Cally Beaton – Keynote Speaker

Stand Up Comedian, Writer and Business Mentor

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Specialist Subjects

  • Let Me Entertain You: Lessons from the television industry for success in a virtual world
  • Confessions of a Public Speaker
  • Getting your Work Life to work for you
  • Networking, Allyship & Mentoring
  • Change & Reinvention
  • Negotiation & Influencing – Making it easy for the other party to say ‘YES’
  • Imposter Syndrome


  • English


Cally Beaton is a comedian, writer, speaker and business mentor.  Of the rising stars on the circuit today, few can boast the journey into comedy that Cally Beaton can.

Cally is a natural storyteller full of intelligent, distinctive and punchline-rich material and her star is fast on the rise. She has held senior management positions at some of the biggest media companies in the world including MTV, UKTV and Viacom. Early in her career she headed an independent television production company that was bought by ITV’s Carlton Television (where a certain David Cameron was on the board). She left to set up a successful creative consultancy company, and went on to do a 10 year stint as Senior Vice President at the US studio giant Viacom. There, Cally oversaw a multi-million dollar budget for channels including Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount; if you want someone to blame for bringing South Park and SpongeBob SquarePants to the world, you need look no further. She has a Masters in Neuro Linguistic Programming and has worked for many years, alongside her not inconsiderable day jobs, as a sought-after Executive Coach to the great and the good in industry, public life and politics.

It was while working for Comedy Central, on the road with the late, great Joan Rivers, that Cally Beaton was nudged into the sphere of performance. Acting as an unofficial business event warm-up for Ms. Rivers, it was she who told Cally she had what it took to be a stand-up and so, as a 45 year old single parent, Cally first took to the stage. She quickly cemented her position as one of the most exciting and distinctive new stand-ups in the country, with her unflinching, acerbic and intelligent brand of comedy. She has appeared on BBC2’s QI multiple times and as a guest on Radio 4’s Museum Of Curiosity, as well as BBC Radio 6 Music and as a regular contributor on BBC London. In 2019 Cally has appeared as an expert on BBC2’s The Apprentice You’re Fired, as well as a panelist on Radio 4’s The Unbelievable Truth with David Mitchell and BBC’s The Blame Game. Cally also writes for The Guardian.

​Her first foray to The Edinburgh Fringe in 2016 was a big success. Her show ‘Cat Call’, a double header with Catherine Bohart, received a Malcolm Hardee Award. She then followed up with her debut solo hour in 2017, ‘Super Cally Fragile Lipstick’. The show was a sell-out hit, receiving multiple 4**** reviews, national press coverage and picked as Best of Edinburgh Fringe by The Arts Desk. Cally built on this success with her hit Edinburgh 2019 show – ‘Invisible’ at The Assembly Rooms, which enjoyed numerous accolades and sell-out rooms. After multiple Finalist credits in competitions in the UK and the US, Cally went on to win the prestigious 2018 Piccadilly Comedy Club New Act of the Year competition, after being tipped as one of the comedians to watch for 2017 by Chortle.

Drawing on her vast experience, eclectic life and unique wit, Cally Beaton is able to strike the perfect balance of smart, insightful, and entertaining. She is a gifted host and MC, with a natural ability to work a room, and gives sharp, inspirational and thought-provoking keynote and after-dinner speeches. Cally has a hard-won skill set few comedians can boast and has worked with – to name a few – Deutsche Bank, Sony Pictures, IMG, Endemol, Channel 4, Hat Trick, ScreenSkills, Women in Film & Television, UCL. PWC, Aviva, Sky Television, L’Oreal, Lloyds, Wella, Capgemini and Disneyland.

Popular Talks by Cally Beaton

Let Me Entertain You: Lessons from the television industry for success in a virtual world

No stranger to being creative in the face of adversity, Cally has held senior management positions at some of the biggest media companies in the world – including MTV, ITV and Viacom. Here, Cally shares what she has learnt from her many years at the top of the entertainment industry and looks at how it can help us equip ourselves to thrive in a virtual world. She gets under the skin of what makes a world-famous TV format, the impact of digital services on the television industry, and the relationship between online and broadcast content. Other themes include:

• The evolution of broadcaster media & how we watch/listen/make
• Principles of creativity
• Generating value from bespoke, proprietary assets (audio/visual/social media, etc.)
• Attitude to risk/failure
• Opportunism – being first, not necessarily best
• Notable success stories & failures
• Innovation vs. compromise

Confessions of a Public Speaker

In the early 00’s, Cally nearly left her job on the ITV board when she was told she was going to have to present to over 2000 people on the stage of a West End cinema; public speaking was definitely not her thing. Fast forward nearly two decades and she is making a living on stages (and virtual stages) as a broadcaster, awards host, comedian and after-dinner speaker. In this workshop, Cally demonstrates that if she can do it, anyone can do it. Themes include:

• Finding your voice, not imitating someone else’s
• Knowing your audience & how to reach them
• Nerves – why they matter and how not to sh*t yourself
• Making an impact in a virtual world
• Content – creating and editing your message
• Using humour to engage your audience (NB not how to become a stand-up!)
• Maximising timing, body language, and choice of words
• Pauses, silence and doing nothing
• Avoiding death by PowerPoint

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