No B.S. Guide to Powerful Presentations by Dan S. Kennedy, Dustin Matthews
The NO BS GUIDE TO POWERFUL PRESENTATIONS is quite an extensive set of essays. Different authors provide different suggestions on good presentation techniques, as well as marketing wisdom. Keep in mind that this book is not just a “how to” book describing the logistics of giving the presentation style, or mundane things like size font to use. Rather, this NO BS GUIDE covers a wide array of presentation ideas that are designed to improve your marketability.
The NO BS system is based on 12 precepts each covered in its own section:
1: Grab Attention
2: Build Rapport
3: Gain Credibility
4: Target Problems
5: Deliver Solution
6: Set Expectations
7: Social Proof
8: Show Benefits
9: Irresistible Offer
10: No-Risk Guarantee
11: Give Deadline
12: Call to Action
Detailed case studies are provided to illustrate how to achieve each of the 12 steps. For example, one author has found that the exact length of the “No-Risk Guarantee” is not so important, as long as the time frame allows the user a reasonable time to test the product.
Early in the book, the authors explain the key to hitting a homerun with your presentation. It’s all about “Audience Knowledge.” To succeed, you have to have” an idea, assertion, single sentence, or single story that is precisely and exactly in sync with the audience hearing.”
I found it useful to scan through the various chapters, spending more time on areas of interest to me. For example, here’s one gem, which the author call the “Seven-Minute Rule.” Research shows that humans can only apprehend about 7 minutes of material before getting restless or distracted. (I have found this to be true—I get restless after ONE minute.) So, you “need to get your audience to re-engage with you every seven minutes.” They suggest tactics such as saying, “Raise your hand if,” or “You’ll want to write this down,” or “Stand up if.”
You get the idea. I found this point to be outstanding. Think of how many times you have been listening to someone drone on and on, clueless that they have lost the audience?
Towards the end of the book, the authors cover non-traditional presentations. Chapter 12 is “The Power of Webinars and Online Media.” This chapter explains how to convert your traditional presentation to use online. The author offer this encouragement:
“If you have a presentation that works, perfected with live audiences in the flesh, there’s a 99% likelihood it can be made to work as-is or adapted as a webinar.”
So all in all, I found NO BS GUIDE TO POWERFUL PRESENTATIONS to have lots of practical ideas. There is a LOT to digest in this book, so plan on spending some time pondering the ideas.
Advance Review Copy courtesy of the publisher.
For another perspective on this subject, I recommend a study in the presentation methods of Steve Jobs.