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Keep it short, simple and sober

By Taipan
05 May 2016

Despite my busy post-retirement schedule of keeping up with Tai Tai and holding marathon drinking sessions at my favourite watering holes, I found time recently to attend one of those big investment conferences in town.

This sort of thing often becomes a forum for my corporate bigwig pals to grab their share of the spotlight. But someone had obviously extolled the virtues of KISS (keep it short and simple for the ignorant) to one chief executive of a large listed company. 

The speaker, seemingly hung over from a drink too many the night before, lumbered onto the stage looking quite bedraggled. 

And quite unexpectedly for this usually colourful character, he droned on from a prepared speech, so much so that people started flicking on their Bloomberg screens to stay awake.

Perhaps sensing this, the CEO tried to liven things up by asking members of the audience to translate certain words for which he could not think of the English translations to, even telling people to yell out suggestions to the stage.

Undignified as this was, it did not stop there. The CEO also fumbled during the Q&A session, retracting his answers after realising that members of the media were present.

Halfway through, I was itching to walk out, but since no one had moved an inch for fear of offending the CEO, I decided to stay put. 

Mercifully, he cut things short himself by saying, without any prompting from the timekeeper, that his time had run out. 

But it was only when the emcee announced that lunch was across the hall did the CEO liven up. He made a dash for the door and I soon saw him piling up his plate with some of the greasiest food available. 

I chuckled to myself. Perhaps in future he should keep it short and sober. Bon appétit!

By Taipan
05 May 2016