Getting to know you: Robin Kermode

What do you currently do?
I work with clients to improve their personal and public communication skills – everything from giving a major speech to meeting clients one-on-one. As a professional writer, I also help clients with the construction of presentations and talks. I’m currently working with senior executives, entrepreneurs, politicians, auctioneers, charities, corporate teams, professionals and media personalities.

What is your inspiration in business?
I have been very lucky and have always enjoyed my work. I was an actor for 25 years and loved that. I have coached for the last ten years and have loved every moment. If you love your job, it doesn’t feel like business; if you love what you do, your clients will sense it and recommend you and your business will grow.

Who do you admire?
My favourite speaker is Bill Clinton. He has a very natural, authentic way of speaking and you always get the feeling that he is speaking just to you! He makes it look effortless. If we can tell a story or tell a joke around the dinner table then we should be able to do it on a public platform. All we have to do is to learn to be our authentic selves in a public situation – Bill Clinton is proof that it’s possible.

Looking back would you have done things differently?
I don’t think so. I changed careers in my 40s and up to that point I had always relied on agents finding work for me so I suddenly had to learn a whole new skill set: running a limited company and bringing in new business. It was a steep learning curve – it had to be! – but I wouldn’t have done anything differently. We often learn more from our mistakes than from our successes..

What defines your way of doing business?
I live by three rules – love what you do, always keep learning and make every client feel special. Business should never be a chore or feel like a routine. The moment we think we know it all is the moment we should stop! We should also always remember that every client has a choice of business.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Go out and meet people – that was the best advice I was given. You can’t start a business if you sit at home, you have to get out there and build up a network and ask questions to find out how your industry works. It is also often the meeting that you think will lead to nothing that is the one that comes up trumps, so accept every invitation!

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