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Category: “Musings”

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…

A skeleton in the pulpit…

31 October, 2016

Today being Hallow’een prompts me to write about the time a skeleton once delivered a sermon from the pulpit of Gloucester Cathedral… in front of 500 witnesses! Yes really! I know – because I was responsible for it happening! Yet this is not a just blog about that strange occurrence …  it is actually a…

Root Canal Dentistry, Michael McIntyre and Manfred Mann …

13 July, 2016

I love going to the dentist! OK before you think I’m weird – some sort of masochistic pain freak… let me explain! For a start – modern dentistry is (virtually!) pain free… and the fact is I share with my dentist Imi an interest in public speaking, and I am always stimulated by our brief…

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…

How Bill McLaren helped me learn 120 names!

1 September, 2015

Over the years I have developed quite a reputation on the speaking “circuit” as someone who has a “good memory” for names…  I always deny this!  I prefer to say I have a “good imagination” – and that I use a “system” – allied to hard work to make it look easy! The truth is…

Hosting a Conference: Pt 5 – It’s a wrap!

31 August, 2015

Bringing an event to a successful close is just as important a part of hosting a conference as all the work that goes into preparation

Hosting a Conference: Pt. 3 – Showtime!

31 July, 2015

The pre-event prep is done … the intros written …the agenda learnt – now to