Your Slide Show Sucks

I overheard this conversation yesterday between two people at a Chamber of Commerce meeting…

“Do we have a projector?”

“No, but maybe one will show up.”

“It’s alright. I can do it without one. My slides are pretty forgettable anyway.”

Have you ever had this thought about your own lecture, presentation, or slide show? Is your Powerpoint Fu really weak? If so…if you’ve ever thought about any portion of it as ‘forgettable’…then you should probably rethink what you’re doing.

Get rid of the slide show or make it remarkable.

Change your presentation around.

Add some great personal stories.

Make it UNforgettable.

How do you do that?

A good friend of mine, Ryan McRae of ADHD Nerd, tuned me onto the book Presentation Zen a few years back, and it reshaped the way I do my presentations. It’s become a core part of the breakout Ninja Skills for Great Presentations that I offer with my keynote lectures for conferences.

Whether you learn from me, a book, or my friend Ryan, find a way to make the audience remember you.


This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


What in the world is an ADHD Nerd?

Want to increase your Presentation Zen?

A Swamp Thing Think Tank

Say that five times fast.

I couldn’t help posting this cover from DC Comics’ Swamp Thing 75.

Swamp Thing_Think Tank001

I operate a think tank that I use for my business coaching, and I think Swamp Thing, the vegetable version of the former Dr. Alec Holland, would be a welcome member of the team. Just imagine his unique perspective!

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


Curious about the Swamp Thing?

Curious about Think Tanks?

Wisconsin EMS Symposium 2016 Resources


This blog post is here for attendees at any of my lectures for the 2016 Wisconsin EMS Symposium to access resources I referenced. If you happen to come across it otherwise, feel free to also partake of the offerings.

FREE copy of my book The Future of EMS– Click HERE to get to the free e-version on Amazon. This offer is only good the week of the symposium, so if you’re clicking any other time, it is still available, just not free.

Future of EMS_Vertical Cover

If you didn’t get a chance to sign up for my newsletter after the lecture, you can do that HERE.

Good Medics Gone Bad– The lecture discussed cases in which emergency workers went over to the dark side. Situations included were a suicide bomber, various examples of white-collar corruption across the U.S., and sexual crimes all committed by those we call ‘brothers in arms’. The lecture wasn’t a bashing session on those who did wrong but an analysis of why they did it, how to avoid these tendencies in ourselves, and what to look for among our fellow workers.

I didn’t give any references for this lecture, but, if you’re interested in more, a simple Internet search will help you here. I’m assuming that some of you may research this more because of specific problems in your own agencies. In other words, just search for “EMS” or “Fire” and the issue you need more information on, such as drugs, theft, alcoholism, hazing, or other.

Becoming an EMS Mentalist– We all know that patients, partners, and bystanders always tell the truth, right? How do we really know when they don’t, unless it’s painfully obvious? It’s possible to learn the seemingly ‘magic’ tricks employed by Simon Baker on the popular television show The Mentalist and employ those same tricks to aid us in EMS work. Simple looks, head nods, and the words used are sometimes all it takes. Not only can these tricks help you in providing better patient care, they can also help you become a better employee by increasing your confidence, self-esteem, and mental acuity. Learn how to become an EMS Mentalist.

I referenced the following books in this one…

How to Become a Mentalist by Simon Winthrop

Mastermind- How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova

If you’re interested in the Mentalist television show as well, you can find that HERE.

My Wife Hates Me, My Kids Don’t Know Me, and I Think I have a Dog– There are seven key areas of life that we all experience or should if we only made the time. Instead of balancing our lives as we should, we all spend too much time somewhere to the detriment of the other areas in life. It could be work, hobbies, education, or anything that takes too much priority. For those of us in the small business world it usually happens to be work. This imbalance has an impact on all parts of our lives and can cause disastrous consequences. It endangers our relationships, our success, and even our own lives. Find out what it means to balance your life for maximum enjoyment and hopefully get back to knowing those people you call friends and family. Think about how it could make everything better at work, at home, and at play.

I actually published a book based on this lecture that goes more in depth. You can find it right HERE.

marriage-relationship-Dr. Powers

I hope all of you enjoyed my lectures. As always I’m available for any questions you might have about anything I covered.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

A Lesson in Customer Service from Hampton Inn

Recently my family and I went on a trip to Seattle. We love to travel and by car as much as possible, because we love to experience the little things all across the U.S., not just the airports, which are mostly just all the same. During our travels, we often have 1-4 of the kids with us. On this recent Seattle trip, we only had the two oldest boys.

Because we’re usually traveling with the kids, we’re choosy about our hotels, not so much for price and convenience, but for certain specific amenities like breakfast and a pool. Our go-to joint was most often the Residence Inn, but recently we’ve been hitting up the Hampton Inns. Hampton has gone through a major remodel of both the business and the physical properties that works very well for us. The rooms are nice and clean, the staff are (usually) really nice, and the breakfast is pretty awesome, since they almost always have hot food like bacon and eggs and not just waffles and fruit. Even better, Hampton Inns are now offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Not only that, but many of our recent stays included unforeseen perks.

In Atlanta we were invited to a free BBQ dinner in the lobby.

In Seattle we were given goody bags with candy and snacks inside.

In Greensboro NC we were given free bottled waters.

Then there was Tacoma WA.

Despite a pretty awesome string of enjoyable stays in Hampton Inns, we eventually found a bad apple. I don’t even think it was the hotel so much as it was the employee on duty at the time. Unfortunately, customer service at the corporate level turned sour when I mentioned our issue.

Here’s the story.

Like many of you, I book 99.9% of my hotel stays online. As I’m a proud Hilton Honors member, I usually just book through that website instead of the plethora of other sites out there. I usually just go straight in and search for a Hampton Inn near where I’m staying.

We had just driven out of Mt. Rainier National Park and were looking for a place to stay in Tacoma WA. We found a string of hotels near the mall, some of which were even considerably cheaper than the Hampton Inn. I booked a room online, we found the hotel, and…then the trouble started.


When we walked in to get the keys to the room that I paid for through the Hilton website the receptionist said, “No, you can’t have that room” and proceeded to book us in a room with one bed instead of two at a higher rate. Two kids, remember? I’m way past the days I’m willing to share a bed with my two monsters. That’s a guaranteed sleepless night.

“What happened to our booking?”

“I don’t know, but you’re lucky to get the room I’m giving you.”

All this is said to us as we’re standing there staring at the 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed sign and wondering who peed in her Cheerios. We went ahead and took the booking and made beds for the kids on the floor. It was a clean hotel, so this wasn’t too bad. I figured I’d contact Hilton Honors later and see what was up.

There were several basic issues here…

  • The hotel refused to honor my online reservation.
  • The receptionist had a crappy attitude.
  • The hotel upsold me to a lesser room.

But let me go on record right now and tell you how customer service works. There are several things the receptionist could have done that would have fixed everything…

  • Show a better attitude.
  • Offer a small perk, like the goody bags full of snacks and candy that were sitting right there on the counter.
  • Apologize for the online screw-up and give me the new room at the rate I paid instead of the upsell.
  • But most of all, I reiterate the first idea…be nice.

I contacted Hilton to express my concerns and let them know what could’ve made things rights. I also expressed my concerns that it felt like I couldn’t trust the online booking. Despite repeated requests to get to a customer service supervisor, all I ever got was the bottom of the ladder person managing the e-mails and tweets that day.

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

Tweet 3

In addition to the Twitter messages, there was also a chain of e-mails regarding the issue. After reading them, you tell me if you can feel the love or if the whole things just seems like a “send the typical corporate response and get rid of this guy” kind of thing.

This is the first response following my e-mail asking for information on what happened with the online booking…

It is my understanding that the Tacoma-Mall, WA has been in contact with you and has adjusted your rate from $129.00 to $119.00 and e-mailed and updated folio.

Should you require further assistance please let us know. 

Hilton Worldwide Guest Assistance Specialist 

And another one…

Dear Dr. David W. Powers,

Thank you for your reply. My name is Mary.  It will be my pleasure to assist with the Hampton Inn & Suites Tacoma-Mall, WA. I would like to express my sincere apologies. Yes, you can trust all your reservations booked on our websites. The Hotel should have honored  the rate you had confirmed on your reservation. It is our goal, to provide only the highest level of customer service, for all of our guests, who choose to stay at one of our Hilton Worldwide hotels, and based on the details you provided in your message, we deeply regret that we have fallen short of that goal. Please be assured that we will be sharing your feedback with management to avoid recurrence.

After reviewing you file, I see 100% satisfaction Guarantee was offered in a form of a ” Be My Guest” for one night complimentary stay in a standard room at any Hampton Inn & Suites hotel of your choice and will be valid for “1” year from the date of issue. Please allow 5-7 business days for the certificate to be processed and mailed. 

Once again, we are terribly sorry for the challenges that you experienced at the hotel during your stay.

Should you have any additional questions relative to this matter, please reply to this email or call our office at 1-888-240-6152.

Best Regards,

Mary H., Specialist, Hilton Guest Assistance

And from me…

Would it be at all possible to get forwarded to a customer service supervisor? I’m not sure who I’ve been speaking to on the Hampton Inn Twitter account, but I’m getting a runaround and lots of typical scripted verbiage, and I would like to actually dialogue with someone higher.

Uh oh, Mary again…

Dear Dr. David W. Powers,

Thank you for contacting Hilton Guest Assistance. My name is Mary. It will be my pleasure to assist regarding the Hampton Inn & Suites Tacoma-Mall, WA.

After reviewing the file, I see you had been contacted by social media supervisor and were offered a “Be my guest” certificate to make amends for your experience.

We want you as our guest and are hopeful that you will afford us the opportunity to provide lodging services in the future.

Should you have any additional questions relative to this matter, please reply to this email or call our office at 1-888-240-6152.

Best Regards,

Mary H., Specialist, Hilton Guest Assistance

The end result is a bad stay, a receptionist ill equipped for the job, a policy of just tossing out free hotel stays for dissatisfaction, customer service reps who only want to cross off complaints instead of actually fixing them, and a serious problem that Hilton needs to get hold of. Otherwise, families like us may end up making our way to similar hotels like Residence Inn and the Holiday Inn Express.

Hilton, if you’re listening, I’ll repeat what would have made everything perfect for me…

  • An apology from the receptionist that night
  • An offer from the receptionist to bring in a roll up bed for my boys
  • A goody bag for each of the kids and a bottle of water for me and my wife
  • The rate I paid for if the room truly wasn’t available
  • Make me happy onsite and two things happen. I don’t complain and you don’t have to give me a free night.

And boom! Done!

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

Tradition vs. Change or Die or…Vikings vs. West Point Pansies

I’m a big fan of tradition.

I’m a bigger fan of not being stupid.

I’m descended from Vikings. I can trace them all the way back to a small village in Denmark. My people were big on tradition, but they changed with the times in order to conquer the world without people even realizing it. For instance, did you know that the name for that big ol’ country in Asia called Russia was actually the local word for Viking. That’s right, the entire country is named after my people.

Here’s a great example of how we’ve adapted to the times and new technology…

Viking Lightsaber Axe

There are also some traditions out there that should be cast aside like rancid lutefisk. Take this one, for example, from the Army’s school for boys where they train men and women to be pansies apparently.

West Point Pillow Fight

The trick in life is to be able to recognize what’s good and needs to stay and what’s stupid and needs to go. You better figure it out quick.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

Where is the Tipping Point for Cleveland TN?

I’m pretty sure most of you have never heard of the small town of Cleveland. It’s located in east Tennessee near the larger town of Chattanooga. It’s a beautiful place that’s typical of awesome Southern small towns. Unfortunately, it’s a small town with really big problems.

Since I moved to Chattanooga a few months ago, I’ve seen in the paper almost every day some new calamity in that small town of almost 43,000 people. It’s ranged from police chiefs relieved of command, law enforcement related sex scandals, a cemetery that is leaking human remains in the walking areas, and now something else. In today’s paper was an article about a sex scandal involving a firefighter.

It’s so bad that part of the article included this little recap…

Cleveland-Firefighter-Sex Scandal-002

I’ve written the city council and town manager to express an offer to assist them with training. They’re hiring a new police chief soon, and I wanted to serve them by helping the new chief create a new culture in the department, something that is drastically needed to make change. The old culture there has apparently fostered a lot of small problems that snowballed into huge ones, like the sex scandals.

Occasional problems can happen anywhere but this many big problems express something much larger and way more dangerous. If you have any doubt about that, just do a websearch for “Atlantic Beach SC” and look at a few articles from the past decade. I grew up near there and can attest to the slow demise of that town.

Cleveland has apparently dove headlong into a problem pattern most often written about by popular business authors. Just a glance at some of Jim Collins’ book titles show this with Good to Great, Built to Last, and How the Mighty Fall. The one I’m concerned with most is Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point.

To sum it up quickly, I rely upon the book’s explanation from Gladwell’s website…

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate.

It would appear as if Cleveland has already passed the tipping point, as the problems have infiltrated various areas of the city and not just one government department. As Gladwell’s book points out, it’s possible to come back, but not without targeted effort, massive change, and help from people like me. I guess it’s up to the leaders and citizens of Cleveland to decide if it’s worth it.

How about you? Do any of you work somewhere that you can see the tipping point in action? I’d love to hear from you about it.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

PS…Here’s the rest of today’s article for your enjoyment. What I really want you to pay attention to are the comments and reactions from local politicians.

Cleveland-Firefighter-Sex Scandal-001

Cleveland-Firefighter-Sex Scandal-003

Time to Erase Those Closet Skeletons

We all have ghosts in our past and skeletons in our closets. We all do. Maybe it’s time to make some new memories and overwrite those old ones.

Batwoman-37-Make New Memories-001

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

Image courtesy of Batwoman #37 from DC Comics