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Anna Hemmings MBE


Olympian, World Champion and Inspirational Speaker on resilience and high performance

Anna Hemmings MBE is Britain’s most successful female marathon kayaker with a staggering eleven World and European Championship medals, 9 of them gold, she is now a leading inspirational speaker on resilience and high performance.

By the age of 24 Anna Hemmings had been World Champion 3 times and competed at the Olympic Games.  In 2010 she was awarded an MBE for her services to sport.  She achieved this success against all the odds. She was told by the British head coach that she was not big enough or strong enough to be a great kayaker. She proved him wrong. At the peak of her career, Anna was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was told by medical experts she might never race again.  She battled her way to full recovery and went on to win a further 3 world titles and compete at her second Olympic Games in Beijing 2008.

Anna Hemmings has since become recognised as a specialist in the field of resilience and the psychology of high performance. She is an accredited Performance Coach and founded Beyond the Barriers high performance training consultancy. Anna has worked with CEO’s and senior leaders through to middle management, designing and delivering resilience, leadership and high performing teams programmes. She works globally with leaders and teams helping them develop the skills, attitudes and behaviours to deliver exceptional performance.


Anna Hemming’s unique combination of experience in elite sport combined with 12 years leading a successful business and working alongside senior leaders, gives her a broad understanding of the challenges that leaders and teams face and how to overcome them to deliver outstanding results.  Whether its building confidence, engaging teams or developing resilient leaders, she is passionate about helping others succeed at the highest level. Her most popular speeches are:  ‘The Resilient Leader’s toolkit’, ‘Success in the Face of Adversity’ and ‘The Winning Mindset’. Key themes include:

  • Resilient mindset
  • Overcoming adversity
  • Performing under pressure
  • Goal setting and clarity of direction
  • Motivation
  • Sustaining high performance
  • High performing teams

With 18 years of experience on the speaker circuit, Anna’s speeches have been enjoyed and valued by senior leaders through to middle managers, in more than 15 different countries, across a variety of industries from banking and telecoms, to healthcare and retail. These global brands have trusted Anna to inspire their people to achieve more: IBM, Unilever, Vodafone, Balfour Beatty, UCB Pharmaceuticals, British Airways, Deloitte LLP, RBS and many more.

Key insights from Anna’s engaging and thought provoking speeches are brought to life through entertaining anecdotes from her journey in sport and business. She has a proven track record as an accomplished, inspiring and humble speaker. She makes sure that she has a clear understanding of the audience, the company and their industry; ensuring that each presentation is relevant and designed specifically for the client.

Anna Hemming’s sporting achievements were recognised at the Sunday Times Sports Woman of the Year Awards in 2005 and then again in 2007 when she was voted BBC London Sports Personality of the Year.

Keynote – Disruptive Thinking for the Competitive Edge: 

  • What disruptive thinking is and how to disrupt the status quo
  • How to challenge assumptions and approach situations from different perspectives
  • The power of the creative subconscious and how to harness it for your success
  • The importance of cognitive diversity and embracing a broad spectrum of thinking styles
  • What healthy conflict is and why we need to welcome it to enhance innovation and new ways of thinking
  • The importance of embracing failure and the impact on innovation and future performance
  • How our attitude and mindset influences our approach and ability to see beyond what others have set as limits

2024 Keynote – Peak Performance Unleashed – Unveiling Olympian Strategies

In this inspiring and engaging speech Anna reveals the thinking, methodology and techniques that she used to fulfil her dream of becoming an Olympian and how she won 6 world championship gold medals and more importantly, how those strategies can be applied directly to your world.

In this new speech, developed specifically for the Paris 2024 Olympic Year, Anna will ensure that delegates walk away ready to unleash their inner Olympian, feeling empowered and with belief in themselves and their ability to achieve more than they imagined.

Key insights from this thought provoking speech are brought to life through entertaining anecdotes from her journey as a two time Olympian and multiple World Champion.

Audience will learn how to –

• Develop a winning mindset
• Build unshakable confidence
• Thrive under pressure
• Develop the non-negotiable behaviours of an Olympian
• Overcome fear and step out of your comfort zone


Growth Mindset
Overcoming Adversity
Winning Mindset/performance


We have worked with Matthew for many years and will continue to do so. His knowledge of the Speaker Market and ability to interpret our clients requirements is quite exceptional.

He is incredibly thorough in his approach and always goes that extra mile to ensure everything is exactly as required.

I am always happy working with Matthew, he has great credibility, he is very diverse in his ability to make things happen.

Matthew Fisher and I have worked together for many number of years. I have always found Matt to be honest, good natured and willing to work hard always carefully selecting the best appearances to suit my personality and lifestyle. The work Matthew has delivered for me over the years has varied from schools, colleges, attending film premiers, guest speaking  to name a few all of which I have lots of memories and thoroughly enjoyed.