All these years on, I still can’t think about it without experiencing the same reaction.
Cold shivers down the spine, clammy hands, the works.
It’s why, to this day, I tell my clients, never go into any situation, be it a media interview, pitch or presentation under prepared.
In my print days at the Nottingham Evening Post I needed a quote from the Labour opposition on some issue to do with transport.Problem was, I hadn’t done any research as my mind was on a girl in accounts and the fact that I was hoping that night would be the one.
I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate.
So I idly telephoned the House of Commons number for John Prescott’s office expecting to speak to a minion or leave a message. As I daydreamed about the night ahead the phone was answered and I heard.
As the young people say today, OMG. It was him. Himself, answering the phone.
I spluttered, I stammered and he absolutely tore me to shreds.
I managed to make some cursory notes with his words – liberally sprinkled with some choice language – ringing in my ears. When I put the phone down I vividly remember realising what a complete idiot I had been. I thought I could busk it, how wrong could I be?
To add insult to injury I was blown out by the object of my affections so my misery was complete.
I have never gone into any professional situation “undercooked” since after my Prescott grilling.Nor should you.
Don’t even contemplate leaving yourself open to your own ‘Prescott’ moment.
Believe you me, it’s not worth it.
Book me now for media training for dates from November to January 2018 and I’ll throw in a free hour of presentation coaching so you are ready to nail that pitch, speech or after dinner talk.
Having broadcast live from the greatest show on earth – the London Olympics – there’s a lot I can help you with.
Where to look, how to stand, what to do with your hands – never mind making sure you come up with a killer opening and a knockout ending.
If you’ve got any doubts, just take a minute and look at that picture at the top of this post.
Imagine that still coming back to haunt you more than twenty years on and you know that it makes sense to get expert help.