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Hey leaders – 5 tips to positively powerful presentations … Robert Cordray

SpeakingGreat leadership requires great communication skills

And one of the most challenging forms of communication is presenting in public!

Public Speaking

Hosting a work or group presentation often comes with a great deal of anxiety attached. Many people do not like to stand up in-front of groups because they wonder how they are going to sound and if the audience will enjoy the presentation.

Fortunately, preparing yourself to properly articulate words and capture the attention of your audience will help to chase some of these fears away.

5 Tips to Positively Powerful Presentations

1. Plan The Right Way

Speaking extemporaneously is a gift that some people have. However, chances are you don’t have this talent if you are afraid of public speaking. Start drafting ideas for the presentation once you receive the assignment. By having at least a structure in place when you sit down to complete the bulk of the work, the presentation itself won’t seem so overwhelming.

Use notecards if permitted during the actual speech, and put cue words and phrases on them. Writing out your entire presentation and reading it word-for-word is not the best idea. Not only will the speech sound robotic, but you will be more focused on reading a single word than anything else.

2. Use Audience Interaction

Think about what you like when you go to a presentation or listen to a speech. Sitting in silence for a lengthy period isn’t fun for even the most attentive of audience members. Find a way to incorporate audience interaction into your presentation.

For example, you might start by asking a question of the larger group, or, if time permits, plan out an activity where the audience divides into smaller groups to discuss an issue.

You could have them fill out surveys or answer quiz questions as an ice breaker or as an introduction to the topic you are going to discuss.

3. Harness The Power of Visual Aids

Visualization is an extremely important component of a strong presentation. Audience members can hear what you are saying, but that doesn’t mean they will retain or fully comprehend the information. A presentation that delves into statistics needs to have charts and graphs to properly display them.

You can pass this information around to the audience members so that they have copies to take home. Use pictures to depict a new plan for a management team, or show images and video clips of a new product or service that your company is launching.

4. Know How to Speak

Even if you have spent the last few months preparing and you have the coolest graphics in the world, people aren’t going to listen if you don’t have some basic speaking skills in your pocket.

  • Your voice needs to be loud and clear enough for everyone in the audience to hear.
  • Looking into the audio devices available well in-advance of the presentation date is wise.
  • Make eye-contact with the audience members.
  • Know what language the audience speaks, and do not use words that they are unlikely to understand.
  • Find a tone somewhere between boringly formal and overly casual that addresses your goals while engaging the audience.

5. Strong Introduction and Conclusion

You want to make sure people are listening when your speech starts, and you want to make sure that they take something away from it when it is over.

  • Use a hook question or a quotation to grab their interest at the start.
  • When you near the end, reiterate your main points, and let them know how to contact you for more information.
  • Opening up a question and answer session helps audience members to recognize you care about their absorption of the material.
  • If you are selling something, give free samples.

Being a Trained Professional

Creating a strong presentation is important because this is the first impression you’re providing to the audience members. Using these tools helps to let the audience see that you are a trained professional who cares about his or her purpose and goals in the presentation.


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Robert Cordray is a freelance writer with over 20 years of business experience. He does the occasional business consult to help increase employee morale

Original post by Robert is here

The Last Resort – Wally Bock

Another insightful post from Wally Bock, on  his Three Star Leadership BlogPolice Dept

Family legend has it that my uncle Johnny got his job on the Philadelphia police department by fighting for it. It was the heart of the Depression and a city politico brought the local Irish boys to his office and told them he had two jobs he could hand out.

One job was on the Fire Department. The other was with the Police Department. The politico sent the young men out back to fight for the jobs. The last one down would get the fire job. The last one standing would become a police officer. Johnny was the last one standing. He went to work that night.

I don’t know if that story is true. I do know that Uncle Johnny had hands like padded concrete blocks and that they served him well in many fights during his three decades on the police force. He was a good, tough fighter, but he didn’t like to fight if he didn’t have to.

Johnny was a great cop in an age when cops worked mostly alone on their beats. His mind and gift of gab were more important than his fists out there.

If there was someone causing a ruckus, Johnny would deal with it. He took some troublemakers to jail, but most of the time he straightened them out. Johnny would walk into bar brawls alone and leave a quiet bar behind him when he was done.

Johnny had a lot of little sayings. One of my favorites is: “The law is a backup.” He thought that using the law, arresting someone, was something you did when nothing else worked.

It’s a good rule for bosses, too. The great formal structure of organizational discipline is what you go to after you’ve used up the informal ways you have to improve behavior or performance. Most effective supervision, like most of Johnny’s effective police work, happens in the informal part of the work

Boss’s Bottom Line

Most effective supervision is informal. It happens in the cracks in the system

Here’s Wally’s original post

Lead like Mary – Barry Dore

Lead Like MaryOver a career spanning almost 40 years, spent in the voluntary and private sectors and latterly running my own business focused on leadership, I have had the opportunity to observe and experience leaders of every shape, size and type. I have seen good leaders, mediocre ones, poor leaders and some who frankly terrified me. Far too rarely have I worked for or come across great leaders who truly inspired me.

That for me is a problem, because it is through great leadership that we unlock potential, change lives, build teams, transform organisations and change society.

We need great leaders at every level, it’s not just the preserve of those at the top of organisations. Great leaders make a positive difference to those around them whether they are a director, middle manager, team leader, in a front line role or volunteering in the community.

Great leadership is so difficult to define but I am convinced it begins with the need to be authentic. I am aware that ‘authentic leadership’ has become an overused term, but for me an authentic leader is someone who is committed to serving others, as opposed to being self-serving, and strives every day to do the right thing in the right way, basing their decision making on their deep rooted values and beliefs. People choose to follow because of who they are, not the position they hold.

The more I study the great leaders I encounter the more I am convinced that, whatever their shape, size and style, they do display a common set of traits. Over time I have examined those traits and have explored them in my recently published book ‘Lead Like Mary’.

Mary is a fictional character but is based on a number of great leaders I know and have worked with over the years. She is far from perfect, but knows that, and strives every day to improve, to become more effective.

Here are the ten traits that I believe make Mary a great leader.

  1. Mary genuinely believes that her first role as a leader is to serve others
  2. She is personally highly effective
  3. She is values-led and courageous
  4. Mary is both trusting and trustworthy. Through this she builds highly effective relationships
  5. She gets the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off
  6. She is a visionary who executes
  7. She gives her people absolute clarity
  8. Mary gives her people freedom within a framework. She practices creative discipline
  9. She believes in and practices joint accountability
  10. She is relentless

The first four traits define who Mary is, they are character based and lie deep inside her. Much has been written about servant-leadership over the years, I am just convinced that genuinely effective leaders are deeply rooted in this commitment to serve others. It also ties in so closely to ‘level 5 leaders’ explored by Jim Collins in ‘Good to Great’, a common trait of leaders in the organisations who had made the breakthrough being low ego and personal humility.

Read the rest of Barry’s article

Barry DoreLead Like Mary was published in April this year.

Barry has worked with thousands of people in dozens of organisations across all sectors to build leadership capability and build sustainable effectiveness. His work incorporates coaching, mentoring, facilitating and teaching. 

twitter: @barrydore @leadlikemary

Yves Morieux: As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify – TED

Being killed by too many KPIs?

Things too complicated?

From TED: Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today’s businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex — and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit’s warren of interdependencies. In this energetic talk, Morieux offers six rules for “smart simplicity.” (Rule One: Understand what your colleagues actually do.)

BCG’s Yves Morieux researches how corporations can adapt to a modern and complex business landscape.

Yves Morieux thinks deeply about what makes organizations work effectively. A senior partner in BCG’s Washington D.C. office and director of the BCG Institute for Organization, Morieux considers how overarching changes in structure can improve motivation for all who work there. His calls his approach “Smart Simplicity.” Using six key rules, it encourages employees to cooperate in order to solve long-term problems. It isn’t just about reducing costs and increasing profit — it’s about maximizing engagement through all levels of a company.

Morieux has been featured in articles on organizational evolution in Harvard Business Review, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and Le Monde.