An Interview With John Sergeant
What do you do to ensure your presentation has a lasting impact?
Speak clearly and where possible without notes, tailoring my remarks to the audience and injecting as much humour as possible.
How did the corporate speaking begin?
When I left ITN as political editor in 2003, I was immediately contacted by a number of speaking agencies and I began to get more and more commissions for events. When I worked for the BBC and ITN, I could not take up speaking engagements because of my schedule and the need to be politically impartial.
Which event has been your favourite and why?
I have enjoyed mostly the ones that involve people I would not normally meet, from Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises to experts from pharmaceutical companies. Why? Because they are usually surprised to see me – and often pleased I have made an effort to meet them.
If you could speak at any event, past or future, what would it be?
I suppose it would be at an event where they knew my work and appreciated what I had done: this could cover quite a large range because I have worked in many areas of broadcasting from comedy and drama to news and current affairs.
Who would you most like to share a platform with?
I prefer to work on my own, but I have enjoyed working with Alastair Campbell and other journalists.
What are your most frequently requested speaking topics?
Personal anecdotes about my career.
What can a typical corporate audience learn from your experiences?
How to tell a story and how to switch from the funny to the serious and perhaps back again, without appearing to make too much of a gear change. They might also conclude that journalism and broadcasting can be a lot of fun.
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