Top Menu


Meet the Real Talk Speakers: Terry Hawkins

Terry Hawkins is the iconic transformational speaker who created the  Flipman and Pitman dichotomy in the early 1990s and continues to receive standing ovations for her highly immersive presentations. As INSTYLE’s 2019 Real Talk’s opening keynote speaker and emcee we can’t wait to welcome her to Australia in August.

Terry is an award-winning educator, author, and formerly Australia’s most booked female speaker. Having personally trained thousands of hair salon retailers and stylists over the past thirty years, ranging from large national chains to a multitude of independents, Terry has an uncanny knack for the hair category and what it takes to create success. Her origins as a retail educator, and the ethos of her keynote address for Real Talk will revolve around the word empathy.

“I was pioneering in the sense that words and themes that are in vogue today: empathy, compassion, or more unfortunately referred to as ‘soft skills’; these were experiences I ignited in the retail training room back in the early 1990s. Today, there’s nothing soft about them, and they are considered buzzwords, but to me and our company Progress Retail, is about real, meaningful connection,” Hawkins said.

However Hawkins would argue, most of the work today involving compassion training and the likes are very superficial. “Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes is just the first step of true empathy; there are additional layers most people never reach, but as tens of thousands of our alumni that have attended our in-person training programs would attest to- it is transformational.”

Transformational is a word in heavy use as it relates to Hawkins and the business she founded in 1989, Progress Retail (formerly People in Progress). At the age of 28, and with less than $200 to her name, she was able to sign her first retail training partner, the iconic Surf Dive N Ski, when it was owned by Tom Tsipris, and at a point when they only had four stores. The pedigree of Terry’s partnerships has been impressive, with retail brands like Mecca Brands, M.J. Bale, Seed Heritage, Camilla and Marc and many more listed as current clients.

Recognising the shift in technology and learning, Terry and her team have added the vital e-learning component, and are scaling this model throughout the hair category. The largest Price Attack franchisee, and the Chatters Hair Salons in Canada are currently in partnership with 24/7 access to Terry’s “HAIR” content.

“We know that the foundations of working in a successful salon are around sales and service, but the product knowledge and vendor piece is critical. That is why our learning platform, which we’ve built all on our own, enables not only the retailer to upload their own learning content, but the vendors are beginning to jump on the opportunity. We have a one-stop shop for all things hair retail that is proving decreases in employee turnover, increased average sale and conversion rates, and making for more satisfied customers who are getting their hair needs exceeded.”

Learn about Terry’s invaluable insights at the Real Talk business event on August 5, at Ovolo, Woolloomoloo, Sydney.

For more information visit

Click here for Styleicons|TV.

, , , , ,