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Leadership Topics for Presentation

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Have a presentation or a meeting coming up? Need to find leadership training topics to present on or leadership topics for discussion? The Leadership Mission has you covered! Below is our list of leadership training topics, leadership topics for discussion, leadership exercises and leadership team building activities we have compiled that are impactful for leaders at any level. These are designed to get your wheels turning and have proven to be successful across many different organizations.

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Leadership Topics for Presentation and Discussion


Leadership Training Topics

The following leadership training topics are great for leaders at any level. These work best in smaller meetings or groups. These topics are designed to generate great discussion and hopefully yield higher functioning managers.

Soft skills

Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. These are critically important in today's workforce as now more than ever our workforces require employees to be able to communicate, work as a team, listen and get along with others. Here is a very brief list of soft skills but this topic is HUGE and you could easily turn each of these topics into presentations.

  • Communication

  • Teamwork

  • Problem-solving

  • Time management

  • Critical thinking

  • Decision-making

  • Organizational

  • Stress management

  • Adaptability

  • Conflict management

  • Leadership

  • Creativity

  • Resourcefulness

  • Persuasion

  • Openness to criticism

Change management

Today's world changes faster than arguably any other time in history. Between 24 hour news cycles, social media and the explosion in communication methods between individuals, managing change is an essential skill any leader must have. There are a couple of excellent books on this topic by John Kotter called Leading Change and Our Iceberg is Melting. You can also have a good discussion about how your team deals with change and how much change your organization has (or hasn't) had over the years.

Managing effective meetings

Meetings consume so much of the average working person's time. No matter what kind of job you have, meetings are most likely a part of their day or week at some point. How effective are your people at running effective meetings? When was the last time anyone ever thought about it?

A great subtopic for this presentation can be a study and/or game you can play with your attendees call meeting or email? I'm sure you could easily find a handful of examples of meetings that could have been emails (and vice versa) and let your attendees have some fun guessing. Don't be surprised when your team becomes very candid during this meeting about the need for meetings!

Performance management

Managing the performance of others is an extremely important part of any leader's job. Leader's must also be managers and cannot simply rely on connecting with and "leading" people. At the end of the day, we all have hard metrics we are responsible for. One of the most important ones, is the performance of those that work for us.

This topic doesn't get nearly as much attention as it should and I guarantee you can get some good discussions going around the most effective way to do this for you organization. You can discuss how often this happens, annually, bi-annually, monthly? You can discuss what format it is done in and how the teams respond to them. Get your groups thoughts on the effectiveness of your current system and brainstorm if there isn't a better way.

The Six Styles of Leadership

Developed by Daniel Goleman, the six styles have been a staple part of the discussion around situational leadership for awhile. They describe the different ways you need to lead depending on the situation, the people and various other factors. There is plenty of discussion to be had with this topic and is great for new leaders!

The six styles are as follows:

  • Visionary — mobilize people toward a vision. Works best when a clear direction or change is needed.

  • Coaching — develop people for the future. Works best when helping people and building long-term strength.

  • Affiliative — create emotional bonds and harmony. Works best to heal rifts in teams or motivate people in stressful times.

  • Democratic — build consensus through participation. Works best to create consensus or get input.

  • Pacesetting — expect excellence and self-direction. Works best to get quick results from a highly competent team.

  • Commanding — demand immediate compliance. Works best in crisis or with problematic people.

Managing an inbox

This is something that gets taken for granted all of the time and would make a great leadership topic for presentation. The organization, efficiency and 'cleanliness' of inboxes today can be a sensitive subject. No one wants to admit to having thousands of unread emails just sitting there but chances are, most of your leaders do.

How do you as a company manage that? When was the last time anyone cared? Effective inbox organization can do wonders in taking a manager from good to great. It might also get a good conversation started around communication as a whole in your organization.

Managing a calendar

Just like the inbox, calendar's are criminally misused or underused. They can be a great way to manage the obvious things like meetings and calls. However, they can also be a great way to hold teams accountable, document what you did for reflection and serve as a sort of task list for leaders.

Don't make the assumption that everyone knows how to use the calendars. Technology changes so fast and new features come out all of the time. Even if someone in leadership learned how to use outlook ten years ago in college, it might be completely different now!

Leadership Topics For Presentation & Discussion

This section is about topics that make for great discussions or presentations. Whether it be a small group or large one, these topics are always important in the world of business today.

Virtual leadership

Thanks to 2020, so many of us have had to get used to working virtually, which means we've also had to lead virtually as well. This topic is sure to generate discussion on what is working, not working and how everyone feels about it.

This is sure to be an important topic moving forward as companies must decide what their "new normal" is going to be. You might be surprised at how effective or ineffective working virtually is/was. It might open the door to other conversations surrounding flexibility in the workplace.


Most businesses come down to some sort of execution. Whether it be making widgets, serving guests, healing patients or selling goods, every business has some sort of metric when it comes to executing the core function of the business. When was the last time you discussed not only the results but overall execution as a whole? Can you guarantee that the way things are supposed to be done are actually being done?

Additionally, you can discuss training of new hires, repair and maintenance of equipment, employee productivity and anything that goes into actually getting the job done.


When was the last time your organization had a conversation about your company culture? Are expectations meeting reality? Does your team/company know what culture they are supposed to be creating? Having an open and honest conversation about your company culture is a healthy exercise for any company.

It is extremely important that there be a strong moderator for this conversation as it is easy to go off the rails with this subject. That statement shouldn't dissuade you from having the conversation though! A great book on this topic is Good to Great by Jim Collins.

Company specific leadership topics for discussion/presentation

Do you have specific tasks, goals, metrics or items that your leaders should be discussing with their teams? Have you set an agenda that is being pushed down through the organization? Putting together a list similar to this specific for your team might be helpful for your mid level leaders. This list can give them a clean and easily accessible company approved list of topics they should be discussing with their teams.

Leadership Exercises

Giving your leaders a list of exercises that they could practice either by themselves or with their teams makes a great leadership training topic. It is always extremely important to develop yourself as a leader and the other leaders in your organization. Here are some leadership exercises to get you started.

Quality circles

This isn't so much a topic as an activity but is highly effective, especially if your group allows for crossover from different departments, regions, etc. It is amazing how sometimes just putting a fresh set of eyes on a situation can create positive discussions or solutions around a problem. Spend some times thinking about your attendees and split them into smaller groups.

Come up with a top 5 list of challenges or obstacles that each group might be facing and have them discuss it in a "nameless & rankless" frank discussion. Assign a note taker to each group and charge them with capturing key points and takeaways and for keeping the group on point.

Difficult leadership situations

This is a great topic to discuss with your leaders, especially if your group has a good mix of leadership experience and tenure in it. The following situations are always important to talk about and discuss/share with other leaders. The growth that can come from just talking through some of these situations is priceless. Depending on the size of your group, you can either discuss as a whole or break into small groups and have them discuss the following topics:

  • Dealing with difficult or problem employees

  • Handling your team's stress and pressure

  • Letting someone go

  • Delivering bad news

  • Leading an initiative you don't agree with

  • Managing underperforming employees

Internal leadership challenges

This often gets such little attention, yet is one of the most important factors leaders must deal with, their own feelings. Managing your own emotions and generally how you feel about something is way easier said than done. Just like the previous item, having a good mix of leadership experience and tenure is a great.

Just talking about how their fellow leaders handle the following topics can be vitally important for new leaders and great reminders and encouragement for experienced leaders. Unlike the previous item though, it is crucially important that attendees feel comfortable being open. It is one thing to talk about topics that impact others or are conceptual and something entirely different to discuss personal struggles!


  • Staying humble

  • Self confidence

  • Overcoming fear

  • Handling personal stress and pressure

  • Avoiding burnout

  • Staying motivated

  • Compartmentalizing competing priorities

  • Keeping work life balance

Situational leadership scenarios

Situational leadership is extremely important in today's modern workforce. Diversity of all types in employee bases has exploded in the last several decades. That means managers and leaders cannot treat everyone the same. A leader that understands using different leadership styles with different people and at different times is critical.

Develop some scenarios that are relevant to your group and ask them to decide how they would approach one differently over another. There is a fantastic book written by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson on this topic called the One Minute Manager that is a quick read and is very beneficial to new leaders!

Leadership Team Building Activities

The following items are great team builders for small groups or meetings in any professional setting. They are designed to bring team's together, develop teamwork and give any observing leaders some data points about their people!

Build a building

Break your group into small even teams and provide them with their building materials consisting of any combination of the following:

  • straws

  • index cards

  • tape

  • tooth picks

  • glue

  • playing cards

  • string

Don't stress over which materials you give them, just as long as it is enough to build a free standing building with! The object is simple, which team can build the largest free standing structure.

Things to consider with this activity:

  • How will you divide your teams? Be purposeful in how you break them up

  • Have the teams assign a 'project manager' ahead of time

  • Take mental notes of how the teams interact and how the assigned managers perform

Qualities of a leader

Break employees into teams and have them share leaders they admire (in any industry). Take notes on the characteristics that these leaders share, then give employees time and space to reflect on the characteristics they share with those leaders before identifying skills they would like to develop in themselves

Things to consider with this activity:

  • Use employee notes on skills they would like to develop to design your own training opportunities.

  • Use employee notes and compare them to your organization. A sort of 'expectations vs reality' mental exercise.

These lists are in no way exhaustive we just think these leadership training activities are great for effective presentations or meetings that will grow the leadership abilities of your team! We'd love to hear from you in the comments below! Or feel free to shoot us an email

Need to save this so you can easily remember? Here is a helpful picture you can save for when you need it!

Leadership Topics for Presentation Infographic

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Jul 02, 2021

Great content! Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you!


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