Who is Emily Hunt?
Emily recently won the 2018 Female Speaking Award for ‘Most Influential Speaker of the Year’. She regularly speaks at corporate events and has been featured at conferences from Ada’s List to Th!nk Sponsorship and more. She has guest lectured at Newcastle University in London on women in the workplace, George Mason University on the Syrian conflict and at the University of Chicago on research methods. She has been featured on BBC, ITV, Sky, CTV, RTL and Channel 5.
Professionally Emily Hunt works in communications and evidence-based strategy. She has worked with big companies from Apple to Unilever and calls herself a data storyteller.
As a US/UK citizen she is very interested in international politics and current affairs. And as a data strategist she’s been able to predict some major events and was convinced that if it rained on referendum day, the UK would be leaving the EU. It rained, and they’re leaving.
1. What do you speak on?
I speak about how to look at things differently – and how that can change everything. Every problem has at least two solutions, and sometimes you just need to remember that in order to find one. I take this idea and apply it to two pretty different topics. The first is data storytelling. In my career, I have always been able to look at a giant pile of data, uncovering the meaning and help people to understand that meaning. Now, I speak about what’s happening in the world, from the fact that we’re living in an Age of Anger to how and why women are still hitting a glass ceiling to how technology is, and isn’t, involved in growing intolerance. All of those topics are driven by my different way of looking at data. I’ve also recently started sharing the principles of data storytelling from the stage. I’m on a mission to kill the line graph.
The second thing I speak about is overcoming adversity. I have had a lot happen in my private life, and I’ve overcome it by finding really different ways of not just coping but creating a movement.
2. What inspired you to become a speaker?
I had a boss early in my career who used to literally bang his head on the table and write angry notes to me while I was presenting. So, when I was invited to speak at the 2017 Ada’s List Conference in London on the intersection of technology and intolerance, I really wanted to do it. But was petrified. That boss lurked in the back of my mind. That’s what brought me to Speaker Express. And the rest, as they say, is history! With more than £27,000 raised on my crowdfunding, appearances on something like 8 TV shows, being on the cover of the Evening Standard, a two page spread in the Daily Mail… all because of one 5 minute long talk that I gave at a Speaker Express Club night? I learned that you can change the world from a stage. And I want to change the world.
3. What’s the best piece of speaking advice you have been given?
Don’t wait until it’s perfect. Your talk will never be perfect. Just remember: “Stage Time? OF COURSE!” (But having a really solid outline helps.)
4. What do you know now, that you wish you knew when you first started?
Don’t wear black. You fade into the background!
In all seriousness, the training that I did with Speaker Express on archetypes was probably the most impactful bit of training that I’ve done. It gave me a way to deal with the tricky bits of a talk and doing Q&A. I wish I’d learned it earlier – as in about 10 years earlier – but it has served me well in the last year.
5. What traits in a speaker do you admire the most?
Those who own the stage, but recognise that they are borrowing their audiences’ time. Obviously not everyone is going to like you – but it’s important to be up on that stage for the audience, giving them something, rather than just speaking for yourself. I’ve seen so many speakers grow into amazing communicators in the last year that I’ve been a part of Speaker Express. I admire them all.