EE022 – Alastair Greener – Make Business Personal

With over 25 years’ experience presenting on television, video, radio and stage, Alastair helps corporate clients become more effective communicators. As an accomplished communications speaker and consultant, he delivers a range of keynote speeches including Make Business Personal and Stop Paying Lip service To Communication, and with his company Present Yourself Ltd, he leads insightful and interactive communication skills workshops.The training sessions are tailored for each client on a one to one basis or in small groups and cover Confident Communication, Presentation Skills and Media Training. Recognised as a member of the Professional Speaking Association (PSA), and full member of the actor’s union Equity, he has developed exceptional training skills.
As a presenter on television, video, radio and stage, he’s appeared in documentaries, corporate videos and commercials in the UK and USA. He’s currently the senior journalist for Business Reporter, where he has interviewed over 500 business leaders.Alastair is also an event host, master of ceremonies and moderator, having hosted conferences, charity auctions, dinners and award ceremonies in the UK and Europe.
A farmer’s son from north Cornwall, Alastair spent 16 years leading a team of over 100 professionals on Cruise Liners, such as QE2 and Queen Mary 2, while being the face and voice of numerous training videos for three different cruise lines. He also represented the cruise industry as a spokesperson on media road shows and press conferences. Now based in London he loves travel, hill walking and renovating houses.
Some of the points discussed in this episode:
  • How do you create a better relationship with your customers
  • Personalisation
  • What Alastair learnt from interviewing over 1,000 people
  • Why he stills remembers the service received in a restaurant from 15 years ago


Tony: Welcome to another edition of Exceeding Expectations, the show for people typically at the mindset of wanting to exceed what their customers expect in, which gives the customer a better experience. But it also makes it better for the person who’s delivering. It gives them a more enjoyable work experience. That often results in being able to charge much higher prices than most of their peers as well. This week’s episode is with Alastair Greener. He has been around the world a thousand times. You’ll find out very soon when he starts speaking, but he’s definitely a world traveler. He’s Alastair. Please do leave a review for the podcast. You can leave one on iTunes or Google. Why not subscribe if you like the information you hear? Now please welcome and Alastair Greener. On today’s episode of Exceeding Expectations, I have a guest by the name of Alastair Greener. How are you doing, Alastair?

Alastair: I’m very well. Great to talk to you, Tony.

Tony: You’ve got quite a background. We were having a conversation before the recording started. You mentioned to me that job that you used to do took you to 153 countries. What on earth were you doing?

Alastair: I’ve been very lucky, Tony that throughout my life, I’ve always been able to do what I fancy doing. It was back in the early 90s. I was a TV presenter at the time, I was doing some acting. I saw a friend of mine who was at an audition with me. She was fantastic, glamorous and wonderful and I’ve worked with her some years. I said what have you’ve been doing? She said, ‘I’ve been working on cruise ships’. I said ‘Wow, that sounds good is one thing that I could do on that because I love all these pictures of the Caribbean and these sandy beaches and so on. But, you can’t sing and you can’t dance. You could be an entertainment officer if you like. Within six months, I found myself in (inaudible 2:14) on a cruise ship. I was thinking this will be fun for six months, have a go at entertaining passengers and so on. Sixteen years later, after 3 million nautical miles and as you say 153 countries, I decided it was time to move on to new pastures.

Tony: Wow. You ended up doing that for 16 years.You mentioned before you were in charge of all sorts of different entertainers.

Alastair: Yeah, it’s an interesting area. It was a great, great life. As I said, I traveled a huge amount. In the end, after a couple of years, I found myself in the management of the entertainment department on cruise ships, and wound up working for three different companies. In that role, basically I was responsible for ensuring the entertainment package on board was delivered in the way that the company wanted and to make sure that our passengers were entertained. So, that encompassed singers, dancers, all of the cabaret acts from from magicians, to comedians and musicians and so on, as well as all of the behind the scenes technical staff. On board ships these days, the theaters are so technical. So many regional theaters would die to have the facilities that some of these modern cruise ships have. So it was great. I was in charge of about 100 different people, which is always fun when you’re involved in entertainment, and dealing with all of those wonderful differences that entertainment brings.

Tony: I can imagine. So, what sort of size ships are we talking?

Alastair: Pretty big. The biggest one I’ve worked on was Queen Mary 2. To give you an idea of how big she is, she was 150,000 tons, which doesn’t mean an awful lot in itself. But, if you imagine, so to draw parallels Titanic, she was only 45,000 tons. So it gives you a bit of an idea of how big these ships are. However, Queen Mary 2 was very lucky in that she had a very good ratio of space per passenger. So on that size chip, we would have about two and a half thousand passengers. But, unfortunately that pales into insignificance compared to some of the large ones today, which are over,  the largest in the world is 224,000 tons, and has over six and a half thousand people on board. So they are pretty pretty big monsters these days.

Tony: Wow. That’s amazing. Just going back to the fact that you’ve been to 153’s, literally easy for you to list off countries you haven’t visited than the ones you have gone.

Alastair: Sadly not. There’s actually a huge amount more that I have to go in search of. Actually, I’ve made it my dream now to at least discover a new country every year, so that I can keep ticking off that list. It has become a little bit of an obsession. I have to really work hard at some of those African countries. I’ve only been to about five or six in Africa and there’s a heck of a lot more than that.

Tony: So I would imagine then almost any countries that are really landlocked, you’re less likely to have visited, right? And anything on the coast you probably have?

Alastair: Exactly, exactly. So I’m now heading in land now that I’ve come onto dry land. So lots of great, exciting places. One of the places that I never visited on board ships, which most people are surprised at, which is my goal hopefully this year to go is South Africa.

Tony: Okay. Yeah, there is a surprise there.

Alastair: Yeah. Just never managed to get there. So, to go into Cape Town, I think will be fantastic. So yeah, I’m really looking forward to keeping that journey going. One of the things that you discover when you travel, is different cultures, different ways people communicate and the different ways people are. It really does open your mind to so many different things. Travel is just such an exciting opportunity.

Tony: Absolutely. You mentioned you were managing up to sort of 100 people in the entertainment area. Would they often be from sort of different countries as well?

Alastair: It was interesting. Many times, the captain at one of his speeches would say the ship was a little bit like the United Nations, except we all get on together. We would have sometimes up to 30, 40 different nationalities on board. Sometimes, we would have up to 20 nationalities, just amongst the passengers, especially with Cunard which attracted a far more international audience. But, amongst the crew, lots and lots of different nationalities. Within entertainment, we would only have maybe two or three because obviously, most people were English speaking and English was their primary language. But, it was great to be amongst so many different cultures and learn from so many different cultures.

Tony: Yeah. I was just thinking that because managing all of those people, you must have learned so many different skills in the huge amount of time you spent doing that.

Alastair: Well, it’s interesting, because obviously, we’re talking in this podcast about how we deal with people and how we improve customer experience. One of the biggest important roles in that is to understand the people that you’re communicating with, and who your customers are. When you deal with lots of different nationalities, you really have to understand where they are, where they’ve come from, and what their understanding is. We all were familiar with that adage of treat other people how you expect to be treated yourself. But, the more modern version of that is actually to understand them a little bit better, and understand how they are because obviously, you can’t imagine what it would be like for them because they are very different people from a different culture and a different background. I always love the quote from Nelson Mandela, who said, ‘if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. But if you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.’ It’s a lovely quote, that really gives people an indication how important it is to understand the other person and understand where they’re coming from.

Tony: So all those skills that you’ve learned, especially you mentioned about the communication, and MC and so on. How have they helped you in what you do now?

Alastair: I think it’s that whole thing, when you’re on stage and you’re talking to an audience, you get that instant feel of whether they’re with you or not. It almost becomes an extra skill that you get, the way you can really feel how people are reacting to what you’re saying. We all know that listening is an incredibly important skill when it comes to customer experience and when it comes to dealing with people. Sometimes from the stage perspective, you get that but on mass. So you really have to get a grasp of where it’s going. Have you pushed it too far? Are they not really on the side? Then to change and act accordingly.

Tony: So, on the TV presenting you mentioned, you did some of that before you went on a cruise, but you’re still doing that now as well, aren’t you?

Alastair: That’s right. That was one of the things when I left ships, I wanted to come back to the TV world. It was quite interesting that I then slipped into communications training and so on, almost by accident, because I was doing some TV work. I joined an organization called the Professional Speaking Association, because I wanted to do some (inaudible 9:53) speaking. Then all of a sudden, I got into more of the training side. But, one of the things I’ve done a lot of over the years is interviewing people. I’ve probably interviewed over 1000 people, whether it be on TV, on stage or in person. One of the things that you discover there is the importance of really listening and really engaging with the person you’re talking to especially if your face to face. I see many other people who are reporters, and interviewers who spend a huge amount of time talking and not doing so much really in depth listening to what the person is saying. Someone like Parkinson, who I see as the true master really got into who he was talking to. He did a huge amount of research first, but then he really, really listened and allowed a conversation to flow. So getting back into TV presenting was a fantastic opportunity to really enjoy all the aspects of presenting but also to be bring in the skills I’ve learned on board ships, to really listen and to really gauge the people I was talking to.

Tony: Now, I know you got a keynote called Make Business Personal. What is it that you talk about in that keynote?

Alastair: It’s really about, again, connecting with people in a deeper, more meaningful way. We spend a lot of time and effort on marketing and I’m certainly not suggesting we shouldn’t do that. But sometimes it’s a possibility that we are so busy getting new business, we forget about the clients that we already have. What I teach in my keynotes, and what I try to help others do, is to give them tips and helpful advice on ways that they can make that connection more real. We see with people like Amazon, and many of these massive conglomerate retailers, they connect with us because they get to know us. It’s what they call personalization. Although it’s not all ways as personal as we would like it to be. But, because we as consumer are now getting used to the fact that Amazon knows who I am. They know what I like. We as consumers also want that from our relationships as well. We do want people to understand us a little bit better. We want to feel a little bit more special as a human, normal human need. So what I try and help people do is to help them become more personal in their approach to their business. So they understand their clients’ better, and they wind up delivering more to their clients than they expect. We’ve all heard the adage of undersell and over deliver. Some of the tips that I give will hopefully give people those kind of tools that they can connect better with their clients. Therefore, those clients become more loyal to them, because they recognize that they’ve been valued by the person they’re dealing with.

Tony: Are you speaking into quite varied audiences? Or is it sort of more specific industries?

Alastair: They are varied audiences. I do a lot of work with SMEs and small businesses, because as a one man band in my training and communications business, I completely understand as a small company, how can you do all of these things. You don’t have the advantages of Amazon with all of their algorithms to be able to do things. So I spend a lot of time working with SMEs and in terms of the small things that they can do to make their clients feel more valued. Then I also work with some bigger organizations, where I talk to their teams, and help them build better relationships between each other by communicating more effectively and actually understanding each other better.

Tony:  I imagine that you’re used to illustrate what you’re talking about, using some stories. Can you think of any stories to help our listeners here in that kind of area? How can they be better and give their customers a better experience?

Alastair: One of the stories I always start my keynote with is an amazing story. It really inspired me to think how can I deliver better customer service to all of my clients. I was basically meeting up with some friends. They said, ‘oh, let’s go to this restaurant. Thompson has opened a bistro in (inaudible 14:28) which is where they were living. Why don’t we go on there. We’ve only been there a couple of times, but let’s go in there, because it’s really good. So we went along. When we got there was a maitre D at the door. He immediately said, ‘Mrs. Waite, how lovely to see you again. Would you like the same table you had last time?’I have no idea what we ate that day. I have no idea what else happened. But, I remember the way that maitre D made us feel and made my friends feel incredibly special. The bizarre thing is, Tony, that event happened about 12 years ago, and I’m still talking about it. I always say to my audiences, wouldn’t you love to have that story going around about you?

Another story that happened to me, actually more recently, I went into my local garage. It was a main dealer. I’m afraid to say I don’t always use the main dealer for things that go wrong with my car. On this particular occasion and I had been in once before to get something small. I went in again, on this occasion. When I got there, I said, ‘oh, I’ve got a little problem. One of the bulb lights has come up on my dashboard. I don’t know which bulb it is. But I was just passing so I thought I’d pop in and get it replaced.’ To which the girl behind the counter says ‘Yep, no problem at all. Just give me the key, take a seat, have a coffee, read some newspapers, and I’ll come over and let you know how it’s going.’ A few minutes later, she came over and said, ‘Oh, yes, Mr. Greener. Just to let you know that it’s in the garage. They are actually putting the bulb in for you. Now this is the bill that we’ll need you to pay. Is that okay?’ ‘Yes, no problem at all.’ I thought, hang on a second. I never gave her my name. How did they know who I was? But what she had done, she had put in my number plate into their system, found out who I was, and and then immediately called me by name. It was just such a really good touch. Literally 10 minutes later, after a very nice relaxing cup of coffee, going on their free WiFi, my car was outside and my car keys given to me and said ‘yes, it’s all fixed. Off you go. That kind of service was just superb.  

Tony: Especially when so many car manufacturers have almost the opposite of that it really, really makes them stand out.

Alastair: Exactly. Again, it’s funny how we all talk about this, these stories, and I talked about them all the time. We all know the quote from Maya Angelou, the one that says, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel. That’s exactly what happened in that garage. So I try in everything I do and I wouldn’t suggest for one moment that I succeed every time. But, I try and think how can I make that person feel special? How can I make them go off and become an ambassador for Alastair Greener so that whatever they speak about me they think in a positive light? Did I look after them?

Tony: So because of that mindset that you have any experience you have? So do you try and approach when you’re doing a keynote, or if you’re being an MC have a different approach, than maybe many speakers, who don’t have that kind of experience and knowledge?

Alastair: You know what? It’s really funny you say that because one of the … I’m actually thinking of writing a new keynote saying, Let’s ban the word generic, right? Because it is such a horrible word and so many things, because it just means all things to all men, and which is the antithesis of what I’m trying to achieve. So you’re absolutely right. I call my training courses Bespoke, because literally the client will design the training course for themselves. They will tell me what it is that they want. Now, of course, there will be elements that I’ve done before. It’s a little bit like what I call a washing line where you pick elements off the washing line, and then integrate them into a program that that client wants. Whether it’s a keynote, whether it’s a training session, I think it’s incredibly important that the client feels that what you’re presenting to them is specific to their needs. When I worked on cruise ships, I remember, in very early days, we were taught, you have to bear in mind that people who are coming on to this ship for this week, this is their big holidays, this is their big opportunity to relax for the year. So we have to make them feel really special. What we don’t want them to realize is that actually, they’re just week 28 of 52.

They are special, and we are going to somehow tailor their experience to something that they particularly want, and they will go away, feeling special. So yes, I aim to try and do that with all of my clients. So everything, even the keynote will change according to who I’m speaking to. I will change slides, I will bring in things that will relate to the audience. I often will get there the day before, or certainly very early on the day and take some pictures and put them last minute into my slideshow, much to the annoyance of the technical team, sometimes. But it just helps the audience relate better when they see something about themselves, when they see something that really relates to them.

Tony: So as an MC, how are you able to offer something different because of your background to maybe many other MCs?

Alastair: Again, the main person, when it comes to any conference or any events is the conference organizer. My first job is to make them feel that they’ve got a safe pair of hands that the conferences in and they can then go off and deal with the other elements that they’re dealing with. So, I really spend a lot of time really focusing on that person. What can I do for you that’s going to make your life easier? Sometimes I’ll come up with ideas. I have what I call a MC checklist. I’ll go through all the different elements of the event or conference and make sure that everything’s ticked off. Actually, quite often, the conference organizer might not be that experienced and might not have thought of some of the elements that I will talk about.

I was doing a conference recently in Zurich, Switzerland and I was emceeing and moderating the event. In the pre-phone call that we had of quite a few, I was talking about the staging, what the stage was going to be looking like, what the microphones are going to be, who was going to be sat where and so on. One of the things that she said, ‘Oh, well, we weren’t actually going to have a stage.’ I said, ‘Okay’, you have to obviously handle this very diplomatically, ‘I think that you’ve got about 300 people in the room. It just might help with the visuals from the audience, if they can actually see the speaker. If we can just lift them maybe even if it’s only half a meter or something. Just that little bit will really really help everyone get a much better view and a better understanding. They were able to ask the hotel to provide it. She came up to me afterwards and said, just that small thing, made a huge difference to our conference. So, it’s that relationship that I have with the organizer that I say is really important. Then of course, as you quite rightly say, I’m connecting with the individuals on the day. So I mix around all the delegates and listen to various things that are going on and try and incorporate that into my links to again, make me feel part of the day. I never feel the MC should be the focus. But the MC is tying everything together. If the audience feel that you’re very much a part of the day, because you’ve understood what’s going on, and you’re relating to it, that will help their experience too.

Tony: Yeah, absolutely. So you talked briefly about the training you do because you do, is it presentation skills training?

Alastair: That’s right. I’ll help with just from the real basics from people who are starting to have to get up and do presentations and don’t quite have the confidence yet, all the way through to people who really need to do bigger keynotes. They want to look at their slideshows, they want to have a look at their skills that they’re utilizing in delivering a really strong presentation. I also help with media skills as well. So, these are all things fortunately that I’ve done in abundance. It seemed only a natural thing to do to be able to pass on some of the things that I’ve learned for other people. In fact, I was just talking to one of my clients the other day, who’s actually a TV presenter, as well as a keynote speaker and it was quite interesting how I have tailor made that particular training. It was a one on one training, but to tailor make it so that we could look at the differences between TV and stage, which are huge.

Tony: So when… because again, bringing in your background of customer service and trying to over deliver, and so on. So when you’re doing your training for presentation skills, I presume, therefore, you’re not simply helping them be a better presenter in terms of communication, voice, and so on but giving them tips on how they can give a better experience to whoever they’re working for, and so on?

Alastair: Exactly. It’s about how they can connect with their audience. One of the things we talked about is keeping the message simple, keeping it consistent, but make sure that it relates at the same time, involving that audience, all the tools that you can use with that, whether they be questions, rhetorical questions, bold comments, audience involvement. All those kind of skills that makes the audience absorb the message that much better, is a real key part of a presentational skill. Likewise, with media training, what is it the audience wants to hear? How can you bridge what the interviewer is asking, in order for you to be able to get out your key message that you want to get out, but then also relating that to whoever is listening so that people are actually engaged?

Tony: Okay. You’d mentioned before we started recording, that you do voice overs. What sort of work do you do for the voiceovers?

Alastair: Well, I’ve done quite a lot of different things from them a couple of adverts. I’ve also done a lot of corporate work. In fact, I’m off this afternoon to record something for HMRC. So, I have to somehow put in my voice, something that’s going to inject some enthusiasm and energy, but still get that message across. So again, they’re all skills that really, really helped. In fact, one of the things that I always do, whenever I’m talking, I always stand up, so I’m standing talking to you now, because, for me, I can use my body more. As soon as I use my hands and my body, my energy levels go up and that then conveys in a voice. So you know, you’ve done radio, so you know how important it is to use your voice to express in ways that you don’t have to necessarily when you’re face to face. When it’s only your voice, there’s a lot more things you have to do to be able to convey all the emotions that you might be going through.

Tony: I’m sort of sitting here wondering, so as a voiceover artist, how are you able to over deliver in that capacity? Is there something different that you do to what many others do?

Alastair: That’s a good question. I’m not too sure what other people to do when they’re talking to their clients. One of the things that I always do is, I will look at the scripts, maybe make some suggestions with the script, talk to the client to try and really understand the sort of tone that they’re trying to get across, how they want it to come across to their audience. But again, it’s a way of looking after the client. So for example, one of the big, big things I am really strong on is making sure I say thank you. So, I actually have thank you cards that I send to people with a handwritten note on the back saying, ‘Hi Bob.It was really good working with you the other day on the HMRC project. I hope that it really works out for you and your client. Many thanks, Alastair.’ I don’t ask for new work. I just want to recognize it. I value the fact that they’ve chosen to use me on that occasion. I have different cards for different types of occasions. It is a bit of an investment. But, I think it’s just a simple way to show that you appreciate. Because you’ve taken the time to hand write something, and hand write the envelope and put it in a post box, again, we all recognize that takes a bit more effort, and therefore it becomes a bit more personal. It’s a little bit like when your kids make you a Christmas present, as opposed to having gone down to the shops. Those personalized handcrafted gifts are always so much more valuable.

Tony: By doing that, I would guess you’re probably creating much stronger relationships, than if you hadn’t have done something like that?

Alastair: Absolutely. I think it’s just really, really important to give that extra bit to the client, because sometimes people get the job and think ‘thank you, done that, move on.’ My job, my role is often very much you do one job and move on and you might not hear from the client for another two, three years. A lot of the jobs that I do, aren’t week-in, week-out. So therefore, it’s very easy just to think, ‘right done that one, let’s move on’ where just a simple card saying thank you afterwards, just leaves them with a lasting feeling of a ‘yeah, that was a nice gesture. That was a good thing to do.’ So it’s something that I’m really keen on. For bigger clients, I send gifts. For example, I had a recommendation from a colleague of mine at the Professional Speaking Association (PSA), about a year ago, and I knew that mark was a particular fan of gin So, after the event, after the recommendation, I sent him a thank you card. But, I also sent him from this organization called I sent him a gin hamper because I just knew that’s what he would like. I immediately got a call after saying, ‘Wow, I can’t believe what just arrived on my doorstep. Thank you so much.’ Now it didn’t cost me much money, certainly not in comparison to the recommendation he gave me. But, it was a great way of showing my appreciation to him for recommending me and I know full well, that I will be very much in the top few people who have recommendations when it comes to the next one.

Tony: Yeah. So the skills that you’re sort of helping people with now in your Make Business Personal and the other stuff we’ve talked about that you learned on Cunard and so on. How do you think you developed this whole mindset of trying to over deliver and trying to give people a great experience?

Alastair: It probably started when I was working on ships because it was drummed into us that we really had to work hard at making sure that our guests experience was special, was different. It was specific to their holiday. So that was probably the beginnings of it. Then when I came back to being self-employed, and starting my own business, I think it was possibly almost part of my DNA by that stage that I should aim for that. Now, we all know that we don’t always achieve what we aim to achieve. But, I think if it’s in the back of our minds, we are looking after our customers, we are responding to their emails. One of the things I use is this thing called ‘head off at the pass’, you know those old movies, in the westerns where the cowboys say, ‘Hey, boss, off the pass’.

Tony Winard: Yep.

Alastair: I always feel that with my clients that I like to be ahead of my clients, to communicate with them to make sure they’re aware of what’s going on. I always think of a pass, if a customer has to chase me up to something, I have not succeeded in my goal of being ahead of the game all the time. So, it’s the little touches like that, that I think if you can make your customers’ journey easier, and less complicated and less fraught, then you’re more likely to be asked to work with them again.

Tony: So for the people listening, what suggestions and tips would you give them on why maybe they should be thinking about trying to over deliver in some capacity?

Alastair: I think the main reason to do it, is it works. There’s no question that some of the business relationships that I have, are as a result of the way that I’ve looked tough to my customers. Interesting that the voiceover I’m doing this afternoon has come from a client that I’ve not worked with for probably about two and a half years. I sent a New Year’s card to my various clients that I have and personalized, they’re written on the back, ‘hello, great to work with you. I hope you’ve had a great year, all the best for 2019.’  I send them off and I hand write them.

My partner works for a pharmaceutical company and she’s quite senior. I asked her, ‘if you get a card like a Christmas card or birthday card, and it’s printed, what will happen?’ But if it’s handwritten with a stamp on it, the chances are that my assistant will think ‘Oh, that’s personal. I’ll put that on her desk’ It winds up literally on her desk first thing in the morning. So that’s why I now hand write all of my envelopes to everything I do. Now, I know that sounds like a huge task. But actually, if you just look after the customers, I don’t know how many customers each individual person will have, but just doing that little touch will make a world of difference because it’s unusual. It’s not what we all get. So, some of the things that I suggest to people are absolutely to say thank you as often as you can.

I also give things away, whether it be articles on LinkedIn, whether it be lots of support notes after I’ve done a meeting or training. I try and give things away so people think ‘oh, I wasn’t expecting to get all of this as well. So it’s part of my over delivering. Then in terms of relationships, I talked quite a lot about LinkedIn and how …  I love LinkedIn because on LinkedIn, no one knows how active you are. It’s not like Facebook, where people can see whether you’re posting, if you get a few moments. So the train, I go on to LinkedIn, I look at all of the various things that are happening to my connections, and then I’ll write a few personal notes to different people just saying, ‘hey, great to hear about that job promotion. Great to hear that you’ve got that new contract’, or maybe ‘Hey, have a great birthday’, but I’ll always personalize it. I’ll never use that little tick box of congrats of your work anniversary or something like that, which we all hate. Well, hopefully we all hate.  So I try and give value in whatever social media interaction I have as well.

Tony: Fantastic. Okay, time has flown by. It’s nearly 35 minutes. So, before we finish out our time here, you mentioned about the sales presentation that you do, the presentation skills training. What type of people is it that you’re delivering that to?

Alastair: The sales training really will vary an awful lot dependence upon what stage of their skill they are. So in other words, somebody who’s just starting out, so quite often, I’ll work conferences or training sessions, where these are people who’ve just been promoted to say middle management, and now starting to have to give presentations. So we talked a lot about confidence, we talk a lot about helping people feel more comfortable getting up there and doing it. We all know that glossophobia, the fear of speaking in front of other people is the biggest fear in the UK. So just helping people get over those fears they might have just about getting up and doing it.

Actually, the key to that is preparation, the more prepared they are, the better they will feel on the day. But then I’ll work all the way through to helping people who have a major keynote at a big conference. I’ll work with them on a specific presentation that they have to help them deliver it in terms of their style, in terms of body their language, in terms of their voice. But also maybe help them a little bit with their slides and interactions with their slides, and the interaction with their audience to make sure that presentation has more impact. It has more of a relationship to the audience, and most importantly, will become more memorable.

Tony: Right. If people want to find out more about you Alastair, where can they go to?

Alastair: They can go on my training websites, and my keynote speaking website is My trading company is called Present Yourself. I’m also on Twitter. I’m on Instagram and could just look up, Present Yourself, Present Yourself Training. You’ll find me there. For my emceeing and TV work. I’m on So I got quite a few input actually. I love doing so many different things, because all of them intertwined with each other, and I learned from one to be able to deliver on the other. So I’m very fortunate.

Tony: Fantastic. But Alistair, everything you just mentioned, the websites and so on. All of those will be included in the show notes, all of those links. It’s been a real pleasure speaking to you. Thank you for the valuable information you’ve given to the listeners.

Alastair: Thank you Tony. It’s been a great pleasure to talk to you and all the best with all of your endeavors. I look forward to listening to your podcast in the future.

Tony: Thank you very much. Next week’s episode I speak with Michelle Mills Porter, who was caught up in a tsunami in 2004 in Southeast Asia that had a dramatic effect on her life which we’ll find out about next week. So do join us and please do leave a review. Join the Facebook group, the Exceeding Expectations Facebook group, and why not subscribe? Have a great week. See you next week.

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