About Richard


On a cold and misty morning in October 1975, Richard McCann woke to discover his mother was missing. He was just five years old. She was the first victim of the notorious serial killer, Peter Sutcliffe.

Having lost his mother to one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, Richard was raised in poverty by his often drunk and violent father on a tough council estate in Leeds, England, and was on the at-risk register before he could even walk and talk. What followed was foster parents and time in a care home, and he left school with no qualifications, stumbling from one mistake to the other until he eventually found himself with no prospects after a spell in prison. The same prison as his mother’s killer! When he was released, he had few prospects and entered into a suicide pact with one of his sisters. He had reached his rock bottom.

By learning to accept full responsibility for his life, embracing his authentic self and adopting an iCan attitude, he went from no-hoper to Sunday Times Bestselling Author and internationally renowned award-winning motivational speaker. His first book, ‘Just a Boy’, sold almost half a million copies in the UK alone and has been translated into more than 10 different languages. Other books followed along with a speaking career that has seen him deliver over 3000 keynotes across the globe.

Learning to think positively is a skill that every young person will find invaluable throughout their life. Richard’s story demonstrates what can be achieved with a Growth Mindset and his presentations and interactive workshops will help your students, staff and parents discover their true potential.

Today, Richard has delivered over 3000 presentations around the world, inspiring audiences with his story of overcoming adversity, and sharing his powerful iCan approach. In 2009 he founded the iCanSpeak Academy, training individuals and teams to enhance their presentation skills and communicate their message authentically and with confidence, so they achieve more effective results.
the iCan Academy team
A picture of Jade, the iCan Marketing Assistant


Jade joined the Team iCan 2021. Her incredible editing skills help manage the huge amount of video footage, and reels that are taken throughout the year. These are shared with our clients, delegates and on our various social media platforms.


Liz works on our events side of Team iCan, including the marketing, advertising and promotion of our extensive calendar of events throughout the year. This includes  online challenges, our full day Influence events, and our ultimate weekend Storytelling retreats.


Having been an integral part of Team iCan for over 8 years, Tracy is Richard's PA. Managing the offices in Leeds with all the daily operational management required. Most importantly, Tracy deals with all bookings and professional communication needed to look after our clients.


Gemma joined team iCan in 2023 and is a High Performance Coach and Business Strategist. She is an accomplished leader and strategist. A former senior leader with the UK's leading department store group. Her decade-long experience in senior roles involved leading retail and distribution operations, with headcounts of up to 1100 and £200m turnover, where she consistently delivered top-tier results.Gemma leads our Leadership Development Programmes, empowering organisations, leaders and teams to understand their full potential to create impactful change.

About Team iCan

Whether you are the CEO of a blue chip company, the owner of a small business or the head teacher of a school looking to embed a growth mindset into the minds of your students, Richard McCann has the message, the method, and the people to deliver.

Richard is an exceptional communicator who has delivered over 3000 presentations around the world, inspiring audiences with his story of overcoming adversity and demonstrating the power of an iCan approach. By living and breathing the iCan philosophy and successfully igniting this mindset within others, he has helped thousands of people throughout the business, corporate, community and education worlds to change the way they think – and act. And he can now help you virtually.
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The iCan Academy Ltd. Company number: 07942709. Registered address: Elmwood House York Road, Kirk Hammerton, York, North Yorkshire, YO26 8DH
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