Huge congratulations to Alexis Conran on winning Celebrity Masterchef 2016. But who, you may be asking is Alexis Conran? Well, I first met him more than a decade ago when he was a jobbing actor, supplementing his income by working as a magician. I was working with his magical agent on the initial development of what eventually became my Presentation Skills training programme based around the Rules of Magic.
I had the pleasure of working alongside Alexis, together with the likes of Guy Hollingworth and Ali Bongo on a couple of occasions at The Magic Circle. What impressed me was the work ethic he applied to rehearsal, his attention to detail – “we need a new envelope, not this used one” – and his engaging personality. They (my wife, for one) may not have remembered what he did, but they certainly remembered him, which was why he was so regularly booked as a magician when he was actually becoming too busy with his acting to be fiddling around as a magician.
Alexis went on to co-create and star in the BBC’s The Real Hustle and a variety of his own documentaries, as well as hosting TV and radio shows; when I last saw him about six months ago he was struggling to even remember his exploits within the magic world. Watching him triumph on Celebrity Masterchef, however, I could see that all those qualities of hard work, attention to detail and a winning personality were now being applied to cooking. Watch out for Alexis hosting a prime time show on a mainstream channel soon – it may be cookery-based, but he could win us over with almost anything.
The lesson for business presenters? Draw inspiration from all around you. It’s Magic, Movies and Music that do it for me, but apply principles from whatever turns you on to your business presentations and you will soon start to excel.