Jeff’s “Better Business” pitch turns up the volume

The Chief Matmian’s latest speaker engagement was at the CASS Business School on 7th Sept and the “Build a Better Business” event for yet more budding entrepreneurs to learn how to be businesslike.


CASS let on that Jeff had deliberately been scheduled in the ‘graveyard spot’ after lunch, and yours truly made the mistake of letting Jeff know. So, unbeknown to the 200-strong audience and business glitterati on the day, Jeff set the volume control on the sound system to MAX during lunch – and no-one was any the wiser until….




(the Optathlon campaign music) comes blaring over the sound system, causing everyone in the room to literally jump out of their seats – except Jeff, of course. He smiles sheepishly and apologises, knowing full well that he’s not at all sorry now that he’s broken the ice and has the attention of the whole room focussed entirely on him. Genius (and think what it would be like if I put him through some presentation training*).


Sticking to your knitting


Having been through CASS Business School’s management training, Jeff was there to expound the virtues of one of the 7 Pillars of CASS’ “Build a Better Business” programme: Sticking to your knitting. Completely ironic for someone with a brain on fire at 1500 degrees 24×7 – but he did it. Speaking from the heart, the audience were highly amused to hear that Jeff thought himself a “rubbish MD” and “couldn’t understand how Matmi is still in business 10 years later, knowing what I know about business now.”


But the twist is that Jeff is sticking to his knitting, doing what he does best and delegating the running of the business to people who are much better at it. It’s working really well too – and that’s not me saying that. Here are a selection of comments on twitter since Jeff blew the speaker cones:


– “@Matmi Loved your talk at #freshCASS today Thank you! < – “Some of the inspiring people who spoke at #freshcass @HelenHolland @thetablecafe @Matmi”

– “Thank you for a great day. Loved @iamlaramorgan, @chiefgorilla and @Matmi So much to consider now”


Just bear in mind that Jeff is being compared to Tristan Mayhew of Go Ape, Helen Holland of The Reptile Group and doctorate in business, Lara Morgan – all well known and highly successful business people of our day.


“Websites are dead!”

Apart from Jeff’s scruffy attire and devil-may-care attitude, his inflammatory comment that “Websites are dead” probably also stuck in people’s minds (see separate post). Twitter’s been alight with that too – which LeSambo is dealing with while Jeff has a day off (I told you he was sticking to his knitting…).


So where can you see our graveyard pitcher next? (In fact, should that be ‘hear’ rather than ‘see’?) Judging at the Social Buzz Awards in Glasgow in 3 weeks time, and speaking at TEDx in Liverpool in November, plus a couple more speaker slots to be confirmed. TEDx sold out of tickets this week – which I doubt is all to do with Jeff – but he has an amazing concept to pitch there, so watch this space (and grab yourself a ticket – fast!)


Gerard, Laura, Sue and all the team at CASS – a pleasure working with you again – and I hope you got lots of new entrepreneurs signing up. What? They ran away with bleeding ears? Mmmm – don’t let a geek near the volume button then….


Hope you all enjoyed, Penny


* People, there is absolutely no way I am training Jeff as a speaker, it would be a tragedy. And anyway, Matmians + PowerPoint = Never In This Lifetime

September 2011