Cox has a stilted, almost strangulated delivery, a bit like Robin Cook, but he cuts immediately to the chase. 'There's nothing new about CSR - just look at Rowntree, Lever Brothers and Cadbury's; there's just more of it around today.' His message? All businesses could get involved.
He recently judged business awards in which a small bed manufacturer was pitted against a bank and Marks & Spencer. The bedmaker won with its idea of offering schoolchildren work experience that included sitting in on staff dispute procedures. Cox raised a laugh with that tale. He had a serious message too - there's a limit to how much cash businesses will stump up. 'These days, more money given away can mean more jobs shed.' Benefit in kind was arguably a better alternative, as it meant engagement, particularly for local firms. He had visited a school where the staff room had been transformed by a team from a local factory. In 15 minutes, Cox had empathised with his audience and made them feel good. No wonder he's in demand.
Key moment: The revelation that a company chairman takes a saw to branches that obscure road signs.
Key lesson: Celebrating your audience is a good ploy. No speaker goes wrong by giving their listeners a warm feeling.
Silver tongue or foot in mouth?...