Want to Know Secrets of Success from Award-Winning Spokespeople? Meet Sam Fay from Guinness World Records.

Samantha Fay, the Senior Vice President of Global Brand Strategy at Guinness World Records joins SPOKEies® University and shares her amazing advice on how to prepare as a spokesperson for public speaking.



NARRATOR: It’s SPOKEies®  University from D S Simon Media featuring Samantha Fay from Guinness World Records.


CAROLINA OSMA: Welcome to SPOKEies® University. I’m Carolina Osma, Senior Marketing Associate at D S Simon Media. We are here today to talk with one of our SPOKEies® Award winner, she is the winner of the Most Authentic Corporate category. She’s joining us today. Her name is Samantha Fay, so welcome.


SAM FAY: Thank you. It’s great to be here.


CAROLINA OSMA: Absolutely. Okay. Samantha so can you just tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do like Guinness World Records and just a little quick overview of your marketing campaigns?


SAM FAY: Okay. Of course. So, as you said my name is Samantha Fay, I’m Senior Vice President for Global Brand Strategy here at Guinness World Records. And yes, it is the best job in the world. You get to meet the smallest and the smallest and get inspired from people all around the world. But one of my key roles is representing the brand and talking about the brand and sharing some of our stories at different events as well as looking at new product development and new initiatives across the business and across the globe.


CAROLINA OSMA: That’s amazing. That’s really cool job. Okay. And so we know that a big part of your responsibilities there, is actually delivering speeches. We know that a lot of what you do, and you have done some global presentations. So can you tell us a little bit about the presentations you’ve done? Also with that, can you tell us a little bit about if say, somebody was a spokesperson from an upcoming company and maybe a startup or just overall a smaller brand, what they need to do to get booked for these speaking events.


SAM FAY: Okay sure. I mean I’ve been so lucky. Speaking at events all around the globe, Cannes Lions which was definitely the biggest and scariest, speaking at Davos earlier this year, Women in Strategy in New York even invited to today China Advertising Festival. I have also spoken at special events like the Youth Marketing Festival, both in New York and London think content tech Festival Marketing Academy. So it’s a huge range. Been very lucky. From big events to small events. And it’s wonderful to share different sides of our business and different stories with those different audiences. And my piece of advice would be taken from the first time that I did this is be brave in terms of putting yourself forward for the first one. The first one I did was a Chief Marketing Summit so marketing being my background, persuading the organizers for me to have a go and building on that, because then you have some stories to tell and you can prove that you can be engaging with an audience and literally building up step by step from different events and picking big and small ones. Look carefully at the audience and make sure that you choose an audience that is definitely engaged with your line of business.


CAROLINA OSMA: So we know that the presentations you normally do you talk about speaking, public speaking, presenting, and you’re always giving your audience tips about this stuff. We know you just shared a little bit of that with us. Maybe would like to expand more?


SAM FAY: I would love to because I’ve ended up from being a newcomer to speaking, to having done a lot of events in a short space of time. And so I do think that when you’re invited to speak somewhere you accept that as a brand opportunity as something you take very seriously. My advice would be research the event, understands what the delegates really want to take away from listening to you. You know they’re giving you their time, and you know we’re all time poor. I would say absolutely rehearse your content, make sure you’re very familiar with the content. If you didn’t create it yourself, you know be on time. I would say be a well-behaved speaker, you know turn up on time, get there early so you’re not making the event organizer stressed, work collaboratively in the way that they work. And the bit I have to try to remember when there’s a lot of events is relax and have fun sharing the content and making it sound very engaging to your audience.


CAROLINA OSMA: It’s a lot of good stuff. One of the other very interesting aspects of the way that you present, is that you always break live records where you speak. So tell us is there any world records left that haven’t been broken that you think that you and I could do right now?


SAM FAY: Oh, my goodness I don’t know if I can break out. Maybe if it was the longest interview or something, but we do have a lot of fun events breaking records, will often ask the audience to stand up and maybe do the longest note. So, you go and you have to hold the notes and get the whole to do it and then gradually sit down. And we sometimes do high five records or a real team engaging changes the energy in the room. So, yes we do use record breaking to have a lot of fun events.


CAROLINA OSMA: Oh my gosh, sounds like so much fun. I’m so looking forward to watching you speak live. And so, one of the things that we noticed from your application was that, you know Guinness World Records it is so widely known within the consumer world. But you’re also trying to break into the B2B world. So what are some tips that you would give upcoming spokespeople or just communication professionals about making this switch?


SAM FAY: It’s not easy to make the switch. And we’re very lucky as you say, to be a world renowned brand. But we’re known for the book and book publishing, and I really think the work events has helped people understand how our businesses changed and grown. And so one of the speaker presenters spots I do, is explaining exactly that, being honest and authentic about the business and saying how we’ve changed from being a publishing only business, to a major entertainment brand. And every time I have a speaking engagement and share different stories of how we work with brands and agencies actually showing how to put record breaking in campaigns and most importantly show the results. It’s all very well to tell a story but what people really want to see brands agencies, marketers like you, is that looks like a great video or a great piece of content. But did that really shift the needle? Did that really help increase sales or audience engagement? And that’s the bit that’s the top tip I would give is don’t just share the content, you know share the story behind the concept and how it works for the brand or the agency. I mean I am lucky because people remember the book. With a good memories usually about the book. But I think sharing our stories helps maintain our publishing legacy and all of the stories are true. So what I tried to do in concessions is take note to the audience and then pack in as many stories as I can about how brands us.


CAROLINA OSMA: Absolutely yeah. And of course one of the things that you did mention is how all of the stories in your book are true and there is a certain type of credibility that comes with that. You did win the SPOKEies® Award for being the Most Authentic Corporate. And that is huge, because right now we’re living in a world with a lot of fake news and lack of trust from government, corporations. And Guinness World Records It’s a really large corporation. You have really managed to establish trust and authenticity with your audience. So can you just tell us a little bit about winning this SPOKEies® award. How it has helped you in your professional career and just maybe internally how it was recognized at Guinness World Records?


SAM FAY: Of course of course. I mean I think encouraging people to represent their organization through public speaking. It’s hard you know, people find it difficult. They get anxious. So I think any initiative such as yours, which celebrates and inspires people to give it a go is a good thing. I’ve got to be honest, didn’t think especially two years ago, I would ever win an award for being a spokesperson. So honestly it’s amazing to get that recognition and the emails that I’ve had from people, from all the offices to congratulations even this morning. Someone said “Oh wow congratulations on your award”. You know the fact that the team behind me, you know read about the SPOKEies®  and recommended in terms of you know entering the awards you know it’s that team behind the speaker that means a lot to me. So you know it’s it’s really important to get that recognition, because I’m hoping it may encourage more people especially that might be nervous about public speaking which most of us are, and I definitely was yet to come forward and share that and share the stories from the heart and in an authentic way that resonate with the audience. I think the audience as I said earlier they want to learn something you’ll dare to share a unique piece of content. So make sure you give them something to take away and remember but also encourage them to talk back to you and are challenge you and ask questions about your content that that’s the advice I’d give.


CAROLINA OSMA: Absolutely. Thank you so much for joining us. Like I said you’ve done incredible work being an amazing public speaker. So thank you so much for joining us and congratulations again on your award.


SAM FAY: Thank you so much for this and this opportunity.