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Career Compass

Career Compassis a monthly column from ICMA focused on career issues for local government professional staff.  It is written by Dr. Frank Benest, ICMA's senior advisor for Next Generation Initiatives. If you have a career question you would like addressed in a future Career Compass, e-mail or contact Frank directly at

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Aug 29

Career Compass No. 34: Making Presentations Like a Pro

Posted on August 29, 2013 at 3:35 PM by Amber Ahlo

In this issue of Career Compass, Dr. Benest gives us a blueprint to talk like TED.

I’m a newly promoted recreation manager in a city Community Services Department. As part of my new role, I am being called upon to make verbal reports and other kinds of presentations to the Recreation and Parks Commission, community associations, and user groups such as the Little League Board.

In my first two presentations, I thought that I prepared well and wrote out my remarks to make sure I covered everything. However, I did not feel comfortable and it was evident that I was not effective in making my case. In fact, in one situation, the commission heard my report, took testimony from a few people with some minor concerns, and then postponed its decision even though there was enough information to take action.

For me to be a success as a manager, I recognize that I must improve my presentation skills. Do you have any advice?