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Spotlight On: Colin Angus, Adventurer, Author, Filmmaker

Spotlight On: Colin Angus, Adventurer, Author, Filmmaker

Colin Angus was the first person to circle the world exclusively by human power. A leading adventurer, filmmaker, bestselling author, and named by Outside magazine as one of the “World’s Top 25 Bold Visionaries,” Colin shares his strategies for achieving the seemingly impossible, increasing efficiency, maintaining motivation, and risk management, while delighting audiences with his thrilling stories of life off the beaten path. We focus our spotlight on Colin today:

Any advice for aspiring speakers?

My advice to aspiring speakers would be the same as what I give to aspiring expeditioners.  Make sure you’re not doing it for validation or money, otherwise, you likely won’t succeed.  You need to be passionate about speaking and sharing your message with diverse audiences.  If you love what you do, your chance of success is so much higher.

What do you like to leave audiences with?

The biggest reward for me in public speaking is learning that tangible change has occurred within the host organization as a result of my words.  For example, after a recent talk my wife, Julie (Angus), and I did for a company in Alberta, we received word that one of the franchise owners present was so inspired that he decided to open up a new outlet.  Up until that evening he had been content operating in just one location.

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

The most important thing is to make sure my talk is in theme with the nature of the conference.  Tweaking occurs until the very last second, so I love to spend time observing other events, chatting with participants and just soaking in the flavour.

Do you have an especially memorable event you can tell us about?

The most memorable moment during my expeditions came mid-Atlantic when Julie, my fiancée at the time, and I were alone in a rowboat.  Julie was on the satellite telephone with her father repeatedly saying “no, that can’t be so.” The weather was eerily calm and when Julie finally terminated the call she informed me a hurricane had formed 1000 km to the west and was heading straight towards us.  We were going to be the first in history to ride out a hurricane in a rowboat.

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

My pants fell down and I was wearing no underwear at a government conference.  Okay, that’s not true, but now I’ve got your attention.  You know, I’ve been very fortunate that the most unfortunate situations I’ve encountered have just been mild technical issues.

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

My wife and I work with a number of organizations promoting physical fitness and healthy lifestyles–in particular among the youth.  I know a large part of my own interest in the outdoors and fitness is a result of role models during my youth, so I feel fortunate to be able to give back

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

Garbage man.  My three-year-old son wants to be garbage man when he grows up, and I know he’d think I was the coolest dad in the world if I was driving a big green garbage truck.

Desert island album?

Some sort of pumping music to keep me motivated….

Best subject in school?


Last book you read?

On the Trail of Ghengis Khan,  by Tim Cope

Last film you saw?

The Internship