Speaker

Inspiring and engaging, Paula’s story has been told across the globe, as a message of hope for anxiety sufferers and a call to action for everyone to embrace adventure in life. Paula’s warm and honest talks have earned her a reputation as an ambassador for positivity, and her achievements are a reminder that incredible things are possible when fear is faced head-on.
Paula has addressed audiences of all ages and number, and speaks as openly and passionately on mental health and self-esteem as on the best of adrenaline-fuelled adventure.

Inspiring and engaging, Paula’s story has been told across the globe, as a message of hope for anxiety sufferers and a call to action for everyone to embrace adventure in life. Paula’s warm and honest talks have earned her a reputation as an ambassador for positivity, and her achievements are a reminder that incredible things are possible when fear is faced head-on.
Paula has addressed audiences of all ages and number, and speaks as openly and passionately on mental health and self-esteem as on the best of adrenaline-fuelled adventure.

Schools

Whether encouraging children to aspire to greatness or inspiring teenagers to find their own path, Paula engages young people with tales of adventure and excitement, while demonstrating the value of effort and self-belief. Paula has spoken in schools across Britain on topics that include embracing risk, the power of sport, and growth mindset.

Schools

Whether encouraging children to aspire to greatness or inspiring teenagers to find their own path, Paula engages young people with tales of adventure and excitement, while demonstrating the value of effort and self-belief. Paula has spoken in schools across Britain on topics that include embracing risk, the power of sport, and growth mindset.

After Dinner, Keynote and Motivational

Challenging fear, overcoming barriers and achieving the extraordinary: Paula’s story speaks not only to those affected by anxiety but to everyone wanting to do more and be more. Her talks on taking back control and using stress as a catalyst resonate in professional as much as personal life, leaving listeners without doubt that they too can make everyday into an adventure.

TEDx Glasgow


600 people, countless cameras, and one nervous idiot, shoeless and clueless, on the iconic red spot that so many greats have tread before her.

Paula speaks stress, sports, and stripping for strangers, and you can read about the whole scary process in her first column for The National.

Media


Paula is a regular contributor (and occasional presenter!) on BBC Radio Scotland and Radio 4, has appeared on local and national television broadcasts, and hosted her own weekly radio show.

Media

Testimonials

  • I. Conaghan, Head Teacher: St. Gerard’s Primary SchoolPaula is one of the most engaging and inspiring people I have had the pleasure to listen to. Her story is one of honest endeavour, reflecting a passion for life and living. Her commitment to sport, activity and self development is a message of hope for everyone.
  • K. Somerville, Head Teacher: Sacred Heart Primary and NurseriesMost were expecting that Paula had some experience in sport, however it became very apparent and quite touching that her story was also about struggling to overcome her fear of water, teams, bikes… The list was extensive and the audience’s sympathy quickly changed to respect as we heard a story of courage and determination, inspiring P7 pupils and adults in the audience to conquer their fears… She left the audience motivated and delighted to have shared some part of her story. Pupils and staff felt all the more determined to ‘seize the day’ and not sit back and have any regrets in life.
  • Ron McArthur, Commonwealth Silver Medallist, Glasgow 2014I had the good fortune to listen to Paula Must Try Harder give a talk on her 2 year journey trying all the 17 sports in the Games. She spoke from the heart and gave a wonderful insight into how someone who had never been interested in any form of sport, struggled with difficulty to learn what was involved in each event. She suffered battle scars from some of her tasks but the obvious joy and satisfaction shone through in her telling of her journey. I, along with others in the audience, recognised her genuine delight at being able to complete her journey. This self confessed couch potato, proved that getting involved in sport can be and is fun.
  • Nicola Joergensen
    St. Aidan’s High SchoolWhat makes Paula so inspirational is that she speaks from the perspective of the ‘shy’ and ‘reluctant’ person, someone who many people can relate to. She proves that even the least likely person can achieve incredible things with grit and determination. Every young person should hear Paula’s story to help them realise their potential sooner rather than later.
  • Paul Wright Active Schools Coordinator (CNHS cluster, Bellshill)
    North Lanarkshire CouncilPaula is a cool person, a damn good writer and a half decent cyclist
  • Helen, CLD WorkerPaula stood in front of us and bared her soul. She showed us there was not a lot to be lost from doing so, and much to be gained. A wonderful, brave and inspirational woman
  • Laurene, Voluntary OrganisationVery honest account, with messages of hope and some very practical solutions! Thank you for sharing!
  • Magdalena, Parent VolunteerThank you very much to Paula for such an empowering and inspiring talk. You gave a great example of a person who suffered that much but still managed to find the power and willingness to get through a hard and long way to get your life back on the right tracks. But it's not just your incredible story made such an impact on me. It was also the way you presented it - with great sense of humour and simplicity. It all gave an amazing effect. Hope many more people would have a chance to hear you telling your story and feel as much inspired as I did. Thank you very much Paula and all the best to you!
  • Pattie, Principal Officer, City of Edinburgh CouncilPaula encouraged our team of facilitators and volunteers to believe they are capable of anything by using her own story of how she had overcome crippling social anxiety to achieve wonderful dreams. She promoted the value of taking risks and facing setbacks head on, if we want to have a better, more fulfilling life that is not undermined by what others may think of us. Every single person in the audience was moved and inspired.
  • Gillian, Parent VolunteerPaula, Many thanks for sharing your incredible story. It has given me huge insight into anxiety and how debilitating it is. As someone who seems to just get on with things, I do find it very hard to understand anxiety. Our 11 year old daughter is an anxious soul and your encouragement to keep nudging her, to keep challenging her, to keep her involved in life is a huge help. Your story and website is also invaluable for passing on to friends and neighbours who are struggling with their own children, who seem to be sadly disappearing into themselves. All strength!

Book Paula to speak at your event

If you would like Paula to speak at your event, get in touch to register your interest.