It was while on the road as a Marketing Manager for consumer brands such as Pizza Hut, Jammie Dodgers and Jacob’s Creek that, in 2005, Dee Clayton had a life-changing car accident in which she suffered significant injuries. Dee was keen to get something positive out of a negative situation, so she employed a life coach to help with her recovery and set her on the path to a more fulfilled future. This life coach used the Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) process, which fascinated Dee from the start.
Inspired by this experience, Dee founded Simply Amazing Training in 2007. Her goal was to help professionals like herself to achieve public speaking success. But it wasn’t just about teaching them the practical skills they needed to increase their self-confidence, but crucially (and unlike most other trainers), working on their mindset too. Dee wanted to draw out delegates’ inner confidence, so they felt worthy of speaking up and being heard. Her aim was to bring out the very best in people. In the early days, she spent every spare moment learning to become a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, and later became a licensed Insights Discovery and Motivational Maps Practitioner.
When she left for university, Dee’s parents gave her some wooden monkeys similar to those she used to play with as a child – possibly to keep an eye on her! Inspired by these monkeys, Dee came up with her unique Public Speaking Monkeys (trademarked) method technique. She managed to condense years of NLP study into a simple but effective method whereby she could help clients to articulate and overcome their innermost fears of public speaking. Public Speaking Monkeys are the negative, internal voices that put doubt in our mind about our presenting abilities (“You don’t know what you’re talking about”, “You’re going bright red”, “Your voice sounds shaky” – those sorts of things). She has a 99% successful track record of helping clients overcome their challenges and ‘tame those monkeys.’
The awards started rolling in just three years after Dee founded the business (check out the trophy cabinet!), including national business awards and innovation awards for Dee’s monkey concept. This sort of recognition is valuable and proved that Dee’s concept worked, but delegate satisfaction has always been – and remains – the main driver.
As Dee discovered that her clients needed more than just public speaking training, over the years she expanded the business to include Executive Coaching, Group Coaching, Team Building, Insights Discovery Training, NLP for Business and Motivational Maps. More recently, the demand for Simply Amazing Virtual Presentation Training has skyrocketed, because there has never been a better time to deliver engaging, professional and actionable virtual presentations. Dee and the team now work with individuals, their teams and often their whole businesses.
Over the years the Simply Amazing team has grown, but Dee makes sure that they never outgrow the guiding principles that she started with – to bring out the best in people. There are now three presentation trainers, plus a small army of people working behind the scenes in marketing and communications.
Simply Amazing trainers have worked with multi-sector companies and individuals across the UK and internationally, from Bournemouth and Bedfordshire to Brussels and Bulgaria. They have helped to improve the performance of key people at Netflix, RBS, Toyota and Volkswagen, to name but a few. (See some more of their clients here).
And we mustn’t forget the cutest member of the team, Abi. Abi is unrecognizable from the cowering rescue dog that arrived with Dee and her partner Leon in 2015. Now that she’s comfortable in a safe and loving home, it shows in her newfound confidence.