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Femi Adebanji

| Speakers Inc | January 7, 2014

Femi Adebanji1Born in Lagos, Femi moved to South Africa 22 years ago, where his speaking career all began in 2008…

So just how did Femi break into the professional speaking circuit?

“I started off broke” Femi tells Speakers Inc. “Selling funeral policies on the streets of Braamfontein in Johannesburg … I had a moment of clarity and realized that something had to change. I asked myself – “Who do I need to become in order to achieve what I desire to achieve?” … I studied nights, got my second degree and became an investment consultant”

Femi started to write business articles for Business Day and Entrepreneur Magazine around the themes of ‘motivation’ and ‘high-performance’: “I began to get invitations to talk about some of these issues and that’s how my speaking career started”.

“Being a professional speaker and entrepreneur is living my dream; impacting people’s lives, adding value to businesses and enjoying it … nothing beats that. Nothing! (Except maybe being a dad …)”

So who inspired Femi to pursue his dream of speaking?

“My old man” Femi tells Speakers Inc. “I qualified with a Masters Degree and was an investment consultant in my past life … I, however, realized later that speaking was the one thing that I thoroughly enjoyed and that came naturally to me … it didn’t feel like work. My dad told me that I should live life on my own terms, without regret and to pursue that which captured my heart … so I pursued speaking and carved a niche by focusing on business issues such as leadership, innovation and high-performance culture … I haven’t looked back since …”

We also asked Femi what he likes most about professional speaking: “Honestly, it’s seeing the look in the audiences’ eyes when you lock in with them and you’re both in the zone for 45 minutes straight … they are completely on the journey with you – they learn, think, laugh (sometimes cry – really! This happened once!) … They leave challenged.
That’s a buzz … “

And what he dislikes about professional speaking: “Taking oneself too seriously. Instead, I believe that quality and value of my work should always speak for itself. The message is always far more profound and there’s a stronger emotional connection when the audience feel that it’s a human being just like them that’s speaking (and not a super human who’s never made mistakes) … It always leaves them with a ‘if he can do it, so can I’ feeling …”

Femi believes that success as a speaker really comes down to adding value to the client. “I put myself in the client’s shoes and ask: “how is what I am about to say, going to add value to the client? … Would I pay for what I am saying? … How will it positively impact the client’s business, their bottom-line and their culture? … I believe that unless I am truly adding value, I have no business standing before a client. Adding value requires knowledge and knowledge only comes from constant research and first-hand experience”.

Femi also believes that the magic formula for success is to “define the vision of your life … Know the price of that vision (never fool yourself) … be committed to paying that price (otherwise don’t bother) … Have a plan … Failure is not an option”

Femi’s keynotes include:

  • Masters of the Universe: Building A High-Performance Culture in Organizations
  • Lead From Within: Achieving Inspired Leadership
  • Business Unusual: Creating a Culture of Innovation in Organizations
  • Mission Impossible: Overcoming the Fear of Change

Other than running his own business and doing professional speaking, Femi is married family man with a toddler. He enjoys the History Channel and CNBC Africa and he is a “voracious reader”.

“Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear”

Speakers Inc .Press.Office

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