Will made his first dollar selling stolen lemons at age 6. His father taught him to code a year later. He’s consistently failed to get a real job, instead founding startups in digital, education and social enterprise.
He consults with big companies and starts small ones.
In his spare time he doesn't have any.
Will made his first dollar selling stolen lemons at age 6. The margins were incredible. His father taught him to code a year later.
His first successful exit was at 19 years old, from a small London-based IT training organisation. The resulting funds were used to start a mental health charity helping young people in the Melbourne punk scene, a web development company and a record label.
All of these ventures eventually failed.
Later, Will founded one of Melbourne's leading digital agencies, a cafe, and an online social impact school.
Unprofessionally speaking, he's crowdfunded an international DJ tour, built a speaker diversity initiative, a charity evaluation startup, worked with internet criminals and filled a warehouse loft with 10,000 balloons.
Despite a complete lack of qualifications, he's an award winning lecturer, building courses on digital and entrepreneurship at two leading Australian universities.
As, investor advisor and occasional chair, Will sits on the board of a handful of Australian businesses.
By day, Will flies around the world making flappy noises with his lips to motivate large groups of people to do things, which is a tremendously strange thing to do if you think about it.
He lives in Melbourne, with a neuroscientist and two cats.
In his spare time, Will doesn't have any.
Click to open in a new window.
Photo credits: Leo Flander (1 & 2), Will Coverdale (3) and Mark Lobo (4).
Get in touch
First off, thanks so much for having me.
It’s always a real honour, and I’m as excited as you to create a top-quality, energetic event that people remember fondly for a long time.
Here are some simple requirements and suggestions that will help us to create a great atmosphere, and prevent a few common misunderstandings and technical glitches.
Please read this carefully, and get in touch if I can help out in any way.
I will not speak at any event with only male speakers, nor will I be part of a panel with only male presenters. This is non-negotiable.
If you’re putting together an event and want some interesting speakers, hit me up and I can absolutely help you source some great talent!
See speakerdiversity.com for more on this.
It’s 2017, people: Ensure direct HDMI (not RGB) is available.
I use my own laptop and clicker. If I must use your presentation tech, please ensure we are using an up to date version of Keynote, with a quality clicker ahead of time.
I rarely require sound output. I will let you know if I do.
My laptop - or the speaker monitor - should be positioned to the side of the stage, within easy view of the most distant place I will be standing on the stage. I move around a lot.
For groups of more than about 20 people I prefer a wireless lavalier or head mic. I dance about and wave my arms, which doesn’t work with a handheld mic and is impossible behind a podium.
Have a clear, open stage area. I don’t hide behind podiums or sit on chairs, so we don’t need any of those things on the stage during my talk.
Tech glitches are never fun, so I will work with your tech team on an A/V check, preferably 30 minutes before I hit the stage.
Slides and handouts
I do not convert my presentations to any standard template. My slides are purposefully crafted for each event, to match the content I deliver on the day.
I will sometimes supply clients with a copy of my slides in PDF format to distribute to delegates after the event, just ask.
I retain ownership of all material I produce, and will sometimes make slides or working material available for download online after the event.
Feel free to take pictures before and during events, but please no flash photography during my talk, I am easily distracted.
Unless specifically agreed before the talk, you don’t have my permission to record, distribute or resell my talk or any of its material.
Every presentation is unique, and requires me to speak at some length to someone at your end about the goals of the event. More than one perspective is most valuable.
While I have created a list of speaking topics I can touch on, I use up-to-the-day relevant information in each talk and jump between a few topics. This means I can’t give my slides much more than a few days before the talk is scheduled.
I will not wear a suit and I will probably swear a few times.
To build anticipation and to give time for a thorough audiovisual check, it’s best to schedule a short break before I hit the stage. At the least, ask the event MC to get the audience to stand up and move around.
Scheduling a break directly after my presentation means people can share “aha” moments and discuss the provocation.
Airlines can be screwy, so when possible I like to arrive the night before the event, and rest well. Please arrange or recommend somewhere walking distance from the venue.
I like to informally chat to execs and key stakeholders before the event. Dinner the night before is lovely. This helps me to tune in with the group and their goals.
If you’d like me to hang around and be sociable, just say. As we all know, the real moments happen in conversations after the big event is all wrapped up.
Tip: Overbooking a small room is much better than rattling around in a big one, and can have a big impact on how delegates remember the success of the event.