Better Presentations: Running towards Excellence

Company: Nike

Why they called

At this global branding juggernaut, presenting well matters. For this particular high-visibility team, the expectation is even greater. They needed to grab—and hold—the attention of busy leaders and connect more deeply with their wide spectrum of audiences.

What we did

The 10 workshop participants brought in real presentations to work on. Everyone presented their first two minutes to the room— if you think presenting to 500 is tough, try presenting to nine of your peers! After identifying each speaker’s unique strengths to accentuate, we moved on to gaining quick credibility with audiences and getting clear about what you want them to do differently after your presentation. Lastly, we worked on how to use story as a tool to hook audiences and structure entire presentations.

What happened as a result

The leader who brought us in had her own upcoming, high-stakes presentation to work on. She told us the workshop “helped me inform my final slide order and the narrative,” and that she employed tools we shared for engaging audiences. When her presentation was over, she gave us the sweetest feedback around, “Our presentation could not have gone better.”

What they said

“Overall, the team had an amazing time. I had nothing but positive feedback from all attendees.”

What we learned

On the morning of this workshop, we came across a newspaper story about a man who broke into a woman’s house with a gun. She listened to what was true for him and then reflected it back to him in a human, empathetic way. Eventually, he put his gun down. When the police came to take the the man away, he and the woman hugged goodbye. We learned that demonstrating that you’re listening to your audience’s needs is even more powerful than we thought.