Since most people fear speaking in public more than they fear death, and the number-one skill for advancement for professionals is their ability to communicate their ideas effectively, Bulletproof Presentations offers a strategic plan for helping presenters face fears and build careers. By demonstrating how people can speak effectively in any situation, G. Michael Campbell's step-by-step program offers the peace of mind that can turn shaky speakers into confident presenters. His guidelines for making effective presentations to peers, bosses, customers, the public and the media deliver ways to maximize results using the presenter's own voice and body language.
Campbell, an expert on performance consulting, has organized his ideas about exchanging information and telling others about something they need or want to know into a guide to better communication. He writes that the key to this is making sure the audience can hear and understand you. Presenters must also be able to demonstrate that their ideas are important to them, and be able to answer questions clearly and concisely.
Campbell's book is divided into five parts: planning a presentation, preparing a presentation, presenting, using visual aids, and handling special situations. Individual chapters help presenters choose the right tools and strategies before and during a presentation, and offer tips about streamlining information into a meaningful package. After tackling stage fright, analyzing the audience, and designing visual aids, Campbell offers a worksheet for presenters to use to prepare for the perfect presentation.
Planning the Presentation
Understanding your purpose in making a presentation is the first step to a great presentation. Presenters must be able to state their purpose clearly and simply. Establish a specific purpose. Campbell writes, "The purpose will tell you what information you need and what information you will not need." Take a positive approach in the way you frame the issues. Facts alone will not influence someone else's thoughts, actions or feelings. Use an overriding theme to help you decide what you want the audience to remember. Repeating themes and putting them in the introduction and the conclusion help listeners recall them.
Appealing to an audience's emotions will make a presentation memorable. By putting yourself in the shoes of the audience members, you can determine what the audience hopes to gain from listening to the presentation. By understanding all aspects of the situation where a presentation will be conducted, you can ward off unforeseen difficulties. Campbell offers several diagrams to illustrate different ways to set up a room for a successful presentation.
Preparing the Presentation
First, tell people what you are going to tell them. Then, tell them. After that, tell them what they were told. By establishing rapport, grabbing the audience's attention, highlighting benefits and providing listeners with a roadmap of the main points to be covered, speakers can connect with the audience. By starting with an interesting fact or story, presenters engage the audience immediately into the topic. Humor works best when it is used for a purpose.
The body of a presentation can be developed when the main points that will support the overriding theme are decided on. A clear strategy can help a presenter deliver it. Eliminate unnecessary words and ideas. By choosing three to five main points for the body of a presentation, people can more easily process the information. Use personal stories to help the audience understand key points. A storyboard helps to organize the presentation.
Practice can help anyone overcome stage fright. By drinking water, controlling breathing and laying off caffeine, presenters can tackle dry mouth and use their voice more effectively. If a presentation must be read, pick your words carefully and prepare the text so it can be read easily. Concentrate on body language. Strive for clarity, accuracy and gender-inclusive language.
Campbell offers numerous tips for choosing and designing the right visual aids and creating visuals with software. His final chapters are devoted to helping presenters who must work on team presentations, and those who must stand in front of television and video cameras.
Why Soundview Likes This Book
Bulletproof Presentations offers a direct route to better public appearances. His simple tips are useful and clear, and are supported by numerous examples from those who have had to stand before audiences in the past. Campbell's upbeat tone and specific highlights combine to form a useful guide that teaches the pertinent skills that can take any presentation from conception to successful delivery.