Stage Presence

"" Aaron Tan trains people in public speaking – and he traces his success squarely back to QE.

Aaron (OE 1996–2003) has followed a varied path since university and is currently enjoying a portfolio career which includes running two businesses as well as lecturing at Greenwich University.

But it is in passing on his own abilities in public speaking that he has found the greatest satisfaction. “Having worked in companies of all sizes and also been self-employed, I discovered that what I really found rewarding was helping others,” he says. “After finding out that public speaking is the number one fear amongst adults, I knew that if I could tackle this, I would be helping the highest number of people possible.”

Aaron has learned from world-class speakers who have shared the stage with the likes of Lord Alan Sugar, James Caan and Sir Richard Branson, and has himself spoken to audiences of up to 200 both in this country and abroad. And, he says: “It all started by taking public speaking classes during my time at QE, which took place after School hours.”

Aaron, who lives in Dollis Hill, went from QE to UMIST (now part of the University of Manchester), where he read Management with a Marketing Specialism.

He has since worked for diverse businesses including a company specialising in reinstating roads after work has been done, and an aerospace & defence company. In 2013, he took over management duties at his father’s restaurant in Clacton-on-Sea and has since doubled its revenue.

In his business as a speaker trainer, which he launched in October 2016 on returning from a public-speaking trip to Vietnam, he focuses on both technical and mental processes. “I help people overcome their fears and deliver presentations at the highest level, through webinars, workshops and seminars.

Public speaking is, he points out, a useful skill for “anyone who deals with people on a daily basis”, from those in the corporate world to people in education: he has already worked with clients including YouTube personalities, sales people and personal development coaches.

Since the start of 2017, Aaron has also been a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Greenwich, where he teaches both undergraduates and postgraduates from different countries. He draws on his experience of working in companies of different sizes to teach the students about business concepts, offering a practical perspective on the theories taught in textbooks.