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Testimonials

Praise for Matthew’s books and public speaking.

“Creative breakthroughs always begin with multiple failures. This brilliant book shows how true invention lies in the understanding and overcoming of these failures, which we must learn to embrace.” James Dyson, Designer, Inventor & Entrepreneur

“Matthew Syed has issued a stirring call to revolutionise how we think about success — by changing our attitude to failure. Failure shouldn’t be shameful and stigmatising, but exciting and enlightening. Full of well-crafted stories and keenly deployed scientific insights, BLACK BOX THINKING will forever change the way you think about screwing up.” Daniel Pink, Author of Drive & To Sell Is Human

“A gripping examination of the hidden forces that come together in the making of a champion.” Michael Atherton, Former England Cricket Captain

“A fascinating subject and Syed is a dazzling writer.” Owen Slot

“I love this book. A must-read if you have ever wondered what sets the super-achievers and the rest of us apart – in any field, not just in sport. I only wish I had read it when I was fifteen.” Gabby Logan, BBC Presenter and Former International Gymnast

“Intellectually stimulating and hugely enjoyable at a stroke…challenged some of my most cherished beliefs about life and success.” Jonathan Edwards, Triple Jump World Record Holder

“A cutting edge dissection – and ultimate destruction – of the myth of innate talent in the pursuit of excellence. Syed synthesises his evidence with the precision of an academic, writes with the fluidity of a journalist and persuades with the drive of a sportsman. Read this book now – before it’s too late. There are no excuses!” Mark Thomas, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, University College London

“Compelling and, at times, exhilarating – Bounce explains high achievement in sport, business and beyond.” Michael Sherwood, Chief Executive, Goldman Sachs International

“Insightful and entertaining, Syed takes us a step deeper into the world of sports, showing us how much we can learn about our own behaviour.” Dan Ariely, New York Times Best-selling Author of Predictably Irrational

“Matthew Syed was an exceptionally fine table tennis player and he is an exceptionally fine sports writer…. In the end this book is about the human brain. It is funny and tragic, learned and urgent – the story of the extraordinary capacities we all possess, the irrationalities that drive us to succeed or fail, the opportunities we are given or miss out on.” Howard Jacobsen, Award-winning Author of Kalooki Nights

“When a book includes subject classifications as diverse as sport and outdoor recreation, Europe, mathematics and popular science, you know you’re not in for a run-of-the mill sports book. Indeed, it’s so wide-ranging that a chapter discussing motivation assesses strategies for understanding educational achievement, morphs onto an examination of Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy and ends with an analysis of Enron’s hiring and promotion strategies (yes, really)… It’s impressively researched, forcefully argued and… extraordinarily interesting and thought-provoking.” The Bookseller

“Everything Matthew Syed writes is worth reading.” Lynne Truss, Best-selling Author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves

“Cogent discussions of the neuroscience of competition, including the placebo effect of irrational optimism, self-doubt, and superstitions, all lend credence to a compelling narrative; readers who gobbled up Freakonomics and Predictably Irrational will flock to this one.” Publishers Weekly

“An outstanding speech that transformed the perspective of coaches and players alike. Our young players have been talking about it ever since.” Steve Bould, Arsenal FC

“A wonderful speech delivered to 1000 senior executives. Matthew’s messages are powerful and thought-provoking – and they have become central to the strategy of our business.” Norman Pickavance, HR Director, Morrisons

“Matthew Syed is a fabulous speaker with superb ideas. He challenges and inspires in equal measure.” Michael Sherwood, Chief Executive, Goldman Sachs International

“Matthew’s messages were fantastic. He not only described clearly how champions are made, but could also give evidence based arguments that supported his bold assertions. His influence on our squad and management was an extremely positive one for which we are very grateful.” Mark McCall, Director of Rugby, Saracens

“The feedback to your talk was amazing, with department heads using their development time in the afternoon to discuss your ideas and many people stopping me in the corridor to thank me for asking you to come in.” Ross Allen, Surrey Schools

“Very good speaker – provocative and articulate. It forced me to reflect on how I approach development within my team. I have continued to think on this after the event which I think shows how impactful it was.” Hana Searson, Director, Barclays

“Matthew Syed is an extremely inspirational speaker. He succinctly and persuasively encapsulated the winning ethos during his presention to Vodafone’s Global Heads of Marketing. We departed feeling highly motivated.”   Maria Bellanca, Head of Group Sponsorship PR, Vodafone

“The best speech of its kind I have ever heard. It inspired, entertained and informed in equal measure.” David Richardson, The Atlantic Group

“The superlatives I have heard from attendees is a reflection of the importance of your thesis. My clients were fascinated by all angles of your overview, it could not have gone any better.” Jason Doyle, Alliance Bernstein

“Provocative and eye-opening, it changed the way I think about life and success. It has so many implications for the business.” Cathy Brown, The Third Space

“Matthew was everything I had hoped for and more. He captivated the audience with material that he made directly relevant to our business. He was asked some thought provoking questions and came back with equally thought provoking answers. As a company we are on a journey of change and Matthew’s presentation supported our strategy for the year ahead and beyond.” Alison Traversoni, Executive Director, E.Surv Chartered Surveyors

“A fantastic speaker with ideas that are both powerful and relevant. Eye-opening and wonderfully entertaining.” Ben Preson, Orbis Fund Management

“Utterly inspiring. We are looking forward already to booking you again.” Colin Passmore, Senior Partner, Simmons and Simmons

“Your talk was masterful and the audience was rapt throughout. They will cherish it for many a moon.” Geoff Simpson, Westminster School

“Superb and engaging, Matthew captivated an audience of global professionals who went away with a refreshed sense of what it means to identify and motivate talented people.” David Leigh, Chief Executive, SHL Group

“You’ve had a huge impact on our students and I can’t thank you enough for both the valuable message and the eloquence of its delivery. The number and quality of questions showed the level of engagement you elicited. A truly memorable afternoon.” Giles Bennett, Deputy Director, Kings College School, Wimbledon

“Captivating and inspirational, we have had excellent feedback from our clients for an outstanding after dinner speech.” Ron Pearson, Bowmark Capital

“Extremely interesting and hugely thought provoking. Matthew is an outstanding speaker.” Mike Hart, Royal Yachting Association

“I have found Matthew Syed’s presentations clear, compelling and entertaining. In both his presentations and his books he combines hard evidence, strong argument and telling anecdote. He draws on a wide range of fields, including sport and business, and uses language free of jargon. I have never heard the case for a growth mindset or learning from mistakes more effectively made. ” Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor, Pearson