Top positive review
142 people found this helpful
on November 27, 2009
After grinding through far too many books on "how-to-present-better" books, I've finally found one that exceeds the promise. Scott Berkun, a former Microsoft executive who turned writer and professional speaker, practices what he preaches in his book.
* This book is written for anyone who has to give presentations (public speakers, managers, teachers) - it will benefit novices to veterans - and readers in all for-profit and not-for profit industries.
* This is a quick read - can be read in 1 or 2 sittings
* This is a page turning "how to" book
* It is written in a conversational tone packaged with excellent stories, persuasive tips, good research and "rhythmic" pace
* Author is informed via real world experiences - he is honest, humble and straightforward.
* He shares many usable tips and Do's and Don'ts that will stick (e.g. ask smaller than expected crowd to move up and dense-up; lose your content, ask audience for 10 topics they would like you to address; grab them early with a meaningful title for your presentation)
* Finally, a readable how-to book that delivers as promised...highly recommended.
* Some of my favorite excerpts include:
"...when 100 people are listening to you for an hour, that's 100 hours of people's time devoted to what you have to say. If you can't spend 5 or 10 hours preparing for them, thinking about them, and refining your points to best suit their needs, what does that say about your respect for your audience's time? It says that your 5 hours are more important than 100 of theirs, which requires an ego larger than the entire solar system. And there is no doubt this disrespect will be obvious once you are on the stage."
"Our bodies, sitting around doing little, go into rest mode--and where our bodies go, our minds will follow...with this distressing fact, it's easy to understand why most lectures are slow one-way trips into sedation...If you can stop boredom from happening, and stop doing things that bore people, you're well on your way to having an attentive crowd..."
"A common mistake people make is to shrink onstage. They become overly polite and cautious. They speak softly, don't tell stories, and never smile. They become completely, devastatingly neutral. As safe as this seems, it is an attention graveyard."
"By being enthusiastic and caring deeply about what you say, you may provide more value than a low-energy, dispassionate speaker who knows 10 times more than you do. You are more likely to keep the audience's attention, which makes everything else possible."
" The easiest way to be interesting is to be honest. People rarely say what they truly feel, yet this is what audiences desire most. If you can speak a truth most people are afraid to say, you're a hero. If you're honest, even if people disagree, they will find you interesting and keep listening. Making connections with people starts by either getting them interested in your ideas or showing how interested you are in theirs. Both happen faster the more honest everyone is. The feedback most speakers need is "Be more honest." Stop hiding and posturing, and just tell the truth."