Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Media Coach 17th October 2014

Speakers from around the world; Galileo at the West Wing; BBC archives; John Grisham;  What doesn’t make an exceptional speech; How re-bookable are you?; Unique content can be priceless; An interview with Tim Campbell; Music from Dawn Langstroth

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Friday, October 10, 2014

The Media Coach 10th October 2014

Professional speakers gather in London; Early BBC; Virtual speaking; Harry Smith; John Lewis boss hates France; Lest we forget; Put yourself on air; How to use Twitter to enhance your event; An interview with Simon Jordan; Music from Ainsley Diaz Stevens

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Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Media Coach 3rd October 2014

Party conferences continue; Virtual Speaking; Lynsey de Paul; Sainsburys; it’s not what you have, it’s what they need; You don’t have to be big to be noticed; How to con people with social media; An interview with Patricia Fripp; Music from Ashton Lane

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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Speechwatch - David Cameron's 2014 Conference speech.

David Cameron made his last conference speech before the 2015 General Election with a clear aim in mind - to look like a prime minister ready for a second term. His theme; "A Britain everyone is proud to call home" ran throughout, in a statesmanlike delivery that was in some contrast to the forgetful approach from Ed Miliband. Like Barack Obama, Mr Cameron made use of poster-sized autocue screens at the back of the hall. 

Rather than find his case studies on the heath, he sought a Normandy veteran, who received a huge standing ovation early in the speech, which set the tone of patriotism that ran throughout. It was clearly a pre-election speech, sounding not unlike a manifesto, with a number of promises, including a large increase in the tax-free allowance, to help that political meme "hard-working people".

Naturally, he had a jibe at the opposition leader for forgetting to mention the deficit with a nice piece of self-mockery about things he'd forgotten himself. As usual with politicians, he doesn't do humour very well. 

He has a tendency to drop into a soft monotone just before delivering a strong phrase. I detect some coaching there, and I'm not sure it quite works. 

In a remarkable section on education, he accused Labour of "hypocrisy". A bit of pot and kettle there, methinks. He also talked of the Tory party as being a "trade union" for many different groups. That played well in the hall, but the reaction on Twitter was not so warm. He referred to Twitter too, in a quip that fell flat. 

As ever, as do all politicians, he employed a number of triple phrases with rising emphasis, or "clap-traps" as speechwriters call them. They worked well, especially since he emphasised them with a double-handed gesture, which produces almost Pavlovian applause. He's not as adept at applause-surfing

He became emotional in a section about the NHS, receiving a standing ovation, more for the way he spoke than what he said. Quite unusual for a political speech.

There was but one reference to UKIP, played out in a gag about "going to bed with Nigel Farage and waking up with Ed Miliband". Best laugh of the whole speech.

He's not one of the great political orators, coming across more like a competent CEO than an inspirational leader. However, maybe that's what people want. He definitely outperformed the Labour leader, and threw down a gauntlet for the election campaign. Time will tell if he judged it correctly. 

I'd say it's his best conference speech so far. Eight out of ten.

Are Tesco and Sainsbury's going the way of the dinosaurs?

Oh dear oh dear. The news about some big supermarkets has been pretty grim recently. Tesco has admitted that their half-year profits have been overstated by £250 million. That's more than the slip of a finger on a calculator. We'll know more after the Financial Conduct Authority has completed their investigation. But that's not the half of it. Tesco announced a delay in opening two new out-of-town superstores in September. There was fury in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire when the promised store, and the 250 promised local jobs disappeared behind chain-link fences.

Sainsbury's has not been immune to changes in shopping habits either. This morning, they announced that like-for-like sales had fallen for the third quarter in a row, after 36 previous quarters of growth. Sainsbury's is not being particularly bullish about the future either, saying that they expect sales in the second half of the year - including the busy Christmas period - to be "similar" to the first half.

So what went wrong? It seems that like many businesses before them, Tesco and Sainsbury's took their eyes off the ball. They failed to notice the impact of nimble-footed competitors like Aldi and Lidl taking customers away. In July, a YouGov BrandIndex poll found that Aldi was now the UK's favourite brand, despite taking only five per cent of food sales. Lidl was ranked fourth. Sainsbury's was hanging on to tenth place, but Tesco didn't make the top ten.

Warren Buffett said "It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it". It's not all over for Tesco and Sainsbury's by any means, but they need to think about evolving pretty fast. 

Image Credit: Creative Commons licence

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Media Coach 26th September 2014

A very special edition featuring international speakers Lesley Everett and Sean Weafer speaking about professional speaking globally.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Media Coach 19th September 2014

Scotland - Independent?; Two launch events; Bob Crewe; Gerard Depardieu; Start at the End; It Ain’t over ‘til it’s over; Twitter or down the pub?; An interview with Frank Furness; Music from Ron Hipp and Carol Statella

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Media Coach 12th September 2014

Two huge decisions; Pop in the Park; Rupert Murdoch; Mike Ashley; Don’t tease your audience; No comment is not an option; Get more engagement; An interview with Shelle Rose Chavet; Music from Mick Wilson

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Friday, September 05, 2014

The Media Coach 5th September 2014

Not quite autumn; Warren Evans; Comedy Store Players; Kate Bush; The Russian Space Agency; Four more rhetorical devices; Can you give us a few words?; So what do you like?; An interview with Otmar Kastner; Music from Geoff Gibbons

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Friday, August 29, 2014

The Media Coach 29th August 2014

A tribute to Warren Evans; Storming off a Bake-Off; Killing a dinosaur; Believe it, Say it, Do it; Trouble, Trouble, Trouble; Sticking together on Social Media; An interview with Susan Luke Evans; Music from Lost Hollow

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Friday, August 22, 2014

The Media Coach 22nd August 2014

Home from the hols; Events coming up; Donald Sutherland; Ian Poulter; Consider your language; Increase your Mileage; No more happy talk; An interview with Hayley Foster; Music from Jim Boggia

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Friday, August 15, 2014

The Media Coach 15th August 2014

Predicting the future; The Lion King flash mob; Something completely different; Dump the sandwich; Monitor your media coverage; Getting the social media X factor; An interview with Hayley Foster; Music from Henrik

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Media Coach 8th August 2014

Copy, emulate or originate?; JustPark your Mini; Wikipedia and a monkey; If you must use powerpoint; You should see what our rivals do; Three content curation tools; An interview with Bob Mills; Music from Ainsley Diaz Stevens

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Media Coach 1st August 2014

Sunshine on Carnoustie; No more silly stories; A bit of jailhouse rock; Usain Bolt; Three wise speakers; How should I behave on TV?; Don’t worry about the numbers; An interview with Stephen Harvard Davis; Music from Mick Terry

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