Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator



Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker &
Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator

Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker &
Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Presentations do NOT have to be boring

Imagine attending a business meeting where one of your colleagues is about to give a PowerPoint presentation. Perhaps it’s one of many slide shows that you’ll have to endure that day. You prepare yourself for a long, tiring, boring data dump, one after the other after the other. You know, the usual corporate stuff.

Then to your surprise, your colleague stands before the group holding a large, colorful hula hoop. You haven’t seen one of those in years.  You wonder what the heck she’s going to do with it. Secretly you hope she gives it a whirl…and then maybe invites you and a few others to have a go with the hula hoop. Wouldn’t that be fun?

You are not dreaming. This actually happened. Corrine Andrade, a senior HR business partner for a leading regional banking institution in the Northeast Region of the USA, gave just such a presentation. In a two-day presentation skills class called The Motivated Presenter, I challenged Corrine and the other executives taking this mastery class to find more creative ways to bring their message to life. We were studying the impact of storytelling and the use of props in a presentation as ways to be more engaging, inspiring, and memorable during a presentation. Corrine hit it out of the park.

Here’s how she used the hula hoop

Rather than the typical boring start to a presentation, Corrine took the floor with this unusual item. She stood silent for a few seconds before beginning. Those few seconds of silence combined to emphasize the colorful prop in her hand. Her black and tan outfit and her power stance were the perfect backdrop – helping the prop to pop out and her audience to lean in with anticipation.

Corrine’s presentation was focused on eradicating stereotypes around Millennial employees. She began telling a story of working for an advertising agency earlier in her career. On several occasions, Corrine noticed a young woman of the millennial generation at the end of a hallway twirling the hula hoop on what must have been an unconventional “coffee break.” She remembered thinking it an odd behavior, but chalked it up as “different strokes for different folks.”

She continued to see this young woman, at various times throughout the work week, doing the hula hoop thing. Corrine began to wonder why the company was paying her to “fool around” so much. What kind of work ethic and values did this young woman have? Soon Corrine began to generalize her feelings for this young woman and to project them onto the entire millennial generation. She began to judge millennials thinking all they did was play all day versus work hard like “the rest of us.”

Corrine later learned that this young professional was in fact a strong contributor at the agency. Corrine came to understand that hula hooping was the colleague’s way of de-stressing and generating ideas – all part of her creative process. Corrine had gotten it all wrong. She misunderstood the motivations and values behind the activity. This led her to re-examine her thoughts, beliefs, and understanding of the millennial generation.

At this moment, Corrine pivoted to build a powerful bridge between this personal story and the core topic of her presentation:  a new study just released about millennial values and workplace needs. The audience was not only listening, but moved by her key message. Through her personal story and clever prop, Corrine had transformed the thoughts and beliefs of her colleagues. She had lived up to her personal brand and demonstrated how to “increase competitive advantage by aligning strategy with people and culture.” Through her creative, high-engagement presentation, she had opened the door to create an even better workplace at her organization. That’s the power of an effective non-boring presentation.

What can you do to be more engaging in your presentations?

The next time you are preparing for a presentation, I want you to think of Corrine and how she used creativity and connection to bring her message to life and move her audience to action. Boring is a choice, and one that I encourage you NOT to select.

I tell my clients that, as leaders, they don’t have to tolerate boring presentations, not from others and not from themselves. There are better ways to communicate, inform, inspire, motivate, and connect than the standard bullet-point laden boring PowerPoint presentation that puts your audience to sleep.

If you need help, give me a call at +1 (860) 371-8801. As your executive presentation coach and trainer, I can work with you and your team to plan, build, and deliver more engaging presentations that motivate people to action. You can also buy and read my book, Stop Global Boring. 

Taking the leap…

I love action. Action films. Action heroes (and heroines). Action plans. Taking action. If it entails action, I’m in. I love doing stuff. It energizes me. It gives me the feeling of moving forward with my life. But when it comes to activating big changes, things start to slow down. That makes sense because the [read more]

The cost of multitasking

In today’s modern society of high-tech gadgets and high-pressure demands from work, we have trained ourselves to be multitasking machines. Many of us consider our ability to multitask to be a skill worthy of listing on our resume. We like to brag to others about our superior ability to do many things at once. Awkward Situation [read more]

Please don’t clear your throat

Twice this week, I have experienced the very unpleasant sound of people clearing their throats while presenting information and ideas. I don’t just mean a one time clearing of the throat, but repeatedly. One person was giving a presentation in front of a live audience. The other person was on the phone with me for thirty [read more]

Bring more love and passion to your work every day

Have you lost that loving feeling? It’s so easy to complain about our workplaces ….. demanding bosses, low pay, lack of appreciation, limited opportunity, high stress levels….. Or if you are in transition, looking for a job, you might find yourself complaining about not having work, no boss, no pay, no return phone calls, and [read more]

What it feels like to be banned from entry

Protesters outside Terminal 5 of O’Hare International Airport demand that travelers detained  inside due to President Trump’s order to ban people from seven predominantly Muslim countries are released on January 28, 2017. (Photo credit by Max Herman/NurPhoto) The recent executive order banning travel on seven Muslim-majority nations has triggered massive responses around the globe. Protests were [read more]

It all starts with a dream…

I had the good fortune of running into Rob Toller the other week at the Human Resource Leadership Forum. It was their annual holiday party and everyone was in a festive mood, due in large part to the special venue: the event was held at the New Britain Museum of American Art. By day, Rob [read more]

You can always take smaller steps

If you pay closer attention, you’ll find insight and inspiration everywhere you go. As a blogger, I’m always on the look-out for interesting people and ideas. Sometimes my topics come to me simply by driving to a friend’s house for dinner (read my last week’s blog), or while networking with cool people (read my blog on Scope [read more]


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