James Hewitt – Keynote Speaker

Human Performance Scientist noted for his work with some of the most demanding and top-performing sports teams and businesses

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Specialist Subjects

  • The attention paradox: The people who need to focus the most are often the most at risk of distraction
  • Find your keys to sustainable high performance
  • Make sleep your superpower
  • Transform uncertainty into an opportunity for growth and a source of sustained competitive advantage
  • Energy for everything: Learn how to increase the capacity of your body to adapt to challenges and buffer stress


  • English


James Hewitt is a performance scientist and coach to some of the world’s most demanding clients, from Formula 1 teams to Fortune 500 corporations. James combines his experience as a full-time racing cyclist, work with top athletes and business people, and ongoing academic research to bring cutting edge insights that unlock human potential.

James’ work and research focus on tactics and strategies that enable individuals and teams to enhance their cognitive performance, experience new levels of focus and distraction resistance, improve sleep and recovery, manage stress, perform under pressure, and transform uncertainty into fuel for innovation and creativity, even in the most demanding contexts.

James Hewitt’ presentations make the science of human performance accessible and inspiring, providing motivation and practical tools to help audiences live and work with more energy and less stress. James has delivered over 1000 hours of presentations & workshops in 30+ countries, including lecturing at Duke CE, IMD, St. Gallen, three World Economic Forum Annual Meetings in Davos, for the World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellows program and in a speaker line-up including Barack Obama, at the Nordic Business Forum.

Popular Talks by James Hewitt

The attention paradox: The people who need to focus the most are often the most at risk of distraction

Many people feel under pressure to accomplish more with less. We live in an always-on world, full of distractions and competing demands. According to some research, we’re interrupted once every 11 minutes at work. Once we’ve been interrupted, it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back to the original task. 84% of people keep their inbox open in the background at all times, and 70% of emails are opened within 6 seconds of receiving them. A 2014 study found that task error rates doubled after a 2.8-second interruption, about the time it takes to pick up your phone and notice an email notification, even if you don’t read the message. While evidence also suggests that we are pretty good at compensating for the time lost to an interruption, working harder and faster, this comes at the cost of increases in frustration, a heightened sense of time pressure, and more stress. Discover James ‘5 P’ model, which will enable you to unlock new levels of focus and productivity and reduce your stress

  • Polarise: Learn how to apply lessons from the world’s top endurance athletes to enhance your cognitive performance.
  • Prioritise: Discover how the Zeigarnik effect can disrupt your attempts to get things done and learn how to protect yourself from it.
  • Pomodoro: Discover how you can use the Pomodoro technique as an ‘interval training’ for your brain.
  • Protect: Increase your focus and get more done with less unhelpful stress.
  • Peak: Explore the science of flow and how to create pre-conditions to experience flow states more consistently.

Find your keys to sustainable high performance

We accept that stress is a part of life. Some stress can even enhance performance, but when stress is unrelenting, it can lead to a host of adverse physical and psychological outcomes. Many people find that negative stress manifests itself as a sense that they can’t switch off. We feel like we are always on, that our mind is racing, and that it is difficult to recover fully from day-to-day. However, an inability to switch off is just one aspect of a broader theme. That theme is ‘self-regulation’, which describes our ability to monitor and adjust our physiological and emotional states according to our situation and environment. Ideally, we should be able to switch on and be ready to perform whenever we need to, then switch off whenever we want to. However, we often struggle to achieve this and end up with a persistent sense of being tired but wired. Discover five science-based principles which will enable you to unlock your keys to sustainable high performance:

  • Self-regulation: How to use breathing techniques and measures such as Heart Rate Variability to manage stress and perform at your best with less stress.
  • Understand your nervous system: Discover a simple technique that can improve the ability of your nervous system to adapt and recover at any point in the day.
  • Day-time breaks: Find out about the most effective day-time breaks and the effect of natural environments on cognitive performance.
  • After-work recovery: Explore four practical ways to improve after-work recovery and how to measure which approach you are most predisposed to.
  • Switch emotion to action: Why continuing to think about work in our free time might not be a bad thing, but why it can be helpful to develop the skill to switch emotion to action, to improve our ability to recover.

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