Neil Laughton is a motivational speaker. But his early years were characterised by failure, poverty and tragedy. However, Neil discovered the ingredients necessary to become an inspirational leader. He served in UK Special Forces, became an award winning entrepreneur and is a world record breaking adventurer. In his talks, Neil shares his extraordinary experiences, explains what it takes to be an inspirational leader, to build a high-performing team and how to achieve success, wealth and happiness.

Biography

Neil is trying very hard but achieving very little stated an early school report. Despite this inauspicious outlook and many subsequent setbacks, he was commissioned into the Royal Marines, qualified as a helicopter pilot and served 12 years in UK Special Forces (21 SAS) reaching the rank of Captain. Later on, he founded a construction company which grew to £40 million turnover before being sold to a FTSE 100 company in 2011.

 

At Laughton & Co, he dedicates his time to developing inspirational leaders and high-performing teams. Working with individuals and businesses, he helps them build their powers of discovery, teamwork and adventure (www.laughton.co). Neil is a Sussex Business Awards Winner, has a Certificate in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors and he won the Ness Award for “Inspirational leadership” from the Royal Geographical Society. He is also Chairman of the Scientific Exploration Society and Founder of the Penny Farthing Club.

 

Neil has a passion for travel, sport and adventure. He has organised and led more than 50 adventurous expeditions on 7 continents by land, sea and air. He climbed Mt Everest with Bear Grylls, was the first person to circumnavigate the UK & Ireland on a jet-ski and he piloted the world’s first road legal flying car on a 10,000 km journey from London to Timbuktu. Neil has Guinness World Records for riding a Penny Farthing bicycle with ‘no hands’ and for hosting the world’s highest black tie dinner party. But he is best known for his many ‘world firsts’ which include playing golf at the North Pole, cricket at the South Pole and paddling a bathtub across the Solent.

Experience

Neil’s first public speaking engagement was in October 1996 when he gave a personal account of surviving the ‘worst storm in 100 years’ whilst in the Death Zone on Mt Everest. Since then, he has spoken to audiences of up to 2000 people and for organisations including American Express, AstraZeneca, BP, British Airways, Coca Cola, Cunard, Fitness First, Network Rail, NHS, RNLI and TEDx.

 

Neil has an engaging, authentic and energetic style while speaking on stage. He uses exciting first hand stories, entertaining anecdotes and useful tips from a lifetime spent as a special forces soldier, as an award winning entrepreneur and as a world record breaking adventurer. After a talk from Neil, members of his audience will understand what it takes to be an inspirational leader, how to develop a high-performing team and be inspired to step out of their comfort zone in order to achieve success, wealth and happiness.

 

Neil is available for the following types of speaking events:

  • Conference Keynotes
  • After Dinner Talks
  • Business Workshops
  • School Speech Days
  • Event Compèring
  • Virtual Presentations

Testimonials

“Your lecture was extremely well received and rated very highly by our delegates. ‘Inspirational’ was a word used often to describe your talk on our evaluation forms. You really set the scene for a very successful conference.”

Helen Falcon

Dental School Director, National Health Service

“Neil presented to both my CEO Group and my Directors Forum and scored highly in both workshops. He has a unique background and uses his military, commercial and expedition experiences to demonstrate the importance of having great strategies & implementing them effectively. Neil has the potential to become the Academy Newcomer of the Year, he is that good! Book him now.”

Simon Lester

Chairman, Academy for Chief Executives

“Everyone I have spoken to enormously enjoyed your talk on Saturday night. A highly original and entertaining subject, well presented. You did a very good job for which many thanks on behalf of the RNLI.”

Tim Handcock

Chairman, Petersfield and District RNLI

“We get many explorers talking to us here at the Society but Neil’s presentation was one of the very best.”

Colonel John Blashford-Snell

President , Scientific Exploration Society

“Your talk was received with great interest and we have had excellent feedback from our sponsors and guests. It was apparent by the number of questions from the floor that everyone enjoyed hearing about your work as an expedition leader and mentor to under privileged youngsters.”

John Askew

Partner, St. James’s Place Wealth Management

“Neil is an inspirational speaker. He has a fascinating story to tell and draws relevant lessons from both success and failure.”

Helena Grice

Director, Nokia Telecommunications

“Throughout the day, pupils and staff have been telling me how much they enjoyed your speech. They found it amusing, entertaining and inspirational. You pulled off the rare trick of pitching it at exactly the right level for the audience – something that few speakers get right.”

Nicholas Beesley

Headmaster, Beechwood School

“Fantastic! What a great talk. It kept me up thinking, mind whirring and the feedback has been sensational!”

Damian Stork

Managing Director, The Buzz Recruitment Company

Special Forces Team

1992

The Awesome 8 Extreme Golf Challenge

2004

Sinai Desert with disadvantaged kids

2013

Circumnavigation of UK & Ireland

2017

Summit of Everest with Bear Grylls

1998

London to Timbuktu in a flying car

2009

Paddling the Solent in a bath tub

2015

The Highest Dinner Party on Everest

2018

At the Geographic North Pole

1999

At the Geographic South Pole

2012

International Penny Farthing Polo

2016

"No Hands" Guinness World Record

2019

Special Forces Team

1992

Summit of Everest with Bear Grylls

1998

At the Geographic North Pole

1999

The Awesome 8 Extreme Golf Challenge

2004

London to Timbuktu in a flying car

2009

At the Geographic South Pole

2012

Sinai Desert with disadvantaged kids

2013

Paddling the Solent in a bath tub

2015

International Penny Farthing Polo

2016

Circumnavigation of UK & Ireland

2017

The Highest Dinner Party on Everest

2018

"No Hands" Guinness World Record

2019

Videos

A personal message

"Sublime to the Ridiculous!" - 03/2020

Climbing Mount Everest

"Mission Accepted"​

To Timbuktu in a flying car

Flying for Heroes in Kenya

Contact Neil