ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Ways To Make Your Work Communication Less Boring

Updated on February 17, 2014

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend an interesting training workshop on “Presentation Best Practices” led by Tom Kennedy, a consultant who specializes in business communication. (FYI, check out The Kennedy Group website for more info.)

His content focused mainly on formal presentations, but many of these techniques can be leveraged inside and outside of work, and in less formal communications like emails.

I have summarized the “golden nuggets” from his talk into this Hub Pages article.

1) Inspiration is Better than Perspiration

In one part of the session, Tom Kennedy asked for a few volunteers to be videotaped, with no preparation time. In the first video round he asked each person to introduce themselves and what they do for work. In the second video round he asked each person to talk about something they were passionate about. The audience then watched and critiqued both videos.

Any guess on what we observed? In almost every case, the videos where people talked about their passion were much, much better. In these short videos (about things like travel, family, martial arts) the participants were more relaxed, smiled a lot and were much more engaging to listen to. In comparison, the intro videos were pretty blah.

  • So…Take a few moments and think about what at work- inspires you. And then infuse that passion into all of your communications with other employees and customers.
  • For me, I am passionate about trying to make a difference in the lives of the people who work in my organization. They spend a lot of time at work and I know my actions (good or bad, fast or slow) will have a direct impact on their job satisfaction and our customers’ experiences.

2) Don’t call your slides “the presentation”

Tom reinforced that our powerpoint slides should just be visual aids, and that we, the humans, are the presentation. We should go into every meeting with that mindset. This means fewer stats and graphs and more storytelling and visual aids. Why? Your audience will be much more engaged.. see #1.

3) Know The Elevator Pitch of Your Presentation or Message

What I am about to share happens on an almost a daily basis. I attend a 1 hour meeting that someone else is not able to attend. That someone else approaches me and asks how the meeting was. I often say.. “the quick and the dirty of the meeting was.. and then sum it up in about two sentences”. Yes..I sum up an hour meeting in 2 sentences. A little disturbing, but that is what happens in corporate America all the time.

So, if you are presenting you should think about what that elevator message is.. or the 2 sentences. Ideally you should have that main message on one of your slides, and ideally end your meeting that way. If you don’t clearly communicate it, others will make it up for you.

4) Make It Personal

Tom Kennedy shared that in his opinion, the four essential ingredients of any successful presentation or business communication are: make it personal, make it reciprocal, make it simple yet vivid and make it memorable.

I attempted to use this advice in a presentation I had at work this past week. A coworker and I were asked to summarize and present a Harvard Business Review Case study on effectively implementing a business strategy, which is a pretty dry topic. To make it more interesting, we added some humorous banter up front and then leveraged a personal story to reinforce the article’s main points.

5) This Ain’t Just About Powerpoint

We can leverage all of these techniques in our every-day communication with customers and fellow employees. We can leverage these techniques via telephone, in person or email.

If we sound passionate about our work; if we infuse some humor and stories into our discussions; if we rely on examples versus a bunch of slides etc, our communication will be much more effective.

Customers will be more satisfied with their experiences and will likely respond to us faster when we need them. Other employees will look forward to talking with you. You will be even more awesome than you already are!!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)