Presentation Skills Executives Can Learn from Football Coaches

Every executive and business manager can learn an important lesson from NFL locker room post-game speeches. Coaches make them every week. Sometimes after a win; sometimes after a loss. Here’s one by Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine.

It doesn’t resemble Al Pacino’s theatrical speeches in the movie, Any Given Sunday. They rarely do. That’s the part most people don’t understand. When you have to present to the same audience over and over, theatrics don’t matter nearly as much as message, authenticity, and sincerity.

A good post-game speech includes a few key elements:

1. Thank you

2. Reinforcement of what the team did well

3. Reminder of what the team can do better

4. Call to action for what the team has to do next

When your team, no matter what your business, crosses a milestone, stands up to a challenge, or hits a major goal, consider following the model of football coaches in a post-game speech.

It isn’t highly choreographed. It’s short, sincere. These aren’t about winning awards for drama. Save that for pre-game speeches, for product launches, for major undertakings. After the fact, pull your team together. Speak from the heart. Hit on those four key points. Let your people know you understand what they feel and help them understand where they need to go next.


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