DIARY: Confidence tricks for a confidence trickster

The epithets ‘reticent’, ‘taciturn’ and ‘timid’ rarely come to mind when thinking of Roger Haywood. Indeed, those who know the past IPR president might reflect that ‘ebullient’, ‘loquacious’, even ‘Falstaffian’, are more apposite terms.

The epithets ‘reticent’, ‘taciturn’ and ‘timid’ rarely come to mind when

thinking of Roger Haywood. Indeed, those who know the past IPR president

might reflect that ‘ebullient’, ‘loquacious’, even ‘Falstaffian’, are

more apposite terms.



Therefore, I was most perplexed to hear that the Kestrel Communications

chairman has been receiving confidence-building tips.



It all happened, apparently. when Haywood was chatting with a woman

journalist at a press launch for Dutch telecoms client KPN. In response

to her query as to who he was, Haywood explained his company had

actually organised the whole bash but that, as a rather shy and retiring

chap, he didn’t like to push himself forward.



The irony was wasted. The hackette told Haywood that shyness just

wouldn’t do in PR, that she too once suffered from a lack of confidence

and could therefore help him. She thentook him aside and spent several

minutes administering advice, as to how, on being panic-struck, one

should imagine oneself as an actor assuming a confident role.



A bemused Haywood tells me: ‘It was so kind of her, I could hardly say

that I was actually being ironic.



‘It’s funny really, because most people would say: ‘For God’s sake, shut

up Roger’.’



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