Jim McNeill

After Dinner & Event Speaker (in association with SpeakOut)

Jim McNeill has clocked up 27 years of polar travelling and 33 years of expeditioning; thousands of miles mostly on nothing but skis and dragging his world behind him. Few, if any, have that breadth and depth of experience in extreme environments. His guiding, safety and survival expertise is employed by BBC TV and Hollywood film crews on location all over the world – hot as well as cold.

With a career spanning environmental science, military, commerce and fire & rescue Jim McNeill has selected, trained and led highly successful teams from top-level corporations, through high risk polar expeditions, to critical lifesaving situations where effective leadership and hands-on teamwork are paramount. He has a passion for leadership and getting the very best performance out of individuals and teams, at any level and has regular input to the Senior Police Training College at Bramshill, Hampshire (NPIA).

In 2001 Jim founded the highly successful "Ice Warrior Project" an organisation which gives "ordinary" people the opportunity to become polar explorers and achieve extraordinary feats of endurance and endeavour. Through Ice Warrior, his aim is to develop people, discover change and deliver it to global audiences in a way we can all understand, fostering a much better understanding of the world we live in and on.

In 2006 he was ITV News' own "Ice Warrior", reporting the reality of climate change directly from the Arctic Ocean to international audiences. The story will continue next year as he attempts the last, so far unattained, World First in polar expeditioning - to be the first person to reach the very centre of the Arctic Ocean - the Arctic Pole or Northern Pole of Inaccessibility. This expedition will mark the start of an eight year programme of purposeful, worthwhile, extreme expeditions, culminating in 2020.

Jim lives in Windsor, Royal Berkshire, UK with his wife, Lori and his son Mac. He also has two daughters Helen and Kirsty and his first grandson, Lachlan!

Jim McNeill offers his audience an entertaining and fascinating insight into his truly remarkable adventures. His courage, unyielding determination and dedication to achieving the seemingly impossible left all those in the room feeling humbled and inspired. Any business serious about success should hear his message.
Sue Thexton Managing Director, ITN Source

Why it worked for us
Ice Warrior Jim McNeill with Ice Warrior has helped turn ordinary peoples dreams into a reality. An extraordinary man enabling ordinary people to take the ultimate challenge of Arctic exploration.
Arctic Exploration The tales of Jims many Arctic expeditions are unique and thrilling. They are relevant to everyone that has undertaken a personal challenge, the fear of failure or the sacrifice for success each connect very powerfully with the audience.
Commercial Connection There are some powerful learnings for the commercial world. Here Jim draws strong parallels to the business arena and provides some compelling insights into the key areas of leadership and teamwork that provide some invaluable and graphic lessons.
John Gillett - Chairman Candour Event Marketing

Jim proved an amusing and engaging speaker who enthralled our audience with his tales of modern adventure. His personal insights into the effects of climate change were delivered with passion and detail. Everyone was both entertained and educated we will definitely use him again.
Chairman - Sign-Up.To

Jim McNeill's presentation to the Captain Scott Society on the subject of his Ice Warrior endeavours was colourful and entertaining but most of all it was thought provoking. Jim gave an honest and unsentimental view of the difficulties he faced in his quest for the four North Poles and also a clear assessment of how global warming is changing the face and nature of the Arctic. The extraordinary images used to good effect during the presentation were graphic, evocative and often dramatic. The knowledge Jim has acquired of the Arctic was obvious and allowed him to speak with authority and assurance.
Julian Salisbury - Chairman, The Captain Scott Society

The presentation Jim gave (to my marketing leadership group) was nothing less than inspirational. He combined an authoritative blend of raw experience with practical coaching on leadership skills which has further energised an already highly motivated group of senior executives. We plan to bring him back and extend our learning with him to our wider team.
Jon Geldart, Director of Marketing, PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP


Serious Stuff

The world of leadership training is full of people that create jargon and lists of must-dos - and then the inevitable book or three in a similar vein. No matter what the audience, Jim rolls up his sleeves and talks about what he calls simple and dynamic leadership based on reality, simple characteristics and a goodly degree of common sense. If you want a no-nonsense, working talk anecdotally portrayed by dipping into Jim's three pools of personal experience, then this is the talk for you.

It is when people are at the extreme end of their tether, absolutely physically and mentally shattered and you have to ask them for more, (without question or even murmur) that you really get to know something about motivation. Are there any tricks, techniques, tools? Jim discusses and draws parallels.

Jim describes himself as having a passion for getting the very best performance out of everyone individually or collectively as a team. Having recently trained 51 people from all walks of life and every echelon of society to become competent sea ice travellers and 26 of those people having reached the Geomagnetic North Pole, he certainly has something useful to offer on the subject.

Incident Leadership and Planning for Disasters
Jim can present a keynote speech or workshop based on incident leadership, situation and critical crisis management, communications, risk assessment and dynamic risk assessments etc. Anecdotal evidence is drawn from Jims operational fire service work, Royal Household fire precautions work and Arctic expeditionary work.

The subject of global climate change has moved on. Its clear, its here! The Arctic has long been recognised as a barometer of what is going on and International Polar Year has focussed peoples attentions on watching the barometer. Jim's Ice Warrior Project plays a crucial role in gathering the scientific raw data and in delivering the reality of climate change to its audiences around the globe. Having started his working life in 1980 measuring the environmental impact of agricultural practices, which included ground-breaking work on the depletion of the ozone layer, Jim has had an extraordinarily close relationship with the Arctic Region over the past twenty three years and is exceptionally well qualified to talk first hand about the changes he has seen.

Lighter Notes

Being able to select suitable candidates to become polar explorers from a public call for volunteers demands that you are pretty observant and it is these observations of human behaviour that Jim recounts in an almost stand-up comedic style. Great for the after dinner chortle!

A humorous collection of mishaps, failures, accidents and near disasters, Jim is the master of all with polished and accomplished experience in fire and rescue, business and expeditionary fields.

Over the twenty two years of Jim's Polar expeditions there must be only a few questions left that Jim hasnt answered about what it is really like on expedition, spending so much time in such incredibly adverse conditions. Jim challenges the audience to come up with a novel one whilst flitting through an array of humorous happenings.

Safety Skill Set and Qualifications

Safety consultancy for the film industry

..Safety management in polar, mountainous and desert regions
..Safety planning
..Safety audit
..Risk assessment
..Dynamic risk assessment
..Safety team selection, provision and training
..Medical emergency planning, training and exercising
..Critical crisis management
..Key person safety
..Contingency planning
..Equipment specification, testing and procurement
..Location selection and advice
..Medical team selection and provision
..Fire team selection and provision

To book Jim McNeill, contact Emkay Entertainments Agency via mark@emkayentertainments.net. Alternatively, speak to a booking agent directly on 01506 855 555.

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