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.
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.
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