Monday, 1 October 2018


I’m on one of my biannual diets. The time comes when my trousers don’t fit (correction- they seem to have shrunk) and I become a geography teacher, floppy corduroy and podgy. And I believe that I can still get away with it quaffing my pint of Harveys,  munching on my pork pie, and fattening up prudently to withstand a cold winter. More in curiosity than anything else I clambered on to one of those weighing machines in Boots that gives weight, height and  BMI. Well it says I’m borderline obese with an excessive BMI. I ask more questions online (being truthful about once being a heavy smoker and an enthusiastic drinker) and my life expectancy prediction says I died five years ago.

I am not prone to panic but it’s not good to learn you are probably a zombie.  So I go on the carb free, booze free, food free diet  - the one Tom Watson (the politician not golfer) went on and lost 7 stone. He now looks svelte, healthy and almost credible. See you at the gym Tom, I too am on a roll – not a bacon roll either.

As I embark on this incredible shrinking journey I reflect on food (I wish), no I reflect on why it is so many of us fail to do ourselves justice.  I am a presentation coach and spend a lot of time watching people let themselves down by being lazy; by spending too little time preparing; by failing to edit; by doing the equivalent of failing to comb their hair (only Boris can do that and even with him I’m not sure.)

Jeremy Corbyn belongs to this tribe of sloppy presenters doing so under the bogus umbrella of authenticity. Until Liverpool. In the General Election, whenever it comes, remember my words “Until Liverpool.”  Jeremy has been coached. It shows. He was concise, audience responsive and impressive. He looked up for a much bigger job. I should hate to be Teresa May at the best of times but, for her these are definitely not the best of times. She has a lot to live up to.  In Brighton Liberal leader Vince Cable ‘s speech was good in content but apologetically delivered and lacklustre. You have got to be slim, fit and sleek if you’re on stage. Ken Clarke would have been Prime Minister and probably a good one if he’d bothered to look better. A pity.

I have seen so many presentations where the content was great and the delivery deadpan dreadful. The ones where the content was mediocre but the delivery energetic were a bit better, not great just better at the time rather than in retrospect.

Maya Angelou said: “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

How you look and talk are the magic ingredients in making people feel great about you. People will never forget Steve’s presentation.

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