Will "the Mighty" Strohl

Suggested Reading for Presenters

Presenting in front of a crowd is not an easy thing to do.  There are a lot of things to consider.  First, most people are terrified of presenting in front of others – especially their peers.  There are many of us that either do not have that fear (unusual, I know), or have conquered that fear – and make it a point to regular present in front of our peers, or other audiences.  I am certainly one of the latter.

One of the things I made sure to do when I first joined the DotNetNuke was to brush up on my existing presentation skills.  So I immediately began reading books and blogs about and for public presenters.  I learned a lot in my research, and through applying these different techniques.  For example, these skills are not just important if you’re going to present a session at the next Day of DotNetNuke, or DNN user group.  These skills are just as important when speaking to customers, clients, co-workers, and more.

I have in the past briefly touched on some of these resources when I reviewed Presentation Zen, and reviewed Confessions of a Public Speaker.  They are both fantastic books that I found a tremendous amount of value in.  I was hoping to go a little deeper this time.  I’ve had more time to reflect, and have been reading many other resources since then.

Here is a comprehensive listing of all of the recent books that I’ve read and feel could help you as much as they’ve helped me (in no particular order):

  • Confessions of a Public Speaker, Scott Berkun
    Even if you’re a seasoned speaker, if you haven’t read this book, it adds an immense amount of value to your preparation skills for presentations.
  • book-you-can-read-anyoneYou Can Read Anyone, David J. Lieberman
    I got this book because I always thought I was pretty good at reading people – I just wanted to be sure, and I was curious to see how security professionals and police officers read people.  This book has proven to be critical to helping me read crowds during in-person presentations.
  • book-10-simple-secrets-of-the-worlds-greatest-business-communicators10 Simple Secrets of the World’s Greatest Business Communicators, Carmine Gallo
    There are technical and high-profile speakers that we all can name and probably admire when it comes to how they speak to and inspire an audience.  This book profiles several of the most well-known speakers today, telling you what makes them so successful in their presentations.
  • book-presentation-zenPresentation Zen, Garr Reynolds
    Garr is currently known as one of the world’s masters at creating slide presentations that inspire people, and help to tell the story of the presentation that he’s giving.  Too often, our slide decks are distractions.  This book gives us everything we need to know to get started in creating our slide decks to be compelling aides, instead of road blocks.
  • book-presentation-zen-designPresentation Zen: Design, Garr Reynolds 
    Pretty much for the same reason as the previous book.  This book just goes into further detail.
  • book-resonateResonate, Nancy Duarte
    A great presentation tells a story.  It doesn’t matter what the topic is.  There needs to be a story that will resonate with the audience.  This book helps you to identify what those stories might be, and how to choose the right story for the audience to help them relate to your content, keep their attention, and remember what you said.
  • book-slideologySlide:ology, Nancy Duarte
    Nancy can easily be called the “rock star” of slide presentations.  She’s built a company on creating effective slide decks that effectively communicate and help to tell a story to those who are sitting through a presentation.  People around the world cite her techniques and work as examples.  Even people like Garr Reynolds above holds her is high esteem.  She had a guest section in (at least) one of Garr’s books, and is quoted quite often in all books of this kind.
  • book-word-of-mouth-marketingWord of Mouth Marketing, Andy Sernovitz
    Andy is one of the few people in this world that really can be called a social media or social marketing expert.  His concepts are so simple, but he puts it all in a very easy and fast-reading book that helps you to communicate in a way that will inspire the others around you that you can influence to talk about whatever topic it is that you’re presenting.
  • book-viral-loopViral Loop, Adam L. Peneberg
    This book is on this list in part to echo the previous book, but sometimes you find inspiration in places that you didn’t expect.  This book is a great example of thinking outside of the box in terms of how you put technical presentations together.  There are many areas that overlap into everything you do – and we generally speak to audiences for more reason than to help those in the audience.  We are often trying to help build our brands or promote something that’s important to us.  This book helped me to think about what I was doing differently, to help me present information and communications in a way that would hopefully be the “ripple in the pond.”
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