Liezel van der Westhuizen is a global motivational speaker and corporate coach, specialising in personal branding and speaker training. Last year Liezel became the first African sighted female to cycle with a blind athlete across the Himalayas on a tandem bicycle.
Having kicked off her public speaking career in South Africa 10 years ago, Liezel has hosted more than 500 events across the country, as well as in popular eventing destinations such as Indonesia, United Kingdom, Europe, Thailand, Hong Kong and Seychelles.
Liezel will be speaking on Personal Branding in LA later this year and will be acting as MC at an International Conference in Venice next month.
Her clients have ranged from blue chip companies, high-flying financial institutions to tourism boards and sporting brands.
With infectious energy, sharp wit and panache being the hallmarks of Liezel’s brand, it’s no surprise that her work receives consistent rave reviews from clients.
Passionate about education, Liezel notes that her three degrees in Human Resources Management (Bcom) and as well as in B.Com Honors ; Masters degree in Business Communications have been invaluable in laying the groundwork for what can only be described as a rewarding and fulfilling career.
Being part of the Toastmaster’s Society – and having received bronze and silver awards – also continues to give Liezel’s work an extra edge.
Apart from hosting events, Liezel is also often asked to do motivational talks and deliver keynote addresses. A few of her most popular topics include: ‘Beating the Bully’, ‘Empowering Women’ ‘Finding your inner strength’ and ‘Personal Brand Personified’
She is a well-loved media personality in the South African radio and television media space and has established herself as a macro influencer with over 155 000 social media followers across various platforms (including LINKEDIN, TWITTER, FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM). Liezel has also completed a number of tough sporting events including Ironman Triathlons, Dusi Canoe Marathons and Midmar mile.
Liezel is fondly known to friends and fans alike as ‘The Giraffe’, a moniker she has also worked into the name of her personal vlog, Giraffe in the City. What many people may not know, is that the nickname was originally meant to be an insult.
“In 2010, designer Craig Jacobs called me ‘a giraffe’ in his Sunday Times society column when – on this specific occasion – I wore a pair of killer heels, which added a few extra centimetres to my already excessive length,” Liezel explains.
Instead of letting it get her down, Liezel embraced the name and has continued using it to her advantage. This is a powerful testament to her experience with personal brand building and how she can assist organisations and individuals with turning negative publicity into something positive.
Apart from building her own brand, she also has professional reputation management experience, having work as the public relations manager for Virgin Records prior to kicking off her television and radio presenter career. Some of the clients she worked with include Mandoza, Lenny Kravitz, Sarah Brightman, Atomic Kitten, Backstreet Boys, Watershed, and Danny K.