Monday, 21 November 2022


I’ve always been fascinated by presentations. I even wrote a book on the subject. I never believed, as some seem to, that how you delivered the message was all that mattered (content is king) but presenting persuasively is no bad thing.

Brilliant Presentation: What the best presenters know, do and say (Brilliant  Business) eBook : Hall, Richard: Books

So I watched Jeremy Hunt’s “Autumn Statement” keenly. Jeremy’s a spare, bony chap with tiny, shifty eyes who reminds me of Cassius in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar of whom Caesar said:

Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

In a little over an hour he made the best of a wonky story. And did so sotto voce. Quentin Letts, the Times Political Sketch writer described the scene perfectly:

Jeremy Hunt delivered his Autumn statement in a soothing murmur. Dentists go pretty quiet too when about to lance like maniacs.”

Official portrait for Jeremy Hunt - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament

Like a dentist he injected anaesthetic to ease the pain so I actually dozed off at one point. This was a masterclass of political hypnosis leading a leader writer to conclude it was a “sober and sensible budget”. I compared this assessment to my own demeanour for my wife to snort “you sober and sensible? That’ll be the day.” She’s right. I’m ebullient and theatrical and no Cassius either. 

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In contrast to Jeremy, Donald Trump’s announcement he was going to stand as presidential candidate in 2024 was a thing of tense drama…no snoozing here… as a speaker he uses no punctuation…ideas float from his lips as he thinks aloud, musing about his cause with phrases like “in order to make America great and glorious again…. it’s a beautiful thing…there’s love in this room…our campaign not my campaign…our country is being destroyed before our very eyes …. the massive corruption we’re up against.”

He mostly talks in iambic phrases and the whole effect is curiously poetic. He’s a latter day Mark Antony…”Friends, Romans and Countrymen lend me your ears.” In meditative mood, in the company of supporters, he’s hypnotic but rather still odd. 

But, says Rick Wilson, a from the Lincoln Project designed to oust Trump and Trump followers from the Republican Party, himself a life long Republic pre-Trump, the Donald is “feral who’ll eat chubby Ron De Santis and others for breakfast.”  So not just a poet but a master of the put-down.

But here is the presentation “masterpiece” of…well what I’ve ever seen.

Vicky Ford


Just before the Autumn statement on live TV the Tory MP for Chelmsford – Vicky Ford –a one-time Minister of State for Development albeit in the Truss cabinet – claimed the UK’s growth record had been better than any country in the G7. It was a barefaced lie. A whopper. And delivered with a swagger. The TV presenter instantly stopped her and said she was wrong and to prove it showed a chart where the UK was shown not only bottom but the only country showing negative growth in the period since Covid. 

My advice to a presenter in this fix is to fake a heart attack or run down the corridor screaming “they have guns and knives”. The strategy is distract, bemuse and make the viewer forget what you’ve said. But not Vicky. Without a blush or a blink she switched to  saying the IMF showed her figures for growth were spot-on looking forward and it was time to stop being negative.

Vicky Ford




Donald Trump would have been proud of her. In fact he should hire her. Please. Just so long as she leaves Britain soon.


I’ve seldom seen such egregious manipulation, audience hypnosis and sheer indifference to reality.


Unbelievable and almost comic.









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