Who is The Man in the Red Coat?

Google is a wonderful thing isn’t it? You can type something in a bar, hit “enter” and within a split second there are pages full of links to the subject matter you have chosen. Mind blowing.

Until late last summer if you had put into Google who is The Man in the Red Coat you would have got a very different answer to the one you have today. So what changed to change the search engines direction?

A book. A particularly well written book by a successful author, that’s what.

The power behind an already successful author is quite incredible. Because of his already well earned success Julian Barnes gets coverage of the best kind. His own website will promote it, his publisher will promote it, every bookstore that has taken the book will promote it. Every critic writing about it will inadvertently promote it through their, in some cases very, major publications and even because of its cultural nature, the BBC will dedicate time for the author to read a chapter live on air – naturally promoting it there too.

So who WAS The Man in the Red Coat? He was an engaging minor historical figure who had an interesting life and great dress sense. Julian Barnes’ book is beautifully written, telling us the story of Samuel Pozzi, a commoner who mixed with Royalty, who was a pioneer gynaecologist, a rational and scientific man, but was also a remarkable free thinker who just happened to also have a very complicated private life. He also happens to now be deceased.

The question we should now be asking ourselves is, who IS The Man in the Red Coat? This person is very much alive and not part of history. Whilst he is not (at least not yet) a historical figure of any kind he has rubbed shoulders with Royalty, though only through the course of his work, not as a “friend”. He clearly has a distinguished dress sense but that is where comparisons end.

Today’s The Man in the Red Coat is James Hasler, a professional toastmaster and master of ceremonies. He is a very real figure. He runs events for other people, making them work and removing the stress of the event from the organisers. He is the linchpin if you like, coordinating everything that is going on and then acting as the guide to the outside world. He is personable, and warm, but can command a stadium full of people with ease when required.

Trained in over 43 different types of ceremony from the launching of ships and building “topping out” ceremonies, to dinners and weddings of just about any variation you can think of, he acts as a guide leading everybody invited whilst communicating with all the suppliers to ensure an events smooth running so he can control the schedule and make everything seem effortless. You may also find him running an auction as a renowned charity auctioneer.

Whilst he may seem calm, he will invariably be paddling like a swan avoiding a weir as schedules need constant juggling to make them work. But that is the point. As a host you do not want to be thinking about all that is going on behind the scenes when you are trying to enjoy your event and potentially mingle with others. Once the event begins The Man in the Red Coat takes full ownership of the schedule and sees it through to its conclusion.

He is not a joker/comedian, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t make people smile. He is to put everybody at ease in the knowledge that they do not have to think about anything as The Man in the Red Coat will tell them what to do, when required.

Why does The Man in the Red Coat wear a red coat? Simply to help people realise where the noise is coming from. If he was dressed like everybody else things would be much more difficult for everybody as he wouldn’t stand out and others may not know who to follow.

Some people feel that having a tall man in a red coat is too formal for their event. In some cases that may be right. However, having The Man in the Red Coat does not necessary mean things have to be too formal. Formality however, actually means things can be more relaxed because no one has to think as they are all being given guidance as to what to do.

So if the red coat seems too much that is not problem as The Man in the Red Coat does not have to wear it. He is “not just The Man in the Red Coat” if you like. In fact he is also a Man in a Suit running conferences and events and guiding people as a presentation, public speaking and voice skills trainer and coach in his role as Principal Consultant at HaslerHill Consulting. He is also The Man behind the Microphone as a professional Voice Artist and events “Voice of God” in his guise as James Hasler Voice.

So who is The Man in the Red Coat? He is James Hasler, professional toastmaster and master of ceremonies and fellow of the Guild of International Professional Toastmasters. As to who was The Man in the Red Coat? I suggest you read an excellent publication written by author Julian Barnes.

As for google. Be patient and you will hopefully find me back on the front page soon.

James Hasler is a professional event/conference host, moderator and facilitator. He is also a Master of Ceremonies, Charity Auctioneer and Voice of God and is well-known as The Man behind “The Man in the Red Coat”, a Professional Toastmaster. Additionally as this article explains he is a City of London Livery Beadle. He has facilitated events all over the UK, as well as throughout Europe and the United States and is the 2019 Toastmaster of the Year.

He also coaches public speaking and works with those who wish to gain greater confidence in front of an audience or camera.




Twitter @speakerJHasler

Instagram @themaninthered_coat