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Clowning Around Podcast
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Clowning Around Podcast

Author: Emma Stroud

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The Podcast to make you laugh and think. Join Emma Stroud and her clown Barbara interviewing experts from all walks of life. They will share their stories, wisdom and wit. This is personal development that will make you laugh and think.
215 Episodes
What really makes a good leader?  What can we learn from horses?  What happens when we open our heart and look into the mirror with kindness?  Join Em as she chats to Monique about all this and more.  Follow Monique:  Instagram: @Monique_Borst  LinkedIn:  About Monique Borst:  Human WD40. CEO catalyst, strategist and coach. An experienced advisor, Monique takes on collaborative assignments across leadership, growth and change that require a focused dose of energy, insight, independent thinking and intuition.  With broad sector experience (finance, design, education, media, wellness) and a strong knowledge-base, growth-oriented leaders work with her to scale and lead business their way, so they can break new ground without breaking themselves.   She guides clients holistically, but typically collaborations are arranged around these pillars:  Strategy - creating a sustainable, investable proposition. Implementation - setting the business up to grow and scale, talent, marketing, business operations, fundraising. Mindset - the double track of learning: growing your business and yourself. Uncovering and unblocking the unconscious paradigms and beliefs clients hold that are controlling their business and growth.  Monique  has learned that 90% of the game is played above the shoulders and that businesses thrive when individuals do. She cares deeply about creating a supportive work environment. Monique is one of the people who puts the passion into compassionate: she believes in thoughtfulness.  
How can you really lead from a place of deep growth and include adventure in your life?  Em and Josh chat all this and so much more.  Hear a founders journey to really living the life he wants. Follow Josh: Facebook: Instagram: josh.zweig1 LinkedIn: Twitter: liveca About Josh Zweig: As the largest online accounting firm in Canada, our vision is to build a great place to work and make a life worth living. A workplace which allows you to grow professionally and balance your career with the other important aspects of your life. That idea of continuous professional growth and improvement extends to our customers and it's what motivates us to constantly think about how to improve the customer experience. Working together with a team that shares that vision is what continues to inspire me each day. I graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business and spent a number of years in public practice at both a national and mid-size CPA firm where I received both my CPA, CA designations as well as a public accounting license. I like to take advantage of this whole “work from anywhere” thing, and enjoy exploring the world with my backpack, guitar and laptop.
We all have them.  Some we like, some we struggle with – what can we do to change our relationship to moods and emotions so we can live a more easeful life.  We all need to know how we can be in charge of ourselves and what we can do to truly look after how we feel.  Join Em as she chats to Rachel as they explore their own relationships with moods and how they have learnt to be curious and change how they show up in their lives.  They talk this and so much more.  Follow Rachel:  About Rachael:  Rachael is  a certified Coach, and practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming® and MBTI®, she has a Masters in Marketing and Management, and a proven record as  a trusted performance consultant for high-profile brands spanning seven, eight, and nine figures. She is also an international speaker and current Vice President of the Professional Speaking Association UK & Ireland. 
How do we really connect with each other?  Why does this matter?  How can we get better at connecting to help us in life and business.  Join Em as she chats to the author of The Lost Art of Connecting Susan Mcpherson in a truly insightful and engaging conversations – plus you will learn some very cool stuff about Dolphins... they really do know how to connect! Follow Susan: Instagram: @susanmcp1 LinkedIn: Twitter:  @susanmcp1 About Susan McPherson: Susan McPherson is a serial connector, seasoned communicator and founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focused on the intersection of brands and social impact. She is the author of The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Relationships. Susan has 25+ years of experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications, speaking regularly at industry conferences, and contributing to the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Forbes. She has appeared on NPR and CNN, and has been featured in USA Today, The New Yorker, New York magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. Susan is a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and has received numerous accolades for her voice on social media platforms from Fortune Magazine, Fast Company, and Elle Magazine. She resides in Brooklyn. Her book:
How do we navigate change?  When we are really changing right now what do we do, how can we make our self feel safe and how can we find the bravery to change.  We chat this and so much more with Alexis who is right in the middle of changing her worlds.. It is honest, open and truly inspiring.  I hope you love it as much as I did. To follow Alexis as she grows, shifts and changes… Follow Alexis Boyett: Instagram - @alexis.boyett
Join Em on this short, solo episode as she reflets on how she presents herself, how to self reflect and why it matters. Course can be bought
How can AI play with Improvisation?  What is it like to create shows with AI?  What are the joyous moments that this unlikely partnership creates?  Join Em as she chats to Piotr one of the creators of Improbotics (A show Em guest performs with) We chat this and how the technology is developing to create even more amazing theatre      Follow Piotr:  Facebook: ImproboticsLtd    Instagram: improbotics      LinkedIn: Piotr Mirowski      Twitter: Improbotics          About Piotr Mirowski:  Since 2016, we have been pioneering improvised theater and comedy with the most unlikely cast member, a robot powered by artificial intelligence. We performed around 300 shows in the UK, Canada, Sweden, Belgium, US, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, most times in person and sometimes online in a virtual reality environment designed by ourselves. We also addressed the thorny issues of risks from AI, ranging from the most hyped and apocalyptic ones, to the actual ones that involve the propagation of fake news, reinforcement of existing biases, and consequences for artistic agency and ownership. We have made our AI ourselves, and we regularly publish academic research on how humans interact with computers. Our shows are a form of public engagement about science but also a celebration of maker culture fused with making things up in improv. We illustrate a new, play for and I'm powering use of AI as a tool to stimulate human creativity and simply to have a lot of fun and silliness on a theatre stage.  
How can the power of the spoken word really change you?  How can you engage with language so it affects hearts and minds?  This week join Em as she chats to the brilliant Peju who is an amazing spoken word artist – they explore connection, deep joy, how words can be a calling and so much more.  Contact Peju:  Website:  Linked in:  You can buy copies of her book here: A Poetic Odyssey of Proclamations: 31 ways to sow, grow and flow goodness into your life   
How do you experience magic?  What does it do to your brain?  How can you be both a Psychologist and a Magician and how do those worlds come together?  We chat this and so much more on this weeks episode of the podcast. Follow Ben: LinkedIn: About Dr Ben Levy: Ben is a Psychologist specialising in goal achievement. He’s developed a new methodology to make teams more effective. Oh yes, he’s also a professional magician. On this podcast, Ben might talk about his methodology, his magic, or Brian McClair. Don’t get him started on Brian McClair.  In 2021, Ben had a jolting realisation. You only need five things in place to achieve your matter what they are. As a result, Ben created a completely new approach to improving outcomes, ABC ME. He is currently consulting with four companies using the ABC ME methodology, and getting great feedback. Ben also coaches individuals using this unique system. And he’s part of Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global coaching team. On evenings and weekends, Ben rips off his shirt, gets into a tux and performs magic at private and corporate events. Seriously
Join Em as she chats all things masks.  These are not the funny masks nor the face mask kind.  This is Em sharing how for many many years she felt compelled to wear a mask to hide who she was.  To be who she thought others wanted her to be and how overtime she has learnt to put these masks down and be who she is in all situations.
How resilant do you need to be to overcome two strokes?  How can we reclaim this word so it really lands and is not just a term that is used so lightly?  Join Em as she chats to the amazing Angie – her story will surprise you and connect with you deeply.  If you have ever been challenged then this episode will help you understand how far you have already come and so much more.  Follow Angie: LinkedIn:    About Angie Read: Angie Read is a two-time stroke survivor turned author, speaker, and professional life coach. Herstrokes, and the debilitating anxiety and depression they brought forward, forced her to take agood look at her life and reevaluate what truly matters. After a nearly 30-year career incorporate communications and public relations, she’s pivoted to something much more fulfilling--helping other stroke survivors reclaim their confidence. From her pain, she’s found herpurpose. Find her at 
Join Em and award winning performance artist Laura as they chat all things shows, bravery, creativity and so much more.  If you have ever been curious to discover how one woman shows are created then listen in – if you have ver been curious about how we can all make a Spectacle of ourselves and why that can be a good thing then you will love this chat.  Follow Laura:  Instagram: @contra_productions  Twitter: @laumurphrope  About Laura Murphy:  Laura Murphy is a genre-defying, award-winning, performance maker from Bristol, who makes text driven and dynamic physical work about things that they think need to be talked about.     Internationally recognised for their innovative approach to circus and performance making, Murphy’s work is a cross-disciplinary fusion of theatre, aerial choreography, live art, dance and verbal explosions, which integrates intimacy and spectacle. They are the co-artistic director of theatre company Contra Productions, which they run in collaboration with Nicole A’Court Stuart.  Proudly queer and neurodivergent, Laura’s work traverses the personal and the political, connecting the everyday and autobiographical testimony to wider global and social issues.   When they aren’t making theatre, Laura likes hanging out with her partner and dogs and listening to techno. 
Join Em as she is joined by Erica a powerhouse of a young entrepreneur who I creating huge waves in the world of EDI – we chat all things business journey, how she likes working with her dad and how we can all be a little bit braver…     Follow Erica: LinkedIn:     About Erica Birtles: Erica is the Interim CEO of the UWI, a social enterprise helping to connect the seekers and solvers of workforce topics in order to drive positive change in the workplace. Through their UWI:Hub community app, events and initiatives, Erica and her team are empowering businesses and their leaders to move the dial on their DEI, Future of Work and Culture initiatives.  
Stay on your own path

Stay on your own path


Join Em as she shares how she is choosing to stay on her own path. Why it is important that we alldo that and how we can be truly brave when we stick to where we want to go.
How can you as business owner really find time for what matters?  How can you truly create the life you want?  Join Em as she chats this and so much more with the fab Alexis!   Follow Alexis: Facebook:   Instagram:   LinkedIn:   Twitter: About Alexis Kingsbury: Alexis always wanted to be either a comedian, or a business owner like his childhood hero, Richard Branson.   After being booed off stage when telling jokes at a school talent show, Alexis started his first business aged 12 — four years earlier than Branson!   However, Alexis then failed to grow any of his six(!) businesses all the way through school and University. His most successful business closed after a visit from the police.    His early failures lead to him fear hiring people and so he nearly gave up completely. Even his wife and mother were telling him to wake up and let go of the dream.   Fast forward 10 years, Alexis is now an award-winning entrepreneur, with two software businesses and a consulting practice, serving over 600 organizations around the world, including well known brands such as Sony, 3M, Swarovski, Fitness First, and Pepsi.   Alexis is passionate about freeing up time for business leaders so they can spend it on what matters most.   Through his work as Founder of AirManual, Alexis has saved 1,000s of hours of time for business owners and their leaders each year, enabling them to unlock business’ growth, and scale with less stress.   In his own businesses, he has removed himself from day-to-day operations, allowing him to go on a 6-week road trip across Europe whilst his businesses continued to operate and grow.  
Natural World with Sophie Darlington   How can we all shift our perspective on the natural world?  What can we learn from someone who has made her career documenting the natural world?  What are the moments that have taken her breathe away while in the natural world?  Join Em as she chats this and so much more with the fab Sophie.   Follow Sophie:   Instagram: @sophiedarlingtondop LinkedIn: Twitter: @S_Darlington   About Sophie Darlington:   Sophie left the UK at age 19 and moved to Tanzania to chase a dream of wildlife filmmaking. That was 30 years ago, where she was one of a handful of female filmmakers working in the wild. Today, she is a BAFTA-award winner who has held the door open for other women to follow in her footsteps. She is actively and passionately involved in mentoring, public speaking & increasing diversity in wildlife filmmaking.   Sophie has an outstanding reputation as a highly experienced self-shooting cinematographer specialising in long lens camerawork, beautiful composition, high speed and animal behaviour. She has worked on many feature films for Disney Nature, BBC Earth and The Discovery Channel as well as landmark television series for The BBC, Netflix, National Geographic, CBS, PBS & The Discovery Channel.  
Episode 200!

Episode 200!


Join Em as she reflects on Clowning Around’s 200 episodes!  It’s a short, joyful episode!
Simplicity with Ben Guttmann How can we make our lives more simple?  How can we make our businesses more simple and why should we?  Join Em as she chats to Ben about all things Simple and why it will help you in your life and your business!   Follow Ben: Instagram: LinkedIn:   About Ben Guttmann: Ben Guttmann is a marketing and communications expert and author of Simply Put: Why Clear Messages Win — and How to Design Them. He’s an experienced marketing executive and educator on a mission to get leaders to more effectively connect by simplifying their message. Ben is former co-founder and managing partner at Digital Natives Group, an award-winning agency that worked with the NFL, I Love NY, Comcast NBCUniversal, The Nature Conservancy, and other major clients. Currently, Ben teaches digital marketing at Baruch College in New York City and consults with a range of thought leaders, venture-backed startups, and other brands.   Simply Put Book: Free Chapter:
Leigh is one of the most remarkable people I have met – we chat her story and how she sees Society from her perspective of Hospice CEO – you really are in for a treat. Follow Leigh: Facebook: boltonhospice Instagram: @boltonhospice Twitter/X: @boltonhospice LinkedIn: /boltonhospice About Leigh Vallance: Leigh has been a CEO for over 20 years working for organisations both large and small, operating at local, regional and national level, in areas of activity ranging from: looked after children; families in crisis; domestic violence; homelessness; urban and rural community development, autism, learning disabilities, mental health; and specialist health care before joining the hospice in 2012.
Em ends this year with a brief short reflection on all things 23.