Three years ago we visited Budapest on a family holiday to Europe. The Parliament building there is one of the most amazing buildings I have ever seen. So naturally, we organised a tour.

During the tour we heard some pretty cool facts and some even better stories.

Parliamentary Smoking Rituals

One such story was about the numbered cigar holders that sit outside the main chamber. During the era when smoking was allowed inside the building, but not in the chamber, politicians would often walk out of boring speeches and smoke their cigars while mingling and chatting.

Havana’s were the popular cigar of choice. The holders were numbered so the politicians could safely leave their cigar in their allocated numbered slot and pop back into the chamber to see the start of the next speech. If the presentation was boring, they could easily return and identify their smouldering Havana.

In some instances, a speech would be so engaging that they would stay and listen to the whole speech and return to a pile of ashes where their cigars had once been. This resulted in the saying, ‘It was worth a Havana’, which was used to judge the quality of a speech.

Powerful Presentations

I share this story at the start of my Powerful Presentations workshop to inspire the participants to make their own presentations worth a Havana. This is regardless of whether you are presenting to a small team, a large audience or a client pitch.

‘Is it worth a Havana’ also applies to virtual or hybrid presentations. As you may have experienced, presenting information virtually or in a hybrid model is a lot harder. However, we need to master this mode of presenting as it is here to stay.

If people are giving up their valuable time to listen to what you have to say, make it worth a Havana.


This is the final call for my only public Powerful Presentations workshop for the year. If you or members of your team would value from getting better at presenting information, then you can find details of the upcoming workshop on 6th June here. You can also contact us to discuss an in-house workshop.