If you told me aged 20 that I would become a public speaker I would have laughed you out of court, but now you can’t get the microphone off me. Ever since I retired from professional cricket I have enjoyed speaking at all kinds of events. It began with cricket clubs and golf days, then naturally evolved into Charity and Company events. For years I recounted the story of my long reign as England Captain (4 days) and I was often only booked if I told this sorry, yet funny tale. I have expanded my material now to hopefully entertain any audience.
I have been to thousands of events in some capacity and the thing that irritates me most is when an event doesn’t run to time. I guess I became a Master of Ceremonies just to ensure I caught my last train home. I now pride myself on a fast-moving, efficient show. It is probably what I do most of these days as just like my cricket career I am seen as a bits and pieces player (I used to say great all-rounder). As the event host I am a safe pair of hands. I know what a speaker or auctioneer needs for it to go well and of course I am a stickler on running to time. I like to add humour to any event.
I used to get more nervous before conducting an auction than delivering any major speech. To a certain extent you are out of your comfort zone and if an Auction failed to reach its target then I would have let the charity down. Then I learned it was down to so many things – the right auction items, the right audience, the right time of the evening, the right sound system and the right auctioneer for the particular event. The challenge is that every auction is different but I love it now because I just give it my best shot and when it comes off you feel good about yourself.
Having spent the last three years working alongside Chris Cowdrey, watching him hosting events with equal measures of charm and humour – and getting tough when needs be – I have come to admire him greatly. He has great style and authenticity. He is also a versatile double act, being a speaker with a fascinating tale to tell. I highly and confidently recommend him.Sir Michael Parkinson CBE
The Event Doctor
I became the Event Doctor to advise charities on how to make more money and event organisers on how to improve their running orders. There are so many small aspects to an event that can make a big difference to the funds raised and the pleasure of the guests. I like to be involved in the project from the outset as the planning is crucial to avoid the dreaded post-event line ‘we would have made so much more for the charity if we had done THIS or if we hadn’t done THAT’.
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