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John McCarthy

after dinner
motivational

Motivational and Inspirational Speaker

John McCarthy is a journalist, author and motivational speaker who was Britons longest-held hostage in Lebanon, where he spent five years in captivity before his release.

While working in Beirut for a television news agency in 1986, John realised that is had become too dangerous to stay in the country and was on the verge of leaving when he was
kidnapped at gunpoint by Islamic fundamentalists on route to the airport.

John was to spend the next five years, often blindfolded, petrified and is a small cell in Lebanon where he endured great hardship, solitary confinement and often torture.

Amazingly and fortunately, John found solitude in a fellow hostage, Iris lecturer Brian Keenan. Despite their awful situation, the two of them became lifesavers to each other, keeping each other sane and even managing to laugh from time to time. John and Brian sometimes dared to stand up to their captors, and they were, at times, yet able to joke with them.

Johns story is dramatic, incredibly moving and yet humbling as he tells of how he managed to overcome such a hellish ordeal and the despair he often felt.

John was eventually released by the Islamic militant group on 8th August 1991, after five years in captivity. He is an author of 5 books, and in 1995 sailed round the coat of Britain with Sandi Toksvig making a documentary of the journey too.

SPEAKING TOPICS

John McCarthy takes care to work to a brief and weave in various lessons he learned in captivity alongside the general story highlighting:

• Courage
• Self-motivation
• Will to win
• Self-discovery
• Teamwork

Incarceration taught him many things. He developed techniques to overcome physical and mental torture, self-doubt and despair. He has lessons for sales teams for example about listening to customers, seeking compromise and taking control when life seems hopeless.

 

Topics

Change
Overcoming Adversity
Teamwork