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No Points for Second Place

Preserving clarity in a bullet-point age

Author: Scott Schwertly

Date Created: November 19th 2007
Last Updated: June 14th 2012

Scott SchwertlyScott Schwertly is a presentation expert. He has spent the last eight years working for television network affiliates helping them create story-telling visuals and has worked in marketing for both the private and public sector. Today, Scott works with a wide spectrum of clients that includes Silicon Valley start-ups, publishing houses, authors, and various companies throughout the world. Helping individuals and businesses build, design, and deliver captivating presentations is his passion.

He currently serves as both Founder and CEO of Ethos3 Communications – A Presentation Design and Training Company, and is the author of an award winning blog - Presentation Revolution and a Top 100 ChangeThis.com manifesto. Scott has a B.A. in Communications and an M.B.A. from Harding University.

You spent an entire year slaving behind your desk, you were responsive via your Blackberry 24/7, and you stayed late Monday through Friday to prove to yourself that you’ve got what it takes to move up in the organization. This is you and it is description of everyone else who is hungry to succeed in today’s competitive environment.

However, have you seen this all fall apart within just a few minutes for some unprepared individual? I’m sure you have, and it was probably during this individual’s presentation. Don’t be the next victim. How you summarize your work will make or break you. There are no points for second place.

Here’s how you can secure the top position you were aiming for all year with your next presentation:


Acknowledge that your presentation is your make or break moment. Everything you do all year boils down to that one moment. Don’t fizzle out in zero hour. Stay committed all the way through. If you hate public speaking – practice. If you hate your slides – get design help. Put your best foot forward – always – you owe it to yourself.


Get disturbed. It’s only when you get disturbed that you will challenge yourself to take it up a notch. Push yourself to the next level. Don’t settle on your presentation. If you’re unhappy with any element of your presentation – fix it.


According to the dictionary, transcendence is defined as: Surpassing others; preeminent or supreme. If you build, design, and deliver the presentation like you know you should, you will transcend all others - getting you to the place you know you deserve. There are no points for second place. Don’t forget it.

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