Elite Athlete, Keynote Speaker
Ant Williams is business psychologist and world champion freediver, who draws on his academic knowledge and his experience as an elite athlete to teach leaders mental toughness.
Through his keynote address on Courage in Leadership and by facilitating conference events and workshops, he helps leaders of Blue Chip companies – among them Allianz, Macquarie Bank, Telstra, Estee Lauder and Asciano – build courage, perform under pressure and achieve their aspirations.
A highly experienced facilitator for groups of all sizes, Ant Williams is well-suited to senior audiences.
It was when Ant was working as a sport psychologist, coaching big wave surfers, motoGP riders, rock climbers and other risk takers on how to breakthrough mental barriers that, according to him, he he realised was a fraud.
He hadn’t done anything risky in his life. He wanted to know if anyone could learn how to become a risk taker. Ant decided to take up freediving and learn firsthand how to perform under pressure.
Now one of the deepest men in the world, Ant has pushed through both physical and mental barriers to hold his breath for over eight minutes, dive to -100m and to swim 240m on one breath. In short, he knows how to overcome some of the most demanding and uncomfortable challenges a person can face. Ant teaches others how to “lean into discomfort” and take positive, calculated risks.
Ant brings these intense learnings to the world of executive education, helping clients boost their leadership capability, develop new service delivery models, innovate in mature markets, improve their sales effectiveness and develop impactful consulting skills.
As an Associate Director with leadership consulting firm Maximus, Ant sponsored multiple key accounts including Telstra Channel Management, Estee Lauder, Asciano, AustralianSuper, Fitness First and Tabcorp. He was formerly a Manager with PriceWaterhouse Coopers in Sydney specialising in the creation and delivery of Learning and Development programs.
Ant Williams talks about:
In his keynotes and workshops, Ant helps leaders find their courage to lean into the challenges of modern disruption. Ant speaks about how to handle the moment when you most want to give up by changing your inbuilt response to fear and anxiety. While sport is used as the medium, the message is equally relevant to the challenges we regularly face in business.
Clients often use Ant to inspire their leadership teams and for his viewpoint on achievement, drive and innovation. He’s an authentic presenter who offers a blend of entertainment and interaction with a powerful message.
Ant was fantastic. Mindset really plays an integral part in our ability to achieve brilliant things. Believing in ourselves and increasing our confidence certainly goes a long way to help us become brilliant.
Ant was an inspiration for our sales team who were all very impressed with the interactive elements of his presentation and learnt a lot about how elite athletes motivate themselves to compete. Again Ant related this easily back to the environment that the sales team are in everyday.
Thanks for your involvement in our Dealer conference last weekend. The presentation including your amazing achievements in the world of freediving astounded both me and our Dealers - a refreshing break in the flow of the conference. The presentation worked particularly well in that we had all delegates up on their feet and involved in doing something physical.
Ant was excellent and extremely professional. His speech was well delivered, funny, interactive, motivational and had a message that fitted the theme of our conference. Our members really enjoyed how he interacted with them. We would have no hesitation recommending Ant on to any perspective clients.
Ant’s presentation was very positive and we were amazed by what the body was capable of enduring. The T – 1 model made people think about what they could do with perseverance and limited pain if they pushed through their own comfort zones.
-Inland Revenue Department
You probably had the most challenging spot of the entire conference, speaking on the last day after a big awards ceremony the night before. I was really pleased to hear you reinforce the message to our people about the importance of building up a position within a category and also the necessity of reinventing/repositioning yourself to continually lead a category and meet the requirements of the marketplace. We have received extremely positive feedback from our consultants and business owners with regards to the messages communicated at the conference and the lessons learnt and we are certain this will be reflected in sales in the coming year.
-New Zealand Home Loans
Ant was fantastic and our customers loved him. His passion for diving really shines through and his ability to relate the key skills from his sporting success to our customers was really great. The interactive nature of the presentation was also a big hit with everybody. We would definitely recommend Ant!
-Gentrack Pty Ltd
The highlight of the [senior leader] Residential was Ant Williams & Ben Roberts-Smith. Both were absolutely great keynote speakers. I'm still on a 'post-residential high' - People have said today how calm and serene I seem - must be the breathing techniques!! I learnt from Ant to control the mind chatter, you can push yourself further than you think
Your presentation at Macquarie yesterday was awesome I was absolutely enraptured as were my colleagues. You were able to bring us all on a journey with you, we felt your highs, lows, solitude and terror; it was amazing the way you did this. I found myself anxious before we did the holding the breath challenge and relieved once done. The way you seamlessly linked your rich experiences with our working environment and challenges was very clever, you left a very strong impression on me and on everyone else in the room