Whilst it is unlikely, certainly if the Sun has anything to do with it, that the day will be saved for Labour, his Conference performance on Tuesday was an object lesson to all who pitch.
Not surprising was some very clever content. Labour needed to fight and think “like insurgents, not incumbents”.
Also, not surprising but telling, was his use of personal anecdote. “I did not choose this party. I was born into it. It is in my blood and in my bones”. And most quoted, “If I can come back, we can come back!”(thunderous applause to this)
Not surprising either was the time spent on rehearsal. “I don’t know how many mirrors Peter Mandelson broke practising his speech but it was worth it”. (Times). “They listened to his rehearsed mea culpa…”( DMail).
What was surprising, particularly for one not known as an orator, was his theatricality. Unafraid, he went for the emotional jugular. With dramatic gesture, facial expression, oddly varied tone, but very much in command. It was pure performance!
“Mandy the magician stole the show”. “Everyone, absolutely everyone, was spell bound…we were all riding an emotional rollercoaster”. “He was bold, he was big, he was bravura”. “It was pure Vegas showman…it lifted morale, entranced and enflamed”.
As Quentin Letts wrote about this ‘piratical’ performance from the podium, ” What was striking yesterday was the theatricality of his oratory. And yet, on the day it worked. The delegates gorged themselves. At last they had heard something surprising, something confident”.
An earlier post on, June 16th, was headed ‘Mandelson. A Lesson in Confidence’. It concluded, “love him or hate him but learn from him. Know your brief and ‘ooze’ confidence. And this you can achieve through rehearsal, lots of it”.
A special pitchcoach award to Mandy!