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This is a question Training courses, seminars and conferences

Inspirational or a waste of precious slacking-off time? I once went on a buzzword bingo-laden training course which ended up with my being held at gunpoint in public. Could have gone better, to be honest. Tell us your tales from either side of the lectern

(, Thu 15 Mar 2012, 15:01)
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After dinner speaker
I had the mistfortune to be sent to an NHS IT conference in Blackpool a few years ago.

First of, Blackpool is a proper shithole. Even more so "off-season". It was like a ghost-town, even the Tesco in the centre of town was closed during the day.

But the thing that really sticks in my mind was the after-dinner speaker at the black-tie even on the second night. The guy was introduced as being a seasoned comedy writer, having worked at the BBC for a good few decades, including working on stuff like Dad's Army.

So we all thought were were going to be in for a comedy treat. We were also a captive audience - the bar wouldn't open until he was finished.

We were very wrong on the "comedy treat" front. he rambled on and on for hours about his career and shows he'd worked on. Then it came! Here it was! The comedy anecdote! What we'd all been waiting for!

No. It was yet another ramble about how he met a guy on his first day at the BBC and asked him for some advice. The advice was duely given. And they went their seperate ways. And do you know who that person was? No? Me fucking neither, he named him at the end, clearly expecting us to all fall about laughing, but no-one had a fucking clue who he was.

They got Frankie Boyle to do the after-dinner speech the next year.
(, Thu 22 Mar 2012, 10:57, 6 replies)
Most 'seaside resorts' are sad, depressing places off-season
But lucky you for getting Frankie Boyle as an after-dinner speaker! Was he any good?
(, Thu 22 Mar 2012, 11:10, closed)
Didn't go that year

(, Thu 22 Mar 2012, 11:13, closed)
Ah, the old "open the bar after the speech" trick
I usually eke out the table wine through this period. If there isn't any table wine, then I reassess my employment with said organisation.
(, Thu 22 Mar 2012, 11:31, closed)
I was [at] a dinner
3 years ago, where the after dinner speaker was Michael Mackintyre.

This was just before he got famous.

Seems he ad-libs these things, because he tried to talk about the business of the attendees (900 grain traders), and couldn't think of a single funny thing to say. He resorted to spending a rather excruciating 20 minutes hurling abuse at the guest of honour, Michael Hessletine.

I was rather surprised that he very soon after went on to the success he did, because he was an unfunny cunt.

Next year was that dead pan Canadian, Stewart Francis. He wasn't much better, as he decided to go filthy, and spent his twenty minutes rolling out crude one liners which got a few polite chuckles, and a lot of tutting.
(, Thu 22 Mar 2012, 11:43, closed)
How did you taste?

(, Thu 22 Mar 2012, 11:45, closed)
(, Thu 22 Mar 2012, 11:54, closed)

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