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Mount Everest was a culmination of an odyssey that began at age twelve when her father took her up her first mountain. By the time she was seventeen she was devoting all her time to climbing. Laurie Skreslet met Sharon at Outward Bound and knew she was out of the ordinary. “It was obvious to me the moment I saw her that she was committed, grounded, determined, focused, persevering…overflowing with potential.”

Her first break came in 1977 when she joined an all womens expedition to Mount Logan. Then in 1983 she had her first big success with the Cassin Ridge on Mount Mckinley which “really changed my attitude. I didn′t see myself so much as a woman but as a climbing partner. I came back with a lot of confidence.” Expeditions to Makalu (1984), the south face of Aconcagua (1984) and the northeast face of Huascaran Sur (1985) followed. By 1986 she realized that she was “…ready for anything.” Her ascent of Mount Everest by the difficult west ridge and north face was first for a North American woman, but as her friend Albi Sole recalled, “It′s not because she was a woman that she got to the top, it′s because she was the right person for the job”

After Everest she had moved on to other adventures. Much in demand as a public speaker, she travels North America sharing her experiences and her approach to risk. In 1988 she married and is now raising a family. Much of her time nowadays is taken up organizing a private school she started in her home town of Canmore, Alberta. In 1997 Sharon received the Summit of Excellence Award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Sharon explained her motives in a recent interview. “The constants that I have strived to maintain through all of these things is …the steep learning curve, the intensity, perhaps a certain degree of risk….and tremendous adventure…and that ongoing, never ending quest for self knowledge.”


Sharon Wood Speaker Videos Back to top

Demo Video



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


    “Everest: Insights from a higher ground”

    Sharon Wood teaches, entertains and inspires with her personal story about reaching the top of Mount Everest. Stunning still images and video illustrate the journey of a small team who shared a bold vision to climb the highest mountain in the world by a more difficult route and with fewer physical and financial resources.

    Her story powerfully demonstrates how exemplary teamwork and leadership can render the impossible possible. Sharon effectively conveys both the individual and the team perspective by stressing the importance of honoring her own passion and dreams while fulfilling a role as a member of a team - a team committed to a shared vision.

    Sharon′s style is personal and moving. She uses powerful anecdotes and vivid analogies to convey the elements that parallel the challenges of striving individuals and organizations. Sharon′s authentic, humorous and honest approach evokes listeners to consider the value of their own resources and opportunities.

    “To the Summit and Beyond” is more than an adventure story - it is a timeless, universal story about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. For anyone wanting to be more effective in his or her work or life, Sharon′s story is a powerful inspiration.

    Each presentation is tailored to the focus and timelines of the audience. Based on the objectives of the client the following themes can be incorporated:

    The power of passion and curiosity
    Fostering a shared vision
    Accomplishing more with less
    Thriving through change and adversity
    Integrating personal aspirations with team power
    Looking outside the box for creative solutions
    Maintaining the momentum and staying the course
    Believing “better is possible”
    Firing on all cylinders
    Expanding possibilities
    Maximizing courage - diminishing fear
    Leading from where you are - personal leadership
    Embracing the value of diversity
    Being and living our potential
    Performing versus conforming
    Recognizing, giving and accepting support



Sharon Wood Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    “Sharon Wood′s journey of reaching the summit of Mt. Everest (via a route no one had ever taken) was a truly inspiring story. The themes around teamwork, personal accountability and perseverance truly parallel not only Bank of America as a whole, but also my team′s immediate environment of achieving greater levels of success in the face of what appears to be unattainable.”
    Diane E. Morais
    Bank of America

    “I have helped organize these events for seven years and Sharon Wood had the greatest positive response we’ve ever had.”
    RE/MAX Realty

    “You won over a normally skeptical crowd of North American and European bond market players with your compelling and thought provoking tale of achievement through teamwork and sheer determination.”
    RBC Capital Markets Inc.

    “Your willingness to truly customize your talk to meet our unique requirements was a first. It had a tremendous impact on our group.”
    Marc Winchester
    Misys Heathcare Systems

    “You share yourself in such a sincere and vulnerable way that each of us can believe that we have the capability to achieve more than we have thought possible; that better is possible. Our leadership team was flooded with compliments for giving them the opportunity to hear from you. They said that they could relate to your accomplishment and story in a way that they had not experiences with other speakers…through personal commitment and teamwork they could take their ordinary skills and develop them in a way that would allow them to deliver more both personally and professionally than they had thought possible.”
    G. Edward Collins
    GlaxoSmithKline

    “Sharon gave us one of the most, if not the very most, powerful stories about teamwork we have ever heard. Her genius is in understanding and being able to powerfully articulate how a team must be ready to respond to challenges and opportunities. Her impact on our group was emotionally stunning.”
    Ed Pitoniak
    Canadian Hotel Income Properties

    “It has been almost two months since you were our guest speaker at the Amadeus North America 2004 Sales Conference and the reaction to your outstanding presentation can still be heard and read throughout the Amadeus system.”
    David W. Price
    David Price & Associates Inc.

    “I can′t remember a time I was so moved by something someone said. Sharon was a great storyteller…I really felt I came away with something very valuable.”
    Director of Human Resources
    BC Medical Association

    “Your story of courage under extreme conditions hit home for many of our staff who daily face the challenge of meeting business goals with fewer resources, increased pace of change and multiple demands on their time and energy. Your message of thrive versus survive fit very well with what our organization continues to face - how to achieve extraordinary accomplishments while acknowledging but not succumbing to the challenges. Your message will stay with many of us for a very long time.”
    Laurie Brazzoni
    ConocoPhillips

    CLIENTS

    Agrium
    American Airlines
    Amex Canada
    Andersen Consulting
    AstraZeneca
    Bank of America
    Bank of Montreal
    BellSouth Mobility
    Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company
    BYK Canada
    Campbell Soup Company
    Carter-Horner Inc.
    Catholic Healthcare Partners
    Cendant Mortgage
    Compaq Computer Corporation
    Dupont
    EDS - Electronic Data Systems
    Exxon Mobil Chemical Company
    Federal Business Development
    Bank Florida Power and Light
    GE Capital
    Genentech
    GenPharm Corporation
    GlaxoSmithKline
    Great West Life Assurance Company
    Hewlett-Packard Company
    IBM
    IMS
    Health Intrawest Corporation
    Investors Group
    Knoll Pharmaceuticals
    Konica Medical Corporation
    KOS Pharmaceuticals
    Lipton
    London Life Insurance Company
    Macdonald’s Restaurants
    Maritz Marketing Research Inc.
    Mattel Canada Inc.
    Merck Frosst Canada & Company
    Movado – The Movado Group, Inc
    Northrup Grumann
    Owens-Corning
    Pillsbury
    Price Waterhouse Coopers
    Procter & Gamble Inc.
    RBC - Royal Bank of Canada
    Re/max
    Snapple Beverage Group
    Talisman
    The Conference Board of Canada
    The DMA Direct Marketing Association, Inc.
    Thomson Corporation
    Trimac
    Unilever Canada Limited
    United Guaranty Corporation
    US West Communications
    Victoria’s Secret
    Wyeth Ayerst




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    “Sharon Wood′s journey of reaching the summit of Mt. Everest (via a route no one had ever taken) was a truly inspiring story. The themes around teamwork, personal accountability and perseverance truly parallel not only Bank of America as a whole, but also my team′s immediate environment of achieving greater levels of success in the face of what appears to be unattainable.”
    Diane E. Morais
    Bank of America

    “I have helped organize these events for seven years and Sharon Wood had the greatest positive response we’ve ever had.”
    RE/MAX Realty

    “You won over a normally skeptical crowd of North American and European bond market players with your compelling and thought provoking tale of achievement through teamwork and sheer determination.”
    RBC Capital Markets Inc.

    “Your willingness to truly customize your talk to meet our unique requirements was a first. It had a tremendous impact on our group.”
    Marc Winchester
    Misys Heathcare Systems

    “You share yourself in such a sincere and vulnerable way that each of us can believe that we have the capability to achieve more than we have thought possible; that better is possible. Our leadership team was flooded with compliments for giving them the opportunity to hear from you. They said that they could relate to your accomplishment and story in a way that they had not experiences with other speakers…through personal commitment and teamwork they could take their ordinary skills and develop them in a way that would allow them to deliver more both personally and professionally than they had thought possible.”
    G. Edward Collins
    GlaxoSmithKline

    “Sharon gave us one of the most, if not the very most, powerful stories about teamwork we have ever heard. Her genius is in understanding and being able to powerfully articulate how a team must be ready to respond to challenges and opportunities. Her impact on our group was emotionally stunning.”
    Ed Pitoniak
    Canadian Hotel Income Properties

    “It has been almost two months since you were our guest speaker at the Amadeus North America 2004 Sales Conference and the reaction to your outstanding presentation can still be heard and read throughout the Amadeus system.”
    David W. Price
    David Price & Associates Inc.

    “I can′t remember a time I was so moved by something someone said. Sharon was a great storyteller…I really felt I came away with something very valuable.”
    Director of Human Resources
    BC Medical Association

    “Your story of courage under extreme conditions hit home for many of our staff who daily face the challenge of meeting business goals with fewer resources, increased pace of change and multiple demands on their time and energy. Your message of thrive versus survive fit very well with what our organization continues to face - how to achieve extraordinary accomplishments while acknowledging but not succumbing to the challenges. Your message will stay with many of us for a very long time.”
    Laurie Brazzoni
    ConocoPhillips

    CLIENTS

    Agrium
    American Airlines
    Amex Canada
    Andersen Consulting
    AstraZeneca
    Bank of America
    Bank of Montreal
    BellSouth Mobility
    Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company
    BYK Canada
    Campbell Soup Company
    Carter-Horner Inc.
    Catholic Healthcare Partners
    Cendant Mortgage
    Compaq Computer Corporation
    Dupont
    EDS - Electronic Data Systems
    Exxon Mobil Chemical Company
    Federal Business Development
    Bank Florida Power and Light
    GE Capital
    Genentech
    GenPharm Corporation
    GlaxoSmithKline
    Great West Life Assurance Company
    Hewlett-Packard Company
    IBM
    IMS
    Health Intrawest Corporation
    Investors Group
    Knoll Pharmaceuticals
    Konica Medical Corporation
    KOS Pharmaceuticals
    Lipton
    London Life Insurance Company
    Macdonald’s Restaurants
    Maritz Marketing Research Inc.
    Mattel Canada Inc.
    Merck Frosst Canada & Company
    Movado – The Movado Group, Inc
    Northrup Grumann
    Owens-Corning
    Pillsbury
    Price Waterhouse Coopers
    Procter & Gamble Inc.
    RBC - Royal Bank of Canada
    Re/max
    Snapple Beverage Group
    Talisman
    The Conference Board of Canada
    The DMA Direct Marketing Association, Inc.
    Thomson Corporation
    Trimac
    Unilever Canada Limited
    United Guaranty Corporation
    US West Communications
    Victoria’s Secret
    Wyeth Ayerst


    “Everest: Insights from a higher ground”

    Sharon Wood teaches, entertains and inspires with her personal story about reaching the top of Mount Everest. Stunning still images and video illustrate the journey of a small team who shared a bold vision to climb the highest mountain in the world by a more difficult route and with fewer physical and financial resources.

    Her story powerfully demonstrates how exemplary teamwork and leadership can render the impossible possible. Sharon effectively conveys both the individual and the team perspective by stressing the importance of honoring her own passion and dreams while fulfilling a role as a member of a team - a team committed to a shared vision.

    Sharon′s style is personal and moving. She uses powerful anecdotes and vivid analogies to convey the elements that parallel the challenges of striving individuals and organizations. Sharon′s authentic, humorous and honest approach evokes listeners to consider the value of their own resources and opportunities.

    “To the Summit and Beyond” is more than an adventure story - it is a timeless, universal story about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. For anyone wanting to be more effective in his or her work or life, Sharon′s story is a powerful inspiration.

    Each presentation is tailored to the focus and timelines of the audience. Based on the objectives of the client the following themes can be incorporated:

    The power of passion and curiosity
    Fostering a shared vision
    Accomplishing more with less
    Thriving through change and adversity
    Integrating personal aspirations with team power
    Looking outside the box for creative solutions
    Maintaining the momentum and staying the course
    Believing “better is possible”
    Firing on all cylinders
    Expanding possibilities
    Maximizing courage - diminishing fear
    Leading from where you are - personal leadership
    Embracing the value of diversity
    Being and living our potential
    Performing versus conforming
    Recognizing, giving and accepting support



Demo Video