Testimonials

Karen delivered a keynote speech recently at our Senior Leadership offsite in Fexco. Her story is a very inspirational one, taking the audience through her own very authentic journey that led to solo rowing across the Atlantic. Karen is a great communicator and uses a great combination of photographs, video and her own very genuine narrative to really allow the audience to connect to what she went through. For all she has accomplished, Karen is incredibly humble and relatable. Beyond absorbing the amazing accomplishments , she gave each of us some keys to success, and maybe more importantly how to be resilient and prepared in the face of challenges. Thanks Karen and I can’t wait to see your next challenge, we will all be following you and cheering you on.
Karen was a plenary speaker at the international veterinary education symposium (vetedsymposium.org) in UCD this summer.  With a conference theme of ‘wellbeing’, we invited Karen to share her thoughts on coping under pressure, the importance of self care and dreaming big!  She utterly entranced our international audience of veterinary educators with her authentic experiences of overcoming adversity delivered with warmth and humour. She related extraordinary experiences and engaging stories sharing a host of invaluable approaches we can all learn to practice in our lives.  I would thoroughly recommend Karen as a speaker no matter what your endeavour is as her advice is completely transferable across sectors!! She was also a complete pleasure to engage with in the run up to conference keen to understand our needs and that her session would meet them. I cannot recommend Karen highly enough to inspire and energise any group of people!
Dr Karen Weekes made a significant contribution to our 2024 senior leadership team offsite by covering some key leadership themes that are crucial for us to collectively deliver on our core strategic and growth objectives.  Karen shared valuable insights, drawn from her academic research and impressive personal track record in the endurance arena, that were practical and delivered in a highly engaging manner.  Karen’s authenticity and clarity of vision resonated with everyone.  Importantly, the session provided us with actionable takeaways around how we can continue to “up our games” as senior leaders. The feedback that I have received from our team in relation to the session has been extremely positive
As soon as Karen walked onto the room you could feel the energy rise.  Her keynote speech at COPE Galway’s corporate fundraising lunch was delivered with a humour and honesty that was both engaging and inspiring.      Karen skilfully connected her remarkable Atlantic solo rowing achievement to life’s challenges -  whether business, sport or personal - that can be faced by us all.  Her nuggets of wisdom on motivation, resilience, stress management and the importance of team left our entire audience wanting to hear more. We would welcome Karen back in a heartbeat!”
Karen is an incredible motivational speaker who has ‘walked the talk’! She turns up as her authentic, engaging self and is an inspiring storyteller with a natural ability to connect with any audience, challenging you to understand the emotional and behavioural commitments required for greater performance.
Dr. Karen Weekes is a speaker with such authentic joy and passion with a truly inspiring story to tell. Her tales of adventure kept us rapt, while throughout she imparted nuggets of wisdom, for anyone experiencing any challenge in life. This is a speaker who entertains, inspires and teaches all in equal measure. A wonderful evening!"
Karen spoke at one of our recent events. The MNA Mentor networking for Adventures. The talk started with a smile, the content was amazing involving tales of global adventures including paddling, sailing, cycling and rowing. Through all the adventures common goals were identified YOU CAN DO. Karen had the room in her hands you could hear a pin drop. Her ability to relate her story to the people in front of her was truly amazing. It's a few days after the event and I'm still telling people about Karen's storytelling and delivery. It was fantastic and left delegates energized and enthused. We have already booked Karen for another event later in the year.
Some people leave you feeling so much better about life, just for having met them. Karen Weekes is one of these people. We had the absolute pleasure of having Karen give us a talk about her adventures crossing the Atlantic in 2022 at one of our recent club meetings. She is such a great communicator with an immense positive outlook. Her enthusiasm and the ease at which she presented her story left us all inspired and in awe. We don’t know how she remains so humble considering her amazing achievements.
Karen, you are an inspiration and a wonderful ambassador...we can only be in awe of your courage, endurance, perseverance, power and spirit. You now stand proudly with the world’s greatest explorers as your achievement is recognised in the history books".
We had the pleasure of having Karen open our inaugural Growth Week. Karen's achievements are incredibly impressive - so far removed from the typical employee's experience - yet her effortless storytelling and authenticity made her talk so relatable. Storms and sharks all make for great stories, of course, but we also had lots of effective and practical takeaways on motivation, achieving potential and the growth mindset.
Karen gave the keynote address at the Lennox/Focus “Delivering Together” company meeting in January 2023, when she was telling her story you could hear a pin drop in the room, everybody was engaged. She exudes energy and is a phenomenal storyteller – she is authentic, the real deal. We learned so much from her phenomenal journey and achievement that we can apply to our daily and personal lives.
All in attendance at our Wellness Day in the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) were struggling to find appropriate superlatives for Karen’s inspirational talk on “ Cognitive Coping Skills in Difficult Circumstances”. Delivered in her unique genuine and authentic style Cadets took away many valuable nuggets such as the importance of planning, the awareness to differentiate between what is controllable and uncontrollable and my favourite “Train Hard Today and Rest Tomorrow”. A really unmissable and awe inspiring morning that we were grateful to have experienced.
We were delighted to welcome Karen back to MTU Kerry to give a guest lecture on ‘Building Resilience’ to our student engineers. Karen shared insights, and amazing footage of her inspirational journey to be the first Irish female to row solo across the Atlantic, highlighting the importance of setting goals, prioritising, managing fears, hard graft, the power of networking, strategies for managing stress and all the while engaging with the students and relating every bit of it back to their own journey.
We had the recent pleasure and honour of having Karen Weekes as our opening guest speaker at our annual Salon Sessions 2023 event.  We could not have asked for a more inspirational and motivational first speaker as it really set the tone for the day ahead.  The whole room was fully engaged and truly in awe of this women`s incredible story
We had the honour in Diligent Galway of being taken on a wonderful journey of reliance and the importance of a positive mindset backed up with a steely determination by the truly inspiring Karen Weekes who last year became the 1st Irish woman to row solo across an ocean and only the 20th woman ever to achieve this mind-blowing feat….This was an amazing way to prepare for our exciting company wide kick off next week
Ruairí Conroy
Diligent Corporation
An absolutely amazing evening (in Cork County Council), definitely one of the highlights of 2023 so far. Karen shared so many useful insights into the techniques she used to help her complete this incredible challenge, which are equally relevant in business
Andrew Walker
Premium Business Consulting
The authenticity and passion that Karen brought to our seminar was inspiring. She engaged our audience of 200 people + with an inspirational and informative talk that captured the room. She brought us all on a journey of exploration through visualising, goal setting, grafting, mindsets, and problem solving through her own lived experience. Her professionalism was unfaltering throughout the process as she provided us all with such a positive opportunity for self-reflection, and propelled us into our next chapter.
David Brennan
PDST Team Leader
As an Ulster graduate (BA and PhD) we were delighted to welcome Karen back to give a keynote address to PhD researchers at our 2022 Festival of PhD Research. The inspirational story of her amazing journey, told with humility and humour was by far the best keynote I have ever heard. Her ability to relate her experience of crossing the Atlantic to the PhD journey struck a chord with the entire audience.  Her message that with the correct mindset and focus you can overcome any challenge you encounter is one that has universal appeal. The feedback from her lecture was effusive and unanimously positive and we hope to welcome her back to Ulster again soon!
Prof. Marie Murphy
University of Ulster
Karen … you are an endorphin machine, can I say that ?! Your audiences could surf out of the room on top of that high! Any engagement with Karen blows the cobwebs well away and leaves audiences energised. Her lively presence and intellectual curiosity set the scene. Her vision and adventurous undertakings are inspiring. As a speaker, her ability to step outside herself and use personal psychological insights to illuminate her descriptions of her travels is unique and thought provoking. A brilliant evening all round.
Cathy Buchanan
Meitheal Mara (Part of Cork Ocean Festival)
Ryan Tubridy Karen was the most engaging and amusing guest…a wonderful person….
Ryan Tubridy RTE
Late Late Show
The organisation committee of the 33rd Irish Signals and Systems Conference hosted in Munster Technological University (MTU) in June 2022, invited Dr Karen Weekes, to deliver the opening keynote speech to a mainly technical audience of researchers working in electronic engineering and computer science. We asked Karen to deliver the opening keynote speech as her story of leadership, bravery and determination transcends disciplinary boundaries. Her experience of rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean inspired many PhD students who attended the conference to “just keep rowing” on their own personal journeys of science and discovery towards the end goal of their PhDs. Karen is the perfect antidote to procrastination, inspiring people to take risks, follow their dreams and build their own personal resilience. Karen’s humble and modest nature are key aspects of her personality and makes her achievements even more remarkable and relatable to audiences of all types.
Dr. Donna O’Shea (ISSC)
Munster Technological University (MTU)
Karen Weekes is the real deal. She combines outstanding personal achievement with extraordinary humility; hard-nosed scientific data with the warmest of personalities; and most of all, a positive, inspiring and charismatic approach to business and life. Smácht audiences love her for her proven success undertaking extreme assignments; her amiable and affable personality; and her multi-media presentations which combine excellent presentation skills with cutting-edge video technology of her trans-Atlantic voyage
Pádraic Ó'Máille
Smácht Business Consultancy
I have known Karen since she undertook her MSc with me many, many years ago… I can honestly say I find her motivation, enthusiasm and pragmatic approach to dealing with very challenging situations inspiring. She is a wonderful communicator, really understands human behaviour from a scientific and personal perspective, and is a real pioneer in pushing the boundaries for personal challenge and for girls and women in sport.
Prof. Catherine B. Woods
Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, University of Limerick
During her impactful session, Karen seamlessly intertwined the compelling narrative of her remarkable solo rowing odyssey across the Atlantic with her own personal research journey as a performance psychologist. This profoundly resonated with our PhD students. Karen's ability to seamlessly translate the mental resilience and strength gleaned from her extraordinary athletic feats into the everyday challenges of a researcher was not only inspirational but also delivered in a very captivating manner. This transformed the session into a truly valuable experience that left an indelible mark on our research community.