Staffordshire-based author, speaker and coach Grace Marshall, hailed as ‘the antidote to fake positivity’ has been named Virtual Speaker of the Year at the 2023 Speaker Awards in London.
Grace, age 43 from Stafford, is an award-winning author, coach and trainer known for her ‘refreshingly human’ approach to productivity.
Since 2012 Grace has delivered over 750 virtual workshops and keynote speeches for an extensive global client list, including Sage, 3M, Pearson and BT. Up to 2019 she had delivered 32 virtual sessions, however recent demand for her virtual talks has grown by over 840% to almost 300 virtual speaker engagements.
Grace was delighted to be recognised at the international Speaker Awards ceremony, held at London’s Hilton Docklands hotel. The awards honour speakers from all corners of the globe who inspire, motivate and ignite change through the power of their words.
Judges for the ‘Best Virtual Gig’ category commented: “Grace is an effortless and warm speaker, able to challenge the shackles of conventional thinking, bravely unravelling a new paradigm that has fundamentally transformed our perception and approach to productivity.”
Grace won the Virtual Speaker category based on her inspiring video talks for Member Masterclass, a series of exclusive content created by Sage, the leader in accounting, finance, HR, and payroll technology for small and mid-sized businesses. Grace’s videos were commissioned by Sage for its audience of small business owners, accountants, HR and finance professionals. They are live in five countries (UK, Ireland, US, Canada and South Africa) and are soon to be rolled out in France, Germany and Spain.
Grace partners with event companies, marketing agencies, HR and internal communications departments to deliver popular talks on emotional resilience, productivity and work life wellbeing, based on her third book; “Struggle: the surprising truth, beauty and opportunity hidden in life’s sh*ttier moments.”
The book has been described as honest, uplifting and ‘the antidote to fake positivity’.
Grace explains: “My talks are designed to help people face adversity, navigate uncertainty and overcome overwhelm with more resilience and compassion, as well as to help companies look after their staff through difficult times.
“I address the question; ‘What do you do when things go wrong?’ and encourage us all to look at struggle in a different way – because out of struggle comes innovation, growth and strength.”
On the growth in demand for virtual speakers, Grace comments: “Virtual event speaking and the explosion of ‘on-demand’ learning content has made self-development and professional development easier than ever. It has also challenged companies and learning providers alike to step up our game.
“People want more than just a one-way broadcast of ‘death By PowerPoint’. They want bite sized, thought-provoking, curated content that speaks directly to them, in an accessible and practical way that takes them easily from ‘knowing’ to ‘doing’.
“They also want learning experiences that are exactly that – experiences. Companies that understand this are combining learning experiences with opportunities for people to connect and learn together through an event. This was my experience with Sage, who combined the launch of the virtual masterclass series with an in-person customer conference in Orlando where I gave a keynote speech.”
Grace lives in Stafford with her husband Grante and two teenage children. Her workshops and speaking tours have taken her from Norway to New York, from corporate headquarters to a tent in the New Forest, working with clients including Boots, BT, Sky Media, NHS, NSPCC and Teenage Cancer Trust.
Grace concludes: “I’m proud and excited to be opening up a more truthful, hopeful, useful conversation about struggle – this universal experience that we very rarely talk about – and how it might just be the key to some of our best, most important work.”