Most of us have witnessed an amazing presentation. We've attended a conference with an enigmatic speaker, we've seen a leader inspire a team, or maybe we've even listened to someone pitch their idea to us. When these moments are truly good, we remember them long after they occur. We might even wonder how we might be able to give such a compelling presentation. Years of training from speaking coaches and countless books and classes?
Certainly, those would have an effect, but here's something else to consider. The "HBR Guide to" series has recently released an entry from Nancy Duarte, author of Slide:ology and Resonate, titled, Persuasive Presentations: Inspire action, Engage the audience, Sell your ideas. This concise, yet packed little book might contain all you need to know about giving a better presentation. From speaking to writing to slide layout, Duarte covers all the bases for presentation improvement. If you do any kind of public speaking, or want to, this book will be extremely helpful and useful. Even if you simply need to communicate an idea to a group of people, occasionally, or on a regular basis, this guide should be on your bookshelf to grab for easy access. Those who see it there will also suspect you know your stuff.
In the intro to the book, Duarte comments on how important giving persuasive presentations can be:
"When audiences can see that you've prepared - that you care about their needs and value their time - they'll want to connect with you and support you. You'll get people to adopt your ideas, and you'll win the resources to carry them out. You'll close more deals. You'll earn the backing of decision makers. You'll gain influence. In short, you'll go farther in your organization - and your career."