Making an Extraordinary Difference!
Because she is such an inspirational speaker, Jillian has truly ‘impacted’ thousands of lives. To see what business leaders, audience members, students and more are saying about her, please check out the testimonials below.
Often we see speakers described in publicity material as “inspirational” speakers and this often turns out to be a mere cliché.
But there is a speaker whom I recently heard who is truly inspirational and she is Jillian Haslam.
Her story of how she fought her way up out of the grinding poverty of the slums of Calcutta to a successful career in banking, speaking and writing I found both inspiring and very moving. She hasn’t forgotten her roots and now she helps those in Calcutta by her charitable work to improve their life chances.
Without exaggeration, she is one of the most amazing people that I have ever met.
Clive Amos, Past District Governor, Rotary in London (Rotary International District 1130)
“It was such a privilege to hear Jillian’s remarkable story. She is a woman gifted with many qualities, but what shines through above all is her authenticity. She does not sentimentalise or sensationalise the events of her life; she does need to do so. Instead she speaks the truth with a simple clarity and honesty that captivates and touches. She has witnessed and experienced many extreme things, but she distils all of her various life experiences into some simple urgent truths; as such, she is a living embodiment of the power and resilience of the human spirit. For young people today, who may well have anxieties about their future and who are besieged by consumerist messages from the media, it is hard to imagine a better voice to offer welcome reassurance and an enlightened perspective. Students were inspired to ‘do something’ following her talk and quickly organised a magnificent concert that raised over £1000.”
Nick Russell, Head Teacher, Epsom College, UK
“Jillian Haslam didn’t get to where is today by chance or coincidence, but as the result of her intelligence, hard work and most importantly because of her determination. This characteristic was apparent from the moment she began her talk, yet it is not the defining memory of her lecture for that surely must be her sincerity and humility. Not many motivational speakers begin by thanking the audience and go on to thank the teachers present for the work they do. However, as she explained, without her teachers she could not have achieved all she has, nor would she have been inspired to now work towards changing lives.
The term inspiring is often over-used, yet she truly deserves the epithet as her talk was by turns stirring, moving and encouraging. Her focus was not on telling a rags to riches story that glorified her own achievements, but on outlining how each person can apply similar strategies to their own life and decision making processes to enable them to move towards their goals; in doing so she held her audience totally captivated.”
Paul Adams, Giggleswick School
“Jillian’s talk deeply moved and inspired every single person in the audience. Jillian does not ‘just motivate’, she inspires. She does not ‘just talk’, she lives and breathes her vision of changing the world for the better. Hire Jillian to talk at your event. Seek opportunity to hear her keynote speech. Read her book. Do it now! She will change your life forever.”
Lenka Lutonska – Advantage Woman Founder, UK
“I was very fortunate to hear you talk at my school recently and your presentation on achieving success through public speaking. Your example was truly inspirational. Since your visit, I have already made changes to my life in the hope of achieving new success. There was much within your presentation with which I could compare to my life, the fear and uncertainty of rising above millions of people with the same aims and goals in life, and would like to thank you for spreading your message of achieving personal success. You have already made a difference in my life and I hope your influence does not end after only one brief encounter.”
Chris van der Merwe, Colston’s School, UK
“Thank you for visiting our branch and for speaking to our staff. You stand for all those with highest level of survival instincts to attain the pinnacle of success. Jill, you have been an epitome of perseverance, grit, determination, courage, gr8 dreams, conviction and last but not the least compassion. You stand for all those with highest level of survival instincts to attain the pinnacle of success. Success is never inherited or deserved, but earned by sheer hard work & focused goals. Your innovative initiatives to empower the less-powered in our society is uncommon and emulating. I might have quoted your instance to many a persons. Please keep it up.”
Samarendra Dash, Manager, Bank of Travancore
“Jillian is a very special individual with a unique gift of helping people. She listens and identifies with people and often senses what others are feeling. Her humility is astonishing and it makes all the difference. She builds trust and inspires you to reflect and come to your own conclusions on the path you need to take…
If you want to succeed in life, you’ve got to have Jillian as a life coach or a trainer. She’s just brilliant when it comes to people.”
Pramilla Patel, Transaction Sales Origination, RBS, UK
It was an absolute pleasure to have you as a speaker at the TEDx event held at The HeriotWattUniversity. The attendees were inspired at the end of your talk and we are excited to share it with the rest of the world. If you visit Edinburgh again in the future, the team would definitely like to go for a meal with you! Motivational talks such as going from Campus to Corporate to Succeed are much needed these days and I will positively be in contact very soon in order to arrange this. Thank you again.
Aman Gosrani – HeriotWattUniversity
“Coaching and speaking—like true leadership—only works if one is left inspired. And Jillian is quite the inspiration. An open, kind, intelligent person with depth and a rich experience in life, she provides confidence, balance and reasoning that make her fully qualified for such roles.
Throughout my professional dealings with her over a number of years, I have found her willingness to help other people and her calm wisdom and insight on both detail and the broader themes of life to be generous, constructive and high valued”
Simon Wragg, Trade Finance, RBS, UK
“Jillian has all the attributes of an outstanding trainer. She’s an extremely good listener and emanates genuine positivity. Over the years I have known Jillian she has always been helpful in guiding me and finding successful solutions to my life issues. You cannot help but warm to her!”
Bimal Prinja, Cash Management, Bank of America, UK
“A superb trainer and life coach, who brings the techniques she teaches to life through the use of theory and practical examples. This training has really helped me shape my mind-set and look positively towards the future. It’s difficult to inspire others to accomplish something that you haven’t tried. But Jill has accomplished everything she has ever put her mind to.
If you are going to learn what it takes to be successful despite all odds, there’s no one better to learn from!”
Tahira Ansari, Manager Communications, Santander, UK
Thank you for your time. People like “YOU” are a living inspiration for the world and the community….. STORY OF THE MIND AND HEART:- It says that one day ..Spectacular told Outstanding… that I am greater and more powerful than you… so Outstanding replied …loves is like a dying amber ….only memories remain…Through the ages we shall remember the name and the person who we like to be associated with till eternity … that is Jillian … You are for surely created by god own very hand, not for your living but the world that he wants to be healed in many forms and ways… Every word and sentence that you state is “SPECTACULAR AND OUTSTANDING…
P.S:- You are such an inspiration to me and will be forever!!!
Alfred Nigel Stark, India
“When Jillian stepped into the room we first saw a successful businesswoman dressed nicely with friendly smile. However, after having given her talk, our impression of her changed completely. This was the starting point of an inspiring speech given by a fascinating personality. How do you get from the slums of Calcutta to jobs in companies such as the Bank of America? How did she get to where she currently was? The goal of her speech is to depict her reality, not to make people cry but to show that despite everything, she came out such a strong woman. All the tragedies Jillian and her family had to go through were more than we can even think about, but these are what made her who she is today – a truly inspiring and unique woman.”
Alice R. Blanc. – Kings College London
I just wanted to say that she went to my school to talk about ‘How to get to the Top’ and she has really inspired me to help children who are less fortunate than me globally. I am stunned by her work worldwide and how she has accomplished it no matter of the unfortunate circumstances from the beginning. I feel honoured that she came to my School today and I just wanted to say Thank You for motivating me to be a better person, I am forever grateful.
Zaid Kassam – John Lyon School, UK
The girls (and I) found Jillian’s talk most inspiring, to come through all that life threw at her in her younger years and achieve what she has today is amazing. It really made our girls, many of whom have extremely comfortable lives, really stop and think. I very much enjoyed reading Jillian’s book, which is now in the school library and I know that many of the girls are keen to read it.
Debbie Morgan, Head of Key Stage and PSHCE, Leicester High School for Girls, UK
On Tuesday evening, many of the Felsted lower sixth, the library committee and parents were very fortunate to hear the Cromwell Lecture, given by Jillian Haslam. Now a very successful entrepreneur and charity worker, she told her story of how she was able to overcome her struggles in her early life to get where she is today. Her father, who was a soldier for the British Empire, decided to remain in India after the partition, and as a result Jillian spent her childhood living there. Unfortunately, her family were hit by intense poverty, something still prevalent in the Indian sub-continent today, as Jillian explained how they used to live under people’s stairways and in a slum for a very long time (as a child). Through the humble beginnings of her story, Jillian emphasised the importance of staying positive and being happy in life, regardless of where you are. She explained that she was brought up to always look at the positive side of situations and (to quote her father) to put motion before emotion, allowing yourself to have the inner confidence to succeed. Her lecture was incredibly insightful and was good encouragement for many of the students, who will be taking their final school exams next year. On behalf of the library committee & parents, we would like to thank Mrs Howorth and Mrs Zucker for organising the event and ,of course, to Jillian Haslam for an very thought-provoking experience.
S. Ahmad, Felstead School, UK
I often engage with most of my more sympathetic subjects but Jillian Haslam’s story moved me to tears from the moment I started working on her for my Leading Lights column in the Asian Voice weekly newspaper.
I found Jillian’s story told simply but forcefully, and the directness had an impact that I would like for my own books.
Jillian is remarkable not only for overcoming her own history but for using it as an upbuilding example with which to help others. She does not feel sorry for herself or ask for sympathy, rather she seems to wish us to connect with the millions who, like her, had very tough childhoods of extreme poverty.
Jillian Haslam has a lot to offer the world and I hope she gets the opportunity to reach wider audiences through her speaking engagements and her writing.
Rani, BBC Broadcaster Contributing Writer; Forbes India
Jillian’s speech was captivating. The sixth form students and teachers present were fascinated to learn of her journey from the Indian slums to successful positions in the banking industry. Her advice was refreshing as in a world where emphasis is often give to achieving academic grades and MBA’s as a route to success, it is heartening to hear that just being yourself, being humble and a decent human being can also be so important for those aiming to reach the top. Something that is too frequently overlooked, particularly in schools where students feel so much pressure to chase the top grades and places at the elite universities.
I would like to wish Jillian every success in her charity work and with all the work that she is doing to help support children in India who truly have nothing.
Claire Edwards, Head of Psychology, Kingswood School, UK
This is to convey my gratitude for sparing time to attend the special Session of the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce on 22nd July 2014 at the Conclave. Your address was intellectually stirring, incisive and truly insightful and moreover, your comments during the interaction brought forth a different and interesting perspective.
The event was extremely well received by our members and guests.
I thank you, once again.
R. K. Chhajer, President, Calcutta Chamber of Commerce
To Ms. Jillian Haslam,
The Enactus fraternity of St.Xaviers College Kolkata sincerely thanks you for assisting our camaraderie as a speaker for the Outreach’18. While planning an event such as this, it is imperative to gain the participation of experts in the field. Your willingness to share your time and expertise on our theme ‘Normal is just an illusion’ added greatly to the success of this event.
It is our collective efforts and thoughts on such notions that will bring us closer to resolve such important issues. The summit was not meant to be a single event, but a starting point for the work that must be done to mitigate this think-tank once and for all.
We hope you had a great time just like our audience for the session did and we hope we have been a good host. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon and gain your insights on a varied range of topics.
We also have attached a few snapshots of Outreach’18 in this mail.
Once again thanking you for your time and patience,
Team Enactus, SXC
St Xaviers College, Kolkata, India
Jillian spoke at Canford School’s annual Festival of Ideas which this year took on the theme of Borders and Boundaries. She spoke inspiringly to our Year 9 and 10 pupils. She created a palpable connection with all the members of a large audience in the Layard Theatre. Her warmth, strength, humanity and humility were felt by one and all and she held the attention of a young audience simply by telling her extraordinary story and encouraging the students to make the absolute best of all the opportunities and privileges that come their way. She spoke movingly about her childhood in the India and, most importantly, was truthful but not in any way indulgent: her story of taking initiatives and crossing borders and boundaries was relevant to all members of the audience, regardless of their background. She also spoke to the entrepreneurial instinct that is latent in many of our pupils, showing that doing well in business and caring for humanity need not be in opposition. Most importantly she used her experience to show our pupils that success involves a willingness to take on all kinds of tasks and not to find anything beneath their dignity. In a week that was designed to open minds to the complex world beyond the school she brought a message that was inspiring and hopeful.
John James – Borders and Boundaries Festival Director, Canford School, UK
Jillian’s speech was captivating. The sixth form students and teachers present were fascinated to learn of her journey from the Indian slums to successful positions in the banking industry. Her advice was refreshing as in a world where emphasis is often given to achieving academic grades and MBA’s as a route to success, it is heartening to hear that just being yourself, being humble and a decent human being can also be so important for those aiming to reach the top. Something that is too frequently overlooked, particularly in schools where students feel so much pressure to chase the top grades and places at the elite universities.
I would like to wish Jillian every success in her charity work and with all the work that she is doing to help support children in India who truly have nothing.
Mrs Claire Edwards, Head of Psychology, Kingswood School UK
“The Cambridge University International Development Society (CUiD) was delighted to host Jillian Haslam as a speaker on Indian poverty (her speech title: Why poverty holds us down)? Jillian gave us an incredibly moving and personal account of her experiences of poverty and how she herself broke out of the cycle. She detailed her fascinating story of how she was able to rise within the ranks of the Bank of America and RBS, to how today she is devoted to helping young people in schools, universities and as a charity worker in raising awareness, as a motivational speaker, and – above all – as someone who understands that poverty is not black and white.
Her experiences fascinated the student members of CUiD, not merely because of the instinctive appeal of her rags-to-riches tale. It is no Cinderella story, but rather emphases hard work and sheer courage. The depth of her story was not lost upon us, with the inclusion of social factors that contribute to poverty.
Poverty, gender and race are at the forefront of our problems – and indeed, worldwide – Jillian’s work today, and her love – despite everything – for her country, is evident and crucial to bringing these problems to light while working ‘within the system’. We at CUiD wish her all the very best, and hope that she continues her excellent work.”
Shachi Amdekar President, Cambridge University International Development Society. UK
“I would like to thank you for your informative and inspiring presentation to our students, we were fortunate to have had someone of your professional expertise to take the time out from your busy schedule. You most certainly had a positive impact on the students and would like you to share some of the feedback. ‘How Public Speaking can transform a life was a true eye opener for me; Very inspiring and fascinating story of a journey that is so very rare; Jillian has gone from the bottom of society to the top’; Jillian has really opened my eyes towards my lifestyle choices and my behaviour. Attitude has been a big thing for me as I always had a bad attitude towards anyone in authority. I will go home today with a lot of thoughts about what must change and how I can use my voice positively to change my life rather than the other way round.”
Courtney Burgess, Psychology, Sociology & Politics Faculty, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Having done a lot of debating and public speaking I’ve often been of the opinion that the only good speech is a rehearsed speech – that whilst improvisation is amazing, to be able to do so without rambling or tangenting and losing the audience is typically beyond the ability of most. I think what really amazed me about you Jill was the fact that I sat there (behind the stage since I was hosting the show), unable to see you, and was spellbound by the tale you told. The fact that you went up there and spoke from the heart, could sway me and portray the inspiration that you were giving, was just amazing.
Honestly it was just a pleasure and a surprise that someone could do that. But you did. And that blew me away. Not to mention just hearing about your life and words was an adventure in itself.
Our team were mesmerised and very grateful to you and the audience were moved beyond doubt!!
Hamish Inglis – Head of the Student Union – University of Durham
“I didn’t attend Uni when I was 18 because I was afraid of public speaking. Anyway, when I saw your session advertised for today, I knew I had to attend, but I didn’t realise just how much I would gain from today. I always knew that I’d write my story and that it would be used to help someone, but I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be to let it go once it was written (the fear is unbelievable).
I imagine you must be a very busy lady but I would very much like to do the public speaking course you talked about, but also to find out how you shared your story??”
Leeanna Kelly – 2nd Year Medical student (University of Hertfordshire)
“When I think of Jillian, I see a guardian angel who takes your worries away and is always there to rely on – even before you know you need her. I cannot find enough words to express the fine human being that Jillian is. But what stands out for me is the integrity of her character… the warmth of her heart… her un-intrusive nature… her selfless actions… her genuine concern for people and desire to see others happy… her humility… her responsiveness… her loyalty… her respectfulness… her resilience… her passion… and her courage.
When I think of Jillian, I see the cup half full and not half empty. I often think of her with deep respect, love and appreciation for all she has done for my family. She will always remain a true friend to us.”
Alice Gregoriadi, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan, UK
Jillian Haslam gave a talk to Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association on Wednesday 26th October 2016. She is a remarkable and compassionate person who having started life in the slums of Calcutta and risen above this poverty to become a successful, professional business woman. Her harrowing tales of her up-bringing post-colonial India (her family choosing to stay on in India after partition, when so many left) living in the squalid parts of Calcutta, facing racial abuse, dealing with sickness and death at an early age, first her siblings and then her mother and becoming an adult well before her time. At times, as she recalled her story and spoke form her heart, her voice showed signs of distress as memories came flooding in and the audience were left visibly crying. She told us of the abject poverty surrounded by the billionaire life styles of the very rich. The contrast being so vast and so un-necessary. She started the foundation Remedia Trust and now devotes her time to raising awareness of the problems in India and motivating hundreds to work hard and achieve their dreams. She definitely inspires everyone she meets. She is certainly a “motivational speaker”. A film is to be made in Hollywood of her life and this will certainly make film-goers re-evaluate their own lives and just how materialistic the consumer age has made us all.
Vicky Cumberland – Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association
“We at The Arabs Group run global awards and exhibitions in London for most of the Arab world. We recently invited Jillian Haslam to one of our Achievement Awards for young artists. Her speech was fantastic. She gave a lot of support and inspiration to our new Arab generation of achievers for which we are more than grateful.”
Dr S. Spahi (The Arabs Group Director)
“Jillian, Your speech on the day was simply mind blowing. You kept the audience transfixed till your very last word. Your speech left us with so much hope and resilience that no matter what challenges life throws at us with a strong mindset, we can overcome anything. The audience feedback was that they felt every word and every moment was “ real” for them. The messages they took away were life-changing. I want to say that I will be happy to invite you over again as a speaker at our future conferences. Thank very much on behalf of every Well Woman who attended and who watched your speech later on DVD. “
Christy Amalu. MD, A Well Woman (London)
“Educational, entertaining and inspirational” was the verdict of members of Letchworth Howard Rotary Club after Jillian Haslam’s powerful presentation on life, struggle and achievement in post-Independence India. Poignant and moving, her story about how she overcame extreme poverty and hardship to make her own way and now campaigns for others to follow is very well worth hearing.
Arthur Jarman, Letchworth Howard Rotary Club.
“Jillian Haslam is the epitome of faith, hope and charity. Her autobiography, Indian.English. displays a character of determination and strength that I know helped to shape her future. Her willingness to get down to grass roots in learning and hard work has enabled her to achieve outstanding business acumen and leadership skills beyond her youth.
Her most endearing personality trait is genuine gratitude, generosity and humility and yet she is strong enough not to be taken advantage of. She is a philanthropist and uses all her business acumen to empower and encourage volunteers to help the aged, children, unemployed and disabled.
As a motivational speaker she has an amazing ability to understand her audience and forges ahead with confidence, holding them spellbound no matter how she feels at the time. I was more than inspired seeing her deliver a speech on Mental Resilience.
She is a rounded personality and does not hesitate to walk the walk and talk the talk in any situation, always displaying a smile and making people feel comfortable. Her quality of mindfulness enables people around her feel assured and empowered.”
Edith Cassel, Harrow Writer’s Circle
“I would just like to say how much I enjoyed listening to your story, told with such passion that one can tell it comes from the heart. I truly admire what you have done for other people and the different charities you have set up. It would be wonderful if I could help out in any way in one of your charities. “
Anna Morpeth, Epsom College, Inspire Me Dinner (UK)
There are two reasons for that: firstly, when I walked into the room at the Beak Street’s Olde English Cafe Extremist meeting yesterday (23.02.2016) and I saw you, I felt gentleness and kindness from you (I had no idea who you were) and secondly, when I finally heard your story, I was overwhelmed with your humility, strength and, most of all, the ability to keep the heart meek despite the power. That’s most impressive. And extremely rare. So rare.
Dora Copeland, UK
Jillian came to Inspired Khaya Conference as one of the speakers. Inspired Khaya is a platform whose purpose is to inspire, encourage and empower women to rise up and be the best that they can be in their chosen fields. It lays out a safe place to learn, grow and network with like-minded people.
Jillian spoke on the “Irrepressible Mind” which was in line with the theme of the conference where we were encouraging women to step up and make things happen in their lives. I can confidently say that Jillian is an experienced and seasoned speaker who understands herself, her topic and the audience that she is presenting to. Jillian has a story that is real, that touches the hearts of people and draws them in. She speaks with confidence and carries the audience with her through the actual journey that she travelled.
Jillian is sensitive enough to understand the needs of her audience/clientele and knows exactly how to support them and unstick them in order to move them on to where they need to get to. As a dynamic and prolific speaker Jillian definitely delivers with excellence and I would have no concerns inviting her again or referring anyone to her. Inspired Khaya was honoured to have Jillian as a speaker and coach. She gives value and will give feedback which is well thought out and extremely helpful.
Voni Nyamazana – Head of Inspired Khaya