Winning over an audience – lessons from The Apprentice (BBC1)

Altrincham-based Neil Clough saw his stock rise on last night’s Apprentice programme (BBC1). The soccer schools entrepreneur gave a rousing speech at the end of a corporate away day, the challenge laid down by Lord Sugar. Whilst the opposing team hired in a real-life motivational speaker (thus eating into their profits), Clough played the role himself and delivered a sterling performance which impressed the hitherto bemused audience.

His secret – be yourself, be open and be passionate. He explained that the death of his father (Clough was 18 at the time) had deeply affected him and taught him the importance of goal-setting and finding motivation. This clearly touched the audience and contrasted with the rather vacuous claims by the opposing team leader about how their previous exercises (making cupcakes, wine-tasting) were “really inspiring and creative”.

This openness lies at the heart of MojoLife and our quest to get people to drop the slick corporate-speak and communicate in a more transparent, authentic manner. It takes a bit of courage but it’s the way you connect with people on a deeper level, generating trust and respect.

The other element of the programme that intrigued me was the Barclays boss who wanted an away day experience that would improve people’s listening and communication skills. That was music to my ears (notice the auditory theme there?) but of course the programme proved how difficult it is to deliver deep, relevant and practical learning from apparently unrelated activities.

Watch Neil’s talk (34min 52sec) by clicking the link here.

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About Mojo Your Business

Mojo Your Business is an innovative training & consultancy company based in Manchester, UK. We're passionate about helping businesses and individuals perform better through effective communication. We specialise in corporate storytelling and how it applies to internal and external communication (employee relations, employability skills, leadership, relationship building, sales, marketing and public relations). More at
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