Hey Leaders: 5 Tips to Positively Powerful Presentations

Public Speaking

Great 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Robert Cordray is a freelance writer with over 20 years of business experience
He does the occasional business consult to help increase employee morale
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Lessons From Argentine Reaction to World Cup Loss

Argentina Riots

VIDEO: Riots erupted in Argentina after World Cup loss.

High hopes and expectations gave way to defeat, shock, dejection and finally to pain, anger and destruction.

This was the 120-minute journey taken by Argentina’s national football team’s supporters who had gathered at a public square viewing area in Buenos Aires, to watch the final 2014 FIFA World Cup match between Argentina and Germany. Chaos erupted after Argentina lost to Germany.

Who publicly vents their frustration through riotous acts of violence and hooliganism because of a loss?

Success Today

Before we rush to condemn the fans’ behavior, it’s important to consider what may have led them to do what they did. In today’s world, success is highly overrated. We celebrate those who come first, conquer (however we define that), make it big, win awards and medals, achieve in one way or other. It’s all about positive feelings, positive emotions and positive labels.

On the other hand, we look down upon those who have suffered defeat, loss and humiliation. For them, it’s negative, negative, negative – feelings, emotions and labels. They’re not good enough, they’ve failed, lost, let themselves and us down.

So it’s shame, shame, shame!

Acting Out

And so for Argentina’s fans, theirs was not just a case of lawlessness. They were simply projecting on the outside what they were going through on the inside – their pain and disappointment. But, one may – nay, SHOULD – ask whether the fans could have displayed their feelings of loss differently.

After all, with no exception, we go through loss and defeat at different times in our lives.

  • Does that give us the license to take to the streets every time we lose and generally make other people’s lives miserable in the process? Especially when the loss is so intense, it’s palpable.
  • Or, do we have a choice as to how to respond to loss?

To quote a popular saying, we need to win with humility and lose with grace. But, what does it mean to lose with grace? In this post, I share a 3-step process that one can follow.

3-Steps to Winning With Humility and Losing With Grace

1) Accept That You Have Lost

Once you’ve lost, you’ve lost. You can’t wish the loss away. And you can’t turn back the clock, to translate the loss into a win. So, admit that you’ve lost. Allow yourself to come to terms with your loss and grieve if you must.

Argentina’s loss to Germany was boldly summed up by Joao Cuenca, who has an Argentine father and a Brazilian mother:

“This was a trauma. We were going to be able to leave singing songs in victory with the glory of the Cup. What happened is nothing short of a disaster.”

Ouch! The good news is that facing your loss and pain head on makes it much easier for the healing process to begin.

2) Learn All You Can

At one time or other, you will lose. It’s just a matter of time. And each loss has a lesson embedded in it.

  • Ask yourself what you can take away from the experience and make it work for you.
  • Don’t waste your loss.
  • The good news is that losing does not make you a loser.
  • It’s an experience, not a state.
  • So, make it your aim to learn all you can from any and every loss.
  • Drawing lessons can help you emerge a stronger, better person.
  • Apply those lessons to future pursuits, to improve your chances of succeeding then.

Internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach and author, John Maxwell says in his book Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Learn, that winning isn’t everything, but learning is. Don’t waste your experiences whether it’s a win or a loss. Learn from both.

3) Move On

Easier said than done, but you must. Don’t camp where you lost the game – for if you do, you’ll waste the chance to get ready for your next big opportunity. Guard against what Abraham Graham Bell, the late Scottish scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator warned about:

“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

You have to make the decision to keep moving through other open doors. You never know – your next win may be far greater than your last loss. As long as you’re alive, keep moving.

Leading Through Loss

Indeed, better days lie ahead if you accept your past losses, learn from them and move on to seize future opportunities. This lesson applies in sports, family, business, community and in life.

How do you currently deal with loss in your life? Does it make the situation better or worse? How could you respond to losses more effectively?


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Joyce Kaduki

Mrs. Joyce Kaduki is a Leadership Coach, Speaker & Trainer
She enjoys working with Individuals & Teams to help them Improve their Results
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5 Ways To Be An Exceptional Leader

5 Ways To Be An Exceptional Leader #Infographic

Learn This: 5 Awesome Apps That Grow Knowledge

Awesome Apps

Leading people and teams in this new era of connectivity, having the right tools in hand can really help make a difference. With literally thousands of smartphone and device apps to choose from, finding educational apps may be truly easy.

But finding educational apps that are worth using is another story!

5 Awesome Apps That Grow Knowledge


That’s why this list of the best learning apps includes some of the most talked about and highly rated apps on the market today. Armed with the right app and mobile products, you can learn virtually anything, from how to prepare Russian cuisine to simply brushing up on your mathematics.


Most math apps are little more than fancy calculators, but Mathomatic is different. In many ways, this app is closer to an advanced graphing calculator than to a simple smartphone app. For instance, it can actually solve algebraic equations. It also comfortably handles derivatives, indefinite integrals of polynomials, and essentially everything else under calculus. While solving problems, Mathomatic shows all its steps as well as all possible answers, so it’s easy to learn just by watching the app.

Best of all, Mathomatic does this in a reasonably clear, easy to manage, and simple to understand interface that doesn’t add any more confusion to an already difficult subject. No matter if you’re trying to check your homework, solve a particularly complicated system of equations, or just simplify a polynomial, this app is definitely worth checking out.

History Line

The highest quality education is often the result of a collaborative effort. And that’s no doubt one of the reasons why History Line has been so popular in the academic community. History Line is a collaborative learning app with an emphasis on US History, and it supports anywhere between one and six players simultaneously.

In short, the app presents series of events, and players have to order the events into the correct sequence.

But in a multiplayer game, every player is responsible for only a portion of a much larger timeline. Players have to choose if the elements the game has given them belong on their own timeline, or if they need to be sent to another player handing a different period of time. Besides being truly engaging and entertaining, History Line can help you build an impressive command of history for such a simple app.

iTranslate Ultimate

Trying to learn a new language? iTranslate Ultimate lets you quickly translate between five languages: English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. One of the most difficult parts of learning a new language is handing the pronunciation of new words. That’s why iTranslate Ultimate can pronounce the thousands of words in its multiple dictionaries for you.

Apart from being an excellent aid for learning a language and accurate pronunciation, this app is a useful tool for navigating through some of the more diverse cities in American and abroad.

USA Factbook and Quiz

Want to know more about US History? The USA Factbook and Quiz app can help teach you all about the world around you, modern and historical.

Apart from the state by state information, including regional maps, flags, and data bout major cities, the USA Factbook app equips you with the ability to test your knowledge in a quiz. In many ways, this highly patriotic app is as educational as it is fun. If you’ve ever wanted to know all the state capitals or master US geography, the multiple choice quiz is about the best an app can do.

Taber’s Medical Dictionary

Whether you’re just looking to expand your own knowledge, or you’re an active medical professional, Taber’s Medical Dictionary is a must have. Containing a dictionary of 65,000 terms, 32,000 audio pronunciations, hundreds of videos, and detailed patient care statements, Taber’s Medical Dictionary is one of the most in-depth medical apps in the world.

No matter if you’re interested in nutrition, therapy, nursing, or just want to keep in touch with the latest information in the medical world, Taber’s Medical Dictionary is all you need to do it.

Do you have a favorite educational or personal development app? Please let me know what it is and how it helps you!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Robert Cordray

Robert Cordray is a freelance writer with over 20 years of business experience
He does the occasional business consult to help increase employee morale
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

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Freeing the Captives—How to Confront Your Personal Leadership Barriers (Part 1)

Freeing The Caged Bird

The release of Bowe Bergdahl has been a hot item in the news recently. And I’ve had several interviews on regional and national news media about what it’s like to come home after being a POW for five and a half years.

Our capture situation in Vietnam was quite different and my time in solitary confinement was short, so I’ve focused more on what it was like to return after years of poor diet, little news, periodic abuse, and isolation from family and society.

I’m glad Bowe Bergdahl is back home, and I know his family is relieved. Time will tell what the military sorts out about his capture and military service, but the discussion about him, as well as the annual celebration of our nation’s independence, has reminded me of why I’m so passionate about helping free the captives in my consulting, writing, and speaking.

What’s Holding You Back?

I’m enthusiastically focused on helping people find the freedom and courage to grow by breaking away from the shackles that are holding them back.

My observation and experience over the last forty years training hundreds of military and business leaders is that we all have mindsets, habits, and behaviors that inhibit our growth as individuals and leaders.

“We all need more freedom from these barriers, and many of these shackles come from our feelings of insecurity.”

Getting In the Way

Consider the two responses below that cause us to get in our own way, restrict us from achieving our potential, and yield major external repercussions.

1) False pride maximizes self and minimizes others.

This unhealthy response to our insecurity is a mindset of superiority that manifests as an ego-protecting pose typically based in domination, control, and perfectionism rather than authentic humility.

False pride leads to self-centeredness and makes it difficult to acknowledge the good ideas and achievements of others.

Leaders imprisoned by their ego often feel threatened by those who don’t agree with them, and soon there’s a graveyard nearby where they bury unwelcome messengers whose words of truth shine light on their dark side.

2) False humility minimizes self and maximizes others.

Some people respond to their insecurities by going in the opposite direction—living in a negative self-image in one or more areas. Their negative personal perception produces a mindset that has boxed them inside limits that are more akin to self-imposed incarceration.

Breaking Free

You may be thinking, “I can see this in others and maybe a little in myself, but it sounds pretty deep and psychological. How can we free ourselves and others from these negative patterns?”

“Professional help will be needed for some situations, but much can be done by remembering a single principle—the truth can set you free. The problem here is that a lie is operating rather than the truth.”

Identifying the Lie  

In the 2011 movie, The Help, actress Viola Davis’ character lovingly reminds Mae Mobley, a little two-year old, about her self-worth. Take a moment and watch this…

If you think about it, you’ll see that both of the career/life inhibiting responses above are undergirded by a lie about our self-worth. It’s true that we’re all flawed, but we have great value, too. It requires a healthy balance to live with these two paradoxical statements and resist living the lie of low self-worth.

“Notice that both the responses above are grounded in fear—the emotion that exercises powerful control over our hearts and minds.”

Gaining Freedom for Yourself and Others

Knowing and believing the truth about ourselves is the antidote to lies and opens the pathway to freedom. Here are two ways to embrace the truth –

1) Welcome courageous confrontation.

Remember that all development begins with self-awareness. Being honest with ourselves can be difficult because denial and rationalization are often normal protective strategies for a pose.

Do you have the courage to ask someone for honest feedback—either one-on-one or by having a coach or consultant do a 360 assessment on your leadership behaviors?

Be willing to confront yourself and break free from the lies holding you back. Likewise, it can be very rewarding to be a warrior for freedom for others. Confront the next generation of leaders to help them assess where they need to break free too.

2) Give and accept courageous support and affirmation.

Those locked in false humility need truth of their value and potential.As their leader, peer, or friend, we can be the bearers of that good news.

Years ago, I remember being affirmed by two friends about my value and worth. Initially I resisted and tried to refute their comments, but their sincerity and their personal loyalty convinced me that my perspective was a lie.

They were revealing truth that I needed in order to move to the next level in my leadership. It was powerful and liberating to have that courageous support and affirmation.

Choosing Freedom

In this season of celebrating freedom and independence, the key message here is that honorable leaders acquire the courage to confront and be confronted and the courage to support and affirm. Both approaches are needed to bring the truth that can set ourselves and others free to grow to the next level of performance.

Do you have the courage and humility to find out the truth about your leadership and then encourage others in their leadership? Your growth has much larger implications than you can imagine. In part 2 of this article we’ll explore the broad societal possibilities when we have a nation full of confident, valuable leaders.


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Lee Ellis

Lee Ellis is Founder & President of Leadership Freedom LLC & FreedomStar Media.
He is a leadership consultant and expert in teambuilding, executive development & assessments
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog | Book | Facebook | Twitter

His latest book is called Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton.

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Leaders: Do You Equip Your Board for Success?

Equipping For Success

We admire pioneers who are not afraid to blaze the trail of success, create their own blueprint for progress, and forge through adversity to breakthrough barriers.

However, nine times out of ten, they have not shared their success with others.

According to John C. Maxwell, nothing of significance that adds value to people’s lives is ever achieved by an individual acting alone (2010).

So Now What?

Recall the people you know who have achieved noteworthy success. Who did they equip to help them achieve their success?

Take a look at a success story. Jennifer Wenzke is the leader and the founder of So Now Network. So Now is a dynamic alliance of “Professional and Executive Women Striving to Empower others to Unite and Raise Up into their Unique Greatness!”

When leaders found organizations, sometimes the ideas are vivid but the name of the organization is not. That’s what happened to Wenzke. Her organization “So Now” was actually born without a name. Wenzke thought it would be a good idea to gather a group of women together at a local country club to network, connect, have fun and generally to help each other.  At the end of the event, she said,

“Thanks for coming!”  The reply back from attendees was, “Wait, can’t we do this again?”

To name her new-found group, Wenzke chose the name of the facility Stone Oak. She called her little group Stone Oak Network of Women.

But that name seemed too long, so she simply made an acronym of that name and changed it to So Now.

Growing Influence And Challenges

As the first anniversary of the group’s founding approached, Wenzke challenged those in attendance (35-40) to bring at least 100 women to the event. She equipped them with a challenging goal. And the result; over 180 women showed up!

As a leader,Wenzke knows the importance of equipping her women with challenges. She continues to equip the women as the network grows.

Here are a few highlights and results of the equipment(s) of the women of So Now:

  • During year-one, the network successfully implemented two projects.
  • Year 2 saw the release of a mentoring program.
  • In year 3, the network started growing rapidly.

o   The announcement of a scholarship program was introduced

o   So Now for Men (Snow Men) started

o   So Now expanded to include lunchtime meetings

o   So Now formed a Board of Inspiration

This is one example of how she implements equipping.

Equipping For Success

All great leaders have great teams that are equipped for success. But what happens when you are a new leader who is unknown?

“Does this mean that if you have a team that does not know you; or you have a flailing team, that you cannot equip your team for success?”

No it doesn’t! In 2007, I was the newly elected president of Sigma Alpha Pi (SAP), for the local chapter of the National Society of Leadership & Success. I had never held a position of this magnitude before.

I knew one person on the team and for the exception of that one person, no one else knew me. Because I was so passionate about SAP, what SAP represented, I knew I wanted to make a difference for the organization’s betterment.

But, where was I to start?

I started with my team. I knew one thing for sure, if I equipped the team for success, they in turn would want to carry out the organizations mission and vision.

Did I know how to equip this team for success? No, but it didn‘t take me long to figure it out. The team was already in place therefore, I made a commitment to myself and to each person, to get to know them.

As a result, I got to know every team member personally. We matched every person and their unique attributes to roles and responsibilities that would enhance overall success. Then, each person made a personal commitment to invest his or her talents in SAP.

Be Wise, Recognize

Another important equipping tool is recognition. Recognition is very important to everyone, and it is a powerful tool for leaders to use. SAP would not have reached a level of success that year if it had not been for this amazing team! Therefore, I recognized every Board member for his or her personal attributes and contributions.

SAP measured their success by the goals they accomplished:

  • Increased membership
  • One hundred percent participation in leadership training
  • Choosing a community organization to make a donation.

At the end of my term as president, the SAP team was equipped to carry its legacy forward.

Leaders, are you dedicated to equipping your Board? Is your Board equipped to handle the charge of responsibility?  Is your Board equipped to meet challenges with courage and creativity? I would love to hear your comments.


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Debra Olejownik
Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
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On Leadership, Star Athletes and Awesome Support Teams

Tom Brady

Whether you are in a small business or organization, leaders need a quality, trusted support system to help make and keep them at the top of their game.

Even legendary athletes swimmer Michael Phelps and football great Tom Brady have top-level support systems in place to keep them on top of their games.

Olympic Gold Medalists and Super Bowl Champions

Legendary swimmer Michael Phelps has worked with the same coach, Bob Bowman, since he was just 10 years old. Even after his record-breaking Olympic success, surpassing Mark Spitz by earning eight gold medals in Beijing, Phelps had Bowman poolside after he resumed training.

Tom Brady, who led the New England Patriots to three Super Bowl championships, kept Tom Martinez as his personal quarterback coach from the time he played junior varsity football in high school until Martinez died in 2012.

Phelps and Brady clearly know what it takes to be champions, but both relied on trusted advisors to help them achieve greatness.

Star athletes are sometimes criticized for having an entourage. But these trainers, nutritionists, and advisors actually make sure that great performers stay on top of their game.

A support team can be the difference between an average career and a great one for entrepreneurs and business leaders as well. Creating a valuable system of support can help you meet and then exceed your potential.

Creating a Success Team

Don’t Try to Do It Alone

Before my first IRONMAN triathlon, I thought I needed to train on my own. In reality, it was pure stubbornness. After that first triathlon, I realized how essential a “success team” was.

In the competitive executive environment, you need to rely on more than your own experience and perspective to stay ahead of the game.

A well-built success team can be the difference between being an OK leader and becoming a great one.

A success team can be:

  • A formal group of advisors
  • Professional peers
  • Friends
  • Supporters from different backgrounds

These array of perspectives can provide input, insight, and assistance.

This guidance applies not only to your career advancement, but also to how you balance your career with other important aspects of life, such as family, personal well-being, and community.

Build Your Team for Success

When establishing your team, put together a mix of people who know you well, who are not afraid to challenge you, and who are accomplished in your field. Don’t be afraid to contact “rock stars” in the business.

Surely someone helped them reach the top, and they’re usually willing to pay it back to someone else.

Great leaders instill those values of cooperation for continued success.

6 Important Qualities

When you begin putting together your team, there are six qualities you should keep in mind. Good team members:

  • Provide serious and knowledgeable input. You wouldn’t easily dismiss their views. They know your strengths and how to use those strengths to meet your goals.
  • Are straight shooters. You can count on them to give honest, thoughtful feedback. Just as a great coach would recognize when your form is off or when you’re struggling to put 100 percent effort into your training, you need to rely on the direct feedback of your team.
  • Have no investment in a particular path. They wholeheartedly support your goals and trust that you know the way to get there.
  • Are supportive. They believe in you unconditionally.
  • Are available and accessible. They make time to help you achieve your goals.
  • Grasp the issues you’re considering. These could include growing your business, balancing your family and professional lives, or pursuing personal creative interests.

Establishing Clear Expectations

Establishing clear expectations with all your team members is critical. Let them know exactly what you want from them and how often you’ll contact them.

It’s also important that this relationship is reciprocal.

By contributing to your team members’ successes, you help propel your overall mission.

Give Team Members Specific Roles

Just as professional athletes depend on people with specific skills and experience to help them succeed, you should choose success team members who fill specific roles like these:

  • The trainer: This is someone who helps you recover from setbacks or build your skills with functional expertise — like a sports trainer helps athletes build strength and endurance.
  • The swing coach: This person has followed a career path like yours; you can learn from his mistakes and find specific disciplines and approaches to be successful.
  • The mental guide: The guide is someone who helps you build a stronger psychological game, keeps you positive, and offers a sounding board.
  • The utility players: These members help give you perspective, ease your burdens, and remind you that you’re not alone in facing problems.

Be Strong By Getting Help

I learned the hard way after training for my first IRONMAN that it’s okay to ask for help. You don’t have to go it alone.

Seeking help and support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

I now have a strength and conditioning coach, a swim coach, a sports masseuse, an IRONMAN coach, and friends and family who know my training goals and keep me on track. It takes a team of experts — both in your field and in your personal life — to be your best. Assemble your own success team to take your achievements to the next level.

So, do you have a support system in place? If so, how is it working for you? And what can you do to improve or expand its impact?If not, what steps can you take NOW to begin to build one? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Bobbie LaPorte

Bobbie LaPorte is the founder and CEO of RAL & Associates
She works with Senior-Level Executives to Develop their Professional Goals
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Google+ | Web 

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