As befits a man of language, he kicked off with an enticing reference to "tonight's gay feast - if I can quote Browning", and followed it up with an "extended metaphor" and slipped in "obsequiousness" into a comment on the McCrone deal.
It was then down to the business of motions and amendments. "You'll have to forgive me, I've a brain of a gnat," he declared, before adding: "This is all too technical for me."
As events progressed, the president admitted: "You'd need a drill to get something into ma heid."
"Don't worry," chirped a delegate. "I've got one here."