Geoff Holt MBE


Geoff Holt MBE is the first quadriplegic yachtsman to sail solo around Great Britain, he is a record-setter and an award-winning entrepreneur. Although Holt was paralysed at age eighteen, he hasn’t allowed this life-changing moment to stop him from having a huge, positive impact on the world.

2007 saw Holt set sail around Great Britain and he completed the journey in a 15ft trimaran dinghy, he became the first severely disabled person to make the journey, let alone complete it too. Following his remarkable achievement, Holt was awarded the BBC South Sports Personality of the Year. After achieving the impossible, Holt decided to write an autobiography called ‘Walking on Water. Throughout the autobiography, he discusses the challenges he has faced in life as well as his remarkable sailing achievement.

Sailing solo around Great Britain wasn’t enough for Holt, he decided he wanted to cross the Atlantic Ocean on his yacht, the Impossible Dream. In January 2010, Holt completed the 2,700 mile crossing and became the first ever quadriplegic to do so, an extraordinary effort from a truly inspirational man. Soon after achieving this sensational feat, Holt was appointed an MBE and also won the YJA Pantaenius Yachtsman of the Year for 2010.

Although sailing is a key thread in Holt’s life, Holt’s story is not about sailing. His life shows the power of the human spirit and his audiences indulge in his story every time. It is a journey through the life of an amazing man told with passion and humour. He engages audiences by making them a part of his story and he shares his story with great sensitivity, our ability to deal with challenges when they present themselves in life. Above all, it is a ‘feel-good’ story leaving audiences up-beat and inspired to do something positive within their own lives.

His life story is truly motivational and inspiring which is reflected in his after dinner speeches. Holt’s ability to captivate an audience is there for all to see, whilst he reflects on overcoming adversity and challenges in life, Holt also discusses the importance of maximising success and a never say die attitude.

To book Geoff Holt MBE for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency using the contact details below:

When at corporate events, Geoff is known to cover the following topics:

  • The entrepreneurial spirit: building a business
  • Courage in tough times
  • No excuses: the right attitude makes high performance possible
  • Overcoming adversity & facing a challenge
  • Inspirational Leadership and effective teamwork
  • Embracing diversity
  • Taking opportunities

‘Very many thanks indeed for your really excellent presentation yesterday. Glowing reports are even now rolling in with a lot of folk who come to our event every year saying it’s the best evening we’ve had for ages.  It was really good of you to give us such a brilliant talk with great slides.  I’m sure you could tell by the great ovation from the crowded theatre at the end of your talk.’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes

‘My sincere thanks to Geoff for an incredible presentation at our event. His story is truly inspirational and really caught the imagination of the whole room. His drive, spirit and determination had the whole audience mesmerised for the whole session. The talk fitted in very well with the context of the day and please let Geoff know that the feedback was fantastic.’ M&S Money

‘Thank you for delivering a fantastic talk. We have had some excellent feedback from dealers who have been using words such as “epic” and “inspirational” with regard to your talk, so I think we can safely say that it was very well received!’ Suzuki

‘10/10. Lots of positive feedback about Geoff’s speech. Very engaging.  Self-effacing.  Entertaining and inspiring at the same time and pitched at exactly the right level for the audience. From a personal point of view as the event organiser, Geoff was great to work with and really added something special to the gala dinner.’ The Environment Agency

‘A huge thank you for your after dinner speech on Friday night.  It was a very successful evening and the feedback from guests has been very positive.  Your speech was perfect, moving, inspirational and humorous- many congratulations.’RICS

‘The conference went well and was hugely enriched by your presence and wonderful presentation.  Throughout my (long!) career, I have run many events and had to evaluate them and their impact.  Never before have I recorded a 100% ‘excellent’ for the keynote speaker.

‘The place is buzzing today with people sharing their response/feelings to what you had to say. The words ‘Inspirational’ ‘motivating’ ‘emotional’ have been used over and over in the evaluation forms along with comments as to how staff will now respond to the challenges that they face.’Shropshire NHS PCT

‘It was an excellent day and Geoff’s presentation was most definitely a highlight.  I looked around the room when he was presenting and there wasn’t one person who wasn’t transfixed and I know from speaking to delegates afterwards that many were not only holding back their emotions but incredibly inspired by his journey in life.  I’ve seen Geoff present twice now and would never tire of hearing from him – so humble yet humorous and so ordinary but incredible.’CMG 

To captivate an audience of highly experienced lawyers is impressive.  To find that they heralded you as “inspirational, compelling and unique” is almost miraculous!  That is exactly what Geoff Holt achieved when he was engaged as the keynote speaker at an annual legal conference. Charming, witty and entertaining, the lasting memory of the day, that will be carried by all well into the future is Geoff Holt – a true star.’ Exchange Chambers

‘Geoff had the whole audience fully engaged – he was highly professional and motivating and we would recommend him to anyone looking for a fantastic speaker.’ J.P. Morgan