Director of Integration for London 2012, the most successful Paralympics in history Lord Holmes is a truly inspirational and highly principled leader. Prior to this he won six gold medals in one Paralympics. Lord Holmes is also a fine and gifted speaker, and he was recently appointed to the House of Lords.After Dinner Speaker, Business Speaker, Communication, Journalists, Law, Leadership, Motivational & Inspirational, Politics, Sports
Using all his political skills and strategic know-how, Lord Holmes was the Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012 and he famously delivered the most successful Paralympics ever.
It was the same determination which had earlier helped him become Britain's most successful Paralympic swimmer of all time. In the pool Chris won nine gold medals, achieving a record six gold medals at a single Paralympics. At those same Games, as team captain, Chris led the British team to top spot on the medal board for the first time. He won a string of World and European titles, broke 35 world records and was awarded an MBE for services to British sport at the incredibly young age of 20.
In his inspirational talks Chris describes the setbacks and the hard work as well as the victories. He talks about what it was like to go blind overnight at the age of 14.
He explains how he never lost his ambition and determination to succeed and ultimately achieved dreams formed before losing his sight; to attend Cambridge University and represent his country in sport.
He explains, also, how he beat the competition by facing down everything in training, embracing change and maintaining focus. Chris understands how to create the conditions for success. He now applies a similar approach in his leadership role, encouraging others to fulfil their own potential.
Chris has an unusual depth and breadth of experience. After retiring from competitive swimming he worked as a journalist before qualifying and working as a commercial lawyer for a leading international City practice. He was also appointed as the non-Executive Director to the Disability Rights Commission and UK Sport and was an Ambassador for the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic bid.
As Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012 he was responsible for the most successful commercial Paralympic Games ever, delivering a series of firsts including: the first games to have all sponsors signed to both Olympics and Paralympics, the first games to sell out all the stadia for every session and the first games to achieve worldwide television audiences in the hundreds of millions.
In 2013 the Prime Minister invited Chris to join his team in the House of Lords becoming Lord Holmes of Richmond. Chris brings his wide-ranging experience to bear in this role and actively relishes this new political position. His experiences navigating the ancient corridors of power with guide dog Lottie offer numerous insightful and entertaining anecdotes.
In other roles Chris demonstrates a continuing commitment to organisations and values in which he believes passionately. As non-Executive Director for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Chris works to improve the equality and human rights legislative framework in the UK and globally alongside the UN.
Chris is a Patron of the British Armed Services charity ‘Help for Heroes’, working closely with servicemen and women returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Chris also works as Ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and as a Supporter for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Lord Holmes speaks on Change, Transition, Leadership, Culture and Change, and his clients range from global corporations to financial institutions. He is also popular with schools and colleges, where his speech How to Do Life is particularly well received.
Chris was engaging, charismatic, funny and had our audience hooked with his amazing and powerful personal story. But his real skill as a speaker was to weave into his own narrative the important themes in our business and to make his story engaging to the 30+ different cultures and nationalities in our audience. He was an exceptional, humbling and inspiring speaker that we would enthusiastically recommend.
For Kimberly – Clark May 2014 & March & June 2013 Lisbon, Portugal
Lord Holmes is an absolutely fantastic and inspirational speaker. His life experience teaches any audience that no matter the obstacle, anything is possible. He is passionate, extremely engaging and a pleasure to work with. I’ve had Lord Holmes at several of my events and every talk he gives is tailored to the audience and topic. I highly recommend him.
For BPP - May 2014
Chris has a unique and incredibly impactful story to tell about fulfilling ambitions and not allowing anything to get in the way. His sporting, and subsequent business career enabled him to tailor his message to support our corporate messages perfectly, not least in relation to team work, leadership, performance and delivering against a vision. Chris did this in an engaging (and humorous) communication style leaving our delegates on a high relating Chris' story to their working & home lives.
For British Gas April 2014
There is little doubt that Chris’s presentation as our final speaker at the conference was an outstanding performance, and one which captivated the audience. The long applause at the end of his delivery indicated the impact he made on all those in the room, and the many comments I have received since then underline the fact that we could not have wished for a better and more powerful closing address.
The Master Innholders – Jan 2014
Chris more than lived up to our expectations! We loved his presentation and I know my colleagues who spend a lot of the evening with him thought he was a joy to talk to, as did I.
For Engage Mutual Assurance – Oct 2013
Chris was invited as our Keynote speaker to two forums we hosted in Sydney and Newcastle, Australia 2013. Chris delivered two stellar addresses with his clear and concise key messages only matched by his great wit and charm. There are few great public speakers, Chris Holmes is one of them.
NSW Government - 2013
Chris’s presentation was excellent, he held the audience throughout and it was great that he stayed on to chat to people informally after his talk.
For the Cabinet Office - 2013
Chris’s contribution to our staff conference was excellent. He is thought provoking, intuitive and great to work with.
For the Department of Culture Media and Sport - 2012
Chris was superb. His speech was perfect for our conference, even the fire alarm and building evacuation in the middle of his talk didn’t distract him and in fact he even turned this into a positive, truly inspirational.
For the Department of Health - 2008
Chris’s presentation was absolutely right for our event. He clearly understood the objectives of our organisation and was able to effectively communicate them in his presentation.
For the Department of Transport - 2004
Lord Holmes tailors his inspirational speeches to each engagement and this is what some of his clients have had to say about him afterwards.
Chris was superb. His speech hit exactly the right note and inspired our delegates.
For Morgan Stanley - 2013
Chris was fantastic. What a lovely guy and he went down a storm. Could not have asked anything more!
For Essex County Council – 2013
Excellent, Chris has a very relaxed and engaging style – our guests warmed to him immediately. He is very perceptive about the audience present and adapted his talk to suit them – a very unique man in that respect. He was humorous and thought provoking and did exactly what we asked him to do.
Chris is a warm, genuine, funny and inspiring speaker. It’s quite something to hold a restless audience’s attention at the end of a very long day.
For Barclaycard – June 2011
Chris was excellent and I would definitely consider using him again. He was very easy to chat to, kind, funny but professional. He has the audience laughing on many occasions.
For European Union - 2011
The feedback we have received so far has been excellent. Chris was described as inspirational, humorous and ‘a very nice chap’! Two people said to me today that he is the best speaker we have ever had.
For Alton College – March 2005
Chris' presentation was excellent, he really understood what we were trying to achieve and certainly set the day off on a very positive note.
For British Airways - 2005