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You know I have a hobbyhorse about our educational system. It pays so little attention to how we grow up, how to build relationships and how to communicate. Well, here’s a fourth element not a million miles from “communicating”– –“performing”, “making presentations”.

I’m amazed how many people, British professionals especially, are so inept at presenting themselves. Above all I’m distressed at how they quite openly, even smugly, accept so sad a state of affairs. I came across it today, hence the note. An otherwise intelligent lawyer happily saying “I’ve never thought much of that sort of thing – leave it to other people – it’s like talking business at dinner parties, so false, a put up job. Let the extroverts do it.”

She took pride in her messy office, in her down at heel look and her resistance to getting out there and meeting with other people. And her “pride” could not be more misplaced. The whole cornerstone of a successful business life is to keep in touch with every part of the market, existing clients, possible new ones, even disinterested observers. How else can we adapt to our environment if we do not know it? And how can we ever tolerate an educational system that does not see “performance” and “presenting” as a continuing part of learning. No wonder so many are so bad at it.