The-Presentaion-Book-Emma-Ledden Feb 2014I’ve just reviewed this book for PM (Professional Marketing) magazine and the article will appear shortly here

The book provides a good, solid introduction to the art of crafting and delivering a great presentation. It introduces three steps early: 1. Profile your audience 2. Structure and shape your message and 3. Design visual aids. There is an interesting discussion about the audience comprising the converted, the unconvertible and the floaters.

It explains what you should be aiming for: “A great presentation grabs the mind of the audience at the beginning, navigates them through all the various parts, themes and ideas easily, never letting go, and then gets them to the point of action or result”.

It offers a simple template for an effective presentation and provides detailed guidance on fulfilling each step successfully:

Greeting – You have 45 seconds so get to the point and be direct. Highlight the best bits rather than providing a detailed agenda.

Hook – Answering the audience’s “What’s in it for me?” question and talking to them about “them, their reality and how your company or concept will be of value”

Three key messages – Each with three pieces of supporting evidence

Conclusion and recap 

Some interesting points that I did not have space to include in the review are:

  • Microsoft estimates that there are 300 million PowerPoint users in the world with an estimated 30 million presentations happening every day
  • The recommended time to prepare a brand new presentation from scratch is a minimum of 10 hours for every one hour presenting
  • Researchers at Yale have identified the 12 most powerful words in the human language proven to attract attention and stir emotion within readers. At the top of the list is the word “you”.
  • “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” Albert Einstein
  • 3X3 approach – three clear core messages explained and expanded on with the three most compelling and impactful pieces of supporting information
  • Research by Michael M Lombardo and Robert W Eichinger states that about 70% of learning comes from direct experience of the skill, about 20% of learning comes from feedback from mentors or managers and about 10% from courses and reading.
  • Research by Innermetrix shows the most successful people share the trait of self-awareness

In 2012, I reviewed Nancy Duarte’s “Guide to persuasive presentations” book which you might check out if you want a more detailed guide