Client feedback


From small businesses to multi-nationals, from trade associations to the public sector, from staff events, to sales meetings to leadership summits, when an organisation wants their people to work smarter and achieve targets and goals, John Hotowka has helped them all by delivering Achievement Thinking keynote speeches or speaking after dinner.  AND… he gets results.


Most of the testimonials below have been taken from John’s LinkedIn profile, to see a long long list of others click here:


“We recently engaged John to present at the 2017 Auditel National Conference. His thorough preparation, including the time he took with us to understand the business model, showed in the quality of his presentation. We particularly appreciated how he wove in some of our key messages. Not only did this engage the audience on a personal level, but it made the messages so memorable that many of our network have been repeating them in the weeks following the event.

One of the best motivational speakers we have had the pleasure to work with – thank you!”

Fiona Steels, Franchise Recruitment for Auditel UK Ltd


“John recently delivered a motivational session at our leadership Community Event here in Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. John made the session fun but with some very key messages for our Senior Leaders using a different kind of approach that left the audience engaged throughout. I would thoroughly recommend John and would use him for future sessions with our leadership teams here in Derby.”

Jayne Dickenson Darcy, Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


“Having found John’s website and watched a few of his videos, we thought John would be an excellent after dinner speaker following our industry conference and we weren’t disappointed. His attention to detail and pre-event planning was meticulous and this resulted in probably the most entertaining and engaging speaker we have ever booked.

We asked John to provide a mix of humour, audience participation, magic and also to get across some business messages that we had discussed. He was absolutely spot on and the conference delegates have not stopped talking about their evening with John.”

David Elliott, Chief Executive at Surface Engineering Association


“As a speaker at the launch of the Unilever Ice Cream field sales team I was looking for John to change the pace of the event and add something different by focussing on the mind-set for success.

John came recommended by a colleague and was great to work with, he really took time to understand the business, the terminology and the audience and then weave this detail into his presentation – which made it feel personal and relevant to the team in the room.

Landing the mind-set messages with humour and magic was unique and many people spoke about how much they enjoyed it afterwards and were motivated to go out and sell…which ultimately was our goal.”

Patrick Bramich, Account Controller – Unilever Ice Cream at McCurrach


“I recently had the pleasure to attend one of John’s presentations and was blown away by his delivery, motivating messages and humor. He captivated the audience and left everyone wanting more, I have already been following some of Johns motivational techniques and advice and can honestly say it is already beginning to make a difference to how approach my career and home life. Highly recommend you attend a session if you can.”

Greg Jones, Claims Service Manager at Zurich Insurance Company Ltd


“The best motivational speaker I have heard, loved the lighthearted style and magic but with a true message that resonated. Took away some great learning I would recommend John to any organisation.”

Becky Sutton, Divisional General Manager at Chesterfield Royal Hospital at NHS Foundation Trust


“What I wanted was for our delegates to start the conference feeling empowered to make changes in their working lives, have the ability to speak up and speak out and to build the resilience to manage whatever hurdles they have to jump to ensure patients are kept safe. I am always impressed with professional speakers who ask for your brief and build into their presentations the exact key messages that you wish to get across and John did this incredibly well and the feedback received from delegates so far is extremely positive. John is professional and fun to work with and engaged well with our delegates, HQ team and everyone else who was at the event. Thank you John for opening our two day conference so well and giving us the starting point to build upon for the rest of the weekend.”

Dawn Stott, CEO Association of Perioperative Practice


“I was lucky enough to hear John speak at the ACES 2017 event at Murrayfield in Edinburgh which I was Chairing. Our audience were PA’s & Executive Secretaries from around the country and John completely understood his audience and geared his presentation accordingly.

John was totally engaging from the outset…. his presentation was a mix of inspiration, humour mixed with a little bit of magic and showed a real understanding of his audience.

I’ve been involved with ACES since its inception 10 years ago and have to say that John was one of the most motivational and entertaining speakers we’ve ever had. Everything he had to say was totally relevant to his audience and I know from delegate feedback on the day, that they went away completely inspired and motivated to achieve more in their careers and their personal lives too.

I cannot recommend John highly enough…. he’s a completely unique, inspirational & entertaining speaker and the illusions he performs just adds to the magic!”

Joan Serafini, Owner, Equator Events and Public Affairs Ltd


“John fully met our goals to enliven and energise the first get together of our 3 CCGs. With 129 people in the room, opportunities were created to listen, watch, learn and engage. John took to the stage as key note speaker combining achievement thinking techniques and tips with his USP – magic. We provided a full briefing and John worked our material into his performance, making it relevant to the changes we are managing and how we can work together to increase our resilience levels. Our audience involved a broad cross-section of people and roles (non clinical), a lot of whom didn’t know each other well. The activities led by John worked well in breaking the ice and bringing people together with energy, good humour and, perhaps most importantly, laughter. Feedback has been good, in particular from those of our teams who are specialist and located on separate floors or buildings. Value is added by John in his follow-up, with a full write-up of his achievement thinking techniques and tips. His magic tricks remain Top Secret however!”

Dawn Clissett, Head of Organisation Development, NHS CCG


“John joined us recently at a Celebration of Medical Educator’s event. John was brilliant; really great to work with. He took the time to really understand the context we were working in and he really cares about delivering the best for the audience. We wanted someone who could inspire a community and John did that. He made people think differently. John got individuals enthusiastic and connected in a way that we could never have thought of; with the use of magic and fun new relationships were built. John is professional, original and had impact. Just what we needed!”

Jill Guild, Supporting International Recruitment of GPs


“I had the pleasure and opportunity to hear John speak in January 2017 at the ABPCO (Association of British Professional Conference Organisers) AGM. Both inspirational and thought-provoking, John had me and dare I say the room, filled with professional conference organisers, hooked from start to finish. What stuck with me was the ‘Just do it’ philosophy and how we can train our minds to focus on the positive – simple but powerful messages to be applied to professional and personal life, and all delivered with a sprinkle of magic! So we laughed, gasped and nodded in agreement throughout. Thank you John!”

Madalina Marincas, Conference and Event Organiser


“I first met John at an inspiring leaders day and what an inspiration he was! I enjoyed every minute of his talk and his useful and sensible tips to become more effective in life and think like an achiever were great. His delivery was excellent, fun but real, unique in so many ways! I often look back at my notes to revisit the techniques he shared with us and smile at the memory of the fantastic day we had! I sinced invited John to speak at an event I was involved in organising and again – he did a great job! I am very pleased to have met John and would certainly recommend him as a professional speaker to anyone I know!”

Nicole Leida, Head of Conference and Events at National Cancer research Institute


“Unconventional, punchy, highly relevant, true and valuable.”

Mark Anderson, MD, Virgin Holidays


“I heard John speak at the IGD Leading Edge Masterclass and I really enjoyed his style of presentation and think he hit the balance really well between humour and magic, and getting serious points across. 

I have already used some of the suggestions John made in both my work and personal life, and feel his positive outlook and realistic suggestions has helped me navigate my way through a difficult few weeks at work by making simple changes to the way I do, and think about things. I would recommend that anyone who has the opportunity to listen to John’s Masterclass should do so.”

Fiona Miller, Retail Brand Manager at Arla Foods Amba


“We recently engaged John to be a guest speaker at our sales conference.

John was a great choice for us as his unique delivery is well suited to conveying important messages in both a memorable and entertaining way. John invested time in understanding our business challenges, the people and our culture. Not only did this allow him to tailor his material to fit our needs but also re-assured us that he understood and respected our company values.”

Matthew Curtis, Segment Sales Director, Jotun Paints (Europe) Ltd


“I saw John at a recent industry event. As part of the day we get to see many “speakers”. Often this is just the case, they are speakers. John is different.

In a world that is trying to be progressive,regressive and reactive, we need to be inspired by someone who breaks the mould. John does just that.

Let me start with his delivery style, quick, funny, keeping you on your toes and wondering what next. He uses magic to bring alive the valid and provoking points he makes. Be under no illusions, this is not a magic show, but someone who taps into even the most sceptical mind!

He has made me think about how we can use the problem solving powers of others, and that giving is so important. Finally, most of our blockages, the things that stop us, are in our own minds and can be overcome. “

Mel Morehouse, Training and Operations Manager, Tesco PLC

“John spoke at a meeting I recently attended about change. 

A daunting subject was made fun, engaging and thought provoking through John’s unique style. 

Whilst I’m used to change in business, his method of delivery was refreshing and I’ve already shared many of the key points with my team. 

I would absolutely recommend John’s work.”

Mark Proud, People Manager at Dunelm

“John led a session at the recent Leading Edge Conference; his refreshingly individual style of delivery and personable approach was engaging and fascinating to watch. And by the way ….. his message absolutely landed! Book into a session if you see John is leading it!”

Lesley Phillips, Regional Development Facilitator at Waitrose

“John recently spoke at an event we arranged with Manchester PA Network. He is able to speak about motivational topics at the same time as providing humour and linking it to real life examples. He is extremely professional, accommodating and able to work well with a small or large audience. We got great feedback after the event and he managed to easily engage with our clients. I would highly recommend working with John.”

Melanie Thompson, Director of Sales – The Lowry Hotel, Manchester

“John Hotowka gave an inspirational talk at this years CHC Resources Conference. The talk was delivered in a fun and entertaining way using magic tricks to reinforce key messages. Johns delivery was truly unique, not gimmicky but original and educational. Thank you John for such a great start to the conference and for sharing some fantastic tips on controlling internal negative voices. Truly inspirational.”

Samantha Morgan, Head of HR and Corporate Services at Coastal Housing Group


“I watched John present at the Leading Edge conference – and found him highly entertaining, whilst giving practical advice that could be used immediately to start optimising achievement thinking strategies. I would look forward to seeing John present in the future and will be highly recommending him to my colleagues.”

Amy Lawson, PepsiCo

“John was excellent to work with, right from the off he was organised, efficient and truly grasped what we were to convey to our senior management team. 

John was funny, quirky and delivered the right messages throughout his presentation, using his powers of negotiation he involved and engaged the whole team. 

Following John’s presentation I recieved some excellent feedback from our team and will be definitely using the services of John later in the year.”

Mark Aldridge, Director of Operations – UK & Iberia at Louvre Hotels


“Not knowing about John’s style of delivery, it’s an understatement to say that I was excited/amazed to find out that he was a magician moments after he took the stage.

The next two hours were engaging, entertaining and informative as we sat in a room where not one person looked at their phone – when was the last time you could say that about a meeting?

John’s content will leave you with clear, easy-to-remember and easy-to-action outputs and great conversation starters. I would never hesitate to join a presentation given by John in the future.”

Abigail Penney, Regional Executive at Twinings


“So glad we booked John to speak at our event, what a fantastic motivational speaker! We all came away from the business breakfast with some of his enthusiasm, energy and inspiration. John is a pleasure to work with, excellent communicator and well organised.

Our delegates have given us very positive feedback about the event. His ability to build instant rapport with his audience really impressed me, as did the excellent balance of fun and business strategy in the content of his delivery.”

Lisa Bates, Executive Director at St Albans District Chamber of Commerce

“How often do you attend a speaker event and then leave it wondering what or why? So often the speakers and their content are totally unmemorable.

John Hotowka is very different; his content is straightforward and his delivery methods are memorable. None of that hyped up, idiotically enthusiastic stuff, full of wonderful theories that you usually endure.

John spoke to our evening networking group and was excellent; one of the best of the many I’ve seen. He genuinely involves his audience, rather than speaking at them.

I actually remember a lot of John’s content several weeks later and I’m starting to react to some of his message, by changing my approach with prospective clients. If you get the chance,don’t miss seeing John Hotowka.”

Bernard Carey, Chartered Health & Safety Practitioner

“Everyone in the room commented to me how the wrap up (your presentation) was absolutely brilliant and in particular your insight in to how to change the way they think and approach their business to get results, and all done in an extremely entertaining way.”

Graham Dennis, Director, Money Save Solutions

“In advance of the conference I was very re-assured by the thorough approach to your preparation which was reflected in your delivery.  You had clearly taken the time to get to know our business and our challenges and many colleagues commented upon this.

I really felt you managed to get across our message about coping with a changing environment very effectively whilst keeping our audience entertained with your wit.  Feedback from the delegates was excellent with many of them telling me what an enjoyable and yet relevant session it was.”

Richard Caldicott, Head of Operations – Intermediaries, Prudential

“Entertaining with lessons.  Lots of ideas.”

Sue Adams, Managing Director, Extra Mile People

“I hung on every word, I could have listened all day.”

Susan Carter, BAE Systems

“Normally I’m lost after about 20 minutes but John kept me engaged for the full one hour session.”

Marie Walsh, Winston Solicitors

Testimonial – CFSMA Leadership Conference – click to open

Testimonial – After Dinner – Proven Track Record – click to open

Testimonial – Annual Glass Industry Health & Safety Conference – click to open

“Your keynote speech was truly very entertaining, thought provoking and inspirational all at the same time.  You were voted the Number ONE speaker at the conference, excellent considering the entire audience was made up of people who run small businesses AND speak professionally for a living.  What’s more your delivery and message helps change behaviour in business to make people more successful.”

Derek Arden, President, Professional Speaking Association

“Your performance brought a well received twist to our typical Sales Meeting.  Our sales force have made the right noises about observing each other in the field.  Also, they were very happy and positive after the presentation.

You were perhaps one of the most professional and organised individuals I’ve worked with.  We deal with Solicitors and Financial Institutions and are often flabbergasted by the levels of incompetence we can unfortunately encounter.  You were a pleasure to deal with and gave us every confidence that you not only understood what we were after but that you also understood the culture and ethos of our company and the nature of our business.”

Ben Wright, Sales Manager, Mortgage Advice Services

“Your confident, reassuring and friendly style won the audience over very early on and the feedback from them afterwards was without exception positive.  From my own point of view, I was delighted that you were able to get over all the messages we had discussed in the briefing meeting an hopefully this will influence our members in their management and leadership roles for many years to come.”

David Dearnley, Immediate Past President – Co-operative Funeral Services Management Association

“I was one of those fortunate enough to be in the audience when John Hotowka delivered his keynote speech at the PSA Convention in Coventry.  It was a vintage performance combining humour, great presentation skills and a simple powerful message.  A key feature was his seamless transfer from serious to funny and back to serious again.  From raucous laughter one moment, you could have heard a pin drop the next.  He had my attention 100% for the entire duration of his keynote.  As a professional speaker and presentation skills coach I have no hesitation in highly recommending John.”

Paul du Toit, CSP, author and presentation skills coach

“And deliver you did… The background information you researched from David and I left the audience feeling you understood our industry and their issues.  Thanks largely to your professionalism, both as a speaker/entertainer and businessman, your after-dinner speech set the tone for the following days programme perfectly, making the whole event look thoroughly thought through and joined-up.”

Nick P Atkins, Director, Proven Track record Ltd

“I needed someone that could put an interesting spin on our subject of health and safety which can be perceived as being a bit dull.  Our main speaker would need to entertain, motivate and relax the audience whilst keeping the focus on our main objective which is education.

On the day you turned up and were everything I hoped you would be and then 50% more on top for good measure.  You not only stepped up and filled the slot at short notice but you were so well received that it set our event off on a very positive note.”

Declan Moore, Health and Safety Manager, Glass and Glazing Federation

“I was delighted with your presentation, which got our delegates on their feet, in a positive frame of mind and motivated – ready for the rest of the day.”

Philip Marsh, UK Health & Safety Manager, British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation

“John was absolutely first class in his manner, attitude and execution; the feedback from the team has been terrific, and we would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending him to entertain any audience.”

Frank Staniland, Sales Director, AmbiRad Group

“… I thought you would be perfect for our conference and, even though I say it myself, I was right!  The theme of the conference was ‘people’ and your style and performance matched that perfectly.  Informal but ingenious.  I think the reaction from the audience indicated how much they all enjoyed it.”

Vivienne Allen, Executive PA, Lex Autolease

“We are writing to thank you for your invaluable contribution at this year’s ‘Belzona Fast Start UK Sales Conference’.  The feedback suggests that you delivered the various messages we hoped you would, so hopefully we now have a more motivated sales force who will get creative and broaden as well as strengthen their network of contacts.
Your mix of entertainment and business was just right for our audience, and especially well received and listened to at the ever demanding difficult after lunch slot.”

W R Ashcroft, Managing Director, Belzona Polymerics Ltd

“I hired you hoping you would provide us with a professional award host, as well as light hearted entertainment for our conference delegates.  I wasn’t disappointed!  You proved a huge hit with the audience, with your entertaining, and clever act, and I received a lot of very positive feedback on the whole evening as a result.
You made the pre event organisation easy, yet came fully prepared, and gave me a lot less to worry about on the evening, than normal.”

Tom Acland, Managing Director, Cafe2u

“I was very impressed with you from the moment we booked your services until you walked off stage.  You were a delight to work with and made my colleague’s life very easy.
The presentation you delivered was fantastic and just what I had asked you for – entertaining and very amusing and at the same time delivering a message… very appropriate for our type of event and the business audience.”

Susie Cawood, Head of Events, Leeds, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

“As always you’re a true professional to work with and produced an evening of entertainment that fitted perfectly with our audience.  In terms of pure entertainment you were superb and had our large group of customers one minute doubled up with laughter and the next totally speechless and amazed.”

David Dean, Managing Director, Hambledon Studios

“Since the event I have had many thank yous and most of them included words saying how much extra John had brought to the evening.  I can’t recommend him highly enough for any type of event, social or business.”

Will Kintish, Kintish

“The feedback has been extremely positive and echoes the buzz you created on the day.  Your meticulous planning in true partnership with myself was the key to pulling this off and I was pleased our Chief Executive was there with her seal of approval.  I’m sure the gratitude she offered to you personally afterwards, gives you the confidence to take your message into other healthcare areas.”

Richard Firth, Organisational Development Lead, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

“Your presentation was perfect for just after lunch and the mix of comedy with a business message was very well received by the delegates.”

Jennie Harnaman, Event Manager, The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your excellent presentation at last weeks Senior Management Event.  Personally you delivered everything that I had asked for and in your very unique style.”

Karen Newman, Head of Communications, Jobcentre Plus Wales

“John, can I on behalf of GOJO Industries Europe, sincerely thank you for your professional approach to our first ever Distributor Conference.  With large events as Corporate Dinners the hardest part is to ensure that the delegates are kept not only entertained but also ensuring that the corporate message is being delivered.  You managed to incorporate our brief and messaging whilst making the evening fun and relaxed.  The response from our distributors was overwhelming and I look forward to working with you again on bigger and better events planned for the future.”

Suzanne De Maine, Marketing Manager Europe, GOJO Industries Europe Ltd

“As you are aware, this was a very important event for us as we were hosting our corporate partners and their wives from around the world and wanted their stay with us to be extra special.  I’m delighted to report you helped achieve that aim.”

Derek W Muir, Group Managing Director, Hill & Smith Infrastructure Products Group plc

“Just a short note to thank you for your excellent performance at our kick-off meeting in Gstaad.  It was very much appreciated by the attendees and added significantly to the overall celebrating and team building exercise.  The use of magic with a multi-cultural and multi-lingual audience was clearly a success, as magic transcends those differences and can be appreciated by all.”

Jim Atkinson, Commercial Operations Director, Beckman Coulter International SA

“Our sales force went away inspired and motivated by your contribution.”

Mark Brown, Channel Director, Hallmark Cards

“Your special magic transformed an excellent evening into an outstanding one, thank you for liberally sprinkling your magic dust amongst our guests and keeping them spell bound across the evening; it was a delight to see you in action and witness your consummate audience participation skill working to the full with your assistant from the audience.”

Richard Bosworth, Chairman, Wealth Enhancement Forum

“Thank you so much for entertaining and dazzling our members and our guests at our conference dinner.  You are a star!  And people are still talking about it more than three weeks after the event.”

Derek Williams, Chief Executive, Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Europe

“On a personal level, as the organiser, I felt that the tasteful and non-offensive nature of your performance was perfect for our mixed group, and you proved it is possible to hire a comedian who can make everyone laugh without resorting to blue or non PC humour at other’s expense.”

Stephanie Bonnar, Customer Services Manager, Capper & Co Ltd

“Just a short note to thank you for the excellent performances you gave at the Orange events recently. They were a huge success and by the remarks we received your part in particular was enjoyed by everyone.”

Stephen Mytton, Operations Director, Inspire Success Ltd

“Our chief executive, Philip Whitman, specifically remarked that whilst looking around the room during your presentation he saw and felt, for the first time, a new level of energy within the company, which is exactly what we are trying to achieve.”

Claire De la Haye, Marketing Manager, SEMTA

“The delegates absolutely loved your show.  It was so funny!  Particularly appreciated was the degree of audience participation and your unflappability during constant catering interruptions.”

Ross Fraser, Chief Executive, Housemark Ltd

“I can confidently say that the way you linked our presentations, and the use of magic, reinforced the important points from the presentations enabling us to have a most successful outcome. This undoubtedly helped us to have the best annual meeting I have ever been involved with and this has been echoed by the vast majority of the attendees.”

Ian Pinn, Commercial Operations Director Northern Europe, Beckman Coulter UK Ltd

“Everyone I have spoken to subsequently about the conference mentioned you very favourably and I would like to thank you again for bringing a good day to a very successful conclusion.”

David Greenleaf, Corporate Communications Manager, Stroud & Swindon Building Society

“Many thanks and congratulations for a great performance last week.  The feedback on the whole day – which was the first time that I had gathered together all of my new team – was first class and you were a key part of that success!”

Deian Tecwyn, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

“I have had a number of people comment on how much they enjoyed the evening and you have certainly left a lasting impression – along with our own volunteer who continued to try his hand with the rope trick after you had left!”

Helen Downer, Head Of Internal Communications, Tarmac Ltd

“I and my colleagues at Croda would like to thank you so much for the part you played in making what we all felt was an excellent evenings entertainment for our customers in Berlin recently.”

Nick Challoner, Sales & Marketing Director, Croda Chemicals Europe Ltd

“Not at all to my surprise, I have had a substantial number of thank-you messages, both delivered personally and in writing, and the great majority have commented upon how delighted, but completely bamboozled, they were by your performance.”

Ronald Graham, Partner and Head of Pensions North, Eversheds LLP

“You won us all over with your personality, sense of humour and amazing magic!”

Diane Miller, Senior Marketing Executive, Anchor Homes