Need help falling asleep at night? I suggest listening to recordings of presentations given every day at most corporations.
Most business presentations are stunningly boring because speakers are driven by a powerful unconscious motivation: Avoid Embarrassment!
Like the sports team that “plays not to lose” by implementing a “prevent defense,” the average business presentation is organized around avoiding failure rather than creating a powerful, memorable and engaging experience. All business presentations are a form of theater: they are either bad theater or good theater! Moreover, developing your strengths as a presenter is one of the most powerful ways to strengthen your career possibilities. All other things being equal, the best presenter/communicator is the one who gets the job/promotion/leadership opportunity.
My passion for helping others cultivate this essential skill led me to write Present Yourself: Captivate Your Audience With Great Presentation Skills in 1988 and to record Speak With Power: Giving High Performance Presentations for Profit and Results with Nightingale-Conant.
And I’m always seeking other resources to complement the ones that I have created.
Own the Room: Business Presentations That Persuade, Engage and Get Results by David Booth, Deborah Shames and Peter Desberg stands out from the many other books I’e seen on the subject, largely because of the unique combination of authors:
- An award-winning actor who applies performance techniques from the stage to engage and move an audience
- A television and film director who demonstrates how to craft and deliver your message with authority, credibility, and authenticity
- A psychologist who specializes in memory and stage fright and reveals how to overcome fear and activate an audience%u2019s attention and memory
I’ve met 2 of the 3 authors and they are authentic innovators in the field of presentation and communication. They provide vivid, practical guidance on helping you stir your audience’s emotions while appealing to its intellect. Read and practice; you will learn how to apply the principles of good theater so you can keep your audience awake and engaged as you “play to win” every time you present.
I agree with the desperation obvious in Michael Gelb’s first paragraph, and I can add my own recommendation of his book Present Yourself (as well as another title, Thinking for a Change). I’m just disappointed he forgot to add “Join Toastmasters” to his suggestions.