- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (February 17, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1259860639
- ISBN-13: 978-1259860638
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What's Your Presentation Persona? Discover Your Unique Communication Style and Succeed in Any Arena Hardcover – February 17, 2017
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From the Back Cover
“We live in a golden age of public speaking. The thing is, most speeches are delivered to small groups, and they are known as presentations or sales pitches. Scott Schwertly, founder and CEO of Ethos3, a presentation design and training boutique in Nashville, Tennessee, offers a proprietary test to determine each individual’s strengths. By classifying you in one of several categories, from scholar to scientist to entertainer, Schwertly promises to hone your presentation skills. You can even become a well-rounded presenter by trying other personas.”
About the Author
Scott Schwertly is the CEO of Ethos3, an award-winning presentation design and training company with national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to influencers such as Guy Kawasaki. It has served almost 600 clients in 20 countries and has designed more than 1,300 presentations.
Sunday Avery is the former content strategist at Ethos3, with many years of presentation-writing experience. She works with some of the world’s biggest brands.
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I have some familiarity with the author and his work outside of this book -- he and his team (Ethos3) really are presentation gurus. And the book, as promised, delivers a clear model for finding your presentation strengths.
Anyway, I attended a conference where I was also a workshop presenter. Most of the presentations were filled with boring bullet points and presenters reading off their slides. I was the least experienced presenter, but running with my strengths of 'vulnerability' (willing to share personal stories, a lively one-on-one style of speaking, etc.), warmth, inspiration, and relatability, the conference coordinator and audience both seemed thrilled with the presentation. People asked questions, silly joke moments seemed to land, and several strangers went out of their way later in the day to say how much they enjoyed it. I'll take it!
An unexpected benefit is that the authors parade so many useful principles drawn from other books and from many disciplines. This makes the book an engaging introduction to the study of presentations generally. For frequent readers of books on speaking, it is a useful check of your portfolio.
One tip on reading this book. The personality work applies the popular four-criteria system, so there are sixteen personality types, described in Chapters 2-17. Many readers will be familiar with this approach. But if starting down the road to review so many different types gives you pause, the Chapters can be read in a revised order: first take the brief online test to type yourself; then read the Introduction and Chapter 1; then read the Chapter about your own specific personality type; then read the in-depth review of the four criteria (Chapters 18-23); and finally go back to Chapters 2-17 and read about all of the sixteen types. By then, even if you are new to this sort of analysis, you will have ample context to make the Chapters on the sixteen types very fast and engaging reads. You will see yourself and your friends and colleagues along the way.
However you go about reading it, the book efficiently strings many specific insights along well-managed thematic routes. I have read the other leading works in this area and this book still uniquely improved my understanding of myself as a speaker and also as a member of an audience.
I do have the problem with these tests since they assume you're honest with the answers - or at least self-aware enough with your answers. I thought about it later and there were a couple questions I think I answered with wishful thinking, more than reality...but I think I did a good job.
Then it tells you what the 'presentation persona' is like, and gently describes the flaws. I actually wish it was more pointed in the critiques. The personas are described from a positive slant, but I would prefer a guide that told me what the problems were (at least with the theoretical persona) so I could do more about it. There is SOME of that, just not enough.
The book describes other personas, and if you wanted to change identities, there's a roadmap for what to shoot for - so if you want to be a different persona, than behave like it describes.
I think it's a neat book, and it's always interesting to assess ourselves from afar and see what we might look like to an outside audience. I teach in college and so I'm presenting all the time - it's good to get a little feedback for WHAT I'm trying to do, and how I might look like when I'm 'presenting.'
Overall, interesting - and for anybody looking for an outside assessment will be intrigued.