What presenters can learn from Tim Höttges

Tim Höttges is the CEO of Deutsche Telekom. He is renowned to be one of the best speakers among German CEOs. He gave a key note speech at the 2017 impact congress in Krakow.


I want to talk about three major learnings for presenters:

  1. Have a clear message including action — be part of the 5G project of Deutsche Telekom in Poland. Tim states this right from the beginning. This is much more than just speaking about “next generation communication networks” as the title suggests. Often speakers just talk about a topic and think their message is to deliver information. But this is wrong. Delivering pure information can be done more effectively than in a presentation. By email for example. What a presentation can do much better than any email is turning people into action. Thus, a clear call to action is great to spell out in a presentation — as Tim does here. He ends the presentation with what needs to be done for three different stakeholder parties with the invitation to work together. Great.
  2. Use a demo. As in his presentations on Telekom annual meetings Tim builds in demonstrations of how things work. Very rarely CEOs do this in Europe despite the strength of this tool which Steve Jobs used a lot. Tim shows how the latency of a mobile network enables a mobile network to support autonomous driving or not by having a nice animation with a car. Even better, because using an object, is his demonstration how new parking sensors being installed now in Hamburg work. Very simple and very memorable.
  3. Use props. This is also a tool that is very rarely used in European executive presentations. Props are physical objects being used in a presentation to visualize and idea or to demonstrate something (links back to my point above). To make the 5G network abilities easier to understand Tim uses a couple of showcases. Two of them he supports with a prop. The first is a small item that enables asset tracking in logistics. The second is the already mentioned parking sensor. By having those object in his hands Tim makes his message more convincing and memorable. In general, props don’t have to be samples of a product like used here. They can also stand for something else being a living metaphor.

If you want to give speeches like this, please contact me. I will show you how to shape a clear message, inspire your audience and deliver a speech that makes people move.



Disclaimer: Tim Höttges is not a customer of mine.


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