5 Things We Can Learn About Giving Better Presentations from The Donald

Posted on Apr 5, 2016 in Popular


First off, I do not support Donald Trump for President and I am sure that I never will.  I am totally against Donald Trump as President and think it would be a “disaster” using his own words.

But, in saying that I realized the other day that there are a few things I can learn from him. He has done remarkably in getting so many people to follow him.  There are some things that he does very well and making people feel an emotional response when he speaks is probably one of those things.

The New York Kid

I view Donald Trump as the quintessential New Yorker;  bold, brash and unafraid to express an definitive opinion.   In today’s busy world where people have a limited attention span that type of direct communication can be very effective.  When Donald Trump speaks, people listen.  Whether they like it or not, they listen.

For work, I have to present quite a bit.  Sometimes when I am presenting, I can see people’s eyes glazing over.  That’s when I know I might need to use some Donald Trump techniques to get everyone back on track.

Here are 5 things we can learn from Donald Trump to make our presentations better.

#1 – Keep it Simple Stupid

Donald Trump speaks at a 4th grade level.  His simpleton speak is not my analysis, rather the analysis conducted by speech analyst on all the politicians.  Donald Trump had the lowest grade level of any candidate.

By speaking simply, Donald Trump makes sure his big messages are understood.  Also, by speaking simply he doesn’t leave anybody out of the conversation.

In presentations, if we use simple language, avoid acronyms we can help people focus on our big messages.  After all, you are lucky if people remember 1 or 2 things from your presentation.

Simple Jack Could Even Speak to Horses by Keeping it Simple

simple jack

#2 – Repeat your Message, Repeat it Again. (And Again)

There is no one that understands better than Trump that repeating yourself is remarkably effective in getting people to remember your message.  He does it to the extreme and it works so much in his favor. You will never forget what he says because he just keeps saying it.

In presentations, repetition of the same phrase throughout the presentation is very effective.  Pick your theme sentence and say it at least 10 times during your presentation.  It works!

#3  Embellish A Bit for The Sake of The Story

Donald Trump has a great way of throwing a personal story in to many points that he makes.  And he is not afraid of taking it over the top.   When Donald Trump sells steaks he says, “These are the Best Steaks in the World”.  Even though I highly doubt them, I find myself wanting to grill one of those steaks up to try it out.

In presentations, the personal anecdote is very important.  If you are selling something then say it is the best in the world. I do it all the time and find it to be very effective.  “This is the best software we have ever launched and it is changing the way people look at fraud”

Another New Yorker, My Dad was a master at this like Trump.  He used to spin yarns so tall that stories would be unbelievable.  Like when he opened a small insurance company and put a bell on top of the agency saying it had tremendous historical significance.  Fricken brilliant marketing.  True?  Not even close but he got it in the paper!


#4- Say it Like you Really Believe it

Donald Trump takes people along for the ride.  He says something emphatically and people buy into it.  I don’t actually believe that he believes in most of what he says but he says it like it is the most important thing to him and everyone loves it.

In presentations, if you are passionate about what you are presenting, people will follow you and what you say.  If you act like you could care less or you don’t own what you are presenting people will die of boredom.  I know that I have.

Mexico is going to pay for the Wall!

trump believes

#5  Know your Audience

Trump knows what people want to hear.  And then he proceed to tell them exactly what they want to hear.  Now I am not saying that this is right but it has gotten him about 30% of the Americans to respond positively to his story.

What we can take away from this is Trump’s tremendous instinct on tailoring his message to the audience.  Before he goes in to give any speech, he knows the type of people that will be in the room and exactly what they are interested in hearing.

When giving a presentation, I always try to understand who is going to be in the room and what their hot buttons are. If I can tailor my message around what they care about, I know I can generate an emotional response from them and have them listen to what I have to say.

What you want to say, vs what your audience cares about



Thanks for reading!

(Photos from Gage Skidmore, Amanda Ryan)