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Ian McCaw

Managing Director, Aon's M&A
and Transaction Solutions

Ian McCaw's CV is more than impressive. Today he's a Managing Director within Aon's M&A and Transaction Solutions, investor and co-founder at the D2C Wealth platform Equily, and one of LinkedIn's Top Investment Banking Voices. Before he was with EY, Deloitte and Oracle. So you wouldn't think he'd need voice coaching.

Yet, when asked to speak at the Digital Enterprise Show 2023 in Malaga last year, Ian decided to invest time learning new ways to bring his keynote to life.

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An 'everest' moment for Ian

Ian approached Susan when facing the daunting prospect of delivering a keynote speech and only a matter of weeks before the event.


"Whilst I had delivered decent presentations before and had some success in business, for me the thought of standing in front of an educated industry audience and delivering a 15 mins insightful (one-way) presentation had tipped my fears. I’m no natural orator! I could let my team down! It was an “everest” moment in my career to tackle this one," said Ian.

Great communication starts with a confident mindset


The first thing Susan did was to help Ian get over his initial nerves. She reminded him that he was already at the top of his game in terms of business accomplishments, and this presentation was just another opportunity to showcase his expertise. She then explained what voice coaching involved.

From their very first meeting, Ian found Susan to be incredibly calm and insightful. "With a long successful career in business, Susan was somebody I felt an instant connection to work with and trust. But what was voice coaching? Well it turns out, it’s really everything that surrounds the delivery of successful voice-based communication, especially in a business context. It encompasses mindset, tone, pace, physical presence, hand gestures and much more." 

A lasting positive impact


Then they worked on mindset, which Susan believes is the key to making your mark - in other words, a lasting positive impact.

“For me we worked quite a bit on mindset, I’m a humble person and really I was struggling with the idea of delivering a keynote speech. Susan brought different perspectives and questions that built confidence. She had her work cut out, but somehow unplugged the sticking points. Frankly allowing me to get out of my own way and focus on the audience and enjoying the moment.” 


Focusing on the audience

As Ian got more confident, he started trying out relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to calm his nerves before walking on stage. Susan also gave him techniques to focus more on connecting with his audience than worrying about himself.


They then gave his slide deck a total makeover, swapping out the heavy text for compelling images that would delight, surprise and entertain his audience. Feedback suggested that's just what it did, and it motivated Ian to want to do more.

"In the end, I was delighted with the keynote with some fun moments in the delivery. For example, telling a Scottish joke to a Spanish audience about Aritifical Intelligence created some lovely human interaction. I can truthfully say that it would not have been a success without Susan’s involvement. And now that “everest” is climbed, everything else seems a bit easier. Thank you Susan, your coaching "magic" worked for me."

Ian McCaw, AON

Want to communicate with greater confidence, authority and presence?

I offer five online business voice coaching solutions to suit different needs and budgets. All are designed to give you tailored advice and support. Whether you’re preparing an important interview, pitch, appraisal, meeting, conversation, project or presentation, or just want an objective opinion on how you come across, I’ll give you perspective, feedback and practical things you can do straightaway.

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