When it comes to helping people communicate more effectively, one of my challenges is to help clients realise that every element of their performance in the business spotlight counts.

This applies whether it’s helping clients get their message across in media interviews, preparing them for presentations with face-to-face audiences or showing how to shine out in scintillating online performances.

Whatever the communication outcomes you’re seeking, it’s vital to get your content right, your structuring right and your delivery style right.

To help illustrate this, I’ve discovered a comedian – yes, a comedian!!! – who focuses minds on just how important getting every communications element right can be to your success.

The comedian is another Michael.


He’s also a talented actor and writer.

Michael Spicer plays the self-created role of a fictional advisor who pretends he’s feeding lines and advice into the ears of world leaders.

This even includes wannabe world leaders like the two remaining candidates vying to replace Boris Johnson as the next British Prime Minister.


In his sketches – which come out under his “The Room Next Door” banner – Michael Spicer pretends to be advising these leaders and would-be leaders while they’re actually performing in the spotlight.


Now it must be stressed that – unlike me advising my clients – Michael Spicer is nowhere near as warm, calm and sympathetic as my good self.

He’s viciously direct, over-the-top in his insults and gets frustrated rapidly when his advice isn’t implemented immediately.

So in addition to being very funny, Michael Spicer effectively makes the wider point that when you’re a leader in the communication spotlight, it’s important to get every element of your performance right.

Through his devastating observations and killer criticisms, he helps us all – especially leaders and aspiring leaders – realise the kind of unsympathetic criticism for which those stepping into the spotlight often need to be ready.

But because of the accuracy of many of the things he says, he can also help us understand how important it is to avoid doing certain bad things that are against everyone’s interests.



Astute readers of this column may recall that in the last edition, I included a video link to an infamous speech by would-be British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, recorded back when she was Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.


So as a special August holiday treat, here’s how Michael Spicer pretended he was trying to advise Liz Truss on her performance during that particular speech!





Of course, this column has a policy – as you would expect from a one-time political and foreign correspondent – of being absolutely fair and even-handed when dealing with two competing prime ministerial candidates.

So in the interests of impartiality, here’s how Michael Spicer portrayed himself as advising the other would-be Conservative Party Leader, Rishi Sunak, back when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer.

In this instance Michael Spicer is imagining himself guiding Rishi Sunak while he was being interviewed for a podcast with a couple of Yorkshire high school pupils.

This is how “The Room Next Door” version goes:




So whether or not you agree with Michael Spicer’s criticisms of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, you can hopefully see that – amidst his frustrations – he conveys how important it is that they get their message right and choose the right examples to talk about in the right way every time.

If you require communications guidance that’s warmer, more caring and infinitely more measured and polite than the Michael Spicer approach, visit:



If you need a communications-enhancing programme tailor-made for your team, check out:



If you need guidance on how to give great answers to tough workplace questions, you can peruse the details on one-to-one, group or conference keynote sessions at:


And if you need some inspirational reading on how to give Great Answers To Tough Questions At Work, it’s available – published by Wiley – at:

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Learning to use and apply the golden formulae for giving great answers can help you come across as far more confident, in control and effective than any of the people Michael Spicer targets.

In fact, when you get and follow the right communications-enhancing guidance, it can almost be guaranteed that you will never be held up to ridicule in Michael Spicer’s “Room Next Door”!