What the NFL’s Fumble Can Teach Us About Pro Presentation Planning

The Write Words
4 min readSep 19, 2022

Make no assumptions. Ask more questions than you think is necessary. Listen intently. Then set up your audience and yourself for success.

Photo by Adrian Curiel on Unsplash

When the National Football League (NFL) created a special graphic, adding a tilde to the “N” in “NFL” on its logo, the goal was to publicly recognize and celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month; however, the move backfired on the organization and was called “cringey,” “confusing,” and “blatant pandering” just to name a few.

But why?

In short, the response to the marketing effort makes it clear the NFL did not fully understand (or didn’t bother to try to understand) that the “ñ” is more than just a letter; it “has come to embody the represented identity of the language.”

So what could the pro football organization have done differently that would have been more of a pro move?

According to a USA Today opinion piece on the matter, “To celebrate its Latinx fans, all the NFL has to do is engage them organically and in good faith, and not just when September 15th rolls around. Highlight the stories of the very few Latino players. Show how they honor their identity. Listen to the very few Latinx voices in the league office and empower them to dictate the messaging and initiatives promoted during National Hispanic Heritage Month. Outsource marketing efforts to Latinx entrepreneurs.”

But the biggest takeaway from the article is in this right here: “Do some research before bastardizing arguably the most essential letter in our language.”

And you should do the same. Before you step on the stage, do some research.

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

Gaining more in-depth information about your listeners positions you to know what to say and that which you need to delete from your script so you sound credible when you speak. With the right kind of audience analysis as part of your presentation preparation, you will know which points you should strongly emphasize, and you will know what might be hot topics that should be avoided. (Of course, politics, religion, and money are…

The Write Words

Bridgett McGowen . Speaker . Author . Publisher . www.bridgettmcgowen.com