Know When and How to Avoid Jargon in Presentations

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Jargon isn’t B.S. It’s shorthand language. Some of it is culture based. 24/7, ASAP, LOL, etc. Some of it is unique to your position, industry, industry, or organization. And every industry and organization has jargon.    Everyone has industry has terminology like that. The dead give away is it usually acronyms. Jargon isn’t a bad thing when you speak to people in your industry or organization. Like any good shortcut, it saves time. But when you speak to a broader audience, … Continue reading

How to Use Transitions to Improve Your Presentations

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Transitions help transform presentations from a collection of parts into one cohesive whole. Every presentation has multiple sections: The open, key point one, key point two, etc. And while some sections are more important than others, the presentation has to stand as one whole unit to be totally effective. The keys to making a presentation with multiple parts feel like one complete unit is to have a theme for the presentation and to use effective transitions between the various parts … Continue reading

How to Keep from Losing Your Place in a Presentation

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Every presenter shares this fear: What if I lose my place in a presentation? What do I do then? The answer is, drum roll please…don’t lose your place. I know, easier said then done. Until now. In the video above, I’ll show you a simple technique that involves using a water bottle and the outline for your presentation. It will keep you on track every time without the audience even knowing that you’re looking at your notes or outline.

What an NFL Coach Can Teach You About Presentations

X and O on a blackboard showing coach strategy

With football season starting up again I find myself spending a lot of time around coaches. My father was a long time NFL assistant coach. I’ve seen first hand that the coaches who last and who win, not only know the X’s and O’s, but they also know how to communicate. Coaches make presentations every day to their players. Not just the dramatic locker room speeches you see in highlights or in films, but teaching presentations, performance review presentations, planning … Continue reading

Business and Presentation Lessons Learned from the NFL Broadcast Booth

Running a business, evaluating talent, leading others, communicating from the front of the room or in front of the business all share several things in common with doing play-by-play in an NFL broadcast booth: They require your complete, undivided attention to do them well You have to be both in the moment and aware of what’s coming next You have no room for error and not a shot at perfection And when things are going well, there is no place … Continue reading

How & When to Use Humor in Presentations

Women laughing together

Humor covers a lot of territory. And most of it is tricky terrain. It can come across as playful or hurtful, insightful or biting. Planned and staged or organic and natural. You can use it to make fun of yourself, self-deprecating humor or use it to make fun of other peoples. You can use it to warm up an audience in a presentation or you can misuse it and turn off an audience. Very different styles. Very different outcomes. User … Continue reading

Leadership Lessons from Kevin Plank

UnderArmour CEO Kevin Plank sitting in a chair

Recently I had the chance to moderate leadership session with UnderArmour CEO Kevin Plank. It was billed as a “fireside chat” at the Baltimore Ravens annual sponsor summit. For an hour I had a conversation with Kevin and folded audience questions into the dialogue. Kevin was more than generous with his time and his insights on leadership in general and his journey in particular. The leadership lessons Plank has learned from growing UnderArmour from start-up in his grandmother’s basement to … Continue reading

Get Your Audience to Shift from Wanting to Needing Your Presentation

Presenter in front of a wall of post it notes giving a presentation the audience needs to hear.

Everyone you know has problems. Everyone you present to has problems. And everyone you present to is looking for solutions.  That’s where you come in. Their Problems = Your Opportunity One fast and effective way to connect with your audience is to position your presentation as a solution to the audience’s problem or problems. Use your understanding of the audience’s problem or problems to establish a report. But the bulk of your content should help your audience move from problem … Continue reading

The Most Important Presentation You’ll Ever Give

Woman smiling while folding her arms and presenting herself

You don’t always know when you have to give your most important presentation. That’s what makes it so tricky. Throughout the course of your life and your career you will make a lot of important presentations. Some will seem similar, others wildly different. In some you’ll have the front of the room to yourself. In others you will share the platform with someone else or even a team of people.  Some of your presentations will raise awareness, some will raise … Continue reading

What to do–and not do–with your hands in a presentation

Presenter holding his hands up in a presentation

When was the last time your really thought about your hands? If you’re like most people you never really think about them. You just use them. Until you have to give a presentation. The front of the room seems to give your hands a bizarre life of their own. Show of Hands Have you ever started a presentation and suddenly felt like you didn’t know what you should do with your hands? They can suddenly feel like they need an … Continue reading