How Much is Too Much in a Presentation?

Woman making a presentation using post-it notes on board

There’s a pretty good chance you are busier today than you were five or ten years ago. So is everyone else I meet. So is everyone you face in a presentation. It’s a common complaint: “I’m so busy. I never have enough time.” Why everyone is in that situation is a topic for another day, but recognizing that there is a universal condition of feeling overwhelmed is an important step toward building the content in your next presentation. Avoid Too … Continue reading

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

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

Play Your Aces in a Presentation

Aces and a deck of cards spread out on a table

Recently I presented my full-day Presentation Transformation seminar to a group of highly talented executives at NatCon18, the national convention for behavioral health experts.  Early in the day unfolded, I noticed one woman knitting in the back of the room. It wasn’t a distraction. It was amazing. She did it effortlessly, without even thinking about it. And it didn’t distract her attention. It was part of who she was. A few minutes later, one of the men in the group shared … Continue reading

How a Comedian Can Help You Improve Your Next Presentation

Comedian on Stage

On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I took my son and his friends (all over 21 years old) to a comedy club where I saw a comedian use a seamless technique to get the audience involved his routine. Any business presenter can use the same technique–without having to be funny. It comes down to this, a technique all good comedians and trial lawyers use: ask leading questions—all while the audience thinks you are just having a conversation. How the … Continue reading

A Simple Way to Share Complicated Material in a Presentation

A finger showing how to navigate complicated material in a presentation

The only thing harder than getting an audience’s attention is getting it back after you’ve lost it. Once they’re gone, they’re usually gone for good. Oh, you might still see people sitting in front of you, but they’ve checked out. And nothing gets people to check out faster in a presentation than confusing them with complicated information. That said, there are plenty of times we have to present complicated, intricate, or complex information. Do it in a way that makes … Continue reading

What Country Music Singers Can Teach You About Business Presentations

Two musicians playing guitar on stage.

My wife and I spent last weekend in Nashville where our son lives. We had a Sunday Fun-Day, hitting different bars and restaurants around town listening to music. After seeing six or seven different performers and duos a couple of parallels emerged between performers and business presenters. When the spotlight shines on you, you have to be ready to shine too. Just get going! The Spotlight: They use a spotlight for a reason. It shows people where to look. Audiences … Continue reading

How to Use Stories Unrelated to Your Presentation Topic to Improve Your Presentation

Man speaking into a microphone telling a story

A few years ago I heard Colin Powell speak at a conference. He spoke for about an hour and he touched on the many highlights of his career: four-star general, National Security Advisor, Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State. Heady stuff. What Audiences Remember But after the audience left Powell’s presentation, I noticed what audience members talked about in the lobby. They talked about stories Powell shared, especially a fun story he shared about his … Continue reading

How to Give a Speech or Presentation Like a Hall of Famer

Sign that reads Hall of Fame

Can you imagine the thrill of getting inducted into a hall of fame and joining a list of immortals? What would you say at your induction speech? The answer to that second question has led to talks that range from good to great to awful. The Path of Greatness It takes consistent greatness in your sport to make it to the hall of fame. Once you get there, it takes adherence to a proven set of principles to ensure your … Continue reading

Use Less “I” and More “They” in Presentations

Professionals gathered around a conference table for presentations.

The fastest way to improve your presentations and your presentation skills is to get over yourself. Once you get over the idea that the presentation is about you, then getting up in front of the room or in front of a camera gets far easier. There’s a powerful shift that takes place when you change one thing about your approach to presentations: your focus. The shift in focus of your presentations When you focus less on yourself and more on … Continue reading