Yet he had his audience eating out of his hand. They know where Middlesbrough is now; whether they'll set up business there is another matter.
Key moment: The revelation that Mallon went to Dubai to persuade the head of the biggest property developer there to come to Middlesbrough to create 'another desert development in another kind of desert'.
Key lesson: Self-knowledge is a valuable asset. It can turn a potentially hostile audience.
Silver tongue or foot in mouth? ... Silver tongue
- Khalid Aziz is chairman of the Aziz Corporation and a professor of business communications at Southampton University - email@example.com.