Great Presentations that
Persuade in 20 Minutes

Great-presentationsWhat is the best way to craft a great presentation? I’ve heard it said that ideas are the currency of twenty-first century business professionals. If that is so, then our business presentations must persuade action. Unfortunately, many fall short.

Presentations are critical to career success, yet we too often focus on how slides look or where to stand on stage. Worse, we are prone to pack them with data, charts and graphics for fear of leaving information out. The result is often audience fatigue, information overload, and little chance of inspiring anyone to take action. Read More »

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Great Presentation Skills:
3 Tips from TED Talks

Presentation-skillsHow can you craft a great presentation like those fascinating experts on I’ve been reading Jeremy Donovan’s excellent book, How to Deliver a TED Talk, and gathering tips on how the experts refine their presentation skills (see my previous posts here and here). Here are three tips:

1. Build the Speech’s Body and Transitions

We more easily remember concepts when they’re delivered as three examples or elements. This progression helps you stay focused and primes the audience to remember your message.

This can be as simple as:

  • Tell them what you’re going to tell them
  • Tell them
  • Tell them what you just told them

Three narrative styles are particularly powerful:

  1. Situation-complication-resolution framework (Dan Pink on motivation at work)
  2. Chronological narrative (what happened)—for example, Jill Bolte Taylor on surviving a stroke
  3. Idea-concepts description (Richard St. John on eight secrets of success)

Read More »

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Make Your Next Business
Presentation Like a TED Talk

Business-presentatioinI’ve been viewing some fascinating videos on, scanning them for tips on how to create great presentations. And I’ve been reading How To Deliver a TED Talk, by Jeremy Donovan.

At some point in your career, you’ll likely be called upon to make a presentation to potential customers, superiors and/or colleagues. Your ability to persuade others will contribute greatly to your overall success.

What can we learn from TED Talks about great presentations? Here are a few key elements from Donovan’s book: Read More »

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How to Craft a Great Presentation:
What We Can Learn from TED

Great-presentationIt doesn’t matter what your job is, at some point you’ll be asked to craft a great presentation. Your career, your sales, your leadership success depends on being able to persuade others. How do you learn to craft a speech that persuades? Most people suggest you learn from TED, the online site dedicated to “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

If you’re a fan of, you probably remember the first time you viewed one of the company’s free 18-minute online presentations. TED Talks are truly inspiring. If you’re not yet familiar with them, you’ll find that their speakers provide jaw-dropping stories you’ll be talking about for weeks.

TED’s growing global audience is testimony to the success of their speakers. Since June 2006, the talks have been offered for free viewing online. Read More »

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A 65-Year-Old Thanksgiving Message for Today’s World


It’s Thanksgiving for those of us in the States.  It’s time to pause and reflect, and give thanks for all that we are blessed with.

The following Thanksgiving message was written by Wilferd Peterson in 1952. Wilferd Arlan Peterson (1900–1995) was an American author who wrote for This Week magazine (a national Sunday supplement in newspapers) for many years. For twenty-five years, he wrote a monthly column for Science of Mind magazine. He published nine books starting in 1949 with The Art of Getting Along: Inspiration for Triumphant Daily Living.”

I found it going through some old papers my father had sent me many years ago.  I wanted to share it with you at this time of the year and hope that it will give you peace in this season. Read More »

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Boredom at Work: 6 Tips to Change It

Boredom-at-workBoredom at work may be more common than we let on. I hear from some of the clients I coach that not every day is filled with excitement and passion for their work. Although they may be doing what they love in careers they’ve worked long and hard for, sometimes tasks are routine. Others may be burned out or so stressed that in order to cope, they simply withdraw their enthusiasm.

How can we adjust work when boredom strikes, even though we may have more than enough work to keep us busy all day? How do we escape that feeling when we have a task that doesn’t excite or engage us? Read More »

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What Happens When We Get
Bored at Work?

Bored-at-workBoredom is not something to be taken lightly or ignored, especially when we become bored at work. The quality of our efforts can be seriously impacted by feelings of boredom. In studies using a boredom-process scale, those who rated low were better performers in areas such as education, career and autonomy.

Let’s explore three types of boredom. The first type shows up when we are prevented from engaging in wanted activity. The second type occurs when we are forced to engage in unwanted activity; and the third type is when, for no apparent reason, we are unable to feel engaged for any length of time in any particular activity. From what I observe in some organizations, some people are in jobs that set the stage for boredom. There’s a wrong fit between tasks and talent. Read More »

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The Emotion We Won’t Admit:
Boredom at Work

Boredom-at-workEven though you may have a great job, you can still experience boredom at work. Who hasn’t been sitting at the computer when a restless feeling starts gnawing away and thoughts meander anywhere but on the task required?

“Boredom is an aversive state characterized by dissatisfaction, restlessness, and weariness,” Andreas Elpidorou, a University of Louisville researcher, noted in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

A recent Forbes article reports that multiple university studies have found that boredom can unhinge even high-performing professionals, resulting in sabotage, withdrawal, abusing team members and purposely failing at tasks. Read More »

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Leadership Challenge:
Receiving Feedback Well

Receiving-feedbackI’ve been discussing the art of receiving feedback. This is key for leaders because organizations need to respond with agility to changing market needs and to do so people must be able to shift and change frequently. You can’t do that without giving and receiving feedback.

Today’s businesses, their leaders and teams need to be continually learning through feedback loops, none more important than those that happen during conversations.

But receiving feedback is hard. We don’t always accept it because we don’t like hearing we need to change. Humility isn’t a universal trait. Read More »

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The Challenges of Receiving Feedback

Receiving-feedbackLeaders who are skilled at receiving feedback demonstrate behaviors that go a long way towards reducing workplace conflicts. This is because when leaders listen well and manage their own resistance, they show people how to be open to learning without becoming defensive.

But from what I see when consulting in organizations, receiving feedback doesn’t come naturally for most people. Our default reaction seems to be to block feedback, get defensive and protect ourselves from admitting we could be wrong or need to change. Read More »

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