Wanna be a talk star?

Know your audience, sure. But first, know thyself
By Listed Staff

The ability to deliver good presentations is a staple in the successful executive’s toolkit. It’s also true that the number of people who can actually make engaging, informative, enlightening and inspiring presentations is, frankly, darn small. So the quickest way to get ahead? Be part of that group.

“A presentation is a make-or-break moment and an opportunity to stand out from everyone else who thinks clip art is acceptable and that presentation rehearsal is optional,” explain authors Scott Schwertly and Sunday Mancini in their book What’s Your Presentation Persona?

Schwertly and Mancini have written a clever departure from the crowded field of “how to” guides to good presentations. While their advice embodies many standard tips and conventions, they hold that back in favour of first leading readers through a short, interactive exercise to identify their own presentation persona. By identifying their particular traits, weaknesses and overall style, readers can prioritize which areas to work on and play to their strengths. The authors’ starting point: cultivate self-awareness. “It’s the one trait that separates the successful from the unsuccessful,” they write.

To help you find it, the next step is a short, online personality/presentation profile test. From that, the system assigns you one of 16 profiles. (This reviewer’s result: The Liberator; other profiles include The Advocator, The Creator, The Director and so on.)

Once readers know “who” they are, they return to their profile chapter for details and advice on things like: where they’re vulnerable; who are their natural allies; what’s their ideal audience; and self-improvement tactics. The final section, written for everyone, offers next steps and motivating insights along with links to handy tools like storyboard templates and tips on nonverbal communications. Not every element is original, but if the book has done its job, you’re now equipped to make them your own.

What’s Your Presentation Persona?
By Scott Schwertly and Sunday Mancini
McGraw Hill Education

February 2017

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