M: +44 (0) 7774 675222

Category: “After-dinner speaking”

Is there a difference between an after-dinner speaker and a comedian?

31 January, 2018

After-dinner Speaker or Comedian? Is there a difference between an after-dinner speaker and a comedian? There are certainly similarities – after all – they both “speak”, and both should aim to be funny! Yet there is a subtle difference… and it has nothing to do with which is “better” – it’s a case of which…

After-dinner speaking: Cinderella or Ugly Sister?

9 August, 2017

I contributed the following article to the August issue of Speaking Business Magazine. I reproduce it here in its entirety! Speaking at the MPMA Dinner : Draper’s Hall, London   AFTER DINNER SPEAKING: Cinderella or Ugly Sister? That may be a provocative title for an article – but from personal experience there is no doubt…

Ronnie Corbett: lessons for speakers

31 March, 2016

The death of Ronnie Corbett announced today (March 31st, 2016) brings to an end one of the most popular and endearing comedy double acts the UK has ever known. Alongside his partner Ronnie Barker, The Two Ronnies show ran for 16 years on the BBC and regularly drew audiences of 17 million. So what was…

John Simonett hosting Dell conference in Paris

Nervous speaker? How to appear confident, poised and nerveless – guaranteed!

31 December, 2015

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are”  Muhammad Ali As discussed in a previous post – most people are more afraid of speaking in public than death! If you want to know how to appear confident, poised and nerve-free – read on! OK admission…

Stage Fright or Stage Fight?

29 November, 2015

In prehistoric times two hormones geared us up for action – either to fight off enemies and predators – or to run away from the danger they posed. Known as adrenaline and noradrenaline (or epinephrine and norepinephrine) they are “neurotransmitter” chemicals without which we would have died out as a species. Their evolutionary effects are…

“Do you get nervous before you speak?”

29 November, 2015

“Do you get nervous before you speak?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions I get when people find out I am a “speaker”! If you are someone who dreads having to speak in public, fear not – you are in good company – “Glossophobia” is a very common condition!! Wikipedia states: “it…

Tales from the Road: Awkward Audiences?

31 March, 2015

Note the question mark! Inevitably – no matter how many times you go down well as a speaker – there are times when you feel “it could have gone better”! Happily such occasions are rare …  and complete disasters even rarer! The phrase “tough crowd” is sometimes used by a speaker or comedian to lay…

Tales from the Road: Awkward Venues! Pt. 3

31 March, 2015

In this final part of my series of blogs on speaking in “awkward venues” I will be looking at some of the more unusual challenges I have had to deal with as a speaker – despite the events being held in what are otherwise beautiful, historic  locations! 1) The SS Great Britain: It may seem…

Tales from the Road: Awkward Venues! Pt. 2

27 March, 2015

Continuing from my previous post – here are some more challenges presented by venues that may be spectacular, iconic and memorable – but not necessarily “speaker friendly”! These are considerations that affect the “energy” in a room: 1 High Ceilings: Accepted wisdom among speakers and comedians is that it’s harder to get laughs in a…

Tales from the Road: Awkward Venues! Pt 1

24 March, 2015

Tales from the Road: being a glimpse into the life of a professional speaker – and the things that concern us! If you ever have to make a speech – some of the following may provide helpful advice! In my previous post I talked about the difficulty in “following” celebrated speakers …  in my case…