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Musical Theatre Performer, MC & Speaker


Matt Heyward is an extremely talented musical theatre performer, who has done a lot of work on shifting the narrative in his own mind, and helping others to do the same. With the perspective of an actor, singer and dancer Matt's analogies about impostor syndrome, performance anxiety and how to overcome "that voice" in your head are engaging, interesting and relatable.

Matt has also done years of extremely effective work as a Program Partner for the Arts Wellbeing Collective, with a focus on mental health. This has involved the development of his communication skills, valuable resources and a strong understanding of how similar the challenges are that we face, we're all just using different vocabulary to describe it, and perform on different "stages".

Matt's experience as a theatre performer makes him a natural, confident and appealing speaker, who can even offer a musical number where appropriate!

Talking Points

Self-Care, Mental Health and Wellbeing

The stories we absorb about self-care, mental health and wellbeing from the media, our friends, families, peers, and workplaces can be confusing and even conflicting. What does it really mean to “fit your own oxygen mask first”? Is self-care really selfish? Is mental health the same as mental illness? This session offers practical insights about self-care, mental health and wellbeing, and address some of the most common myths and misinformation about these vital topics.

Resilience, Stress and Burnout

“Resilience” is a hot topic - whether we’re being told to be more resilient or build resilient organisations, it feels like we’ve moved a long way from what resilience really means. Stress and burnout often go hand in hand in stories about resilience in the workplace. What do these concepts really mean? Can we be more resilient? If so, how? Is stress unavoidable? Is it always bad? What about burnout? What’s the difference between stress and burnout? This session addresses the stories we’ve created about resilience, stress, and burnout, and offers strategies to reframe the stories we tell and help us thrive.

Performance Anxiety and Imposter Syndrome

Feeling nervous before a performance, a big meeting, an audition or a job interview is normal - and usually, the stress resolves once the situation resolves. What sorts of strategies can we drawn on to make those nerves help us, rather than hinder us? And what about that sneaky voice in our heads saying we’re going to be ‘found out’? Where does it come from, and why can it take such a hold on us, even when we know it’s illogical? This session focuses on performance thriving - identifying and understanding those stories that hinder our performance, and what strategies we can engage in that will instead energise and empower.

Shift the Narrative: Working Well in the Performing Arts

Storytelling is in our DNA. As performers, we engage with stories deeply - knowing characters, context, motivations, and movements. But how much attention do we pay to the stories we tell ourselves? About what it means to be creative. To be a performer. Or the stories we tell when we feel like we’re not good enough, not working hard enough, or not ‘successful’ enough. These stories can drive us, but they can also hold us back. This session focuses on identifying and understanding the stories we tell - and sell - ourselves in the performing arts industry, and empowering, energising strategies to help you thrive.

Shift the Narrative: Stories from the Creative Industries

Storytelling is the central work of performing artists and creative workers. However, those who work in the creative industries often experience a blurring of work life and home life, a deep passion that can lead to burnout, and continuous pressure to do more with less. Chances are, at lease of some of these factors feel familiar to your context. Having spent many years researching, responding, and better understanding these challenges, this session investigates the challenges faced in the creative industries, their transferability to other industries, and key strategies for thinking differently about how we live and work.

Other Topics

Other topics include:
Leadership, Support, and Emotions
Connection, Clarity and Communication
Motivation, Accomplishment and Flow
Success, Meaning and Purpose
Self-Talk, Strengths and Values
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