Top positive review
88 people found this helpful
Outstanding! Makes it easy to overcome your fears and excel
on May 23, 2007
This little hardback is incredibly easy to read. Extremely well organized, it's written in clear, jargon-free language. Each of its many lessons covers just a few pages, and is composed of short, straight-to-the-point paragraphs. Sized to fit easily in the side pocket of a laptop case, it's an ideal way to kill time at an airport gate, on a flight, or even during those dead half-hours that often pop up between convention sessions.
Better still, this book really delivers on its promise. Practice its advice and you will become an effective public speaker. Author Tim Koegel ("KAY gull") covers a wide range of verbal and nonverbal topics, from how to avoid using "verbal graffiti" (such as the dreadful "to be honest with you") to how to have good posture.
The book is organized around what, at first glance, seems like a corny conceit. Koegel claims that an exceptional presenter is one who can "OPEN UP and own the room." Why does he put "OPEN UP" in all caps? Because that's the author's self-invented acronym that refers to six characteristics Koegel feels all great presenters share -- they're Organized, Passionate, Engaging and Natural speakers who Understand their audiences and routinely Practice their presentation skills. The book then devotes a full chapter to each of these traits. Each chapter is filled with useful tips. The one on being passionate has two dozen!
A section on what to do with your hands is especially helpful. Illustrated with 27 simple line drawings, the advice gets quite specific. For example, when the author discusses which hand gestures are best to emphasize comparisons, he writes that you should mimic the information as it would appear on a slide: "Dollar amounts, percentages and revenue are typically depicted using vertical bar charts. Therefore, perform these gestures vertically. Use horizontal gestures to demonstrate timelines, phases or stages of a project and chronological sequences."
You'll also learn how to illustrate dates and numbers, where to put your hands when you're just standing there, what to do with them if you're sitting at a table, even how to hold visual aids.
Additional chapters help you prepare your own introductions, conduct question-and-answer sessions and, my favorite, control your nervous energy. The back of the book has a series of worksheets to use to help you practice your skills, prepare and grade your performances and even judge television "presenters" such as debating politicians and the guests who are interviewed on "60 Minutes."
As an author and small business owner, I've had to make face-to-face proposals, host trade show booths, meet with reporters, do book-signings and speak in front of many groups. And I know what it's like to be nervous: just before my first trade show I had such an anxiety attack I had to lay down behind my display's backdrop! If you're like that, this book is the perfect antidote to calm those fears. Its advice is so easy to follow, and so easy to practice, it can help you not only get through these situations, but actually excel at doing them..