Presenting To Win: The Art Of Telling Your Story by Jerry Weissman is a fantastic book. I’m not sure what drew me to it since I am not necessarily in a position where I give formal presentations very often and frankly avoid using audiovisual aids if at all possible. Prior to reading this book I also couldn’t have told you what an IPO was and I’m not in an industry where I’m likely to give presentations to investors from multimillion dollar corporations. (At least not yet.)
I have given presentations though and they haven’t always gone the way I wanted them to. Now I know why. I’ve committed almost every one of the “cardinal sins” of presentation, both with and without A/V assistance. After reading this book, I feel much better prepared should I be called upon to give a presentation in the future. In fact, I’m almost hoping that a chance to put these principles into action presents itself.
I could also see many applications for the same information in other aspects of my personal and professional life. We are all “selling”, whether it be a product, an idea or concept, or a relationship. We want others to get it, to understand us, and we really want them to agree with us or take a desired action. The way that we communicate that is critically important to whether we achieve our goal. All of these corporate-tested presentation techniques have useful applications in many life areas if applied creatively.
The author practiced what he preached, and the use of the techniques was evident in the way he crafted the text, diagrams, and captions. Since I was reading on an older Kindle, some of the formatting wasn’t the best, but even with that said, the attention to detail and the use of great communication techniques was evident. I learned a lot – about presentations, about writing, about communication, and about myself.