Enhance Your Next HR Presentation! Just Grab This FREE Success Guide & Stop Being Dull and Boring.

by Alan Collins

It’s no secret.

Public speaking and giving presentations in your HR area of expertise is one of the fastest ways for you to promote yourself, expand your relationships and advance your career in HR.

…But you absolutely CANNOT be boring!

I was reminded of this fact when I attended the National SHRM Conference last June in Chicago.

I was super excited about it because of the great speakers they had lined up. 

So when I went to my first concurrent session, I couldn’t wait for the speaker to come on.  I was on the edge of my seat and pumped up.   

The last time I felt like this was when I fought the crowds to see the Black Panther movie for the first time.

I just couldn’t wait for things to get started.

And then it happened…

He came on stage, looked towards the back of the packed room and said, “slides please.”

And then…ten minutes into his presentation, I said: “WTF?!!!” under my breath, hoping no one heard me. 

Here I was, taking time out of my insanely busy schedule. Investing time I really didn’t have. And he turned out to be…

Just another dull HR presenter! 

After 60 minutes my head was hurting, my butt ached, the energy drained completely out of my body and I found myself just staring at my phone waiting to get the heck out of there. 

Sure, I took some notes and he had some good information…but it was painful to sit through.

There are a number of things he did which absolutely ticked me off.  

I call these…

Guidelines For Giving
Absolutely Horrible HR Presentations

To be more specific, let me describe them.

Please note: #14 & #21 are my personal favorites:

1. He dived right in – with no inspiring intro to grab your attention

2. He buried the audience in slides, about 1 slide every minute (60 total)

3. He focused on facts & data – no interesting stories, anecdotes and examples

4. He used 10 lines of single-spaced, bullets — on every other slide

5.  He rarely used images or pictures on his slides, just lots of text

6.  Some slides he read word for word

7.  He even read some slides twice to make his points

8.  He made excuses about small text, “I know you can’t read this, but…”

9. He, at times, turned his whole back to the audience when looking at a slide

10. He used that annoying laser pen

11. He made crazy little circles with that annoying laser pen

12. He made zig-zags with that annoying laser pen

13. He had no gestures, just stood there with his arms dangling down

14. One time, he waved his arms around like Michael Jackson singing Billie Jean

15. Sometimes he didn’t move at all

16. Sometimes he paced like a lion in a cage

17.  Sometimes he stood in front of the screen (letting the words display on his face)

18. He told subtle jokes that no got or laughed at

19. He didn’t sound passionate about his own topic

20. He did not engage the audience

21. He pointed to a slide with his middle finger

22. The only video he showed couldn’t be heard in the back of the room

23. Finally, he went 5 minutes OVER his allotted time

Needless to say, after he was done, I bolted!

I wasn’t alone. I doubt if anyone walked out of his presentation inspired, sold, or well-informed.

Most of them no doubt left bored out of their freaking minds, saying silently to themselves: “I wonder how long he’s going to keep that great HR job he has.”

Obviously, I’m building up to a better approach.

I am and this approach consists of…Three Terrific Tips For Giving Insanely Great HR Presentations


Tip #1:
and use it to prep for your next presentation.

This 8-page quick and dirty guide addresses one of the biggest presentation mistakes I see HR professionals make.  And it is…

Waiting until the last minute to prepare.

They rush to throw together a Power Power presentation relying on it as their “crutch” to bail them out.  You can tell who these HR presenters are because they follow the 23 points I just described.

Don’t fall into this trap.

But that’s not all.  You should also follow…


Tip #2:
Go see some outstanding HR presenters
and take notes on what they do.

At last summer’s HR Conference, people like Adam GrantJennifer McClure and Steve Browne absolutely blew me away when they presented in their concurrent sessions. 

Each had an important message to share…but they were authentic, had high energy, we’re engaging and even funny at times.  

If you ever have a chance to catch one of their talks — or the hundreds of others like them — DO IT!  

I was never once bored for one second listening to them.  And they each made a lasting impression on me.

And one more thing…

Each of them DID use power point.
But they knew how to use it effectively!

I really wish I could share videos of their presentations with you.  But I can’t.  SHRM won’t allow me to.  Something about copyrights, trademarks and proprietary information.

Believe me, I understand fully.

So I want to share a video with you of the next best thing.  Check it out here…


Tip #3:
Watch this Steve Jobs video
and follow it’s guidelines.

If you must give a presentation — and yes, if you must use PowerPoint — there’s a YouTube video you must check out that will give you some fantastic principles to follow…compliments of the late, great Steve Jobs.

For your convenience, you can view it here:

Here’s the bottom line on all this…

You may not be the ex-CEO of Apple, but if you’re an HR leader (or an aspiring one), you must look and sound like a leader in every talk you give.

There’s too much riding on your performance — your ability to influence others, your personal impact, your image and your career advancement in HR.

And if you’re drop dead serious about taking your HR game to the next level, start seizing opportunities today to polish up your presentation skills.

You can accomplish this by simple stepping up and speaking at:

All it requires is you be willing to speak, prepare in advance, get some feedback from others and have a passion for your topic.

And also that you:

  1.  Download and use the quick and dirty guide.
  2.  Go see some outstanding HR presenters.
  3.  Watch the Steve Jobs’ video regularly.

Finally, let me leave you with this message.  Whatever you do…

Don’t settle for making your next HR presentation
simply AVERAGE.  Aim to make it INSANELY GREAT!



Hit me up with your comments on this article by CLICKING HERE.

Want more strategies for advancing your career in Human Resources…especially those your boss won’t tell you about?  Then check out:  UNWRITTEN HR RULES: 21 Strategies For Attaining Awesome Career Success in Human Resources.  You can download details HERE.

About the author: Alan Collins is Founder of Success in HR and the author of a variety of best selling books for HR professionals  including UNWRITTEN HR RULES.   He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.

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2 Responses to “Enhance Your Next HR Presentation! Just Grab This FREE Success Guide & Stop Being Dull and Boring.”

  1. JC Says:

    Alan, I read this last night (Thursday) when it first hit and read it again. I don’t blame you for being mad, H-ANGRY, frustrated, and more! Sounds like SHRM may not have “properly vetted” that speaker–especially if they are well known.

    Just because someone is an “industry expert” doesn’t mean that they know how to present.

    And thank you for the cheat sheet! Very kind of you!

  2. Alan Says:

    JC, appreciate your comments. SHRM normally does an outstanding job of picking presenters. This person was clearly the exception rather than the rule. Thrilled you found the cheat sheet of value.