Dame Kelly Holmes, who spoke in November’s Kruger Cowne Breakfast Club, talks to CN.
When did you realise you had a gift for communicating as well as running?
I didn’t know that my story and how I deliver would have an impact on people. I have the mantra that if I can inspire just one person and have an impact on their lives then I am very happy.
What is the best kind of motivational speaking you have undertaken?
Being open and honest about my own issues with depression seems to have struck a chord, with corporates being more in tune with mental health issues and providing their workforce with appropriate support.
Best advice received for speaking?
Be myself, as I talk from the heart.
Can you transfer the abilty to control nerves on the track and not wasting nervous energy to your new career?
Fear is short lived and if you channel your energy into wanting to be good at what you do, you use the nerves to your advantage.
Which athlete was mentally the toughest?
Maria Mutola was a powerful and talented athlete winning eight world championship titles and an Olympic Gold medal but it was her mental toughness that separated her from all her competitors, including me.
You have said former athletes can be real achievers when back in working life because they have been so driven, yet some fall through the cracks. How does your charity work to help?
We launched the More than Medals campaign working with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust team, to ensure athletes recognise the years of dedication and sacrifice have given them the ability try new things.
You carried the flag at the Olympics. Was it hard to make a speech to the British athletics team?
It was embarrassing, but was also about being proud to represent my team and the country.
Who has made the most effective and motivational speech you have heard?
When I have been to award ceremonies I hear some people speak about what they have done and get blown away especially by powerful women.
How many speaking engagements a year do you average?
2-4 per week currently.