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Former Global head of product development at SEEK

Want to change the world? Why not start by helping the person next to you.

Layla Foord is a transformative leader and inspiring speaker known for her strategic acumen and ability to drive organizational growth while maintaining a strong company culture. With over two decades of experience in leading high-performing teams in the technology and media industries, Layla shares impactful insights on strategic growth, leadership, and organizational transformation.

Her journey, from her early days as a data entry clerk to becoming Chief Operating Officer, demonstrates her relentless determination and transformative leadership. Layla's unique perspective, shaped by her diverse experiences, enables her to offer valuable insights on sustainable growth and effective leadership.

Layla's previous roles as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Product at companies like Go1, Envato, Seek, and Smiling Mind highlight her proven track record of doubling revenues, driving operational excellence, and leading successful strategic pivots in Product, Technology, and SaaS businesses. One of the first in Australia to manage remote and global product teams, Layla understands the power of connection and diversity. Her story is one of resilience, growth, and a passion for nurturing extraordinary talent.

Layla holds an Executive MBA from the Quantic School of Business and has served as a Non-Executive Director at 100 Story Building. Her educational background and extensive real-world experience enable her to bridge the gap between executive leadership and ground-level operations.

Talking Points

Business Archetypes - The key to any team is the right mix of people and enough tension to create innovation

In this talk, you’ll learn about the five key team players who help to take a busines sthrough the lifecycle from startup to maturity. The Maverick, The Builder, The Seller, The Optimiser and The Founder.

Each have their unique approach, personality and skills. Together they can do great things, if only they could appreciate one another and find the right spot to thrive.


As leaders we need to look beyond CV’s and discover the true passion and potential of our teams and potential employees. There is a hero in all of us and great leaders know how to find them.

Key Takeaways:
- How to find people for jobs that haven’t been done before
- How to uncover hidden talents and passions in even the most uninspired person
- How to connect with teams and stay professional
- How to take your whole self to work (no more masks)
- How to get satisfaction from leadership and management
- How to be a better employee

Product Development and How to use Lean in real life

Layla will help you learn how to reduce the costs of mistakes, how to get to market quickly, learn and iterate. She’s done this before at corporates and start-ups and developed a unique way to help businesses develop new concepts and save the pain of long business cases and millions of dollars wasted in failure.

Key Takeaways:
- How to apply lean development in your business
How to reduce the risk of failure
How to measure the success of an incubation or innovation team
The different incubation models and how they may work for you

Better Public Speaking

The fear of presenting never leaves, people just find ways to harness it. In this masterclass, you’ll learn some of the easiest ways to help you feel more comfortable when presenting, hear some personal stories which may make you laugh and understand that everyone goes through it and you can learn to enjoy public speaking. Don’t worry you won’t have to do any!

Understand the fear. Learn practical tools to help you feel better about presenting, be better at presenting and hopefully to see that you could enjoy presenting. Connecting with the audience is the key to an engaging presentation, but how do you do that, without exposing yourself and creating even more anxiety?

You’ll learn that to stare at the back of the room and not make eye contact is the worst advice you’ve ever been given.

Key Takeaways:
- How to embrace the fear
- Practical tips on how to physically improve the sense of anxiety
- Tools on how to create a connection with the audience and understand why it is so important
- How presenting could actually be fun
Layla did a talk on 'Finding Superheroes for your Organisation' at our Lean Startup Melbourne event. The talk was received very well by the 400 attendees that attended the event. The content of the talk was original and insightful. Her delivery of the talk was very engaging, which the audience responded well to. I would highly recommend getting Layla to speak at your event. Organiser, Lean Startup Melbourne

Layla is one of those speakers that delivers truth, because she's actually done the work. She's also witty, disarmingly intelligent and an absolute pleasure to work with. Book her, work with her, befriend her, she's ace. :)

Future Assembly

Layla conducted a great fireside chat at the opening ceremony of GIYC2016 with our media executive. Layla interacted really well with the host and also the audience, capturing their attention with worldy examples of her start up and work adventure, and also embracing topics of worklife balance and motherhood which struck a deep connection with the audience. Layla's talk was exceptionally well received and memorable, with fantastic feedback from the audience and also corporate sponsors and other speakers in the room. Layla was a pleasure to work with, really organised, on time and friendly to all our executive and the audience. We loved having Layla talk at GIYC. Thanks Layla!

Organiser, Global Innovative Youth Conference

Layla spoke at our Carsales independent Guild created to showcase women in business and I had previously seen her speak at a start up event. Layla shared her personal and professional journey and the audience was engaged throughout the talk. Layla is a story teller with the presence of a friend which made everyone feel they could connect with her words. I highly recommend Layla as a speaker and coach.


I attended a presentation skills seminar that Layla ran and found it extremely useful and a lot of fun. Layla's down to earth approach made the seminar very accessible. She provides a range of different tools to help people of all skill levels. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned professional, you'll learn something you can implement immediately from this seminar. Thanks for the course Layla.

Head of Strategy, Outware Mobile
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