We have written keynote speeches for a former Prime Minister and some of this country’s top CEO’s including Charles Percy (CEO/ Methanex), Linday Gillette (former Chairman/Angostura), Claudius Dacon (former CEO/ CLICO), and Sharon Christopher (deputy CEO, First Citizens), among several others.
But with speeches there is always one that sticks out. One that belongs so much to its giver, the audience becomes caught up in its delivery so that when it ends there is a second of silence before an eruption of applause as the crowd rises to its feet.
That moment happened in 2003. At the time CLICO, had lost none of its lustre and was the leading insurance and financial services company in Trinidad and Tobago. Claudius Dacon was the newly appointed CEO at a time when the country had seen an upswing in crime.
In the annual CLICO Leadership Series the company had as its keynote the crime busting Mayor of New York, Rudolf Guiliani. Guilaini was supposed to be the highlight in front of an audience that comprised members of Parliament and Opposition as well as some of the country’s most respected CEOs, religious leaders and civil society heads. But with a 20 minute speech that was written by Judette Coward-Puglisi of Mango Media Caribbean, it was the CLICO Chief Executive who stole the show.
Addressing themes of law and order that incorporated personal storytelling and pointed world views, the CEO, who underwent hours of training with Coward-Puglisi on speech style and delivery, gave a speech that led to a standing ovation at its end. Subsequently his debut speech was heavily quoted in the press, his reputation was carved as a thought leader and he gained multiple requests to address business organisations and NGOs.
Puglisi continued to write for Dacon as his lead external speechwriter until his exit from CLICO some years after.