Marmite, liver and onions, Jed-ward.

There is a “love it” camp and a “hate it” camp – there is no “on the fence” camp.

And that’s why somebody gave me a nickname last year – “as a public speaker Chris Barrow is like Marmite – you either love or hate the man and the message.”

Yesterday I attended a debrief meeting with the team at Practice Plan – to take a look back at our marketing workshop tour in 2009.

211 practices attended and over 770 people.

They were asked to complete a detailed feedback form and scores “out of 5” were allocated across the 10 venues.

Average was around 4.7% – the highest they have experienced.

It appears that even some of the people who previously disliked Marmite were persuaded.

This – by the way – is not just about my skills as a public speaker – or my message that marketing is like breathing – you cannot opt out or try it every now and then.

It’s also about the fact that, in 15+ years as a speaker in dentistry, I have never been so well backed up as I was on this tour.

I’ve written before about Practice Plan’s excellent pre-event marketing and preparation, about their superb branding on the day, about the magnificent back-stage support.

Yesterday we were also discussing and reviewing the way in which PP’s team of regional sales managers have been following through after the workshops – making sure that all those who attended were doing their homework and making progress.

I don’t have shares in Practice Plan and I’m not on commission.

They just have one of the best teams in UK dentistry, one of the brightest brands and ideas for future development that I’m not at liberty to disclose – but if I were a betting man, this is a horse I would back all the way.

I’m hoping to work closely with them in 2010 and beyond – I love to hang out with winners – you might be well advised to do the same.

Oh – and by the way.

At the end of our meeting, graphic designer Dan Griffiths presented me with a small gift.

“I saw this and thought of you” he said.

And produced the Marmite mug you can see on my desk this morning for an early cuppa.

Stupid isn’t it – a £10 mug that made my day – a critical non-essential – from one of the team – that speaks volumes for the core values of the company.

Marmite – love it or hate it.

And that was a reminder to me to carry on being me – just the same – bold, outrageous and provocative.

A reminder to you – be authentic – be the real you – never compromise on that.

Apologise and make restitution if your actions or words cause unintentional harm (sometimes they will – when you do 100 things a day and say 1000 things a day, you will make mistakes).

But NEVER, NEVER, NEVER stop being the “perfect version of you”.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.