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Julie Angus

November 21, 2013 by Speakers' Spotlight

Spotlight On: Julie Angus — Explorer, Scientist, and Bestselling Author

Before Mylene Paquette became the first North American woman to row solo across the Atlantic, there was Julie Angus, who was the first woman to row across the Atlantic as part of a team. Julie has also cycled across continents, rowed thousands of kilometers of coastlines and rivers, and organized an expedition that sailed the ancient Phoenician trading routes. A recipient of the National Geographic “Adventurer of the Year” award, and listed by Explore magazine as one of North America’s leading adventurers, Julie has also worked in venture capital and business development. Julie draws on lessons learned in extreme environments to motivate and inspire her audiences to reach their goals and overcome challenges. Julie is in our spotlight this morning:

What inspired you to want to be a speaker?

I love telling stories through my books and films, and speaking can be even more rewarding.  It offers a unique and immediate connection to the audience.

Any advice for aspiring speakers?

Be authentic, find your story, and tell it with passion.

What do you like to leave audiences with?

A feeling that you can do anything, take on huge challenges and overcome hurdles.  That you have the ability to turn your dreams into goals, and that achieving those goals–no matter how big they are–is just a series of small steps.

How do you prepare before a talk? Any special rituals? A good luck talisman?

I like to immerse myself in the event as much as possible by listening to other presentations, talking to attendees, and touching base with the organizers to make sure nothing in their goals has changed.

Any funny or embarrassing situations you found yourself in as a speaker?

When I talk to high school students, there is almost always someone who asks “How did you go to the bathroom on the rowboat?” Since there is no bathroom, this is obviously going to be a difficult question, and I can often tell who’s going to ask it, because he/she is very eager and has a mischievous look.

Is there a charitable cause that you feel passionate about? Why?

I strongly believe that it’s important for kids to be active and get outside.  My expeditions are often designed with school initiatives so that classrooms can follow along and become involved. The students connect with our team in the field and the teachers used the associated curriculum to incorporate history, geography or math lessons.

If you had to choose a new career, what would it be?

I love to cook (and eat), so I think being a chef would be a lot of fun.

Desert island album?

Tom Wait’s Swordfishtrombones.

Best subject in school?

Math.

Last book you read?

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis.

Last film you saw?

The Internship.  I love good comedies and since this one has Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn I knew it would be pretty good, which it was.