There would be people who'd disagree with the premise of Michael Parker's new book, It's Not What You Say. I would not be one of them.
Parker, a former vice chairman of the global communications and advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi London, certainly has a wealth of experience with speeches, presentations and pitches -- making them; evaluating them; coaching others to give them. His key message is that, "...most of us tend to focus on the content -- the what we say -- at the expense of the delivery -- the way we say it."
In all my presentation skills training work with various industries and types of presenters, I think he's bang on. Of course the content and the message are important. But if the delivery is not compelling, if the presenter cannot connect with the audience, if busy slides capture all the attention, then the message may not even be heard. It certainly won't be remembered.
Having established the proposition that we need to focus more on the delivery, Parker takes the reader through bite-sized pieces of presentation advice ranging from "make the audience your friend" to "talk from the heart, not the chart" to "the longer you go on, the less impact." Each section contains useful ideas, reminders and nuggets of advice on how to be a more powerful and effective speaker. Running through the book are pertinent quotes and stories illustrating the points he makes.
The book is an easy read at 139 small pages. What makes it even more readable are the whimsical illustrations scattered throughout which create visual appeal and help to cement the concepts.
Many presentation books, while good, are very detailed and required a significant commitment of time to work through the concepts. Parker's book is the condensed version. It's so practical and so relevant it definitely deserves a place in your presentation toolkit.