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Caspar Berry, Innovation Speaker

Caspar Berry

    • Co-Founer Twenty First Century Media
    • Former Professional Poker Player
Fee Range

$15,000 - $20,000

Travels From

England

TedX - Dealing with Uncertainty

TedX - Dealing with Uncertainty

Keynote Speaker Caspar Berry on Risk and Decision Making Pt 1

Keynote Speaker Caspar Berry on Risk and Decision Making Pt 1

Caspar Berry started his working life at the age of 16 as an actor in the first two series of BBC drama Byker Grove with “Ant and Dec”. They went on to become two of the most famous people in the UK and Caspar went on to study economics at Cambridge where he had early commercial success directing award-winning short films and TV commercials from the age of 18. He went on to write two feature films which were produced by Film Four and Columbia TriStar before he had graduated. He did not get a very good degree.

He went on to write and direct in the film and television industry for much of the next four years before deciding that he was heading towards the age of 30 without having lived much of life outside of that crazy and unreal world. So aged 26, he decided to take a risk and move to Las Vegas with his life savings in his pocket. 

Playing poker was disciplining, testing and demanding but also incredibly emotionally rewarding as he conquered the challenges it posed and made a living as a professional poker player at the tables of Las Vegas.

After three years, however, he decided that his future lay away from the poker table and he returned to the UK and set up Twenty-First Century Media which he built to a team of 40 before selling to Bob Geldof’s Ten Alps Plc. 

At around this time, in 2005, the poker boom happened, and Caspar had already started speaking professionally so he moved to London to create a portfolio career as a trainer for the Mind Gym by day (delivering over 400 sessions to 100 companies) and a TV poker commentator by night (doing over 2000 hours of live broadcasting on poker channels and Sky Sports).In 2006 he was asked to be one of the two poker advisors on the James Bond movie “Casino Royale”, tasked with training the actors up to look like professional poker players for the key scenes.

In the last 14 years, Caspar has delivered over 2,000 speeches and training sessions in more than 30 countries for nearly 500 organizations including the biggest companies in the world. 

He now mentors young speakers and brings together all the otherwise disparate skills he’s learned over his career – writing, directing, training, economics – to help young speakers craft messages culled from their own life that are focused on helping people and businesses make profound changes in all manner of ways. 

Speeches - Content 
The subject of decision-making is a very broad subject covering a whole range of ancillary subject-areas such as risk, judgement, intuition and insight. These in turn apply to a huge range of business areas – and conference themes – such as change, leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship uncertainty (VUCA), differentiation, courage, resilience, interpreting data, investing and motivation. 

Crucially, it is important to state that Caspar does not claim to be an expert in all of these subjects but looks at all of them through the prism of decision-making, risk-taking and resource allocation. Caspar has a total of about 12 hours of material from which he draws down the right material to fulfil the client’s brief. 

While every speech is different, Caspar tends to deliver two main kinds of speech: The first kind is usually to non-financial companies and explains how risk works and the implications of it. Broadly this is sections 1 and 2 from the 4 sections above. He can do this in a technical way or a more emotional motivational way depending on the brief.

The second kind of speech – to financial companies who know how risk works OR to companies who have already experienced the first speech – is to pick up on section 2 and to show how we emotionally make decisions and how we can make better ones in the future. 

Depending on the subject covered, participants can experience a variety of the following lessons and benefits:

1) A new toolset to overcome the challenges posed by uncertainty in volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous circumstances. (VUCA)

2) A new mindset and a way of breaking out of old risk-averse habits and methodologies which respects risk-taking and the unknown as necessary evils which can be harnessed for their benefit.

3) A better understanding of the power – and limitations – of intuition and the impact of their emotions – good and bad – on the decision-making process.

4) Greater motivation and resilience to keep trying when the going gets tough.

5) A greater appreciation of what a decision is and how to take control of their subconscious decision-making process to maximize returns by any metric

6) The ability to cascade such a mindset down through an organisation so that employees feel more comfortable with uncertainty and risk-taking so that they can better embrace change, innovate and seize opportunity.

The aim of all sessions is to empower people to contribute to a culture that is more long-term in its thinking, more comfortable making decisions and  taking calculated risks with the intention of being more profitable as a result. 

Speeches - Formats and Audiences

1) 15-30 min After Dinner 

A distilled, punchy, version of the daytime keynote (with more “laffs”) this is one of Caspar’s specialties and constitutes about 30% of his work. This is a specific kind of after-dinner presentation in that it has a business-focused message but is delivered in a visual, polished and very funny way. It is most suited to relatively senior teams who want something acceptable to all without sacrificing the humour necessary for a successful after-dinner presentation. It is also suitable for many black tie events but not “Sportsman’s Dinners”.

N.B. Caspar does still use the photos in his powerpoint deck for his after-dinner which makes this technically unsuited to some venues and audiences.

2) 30/45/60+ min Keynote or Motivational Speech

Suitable for audiences of 10 or 10,000 the speech works best opening or closing a conference (opening people’s minds or sending them away on a high). It is also used to fill the difficult “after-lunch” slot with lots of energy!

Under 45 minutes the speech has very little interaction although above 60 (and certainly above 90) audience participation and exercises are important and incorporated abundantly. Can be delivered with or without Q and A

The speech uses a prominent visual presentation with dozens of funny photos that illustrate the point being made, something which makes is especially suited to international audiences. It is also suitable for sales teams and more junior groups who need to be “motivated” to push through difficult times.   

3) 90/120/180/240 + Mins Workshop/Seminar/Whole Day

As a trained facilitator, Caspar is very comfortable delivering a longer interactive session like this – suitable for groups of between 4 and about 100 - either instead of or in addition to a keynote speech. 

More so than the shorter formats, this session tends to work best when delivered to relatively senior teams or those who have “decision making status” within an organization or partners of professional services firms. It is even more effective when delivered to mixed groups where different strata of an organization can talk to – and learn – from each other. 

4) A Game of Poker

About 40% of Caspar’s work still involves actually playing poker either within or – in the vast majority of cases – after the presentation itself. Caspar also has a team who has worked with him for 10 years doing this for over 20,000 people. This can be brilliant fun for all involved but it must be discussed in advance as it can be logistically difficult. 

Speaking Topics:

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