I have watched Phil Cleary captivate audiences at various speaking functions over the last year, many different audiences, and many different topics.
Last Saturday he was the last of six speakers, presenting to over 100 people in a warm stuffy room. "Well he certainly woke me up", "I wanted more", "Blew my socks off", were some of the comments I got from people as they clamoured to shake his hand afterwards.
Hard hitting, but always with a sense of humour, Phil Cleary comes into his own in front of a room full of people. Pure entertainment yet packed with plenty of food for thought. His unique style captivates people in a way that few people can in these days of quiet politeness and mediocrity.
He paints pictures of people, situations and circumstances that draw the audience in. He takes them with him on his journey, and they always keep up. One woman who has a PhD said ' it was wonderful to be taken on such a great intellectual pursuit ...I couldn't remember feeling so alive and switched on mentally for a very long time…'
He makes people laugh and cry, strive for more and feel brave. His experiences, as a teacher, a politician and a football coach allow him to tune into an audience, challenge the mental hurdles that they have erected and push through them. People emerge less precious, more aware of how we all interact and have a role in this world and more prepared to accept responsibility for their own decisions and actions.
I have never known anyone, after hearing Phil in full flight, who hasn't taken something new, unique or exciting away with them, when they left the room.