JUSTIN THYME – Caption Competition

Congratulations to Mr Frank Timmins of Gravesend who provided a caption for the photograph on the right. His caption, “The MD spots a green shoot of recovery.” The picture below is simply crying out for a caption and your mission, should you choose to accept it is to write one, post it off to us and then hopefully win a #50 book token.

Postcards only to the usual address and the winner will be printed in the February issue of Management Consultancy. Gallop to your nearest pen and be the first past the finishing post.

Caption Competition, Management Consultancy, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG.

Funny ha-ha? Funny peculiar

Everyone has their own conception of hell. Some may picture a fiery pit, where writhing bodies repent to no avail. Some may envisage being stuck at a party where the host and hostess bring out a pile of photos the size of a wedding cake and regale you with their tender stories as to how “little Quentin” has grown. However, there are few experiences that match the toe-curling, sleep-inducing experience of listening to an after-dinner speaker who hasn’t quite got a grip on their material.

The witty one-liners are as flaccid as yesterday’s lettuce and the “er and um” quotient is a little higher than you would expect. When the speaker cracks the “My dog’s got no nose …” gag you realise that Beelzebub is but a footstep away.

If you have to listen to such drivel then take the unfortunate speaker aside, drag him to the nearest Internet browser and introduce him to the joys of The Aziz Corporation’s after-dinner joke service on its website.

The site apparently offers “humorous opening gambits, pithy one-liners and topical jokes, as well as those aimed at specific professions. Our jokes can be tailored.” Chairman Khalid Aziz wisely continues, “make sure any jokes chosen are clean and appropriate – a sales audience is unlikely to to be interested in computer jokes.” Well, no – but by the same token they’ll be equally unlikely to warm to clean jokes.

The secret of effective comedy has been debated through the ages and has baffled the greatest of minds. However, The Aziz Corporation has solved the entire problem with one helpful URL,

As Frank Carson says, “It’s the way I tell ’em.” Dreadful speakers who make their way to this website in search a barrel of laughs would do well to remember that it’s not only the song that woos the crowd – the singer has a lot to do with it as well. As Aziz sagely puts it, “if you start off by making an audience cringe, your presentation may not recover.” Wise words, indeed. Who said comedy was an easy business?

Alas, poor consultant, we thought we knew him well

The photograph above tells the heartwarming tale of “Steve” an IT consultant who has a penchant for amateur dramatics. In performance his mind wandered to a particular IT problem that had been concerning him for weeks. Under the blaze of the limelight he solved the problem and was shot through with inspiration. Despite the fact that it was the last night of the show and a wild party had been planned, Steve returned to the office, in full costume, to fix the problem. I look forward to the consultant who, sitting at his desk, realises that he’s always wanted to play Hamlet, and darts onto stage for the definitive besuited performance.

Bravo to Steve who played the cook and the hero.

Axe that marketeer!

Last month Justin reported on a survey that showed that a sizeable proportion of small business folk felt that their biggest mistake had been to trust someone; a banker, friend, relation, client, organisation or consultant.

There is good news on the horizon for all of those people who feel that they are no longer trusted. Another scapegoat has been exposed in the shape of marketeers, who seem to be roundly disliked by 80 percent of UK company directors. Marketeers are kept away from company boards and recognition for their marketing achievements remains low.

The findings were published as the first 1,800 Chartered Marketers celebrated their inauguration at London’s Royal Festival Hall. The survey results demonstrate that marketeers have considerable ground to make up if they are to enjoy the respect of colleagues in other disciplines. With the latest slew of surveys that have taken delight in sticking the boot into professionals, friends and colleagues, could we also add market researchers to that list?

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