Derek Jarman is accepted as one of the most creative artists of the nineteen-seventies and eighties. He was a prolific worker he covered everything from writing, film and theatre set design, filmmaking and pop video. Sean Bean, Tilda Swinton and Toyah Wilcox owe much of their early recognition to this ingenious man.

His critics focus on one area of his work ‘It never seems quite ‘finished’’. Although this is, for the most part, accurate, it is important to understand Derek’s answer ‘If I worked for perfection, nothing would get finished’.

Over the next four days, I am addressing the emails and conversations with Visitors and Community Members regarding aspects of the shows. Today the subject of ‘talks’ is addressed. Derek Jarman’s idea of perfection is noted because it is relevant to the talks.

As a trained actor I understand stagecraft. In fact, I took lessons with the actor’s school, not because I desired to act: I realised stagecraft could hone the presenter’s skill as well as business school or presentation courses. When asked to make a presentation, I’ll work on it for three to four months. The sequence in months is: writing the script – rehearsing the presentation – rewriting the script – finalising the presentation. The final work is recorded and copied to my phone. The presentation is listened to morning and night.

I would not ask or expect anyone who presents a talk at the show, to follow this method. The speaker is guided to write out the presentation and research their subject. They are asked to present a thirty-minute talk and the introduction, topic and conclusion method will work well. Perhaps a few hours of rehearsal is excellent for most basic presentations. 

The audience does not expect Steve Jobs presentations:

In fact, they (the audience) acknowledge just how difficult public speaking can be; there is no surprise to discover public speaking is ranked high in the list of people fears. With this in mind, if the presenter makes a few errors, they are soon forgiven. 

Why is this? The answer is simple – it is only during shows that Visitors can meet and listen to Community Members who possess information which is specific to their unique talents. We are aware the presentation may not be up to David People’s (brilliant American presenter) standard. However, as Derek says ‘If I worked for perfection, nothing would get finished’.

Yes, the individual giving the speech should take time to make the ‘half hour’ work well. There will be mistakes, although, the audience will be forgiving if they understand the information being given. To this end, the speaker should not rule out using notes. Do not believe me? Consider this; during a recent TEDx talk, I watched a presentation where the lady used notes for the whole fifteen minutes. After the final word, she received loud and extended applause for the talk.

Community Members are encouraged to give talks:

The Visitors enjoy the schedule; indeed it is a significant attraction. If you need help on how to formulate a presentation email me for a copy of my ‘How to Structure a Short Talk’ PDF. I’m sure you’ll find the information useful.

Tomorrow I will be writing about the reasons we have a large and diverse talk schedule. For the time being, I’ll remind you of a golden rule ‘Keep the talk relevant and within the timescale’.

See You Soon


  1. I feel I am growing into my talks and being spiritually led I am never quite sure what I will talk off but trust spirit to bring the relevant words through for the relevant people. My demonstration is more anecdotal and based a lot on my own observations. I feel in time this will expand because the more people you talk to the more you realise there is lots of hidden potential out there and hopefully I can help unlock people and normalise some of the thoughts that the average person would rate as bizarre. I love seeing the light bulb moments in people when they realise that there a lots of shared experiences out there but nobody will know unless we verbalise them. I always class myself as always learning always evolving and those that know me know I love talking.

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