During 15 years service in the Royal Air Force John Nichol flew Tornadoes in both the Air Defence and Ground Attack roles. On active duty in the Gulf he was shot down on the first low-level, daylight raid of the Gulf War. Captured and tortured, he was paraded on television provoking worldwide condemnation and leaving one of the enduring images of the conflict. He returned to active duty and was involved in policing the exclusion zone as part of the UN force maintaining the fragile peace in Bosnia. He has served around the world from the Nevada Desert to the Middle East and Norway to the Falkland Islands.
John is the best-selling author of 10 books including – Tornado Down which describes his ordeal as a POW and five novels Point of Impact, Vanishing Point, Exclusion Zone, Stinger and Decisive Measures. His latest books are works of World War II oral history: The Last Escape charts the harrowing, untold story of Allied POWs in the closing stages of the war, Tail-End Charlies which gives a unique insight into the final, controversial battles of the bomber campaign in WW2, and Home Run which recounts the amazing experiences of evaders behind the lines in occupied Europe.
John is in demand to give motivational lectures and after-dinner speeches and has worked with wide variety of businesses including British Telecom, Stockholm School Of Economics, Shell and Lloyds Bank.
He has written for all of the UK national newspapers including The Times, The Mail on Sunday and The Guardian and is a widely quoted commentator on military affairs. He has also been a consultant and presenter for Newsnight, BBC News, CNN, World in Action, ITN, Sky News and Cutting Edge. He devised and presented 2 series of Survivors, interviewing newsmakers who have been through life changing experiences. John is a member of the The Royal British Legion all-party Gulf War Group and a patron of the British Ex-service Wheelchair Sports Association. He is also a very poor golfer.
John Nichol describes himself as an ‘ordinary guy who has just happened to find himself in extraordinary circumstances’. He is a regular speaker at conferences, training courses or after-dinner venues – his presentation is tailored to the occasion and is electrifying, humorous, and captivating.
“John Nichol has made a big impression. He exceeded our expectations and has become a talking point within the organisation. His presentation was very thought provoking: no one can fail to be motivated.” – Vice President sales, Nortel Networks
“I have seen a lot of “motivational” speakers and it is an understatement to say that you were a complete hit! To get that level of interaction and attention from our team after nine hours hard graft speaks for itself. Your talk was inspirational and very motivating, as well as incredibly humbling….it certainly framed the day superbly, and will definitely be talked about for many meetings to come!” – UK Sales Manager, B&Q
“In a conference hotel outside Birmingham the audience has worked itself into a lather of exhilaration, their minds worlds away from sales targets. The music surges as Mr. Nichol walks off stage and the crowd goes wild. A straw poll found the consensus among the audience feeling “uplifted” and “able to take on any challenge”. – The Economist
The first the world saw of RAF Navigator John Nichol was as a British prisoner of war, shot down during the Gulf War and paraded on TV.
The traumatic weeks of capture which ensued gave John a unique insight into the human capacity to deal with even the most severe and disruptive change. Partly as a result of his own outgoing personality, partly as a result of the experience itself, John Nichol is now able to present a fascinating insight into what happens when our innermost reserves are tested by external demands.
His entertaining account of what happened takes his audience from the highly organised training and teamwork of an RAF squadron to the isolation of being shot down and held in solitary confinement.
His experiences qualify him to speak with unquestionable authority on not only surviving change but also turning it to your advantage. Indeed his physical survival is due to his immense reserves of personal strength, flexibility and the capacity to withstand upheaval and uncertainty.
Describing himself as ‘an ordinary guy who just happened to find himself in extraordinary circumstances’, John’s message is one of optimism, inspiration and personal motivation. His personal triumph lies in having discovered his potential to cope with extremes and achieve goals way beyond his perceived horizons.
And John leaves his audience in no doubt – that potential exists in all of us.
“It seems amazing that we have been working together for 4 years; I never fail to be impressed by what you say and always learn something new. The effect on the delegates is electrifying and for many you are the highlight of the programme; I still meet delegates who remember your presentations and who have taken many of the lessons back to the workplace and into their private lives as well.” – British Telecom Management Training
“Thank you for speaking to our sales force at this years conference. I think your presentation was inspirational and I know from the delegates, that they felt the same” – Scottish Mutual
“All who attended have said how much they enjoyed your speech and question and answer session. It was fascinating, humorous and very, very interesting.”- Shell UK
“Your talk on teamwork was highly entertaining, you captured and held the audience’s attention to the full… It is a mark of your success that our delegates were still talking about your presentation on the final day. I would book you again without hesitation.” – Training consultant, GE capital
“The comments received after the event were most favourable…your speech was interesting and entertaining achieving the right balance of humour and interest and highlighting the links between your own experiences and the subject of the conference.” – Benefits Agency
“We wanted to say a big thank you. We were absolutely thrilled, particularly with the way your presentation fitted the brief” – Telecom New Zealand
“Thank you for an excellent after dinner speech and for taking the time to speak with us afterwards. Apologies if we kept you talking so late – this was totally due to our enthusiasm and interest” – National Sales Manager, GE Capital
“Thank you for providing a first class presentation … it fitted perfectly with the theme of change and delivered the message in an entertaining and forceful way” – Lloyds UDT
“Thank you for the excellent seminar on Leading Under Stress; we received excellent feedback from the delegates” – ICL