by Derek Arden
ISBN-13:978-0954524586, Publisher: Tiptree House Publishing
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*
A presentation that works?
Why are some presenters credible and others not? Why do we want to do as some presenters suggest (or urge) but not as others do? I saw Derek present. His topic that day was `how to negotiate a higher fee'. Following the presentation I negotiated a fee that was double my previous highest fee. I have seen other negotiators attempt to teach their craft. Some taught me so well I could repeat all their key points. But none, until then, gave me the confidence to go out and apply that knowledge.
When I heard Derek had written a book on presenting I was determined to read it. It wasn't disappointing. The book is well structured and it is easy to find the key pieces again whenever you need them. Although it is suitable for a novice who has never presented there are nuances in the material that attest to the author's experience. Only an accomplished presenter could convey those levels of insight so easily to a widely varied audience.
Starting from the premise that life is a series of presentations, at school, to friends and family, at work, or to large audiences the book makes the link between earning power and presentation skills then leaps straight into the business of presenting yourself credibly. Too many others start with content or gimmicks and forget that a nervous novice will attempt to hide behind these props. You have to emerge before you can engage an audience. Impression management and confidence building are, now that I have read this book and realised the truth of it, a much better place to start.
All the basic stuff about equipment, technology, style and structure follows. Then you move into the unusual tips about body language, telephone, web or video and email presentations. Every chapter can stand alone or flow easily from the one before. There are spaces to make notes and `cheat sheets' of frequently asked questions. The material is relevant to intimate presentations (boards, pitches, performance appraisals) and large ones (AGMs, conferences, television). It is clear and easily assimilated. The section on calls to action is priceless.
This guy knows how to present. He can leave an audience with the tools and the motivation to do better than they ever have before. The book lacks the magic of a real presentation but it is a great book. Whether you are preparing for an AGM, investor roadshows, press interviews or just a `performance chat' with your chairman there will be something in it for you.
* Julie Garland McLellan is a governance and board consultant. She is a professional non-executive director and an Australian Institute of Company Directors NSW Councillor. She is the author of "All Above Board: Great Governance for the Government Sector" and a mentor to aspiring and practicing company directors.
* Julie Garland McLellan is a governance and board consultant. She is a professional non-executive director and an AICD NSW Councillor. She is the author of “All Above Board: Great Governance for the Government Sector” and is currently working on her second book “All Above Board: Great Governance of Strategy and Risk”.
Julie Garland McLellan to judge 2011 Global eBook Awards