What to do When Technology Fails in a Presentation

A PowerPoint projector, technology

It’s a sickening feeling. The big reveal. Drum roll please. Blank. Nothing. Technology failed you. That slide you had set up with so much expectation isn’t there. You can feel the air seeping out of your lungs, right along with your confidence. Every Presenter’s Worst Fear Every presenter dreads it. The stomach plunging feeling of technology letting you down at the worst possible moment–which, by the way, is always the exact moment the let down happens. A Simple Backup Plan … Continue reading

A Communication Secret of Effective Leaders

Baseball manager at a press conference.

All leaders face pressure. It goes with the job. Effective leaders find ways to focus pressure when it serves their purpose and diffuse pressure when it doesn’t serve their purpose. Get it wrong and a leader will compound a difficult situation. Get it right and a leader can help his or her entire team make a difficult situation look easy. Focus! Focusing attention takes discipline and, well, focus. Diffusing attention takes more subtle communication skills. Avoiding the obvious Baltimore Orioles … Continue reading

Gold Medal Focus Precedes Gold Medal Results

John Harbaugh talking to Olympian Helen Maroulis

I had the unique opportunity recently while visiting with Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh before a game to meet Olympic gold medal winner Helen Maroulis–the first US woman to win gold in wrestling. The conversation between the coach and Helen turned to the power of focus in the minutes leading up to competition. Focus Impacts Performance As I listened to the conversation I thought about how Maroulis’s focus applies perfectly to everyone who has to step into the spotlight, … Continue reading

Beware of the Angle of Your Communication

Two guys next to each other talking

We all come at communications from a different angle. Literally. Understanding the angle can dramatically influence the impact. This works whether you are talking to one person or talking to an auditorium filled with hundreds of people. Side by Side If you come at your communication side by side, it sends the message of avoiding the communication. There’s no need for eye contact. You can talk around the issues instead of taking them head on. You can easily look the … Continue reading