The Secret to Dynamic Presentations

Yesterday I gave my first keynote presentation since the accident on November 20, 2011. It felt like putting old jeans on.

Successful presenters create dynamic connections between themselves and audiences.

Connect with the past:

Weeks before the presentation, I’d asked several people, “What was the best organizational meeting you attended?” They all replied, “The one when we had Zumba.”

I don’t Zumba! But, I decided we’d do it, anyway. During the presentation, I coaxed three attendees to demonstrate.

They said, “We need music.” I was ready! Instantly, thumping music blasted through the speakers. The whole thing from reluctance to applause took about five minutes.

I’d created a dynamic connection by taking them back to the best presentation they remembered. Connect with people by honoring their past.

Connect with the present:

I connected with their present before I spoke. Several individuals had explained their jobs and what they enjoyed about work. The Director sent documents helping me grasp their mission and vision. She included agendas and feedback from previous open meetings (with names removed).

The audience smiled while I told them who they were, from an outsider’s view point. Connect with people by honoring their present, without improvements or corrections.

Connect with hope:

I lifted them by explaining they were all leaders, already. I gave them hope by sharing simple tools that powerfully enhance leadership. For example:

  1. Getting unstuck requires two things: a goal and the next step.
  2. Perfection kills progress.
  3. Leverage strengths more – fix weaknesses less.
  4. Believe in others more than they believe in themselves.
  5. “What’s next?” is the most powerful question leaders ask.

I’m not sure everyone felt this, but on my way out I heard someone say, “That was better than Zumba.”

Bonus tips: 

  1. Be yourself, don’t fake it.
  2. It’s all about the audience, not you.
  3. PowerPoint is best used for images not text.


Send me a note if you’d like to discuss a Leadership Freak presentation for your organization. Contact page.


How can presenters create connections with an audience?


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