If you're a devotee of audio tapes on self-improvement, you will be familiar with the name of Brian Tracy. Tracy is one the world's leading names in management motivation. Having heard his tapes, I find some of what he has to say thought-provoking, even if he takes a long time to say it and has a dreadful American whine. How would he be live?
Three hundred people, mainly from sales, paid just short of pounds 200 for a half-day of Tracy on leadership. He had addressed a similar audience in Manchester in the morning and then helicoptered in. At 2pm we were ready for Brian Tracy, management guru, in person.
He has presence - he's smooth, silver-haired, with an all-American smile of perfect porcelain. But his voice! The tapes did not lie. We had four hours of him. More modulation is required. He needs to open his mouth.
As for the pacing - well, it was relentless. Tracy didn't get to where he is today by pausing.
The content was interesting in parts and his overall timing was good; the breaks came at just the right moments. But the visual aids consisted of blank overhead view foils on which Tracy wrote in felt tip. In itself it's not a bad technique but, in a four-hour presentation for which people are paying, something a little more professional wouldn't have gone amiss.
The same goes for the staging. There should have been plenty of funds to have a decent stage set rather than a tatty projection screen.
Key moment: The end - for all his faults in presentation, Tracy had clearly motivated his audience. Even I was inspired by parts of what he said - I'm writing out my 10 12-month goals daily!
Key lesson: Ensure your people get the staging right. And have an expert listen to you critically so you are motivated to do better.
Silver tongue or foot in mouth?