For those of you who may not know Rick Stein, he’s an English chef, restaurateur and television presenter. His most recent show is Rick Stein’s India being shown here in the UK on BBC2.
I love watching Stein because he encompasses so much of what great presentation is all about. In a six minute section around 35 minutes into episode 3 he gives a master class in authentic presentation, whilst making a pork curry.
Stein is completely in the present moment, he seems to have a child like love for life, aware of everything around him and able to create what feels like a conversation between friends.
He uses some powerful communication devices - whether these are deliberate we may never know.
Just before preparing his dish, he is watching Cormorants catching eels in the river. This gives us a real sense that he is able to absorb his surroundings yet be relaxed rather than worrying about what he needs to cook. I really enjoy watching presenters who react to something in the moment the moment, whether it’s something that’s just happened at the venue or the previous speaker. I know they are being in the now and focusing on us.
Stein gives us a lot of personal disclosure, which allows us to reflect on our own lives and experience. He tells us he’s frightened of pressure cookers, and follows it up with a short story about how his dog Chalky used to disappear at the merest sight of the cooker due to the high pitched whistle. He also lets us know he’s embarrassed about being hot and having a wet shirt, and continues to tell us that in the seventeen years that he and the producer have been making these shows they’ve never thought about bringing more than one shirt. He’s taking care of something we may have noticed. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has sat through presentations where issues like electrical hums over audio systems or faulty air conditioning have captured my attention more than the speaker. If only they’d mentioned it I would have stopped worrying.
Passion and Humour
Rick Stein is so passionate about Indian food (any food in fact) that it excites him on a level which makes him seem to near-constantly laugh and smile. It’s infectious.
If you love food you’ll love watching this series anyway but if you also want to get an insight into being yourself when presenting, then I highly recommend it.
Image credit: Flickr