Brilliance is often ignored because of poor presentation. It is unfortunate, but it is true. That is why I’m excited to recommend two excellent books on making more effective presentations.
Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve, and Inspire Your Audience to Action. Kristin Arnold has written an exceptional book to help you improve your presentations. This book is loaded with practical ideas that work if you are a novice or a seasoned pro. Kristin knows her stuff. She is one of North America’s most accomplished meeting facilitators and the 2010 – 2011 President of the National Speakers Association. And, she has enlisted a talented group of colleagues to share specific ideas.
The two things I like most about this book are (1) the step-by-step guidelines that are included in every chapter; and (2) the focus on engaging the audience rather than delivering a presentation. Today’s audiences expect to be included, and Kristin Arnold’s Boring to Bravo shows you how.
Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences. Nancy Duarte believes in the power of a great story to transform audiences and change the world. How cool is that?
Duarte takes a big picture-big payoff approach to delivering an outstanding presentation, and Resonate more than delivers. As she says, “Stories are the most powerful delivery tool for information, more powerful and enduring than any other art form.”
You know this is true if you have ever listened to a truly great presenter. You may not remember the third bullet point on the fifth slide in the twenty-seven slide PowerPoint deck. But you will remember and repeat a powerful story forever.
Duarte has analyzed how great stories are told and remembered. And, she applies that research to some of the great presentations of our time—including Ronald Reagan’s Space Shuttle Challenger address; Steve Jobs’ iPhone Launch; and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
According to Duarte, “Great communicators create movements.”
So go ahead – start your own movement. Transform your audiences. And, stop being boring. These two books will become useful resources that you reference again and again.