Caspar Berry started his working life at the age of 16 as an actor in the first two series of BBC drama Byker Grove with “Ant and Dec”. They went on to become two of the most famous people in the UK and Caspar went on to study economics at Cambridge where he had early commercial success directing award-winning short films and TV commercials from the age of 18. He went on to write two feature films which were produced by Film Four and Columbia TriStar before he had graduated. He did not get a very good degree.
He went on to write and direct in the film and television industry for much of the next four years before deciding that he was heading towards the age of 30 without having lived much of life outside of that crazy and unreal world. So aged 26, he decided to take a risk and move to Las Vegas with his life savings in his pocket.
Playing poker was disciplining, testing and demanding but also incredibly emotionally rewarding as he conquered the challenges it posed and made a living as a professional poker player at the tables of Las Vegas.
After three years, however, he decided that his future lay away from the poker table and he returned to the UK and set up Twenty-First Century Media which he built to a team of 40 before selling to Bob Geldof’s Ten Alps Plc.
At around this time, in 2005, the poker boom happened, and Caspar had already started speaking professionally so he moved to London to create a portfolio career as a trainer for the Mind Gym by day (delivering over 400 sessions to 100 companies) and a TV poker commentator by night (doing over 2000 hours of live broadcasting on poker channels and Sky Sports).In 2006 he was asked to be one of the two poker advisors on the James Bond movie “Casino Royale”, tasked with training the actors up to look like professional poker players for the key scenes.
In the last 14 years, Caspar has delivered over 2,000 speeches and training sessions in more than 30 countries for nearly 500 organizations including the biggest companies in the world.
He now mentors young speakers and brings together all the otherwise disparate skills he’s learned over his career – writing, directing, training, economics – to help young speakers craft messages culled from their own life that are focused on helping people and businesses make profound changes in all manner of ways.
Why engage in decision-making training? Decision making is such an inherent part of the business of living that we very rarely give it much consideration in and of itself. It is often surprising to some that that is there is a science of decision making at all! But there is; it can be taught, and the process of training in it can incredibly illuminating and profitable.
Decisions are actions that become habits, behaviors and, ultimately, cultures. Decision-making training makes us answer the most basic of questions: “Are the decisions that we are making the best decisions to get us to where we want to get to?” This may sound like a basic question but it’s fundamental to our entire businesses and, in fact, our lives. It’s saying “Are we doing the right things to get what we want?”
At the heart of this question is the understanding that ALL decisions are investment decisions: not just investments of money but usually time, energy, status, and reputation. As such we are all – whether we think of ourselves in this way or not – investors, always allocating our scarce resources into a series of opportunities that life presents.
With this in mind, we should probably understand the basics of investment theory if we want to get the edge in everything that we do. Ultimately, what we want in all areas of our personal and professional lives are GREAT RETURNS on the investments that we make and so decision making training is really about maximizing such returns or – in other words – maximizing efficiency and productivity and doing more with less.
I’m pretty passionate, to be honest, that decision-making training is for everyone in every level of an organization even if they don’t think of themselves as “decision-makers”. Indeed, you might say that these people will benefit the most from thinking about it properly. What everyone wants is that this huge and sometimes challenging subject is made fun and accessible – which is where poker comes in.
Poker is the perfect medium for decision-making training because a poker player is making a decision every ninety seconds or so: a decision that can’t be abdicated, delegated or procrastinated. Indeed the act of playing poker is that of mastering the science of decision making – a science that incorporates the maths of investment, the psychology of success and everything from behavioral economics to Buddhism.
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