Postaday2011 16/349 Wacky advice

The full title is wacky but most useful advice. I think this might be a problem, I don’t remember ever being given anything I could really describe as wacky but useful. I’ve had plenty good and some bad advice over the years. This is one example…

Several years ago I was Head of Commercial Production at Anglia Television, the independent television company broadcasting in the East of England. A good position with lots of responsibility, loved it. I produced and directed television commercials and corporate videos, anything from a really ‘cheap & nasty’, sorry cheerful captions and voice over to a full blown, location shoot with an expensive cast, sets and props network commercial. Because I was keen in those days and I hated giving presentations I enrolled on a one-to-one training session to better equip me to speak in public.

It didn’t go well, I don’t think the lady understood the nature of my work or what was required of me on a daily basis. There was a lack of rapport. We spent most of the time practising delivering presentations to the back of the room, talk to the picture on the far wall that kind of thing, speak up I can’t hear you. It was pretty awful. After several hours her conclusion was that I should avoid giving presentations. She actually went further suggesting it might be better if I avoided working with the public! This had not been the confidence building exercise I had hoped for. I didn’t tell my boss, he would not have been amused as it was very expensive.

After nine years making on average 200 tv commercials a year plus videos and ads for radio I was pretty much spent. I decided to quit and do something different. I was in my mid forties, it was a good time to have a mid life crisis and ignoring the woman’s advice I opened a shop. Hello general public! Not just any old retail store no no I became a Bang & Olufsen franchisee. I wasn’t the best shopkeeper in the world but I had a good business and I developed an excellent relationship with most of my customers. I learnt more about people and how to communicate with them in the three years I had my shop than any training course could ever teach me. So much for not working with the public.


3 thoughts on “Postaday2011 16/349 Wacky advice

  1. 200 commercials I can see the making some one just a bit worn out. I opened my own business, a music production business, about 6 years ago, and learned so much just in the first few weeks. I still wish at times I had took some basic courses in accounting and things like that but there is no substitute for the quality of learning that starts hands on. You can teach that.

    1. Hi Peter,
      I agree, you learn very quickly when it is your own business. It is as we say in the UK “a steep learning curve”, meaning you have to learn fast! Thanks for you comments.

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