Wednesday, 21 October 2009

More inspirational speaking

While I agree the name "inspirational speaker" can make one sound a bit conceited, I sincerely hope it's not the way I'm coming across. I've recently spoken to 60 odd Cambridge University Enterprisers delegates, which is a combination of graduates from different universities who haven't made what they hoped to out of their post-university lives. My job was to inspire them and inspire them I seemed to do. I'll post some testimonials soon to back this up but what made it for me was the queue of people who hung about after my talk to tell me how they had been affected by my experiences.

This is the best possible feedback I can ever receive. It's humbling as much as it is fulfilling to know that what I did can affect people in ways I never really imagined possible.

On October 31st I'll be speaking at the Macmillan Halloween Ball then on November 5th I'm speaking at the Entrepreneurs' Forum annual SME conference at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead. Let me know if you'd like to be there. All money raised will go straight to Macmillan.

I'll also be posting some samples of my speaking work to the site shortly once I work out how to compress and edit the footage. So stay posted!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Inspirational Speaking

I was over the moon to be asked by Service Network to be an inspirational speaker at their recent Summer Social event in August. With over 130 attendees in the audience, I had to make sure I delivered.

I used the story of my North Pole expedition as a testimonial to deliver the message that anything in life is achieveable, providing you believe it to be so.

The audience feedback I received was fantastic - 75 per cent of the audience rated my talk "excellent", which was high praise indeed from such an influential and successful group. Service Network themselves said the following:

"An inspirational speaker, Michael Mitten engages his audience with experiences which capture the imagination and encourages positivity.

Michael is a natural spokesperson, encouraging the audience to think about their trials and tribulations from a different perspective. Showing that anything is possible when you have the determination to succeed, our event was greatly enhanced with his motivational stories and winning commentary."

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

I made it!!

I'm very proud to announce that I reached True North - the geographic North Pole - at 1530 BST on April 8th 2009.

Here's the moment I made it captured on film by Doug.

This was without question the toughest challenge of my life. It was also the most rewarding, enriching and profoundly surreal experience I guess I'll ever have the privilege to enjoy. I'm now focussing on writing a book about about the expedition and how it changed me as a person to help inspire other ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

You can check out some audio dispatches by clicking through to There's also loads of other photos and expedition info on the site.

Thanks so much to everyone who has sponsored and supported me throughout what has been an amazing journey which took up every spare minute I had for the last 5 months. I'm truly grateful to Doug for leading me to the Pole and making sure I got there and back in one piece. It was a pleasure to get to know and I wish you every success in the future.

There are plans in the pipeline to take the project further and keep pushing to raise £50,000 for Macmillan.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Last night on dry land

So, here I am. My last night on dry land. My god, this has come out of nowhere. It seems like only 5 minutes ago that I seconded Ollie Reeve to train me back in December. Since then, in only 4 months, I've got engaged, trained so hard I collapsed, raised almost £13k for Macmillan and arrived here, at Longyerabyen, Norway, poised to fly onto the ice and embark on the expedition of a lifetime.

Everything I've ever done in my life so far has brought me to this day, to this point, about to embarque on the adventure of a lifetime in memory of my Dad. All that's ever gone into my body, my mind and soul is about to be laid bare over the next ten days or so. I'll learn more about myself than ever before and find out if I do have what it takes to join a unique group of less than 500 people who have ever achieved what I'm attempting.

I feel like I'm staring over the edge of a precipice that I know I've got to descend. The nerves are playing hell with me tonight. Butterflies wouldn't cut it - it's more like there's a swarm of pterodactyls ripping up my stomach. That said, I'm countering my irrational fears with sensible risk management strategy: I keep reminding myself I'm going with the best guide in the world. We have all we can possibly take with us in sleds behind us. We have contact with the outside world. And we have a rifle that I don't know how to fire yet to tackle any over zealous Polar Bears. I'm sure we'll be fine

So, this is my last post before I go. We'll be updating Doug's website from the ice this is

We'll be sending a voice note and pictures each day so please stay tuned to to keep in check with how we get on.

Video Diary 29/3 - 16 hours to go

Monday, 23 March 2009

BBC Look North to cover the expedition daily

Thanks so much to BBC Look North who have teamed up with True North to cover the expedition before, during and after. You'll be able to see regular images and voice updates on Look North (weekdays on BBC1 1830) and online, either here on this blog or on another linked website. We may be able to send through some video footage as well but it depends on connection strength. It is pretty remote up there...

Here's the first installment of coverage from Friday night (20th March), edited courtesy of Shenton Creative.