early Antarctic explorers, given at Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival, was absolutely riveting. For the first time, I really appreciated what those men were up against, and how incredibly difficult their journeys were.

The combination of a fascinating talk and excellent slides showing maps and photographs of the men themselves was excellent.

I can’t praise the talk highly enough. If you ever get the chance to hear Brad speak, seize it. Not only will you hear a spellbinding account of some of the toughest journeys every undertaken, you’ll also come away feeling challenged to make courageous choices in your own life.

Claire Jones, UK

I was riveted throughout the talk, listening to the adventurous  and courageous stories of those amazing Antarctic explorers. 

What was really interesting was how it made you think about what you would do in those circumstances  — what kind of a person am I, would I leave someone else to die, how would I have survived? 

Equally there were some extremely insightful lessons for business and leadership, I particularly liked the way that rather than failing when the original goal wasn’t achieved, Brad tells the story of how Shackleton, “ pivots” the goal, to keep everyone motivated (the team and staff) in order to come back with a success story for the outside world (shareholders).  Overall a really interesting talk, the lessons for business I will remember more than other leadership sessions, because of the extreme and exciting stories from those simply amazing, brave men.

Jane Wilkinson, Global CEO and Board level Chief Marketing Officer

Feedback from Credit Suisse employees:

  • “So inspiring. So true. So much we should derive from it.  One of the must have seen presentations”
  • “Great stories from South Pole & great extreme decision-making lessons. Thank you!”
  • “The session gave me insights into different and important perspective to the bigger purpose, goals, the zeal to achieve them beyond the perceived limits of human capabilities at a personal and professional level.”

From an attendee, from the company SureCloud, at the Strand Business Conference

“Thanks for such a wonderfully informative event, I particularly enjoyed the talk from Brad and how he related decision making in the workplace, and life in general, to the decisions of the explorers.” 

From Chris Page, Business Conference Producer

… an enthralling and engaging session, packed with insights and thought-provoking points.

From Irene and Sam Goldfarb, who attended the Princeton talks

Informative and entertaining… Brad Borkan’s enthusiasm for the subject shone through and the excellent photographs added drama. His tie-in with decision making, which is so much in the current interest thanks to Daniel Kahneman, added a unique touch to the subject. Compared to the explorers, our own decision making seems mundane.

From Carolyn Delehanty, attendee at the Customer Experience World Conference

“What a fascinating presentation and it really made me think about the decisions I make both professionally and personally. Brad’s knowledge on the expeditions is brilliant and left me totally captivated as he relayed the stories.”

From Baz Gray — a modern-day Polar explorer. In 2019, Baz walked solo, unsupported to the South Pole.

Brad Borkan is a well spoken, confident and inspirational speaker. A man that clearly knows his subject and whom has done his research thoroughly, which in turns gives an air of confidence that leaves the audience relaxed and wanting more. Brad is not a one way speaker, he wants to engage the audience, make them think, ask them questions and draw them into his talk. The whole audience becomes engaged and from the best Polar scholar to the relative novice, everybody will leave feeling completely satisfied.

A highly engaging presentation set in the historic surroundings of the Scott Polar Research Institute theatre.

Brad Borkan delivered a talk filled with a series of captivating, high-risk, hostile environment story lines to the audience, setting the scene and asking the audience ‘what they would do’? What made the diversity of responses even more fascinating was that the scenarios had actually occurred during early Antarctic expeditions, with Brad explaining the outcome of each situation.

His final summary contained ‘Seven lessons from the Antarctic’, an invaluable framework of strategies employed in the heroic age of polar exploration. Brad described each one detailing how they were used 100 years ago, and how they have timeless relevance in improving decision making processes, in either the most challenging of circumstances, or everyday life. Lesson #5 (‘Never ever give up’) is the one that has resonated throughout my life, especially during my personal experiences in the high Arctic and in the military.

I would highly recommend both Brad’s presentation and the book that he co-wrote. They are both suitable for people from all walks of life who want to improve their decision-making processes, their own leadership, or to develop those within their team.

Kevin O’Brien

Presenting at the Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival

From Debbie Young, organizer of the Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival

Brad Borkan is a charismatic, natural and engaging speaker, and we were pleased to welcome him both as keynote speaker in our opening ceremony and for his illustrated talk on Lessons Learned from the Early Antarctic Explorers.

Brad has the knack of making his expert knowledge and insights accessible and interesting to the many kinds of people – our audience at the Literary Festival ranged from young executives interested in the business and management to retired folk keen on the historical angle. His pleasant, gentle manner makes him very approachable for Q&A and outside of the lecture hall, and he continued to contribute to the success of the Festival throughout the day by being ready and willing to chat informally to fellow speakers and audience alike.

His fresh enthusiasm for his subject was infectious, and he left us wanting more. Fortunately his excellent book, When Your Life Depends on It, being the perfect follow-up purchase or gift for those at the event.

Don & Val Kerr attended one of our book talks. Don Kerr is a descendant of a member of Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition. 

“Quite simply, if it wasn’t for Shackleton’s leadership skills, I would not be here today. My grandfather, Alexander Kerr, was one of the youngest members of the Endurance Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton.

All 28 men became stranded in Antarctica with no hope of rescue after their ship was trapped and crushed in the ice; their whereabouts and predicament unknown to the rest of the world. Once a landfall was eventually made on Elephant Island some 497 days after leaving South Georgia, Shackleton made the decision to attempt the 800 mile return boat journey in the 23 foot James Caird with just five others. Alexander Kerr was one of the 22 men left under Wild’s command on a desolate Elephant Island awaiting rescue.

I was lucky to know my grandfather and hear his stories first hand. 

My wife Val and I both have a passionate interest in the Heroic Age of Exploration and the characters of that era, attending Antarctic conferences and lectures, reading original and new accounts of expeditions. We recently had the pleasure of attending Brad Borkan’s highly entertaining book talk at the Devon & Cornwall Polar Society

Brad and his co-author David Hirzel bring the life or death decisions of those often ‘ordinary’ men of the Heroic Age right up-to-date, breathing a whole new life into their adventures. The stories are no longer just my grandfather’s history, but now a living part of decision strategies that everyone can use in their own lives.”

Don Kerr

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