Stuart Penn

World Champion, Motivational Speaker, General All-Round, Superman/Nice Guy

Depends what I’m doing! For delivering motivational training or talks I like to find out about the audienceand the message most suitable to them. I then adapt the slides to tell the same story about me and my life but try and highlight parts that relate to the audience to ensure they are entertained and get the most out of the experience.

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Confidence in yourself but also the ability to reflect and challenge yourself to improve. I also find that adaptability skills are essential, whether I’m adapting to new prosthetic limbs, responding to a new Jiu Jitsu technique, adlibbing in a training session or problem solving an everyday job that isn’t designed to be performed with only one arm and leg.

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
Changing professions has been easy as I’ve still used the same transferable skills across a variety of roles. Every job I’ve had has used the same skills or been on a training/teaching/ inspiring learning track. From being a martial arts instructor, to a military training consultant, to being a coach, a team leader, a manager or even actor/stunt man.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
I love performing or delivering an entertaining session where people’s emotions are triggered – laughter, sadness, sympathy, empowerment – and seeing that at the end they have found something, even if only a single thing, that they can take away to help change themselves or their lives.

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
Be willing to be recognised, even when you may not want to be
and more importantly be willing to respond positively to those recognising you (no matter how you feel or look at the time).

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
Various coaching, instructing, training, mentoring qualifications as well as management qualifications. My ‘formal’ education ended at GCSEs but from the age of 21+ I’ve sought out and gained qualifications that build on the direction my professional desires have taken me.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
Anything is possible, you just have to sometimes find a different way of doing things.