Blog

Jill Heinerth

June 13, 2017 by Speakers' Spotlight

How Top Cave Diver Jill Heinerth Keeps Calm Under Pressure

More people have walked on the moon than have visited many of the places that Jill Heinerth has seen on Earth. From the most dangerous technical dives deep inside underwater caves, to searching for never-before-seen ecosystems inside giant Antarctic icebergs, Jill’s curiosity and passion about our watery planet is the driving force in her life. In her remarkable presentations, Jill encourages audiences to reach beyond their limitations, challenge the unknown, and overcome their fears, while applying her practical experience when it comes to lessons on risk management, discovery learning, failure, and collaboration strategies. Jill spoke with the CBC about her the techniques she has to keep calm under pressure:

It could be tempting to assume, after more than two decades in one of the riskiest jobs around, that cave diver Jill Heinerth is fearless.

In fact, the Ontario native feels fear every time she descends into an underwater cavern — and that`s a good thing.

“I enter the water scared,” said Heinerth, who last year was named the Royal Canadian Geographic Society’s first explorer-in-residence.

“It’s important for me to embrace that fear, because that tickling sensation on the back of my neck is self-preservation”

Heinerth has been nearly trapped inside an iceberg in Antarctica, and travelled deeper into underwater caves than any other woman.

Here’s how Heinerth handles the fear to get out alive and describes one terrifying night — on land — when she knew she had it in her.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Inside a cave, which Heinerth describes as “swimming through the veins of Mother Earth,” many things can go wrong.

She could get lost, unable to see from silt clouding the water. She could get stuck or run out of air to breathe, several kilometres from escape.

Rather than ignore these risks, Heinerth says she imagines every one before she dives.

“What’s the worst that could happen today?” she asks herself, then runs through scenarios like a checklist.

“I’m prepared. I have the technology. I know what to do,” she tells herself.

“That way, when I actually enter the water … I’ve sort of freed my mind of all of those negative thoughts.”

What can I do next?

When something scary does happen, Heinerth says the first thing she does is try to control her stress response.

“Your heart starts to race. You begin breathing faster, and that’s the last thing that I can allow to happen to me underwater with a limited gas supply,” said Heinerth.

“I have to … get control over my breathing, I have to take a deep breath and say to myself, ‘Emotions, you won’t serve me now’ and I have to send them away.“

Then, she “works within the moment” as time seems to slow. Even if escape is uncertain, she looks for her next best step.

It’s something Heinerth said she realized she could do after, as a university student in Toronto, someone broke into her apartment and came after her.

“I’m lying in bed, and my heart is jumping out of my chest,” she recalled.

“I need him to know there’s someone in the house and I don’t want to use my female voice to do that.”

Instead, she began stomping around her room, making noise and looking for a weapon to defend herself.

She eyed a brick holding up her student bookshelf.

“Already, my rational brain was starting to act, and it said no, don’t throw a brick at him because then it’s his brick.”

She grabbed two X-Acto knives from her drafting table and stood shaking, ready in case he came at her — which he did.

She slashed him, and he laughed at her, then ran away.

“It’s this tangle, this tug of war between the emotional brain and the pragmatic brain,” said Heinerth.

“How long can you swallow that down in order to survive? That’s what I learned that night and I’ve carried that with me ever since and into every cave that I’ve ever gone diving into.”

CBC.ca/June, 2017

Speakers' Spotlight represents a wide variety of motivational speakers who present energetic talks that will inspire you and your staff to take action, be it in your personal lives, your workplace, or both. Read More

Conference Speakers

The Impact of a Speech Can Last Forever

Speakers' Spotlight represents a talented roster of some of the world's most extraordinary conference speakers. Our conference speakers' experience is as broad as it is deep, and they are all leaders in their fields, which include business, politics, sports, the media, academia, science, technology, culture and entertainment. Our conference speakers are thought-provoking and action-oriented and leave their audiences, whether speaking to a group of 10, 100, 1000 or more, enlightened and inspired.

Speakers' Spotlight's conference speakers frequently go the extra mile to be in touch with meeting planners - or even CEOs and presidents of companies and organizations themselves - in advance of their talks in order to tailor the message and hit on key points specific to the client's needs. Our conference speakers arrive on time, and will have conferred with you in advance to ensure they have everything they need in order to deliver an impactful speech. Our conference speakers frequently use well designed visuals, such as photos, slide shows, or video clips to bring other elements of interest into their talks, and our conference speakers frequently build-in time during their talks to allow for an audience Q&A, ensuring your staff has a chance to ask questions of the particular conference speaker they have just heard.

Some of our conference speakers in high demand include David Chilton, Bruce Croxon, General Rick Hillier, Clara Hughes, Ron James, Amanda Lang, Stephen Lewis, Patricia Lovett-Reid, Mark Kielburger, Kevin O'Leary, Jeff Rubin, and Margaret Trudeau.

Speakers' Spotlight is committed to serving the diverse needs of the corporations, organizations, companies, non-profit and government groups that contact us when seeking conference speakers, and we work hard to find the conference speakers that will best meet and exceed your needs. Whatever you require are when it comes to conference speakers, Speakers' Spotlight will work had to ensure that you get the conference speakers that are right for you.

Keynote Speakers

Speakers' Spotlight: The Key Ingredient To Finding Your Perfect Speakers

Speakers' Spotlight represents a vast roster of some of the world's most extraordinary keynote speakers in fields such as business, politics, sports, the media, academia, science, technology, culture and entertainment. Our keynote speakers run the gauntlet from spoken word poet Sarah Kay, to business guru Simon Sinek; from young athlete Olympic athlete Adam van Koeverden to the wrongly incarcerated former boxer Ruben Carter; from Margaret Trudeau to her son Justin Trudeau. Whatever your needs are for your keynote speakers, Speakers' Spotlight the keynote speakers that will fill them.

Our keynote speakers can adjust their talks to suit your needs, whether you're looking for an address by keynote speakers of 15, 30, or 45 minutes or more, our keynote speakers will confer with you before your engagement to ensure that their talks meet your needs. Our keynote speakers frequently adjust their speeches to include important talking points your organization or company needs emphasized, and will also often adjust content so it is individually tailored to your audience. For instance, if your audience is primarily those in the auto industry, our keynote speakers will draw on anecdotes from that industry in order to ensure their speech is relatable. Our keynote speakers are usually available in the days and weeks prior to your event to discuss your needs and go over any details (such as audio visual requirements) that arise.

Speakers' Spotlight is committed to meeting the different needs of the corporations, organizations, companies, non-profit and government groups that contact us when seeking keynote speakers, and we work hard to find the keynote speakers that will provide the best match for your event. Whatever you require are when it comes to keynote speakers, Speakers' Spotlight will work had to ensure that you get the keynote speakers that are right for you.

Motivational Speakers

Motivating the world

Speakers' Spotlight represents a wide variety of motivational speakers who present energetic talks that will inspire leaders and employees to take action, be it in their personal lives, their workplace, or both. Speakers' Spotlight's motivational speakers address everything from encouraging audiences to adapt healthy lifestyles to unifying groups to achieve professional goals. Our motivational speakers work with an astonishing range of companies in sectors such as science, technology, finance, advertising, and manufacturing, as well as professional organizations, cultural institutions, and non-profit entities and government, throughout North American and around the world.

Motivational speakers that work with Speakers' Spotlight frequently go the extra mile to be in touch with meeting planners - or even CEOs and presidents of companies and organizations themselves - in advance of their talks in order to tailor the message and hit on key points specific to the client's needs. Our motivational speakers arrive on time, work with the client in advance to ensure the proper set up of their audio/visual needs so that everything will go smoothly when they hit the stage, and often include Q&A sessions in their talks so that your staff can ask any questions of our motivational speakers that they may wish.

Using Speakers' Spotlight to book your motivational speakers obviously offers many advantages. You reap the benefits of our experience and expertise, as we can help you select the best motivational speakers for your motivational speakers' engagement.

Our motivational speakers include prominent motivational speakers - and many of them household names -- such as Roberta Bondar, Michael "Pinball" Clemons, Terry Evanshen, Scott Harrison, John Izzo, Simon Jackson, Craig Kielburger, Dr. Samantha Nutt, Simon Sinek, Severn Cullis-Suzuki and Brett Wilson.

Whatever your needs are when it comes to motivational speakers, Speakers' Spotlight has the motivational speakers that will both meet -- and exceed -- your expectations.

Zync is a marketing agency specializing in corporate brand identity and responsive web design.