With more than a decade of experience, not only in South Africa but also across the globe – in Africa, Asia and Europe – Liezel van der Westhuizen is no stranger to the role of master of ceremonies (emcee or MC), conference moderator and programme director.
Liezel’s clients have ranged from high-flying financial institutions to tourism boards and sporting brands meaning that, after a decade in public speaking, she has become sought-after for her ability to move efficiently between sectors and to unite diverse audiences.
Last year, Liezel really spread her wings in the master of ceremonies, or emceeing, role – accepting a major gig in China’s capital city. Of this challenging four-day conference, she enthused: “Landing a corporate gig of this calibre in a world-class business hub like Hong Kong was a dream come true and I look forward to building on these kinds of opportunities even more in the future.” The opportunity followed on from international MC and keynote speaker gigs she had already taken on with aplomb in Bali, Indonesia, the Seychelles and the United Kindom; there is no stopping the adventurous spirit of this talented global emcee.
Over the past 10 years, Liezel has hosted events across South Africa and represented brands from across the African continent, thereby honing her public speaking professionalism to encompass the full calibre of high-end corporate functions, gala dinners, award shows and the conferences of major global and local brands as a master of ceremonies.
Notably, she has clocked up an extensive list of firsts and attempts to break glass ceilings for women, which can be viewed here. Top among these include being the first female announcer worldwide to be on the start and finish lines of an Ironman Triathlon (2012); and the first female announcer to be on the start and finish lines of the Comrades Marathon (2012). She was also the second woman in the world to ever present Idols (2009).
Her infectious energy, sharp wit and unique sense of style have lead to consistent rave reviews fo her master of ceremonies skills from clients, with Bianca Church from Century City Property Owner’s Association describing her as “professional, articulate and inspiring” and Sean of the Rainbow Team revealing that she took their event “to a new level”.
Liezel makes a point of giving back in any area in which she is passionate, and emceeing has certainly not been one to escape her attention. She has made use of her skills to train youth in the art of public speaking through the Toastmasters Outreach Programme, an organisation of which she is a member; and has also run courses on public speaking to empower school leavers through Abraham Kriel Children’s Home and Khumba Resources. To find out more about her unique take on the master of ceremonies / MC role, click here.
As a Toastmaster’s Society member, the bronze and silver awards she has won are testament to her hard work and skill, and make her sought-after not only in the emcee role, but also for events where motivational speeches and keynote addresses are required. Liezel’s engaging approach really brings each of her focus areas to life, with notable topics over the years being “Beating the Workplace Bully’, ‘Empowering Women’ and ‘Finding your inner strength’.
Earlier on this year, Liezel was booked again in the international eventing arena for a three-day conference in Venice, regional capital of Veneto, famed for its canals, Gothic architecture and Carnival celebrations. A favourite of travellers the world over, this North-Eastern Italian region stretches from the Dolomite Mountains to the Adriatic Sea and lends itself to wonderful sightseeing in and around a business trip.
As a Personal Branding expert, Liezel has her hands full training and mentoring entrepreneurs from all over the world, which her sporting achievements – such the recent challenge of a tandem cycle across the Himalayas with a visually impaired cyclist – add significant clout to.
With a passion for education, Liezel’s degrees in Human Resources Management (Bcom) and Communications (Hons & Mcom) have been instrumental in laying the foundation for a truly fulfilling and diverse career. In combination, her education, experience and personal touch make her your go-to person for any event.
Year-end function? Wedding? 50th birthday? To book Liezel as host for your special event or conference, do not hesitate to get in touch.
We only had positive feedback from client.
I would just like to thank you so so much for MC’ing our Mercedes event yesterday. You were FANTASTIC, and I have been receiving rave comments from early morning.
Liezel was terrific as always
Always great working with Liezel, thank you for your empowering talk
Please can you personally pass on my personal gratitude to Liezel, who was the consummate professional and by far one of the best MC’s I have worked with ever. Liezel certainly took the event to another level!!!!
Working with you was one of my favourite things of the job
Please extend my thanks to Liezel. She was incredible and having a speaker of her calibre at our Awards added to the entire experience.
The event was a great success and Liezel was brilliant, as always!
Liezel did an amazing job
Liezel was such a pleasure to work with, professional, articulate, inspiring. She really was great
Liezel was awesome! She just knows our brand so well. We were exceptionally happy with the gig on Friday, and will be very keen to make use of Liezel’s services again in future, when the need arises. She handled everything superbly.
On behalf of the Fearless 14 and the BWA I would really like to thank you for your incredible presentation last night, your energy is infectious . You have set the tone for the FAST TRACK2SUCCESS program and the candidates are super excited and so eager to make it work for them. Your presentation was warm , engaging and filled with the little gems that stick in your mind. You made setting your goals and living your dream something that is so worth the highs and lows along each journey.
Thank you from all of us! You are an exceptional BWA ambassador.
Bronwyn, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about my experience of working with Liezel as a guest speaker. As you know, we deal with many speakers for our events. The fact of the matter is that each speaker is different and has different requirements. In my 3 years as chair of the BWA, I have never worked with a speaker who has been as professional as Liezel. In preparation for her key note address for RBAA, Liezel asked for and complied perfectly with a brief on what we wanted her to talk on. Liezel also asked for the names of the people who would be at her table and researched each of those people so that she knew their names and a little bit about their business. Given that she sat at a table with our sponsors this went a long way towards impressing the sponsors and making everyone at the table feel welcome. She also went the extra mile and attended the pre-drinks and photo session (even though this was not required of her) and put all the finalists and sponsors at ease. After all of this, she gave a talk which, as you know, was on point and really well presented.
I cannot recommend Liezel highly enough as a speaker and I wanted to give you this feedback because I know she is one of your speakers and I am sure that feedback like this is valuable.