I’ve just finished the highly-praised Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story, by presentation guru Jerry Weissman. Add me to the list of fans.
As a frequenter presenter, I am constantly looking for ways to improve my presentations. If you forced me right now to pick just one book to have, this book would be it.
I recently (but before I read this book) completely revamped a presentation I had done because, although it was good, it did not seem to be effective enough. I thought that the revamped presentation, when I gave it, was 100% better than the first version. Reading Weissman’s book, I realized that I had improved the presentation by paying attention to and actually choosing one of the approaches he lists under the category of “Flow.”
If you want to be a great presenter, study Weissman’s book – he’s been advising speakers for years and there are a lot of tips and techniques that I fully agree with based on my own experiences. Even if you only get what he is saying about “Point B” and include one, you’ll stand out from the crowd of run of the mill speakers.
Finally, and this may be most important, Weissman’s book is also the best resource on using PowerPoint that I’ve found. If you read what he has to say about the distinct roles of presenters and presentations, you’ll have a solid understand about how to use PowerPoint.
There have been many articles about the “evils” of PowerPoint and the terrible effects that it has had on society. I don’t agree with any of that. PowerPoint is a tool. What’s the point of blaming a tool? I don’t get it. The problems I see with the use of PowerPoint in presentations arise out of the way the tool is used, not because of the tool itself. As Weissman says, “The presenter is the focus of the presentation.” Keep that in mind and you will do well with PowerPoint.