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M & S’s Mark Bolland – how not to open an interview

If Mark Bolland had read a previous item on this site, reinforcing the importance of a strong opening to a presentation or an interview, he might not have waffled at the beginning of his answer, on the Today programme recently – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22608875. Here’s a rough transcript of his opening words: “What we said in…what we’re very pleased about on GM is that we’ve presented an Autumn/Winter collection last week…..we won’t duck the fact that we feel we’ve underperformed on general merchandise………”.

So, two false starts before he arrives at his key point, delivered via a stream of consciousness, thus weakening the impact of his message and creating an impression of uncertainty.

However little time you have to rehearse for an interview or a presentation, it’s vital to make sure that you begin concisely and with apparent confidence. Remember – this is not just an opening….