This could be my last conference speech

I’ve been speaking in public for around 55 years, but this week I might just have made my last conference speech. The occasion was a London event organised by the consultancy Independ and the publication “The Water Report”.

The title of the event was “Defining the social contract: essential public services, private business and better outcomes for society”. I gave a Powerpoint presentation with the title “What do customers want of providers of their essential services?” in my capacity as Chair of the Essential Services Access Network (ESAN).

I first starting public speaking at secondary school when we had both class and school debates and I was School Captain and spoke at the Speech Day. At university, I won the Freshers’ Debating Competition, competed in the “Observer” Mace Debating Competition, and served a year as full-time President of the Students’ Union addressing many student gatherings.

In the 1970s, when I was at my most politically active, I spoke at lots of Labour Party branch and constituency meetings and fought two two General Elections as a Labour candidate which involved many more public speeches.

In my 24 years as a trade union official, I addressed many branch meetings and conferences and lectured a lot at the union’s educational college. Since taking early retirement from the union and becoming a consumer advocate, I have continued to address meetings and conferences.

But I am now 70, my portfolio career is coming to an end, and this week’s speech might be my last such performance.

What have I learned with all this public speaking? I have produced two sets of advice on my website as follows:


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>