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Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story

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Thirty million presentations will be given today. Millions will fail. Millions more will be received with yawns. A rare few will establish the most profound connection, in which presenter and audience understand each other perfectly, discover common ground and, together, decide to act.


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Thirty million presentations will be given today. Millions will fail. Millions more will be received with yawns. A rare few will establish the most profound connection, in which presenter and audience understand each other perfectly, discover common ground and, together, decide to act.

30 review for Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    This book is overhyped. I have a great passion toward delivering powerful presentations and I found this book disappointing. While it will certainly be helpful to the absolute amateur, a lot of Weissman's techniques are mediocre at best. The best sections of the book had to do with the verbal and organizational aspects of giving a presentation - how to brainstorm, how to think of a presentation, how to construct a storyboard, and how the audience's mind works. The worst parts of this book were a This book is overhyped. I have a great passion toward delivering powerful presentations and I found this book disappointing. While it will certainly be helpful to the absolute amateur, a lot of Weissman's techniques are mediocre at best. The best sections of the book had to do with the verbal and organizational aspects of giving a presentation - how to brainstorm, how to think of a presentation, how to construct a storyboard, and how the audience's mind works. The worst parts of this book were about the actual craft of creating a presentation - bad Powerpoint advice, bad graphics advice and especially bad advice on how to use bullet-points. Weissman conveys the key point correctly - keep visuals simple, including simple typography, simple use of text, simple use of graphs and images. But the examples he provides are not at all impressive.[return][return]If you are a complete beginner to delivering presentations, you may want to browse through this book for some decent advice. If you've been doing this type of work for a while, avoid this book and pick up something by Nancy Duarte or Garr Reynolds. They're both brilliant writers on this topic.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul Signorelli

    You have to be good if you’re going to sell more than 100,000 copies of a book about how to be a better presenter. Jerry Weissman is good. And he gets to the heart of great presentation skills by reminding us, throughout this wonderfully engaging book, of the importance of story if we want to hold the attention of audiences at a time when attention spans are as ephemeral as yesterday’s tweets. Whether we're new to the art of presentation or are experienced presenter-trainer-teachers benefitting You have to be good if you’re going to sell more than 100,000 copies of a book about how to be a better presenter. Jerry Weissman is good. And he gets to the heart of great presentation skills by reminding us, throughout this wonderfully engaging book, of the importance of story if we want to hold the attention of audiences at a time when attention spans are as ephemeral as yesterday’s tweets. Whether we're new to the art of presentation or are experienced presenter-trainer-teachers benefitting from the useful reminders Weissman provides, he carries us through the presentation cycle with lots of guidance, including warnings of how we can go wrong: not offering clear points, not offering a clear benefit to our audiences (what's in it for them, not us), not creating a clear flow of thought and information in our work, offering more details than an audience can absorb, or creating presentations that last too long. He also offers the structure that telling a good story provides: taking listeners from where they are (Point A) to where they need to be (Point B) in ways that focus on them rather than on us. He provides a concise survey of structures we can incorporate into presentations to make them flow and reminds us of the importance of "verbalization"--rehearsing our work out loud "just as you will on the day of your actual presentation" (p. 164) numerous times so that the story that is at the heart of all we do will flow naturally from us to those who are depending on us to make that all-important journey from Point A to Point B. Furthermore, he models the very skills he is trying to develop by incorporating presentation stories throughout his book in an effort to help us understand the process viscerally as well as intellectually. It's often the lines that seem to be most casually tossed off that take us most deeply to the heart of presentation professionalism. Writing about his attendance at investment banking conferences, he tells us that he is there "because they let me observe many presentations in one place, in a short time." And if someone of his experience and reputation is attending presentations to pick up tips, it makes us ask ourselves why we aren't equally engaged in seeing what others are doing if we're at all serious about continually honing our own skills. There's no mistaking the seriousness with which Weissman expects and encourages us to approach the art of presentation: "...every presentation is a mission-critical event" (p. 168). With that as our guiding light, we should all be on our way to successful and engaging experiences for those we serve.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Grzegorz Witek

    I liked this book. Jerry Weissman presented a lot - and I mean A LOT - of different ways to improve presentations. I'm sure I will use the information from his book very often. Before I started reading "Presenting to Win" I thought it might be yet-another-book-about-improving-yourself. But no, it's not saying "be confident, speak loud". It contains many general rules, but also many simple hints that will, I'm sure they will, improve the way I'm preparing presentations and showing them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This book was focused on business presentations, while my public speaking is geared toward community education and volunteer recruitment. That said, there are a lot of good tips in here about how to structure presentations to make them more engaging, and I will try to incorporate some of those ideas into my future talks.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sundararaman R

    Weissman knows his stuff. While parts of the book feel like an overly academic dissection of presentations, they do give us a useful language to think and talk about presentations, which is essential if we want to be able to take them apart and put them back together in better forms. It's easy to imagine and remember terrible business presentations that feel stilted and formulaic while following the guidelines here, but the author does his best to steer you away from that path, emphasizing livel Weissman knows his stuff. While parts of the book feel like an overly academic dissection of presentations, they do give us a useful language to think and talk about presentations, which is essential if we want to be able to take them apart and put them back together in better forms. It's easy to imagine and remember terrible business presentations that feel stilted and formulaic while following the guidelines here, but the author does his best to steer you away from that path, emphasizing liveliness and spontaneity as hugely important ingredients. Overall, there's enough information for its length that it feels like a good and useful read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Jordan

    So Helpful! Getting your story right is the key to presenting well and the writer takes you through steps to do this. Admittedly, I wanted more time on the topic and more examples. This is as close as I’ll likely get to attending his workshop, and there’s plenty to implement here! I highly recommend this book for those who want to improve their presentations.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ronald S.

    A must for anyone that speaks to an audience of two or more A terrific book with big concepts and specifics of PowerPoint. Frankly I preferred the macro ideas that were presently simply. I believe this book would help neophytes and seasoned professionals

  8. 5 out of 5

    Billy

    Jerry is a great knowledge transfer. This is one of the comprehensive guide to tell yourstory in short and extended presentation. The technique is profound yet easy to follow. It worth a re read for all of my future presentation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ken MacClune

    Despite the name - a good book with interesting and fun stories and some recommendations that are worth keeping in mind.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carl Nohr

    Really enjoyed the focus on meeting the needs of the audience. Lots of very practical suggestions to improve presentations.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Otavio Furlan

    Great insights for those who intend to be prepared for a persuasive presentation!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leanna Manuel

    This was a fantastic book. I'm not sure what drew me to it since I am not necessarily in a position where I give formal presentations very often and frankly have avoided using audiovisual aids in the presentations I have given. Prior to reading this book I couldn't have told you what an IPO was and I'm not in an industry where I'm likely to give presentations to investors or in a multimillion dollar industry. I have given presentations though and they haven't always gone the way I wanted them to. This was a fantastic book. I'm not sure what drew me to it since I am not necessarily in a position where I give formal presentations very often and frankly have avoided using audiovisual aids in the presentations I have given. Prior to reading this book I couldn't have told you what an IPO was and I'm not in an industry where I'm likely to give presentations to investors or in a multimillion dollar industry. I have given presentations though and they haven't always gone the way I wanted them to. Now I know why. I've committed almost every one of the "cardinal sins" or presentation, with and without A/V assistance. After reading this book, I feel much better prepared should the need for a presentation arise. In fact, I'm almost hoping that a chance to put these principles into action presents itself. I could also see many applications for the same information in other aspects of my personal and professional life. We are all "selling", whether it be a product, an idea or concept, or a relationship. We want others to get it, to understand us, and really we want them to agree with us or take a desired action. The way that we communicate that is critically important to whether we achieve our goal. All of these corporation-tested techniques explained in this book have many useful applications in life if applied creatively. The author practiced what he preached, and the use of the techniques was evident in the way he crafted the text, diagrams, and captions. Since I was reading on an older Kindle, some of the formatting wasn't the best, but even with that said, the attention to detail and the use of great communication techniques was evident. I learned a lot - about presentations, about writing, about communication, and about myself.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stella Spang

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Only read the abstract KEY for presentation: What is in it for you (WIIFY) Take home message: Persuade Tailor presentation Know your audience What you are going to say What you are saying What you have said Unique selling proposition Proof-of-concept Presentation flow Avoid pointless, irrelevant, confusing, complicated, and long presentation Pre-presentation preparation 1. Ask four questions: Who: who will be presenting with you & how to divide the material When: what day & time you will be presenting Where: a Only read the abstract KEY for presentation: What is in it for you (WIIFY) Take home message: Persuade Tailor presentation Know your audience What you are going to say What you are saying What you have said Unique selling proposition Proof-of-concept Presentation flow Avoid pointless, irrelevant, confusing, complicated, and long presentation Pre-presentation preparation 1. Ask four questions: Who: who will be presenting with you & how to divide the material When: what day & time you will be presenting Where: auditorium? small conference room? Office? Place affects the style What: what equipment do you need for the presentation? 2. Brainstorming with the whole team During the presentation 1. The start Select among these seven time-honored openings: 1) a comparison; 2) a proverb; 3) a quote about your company, product or service; 4) a yarn, but keep it short; 5) looking back or looking ahead; 6) a shocking fact; 7) a leading question. 2. Do not make the presentation like a document Not many data No hand-outs 3. Use graphics 4. Use only headlines. not a paragraph 5. Implement the presentation in a flow

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dee Renee Chesnut

    Presenting to Win was downloaded to my Nook library when Barnes and Noble offered it for free in October 2012. It uses PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 in its examples. PowerPoint 2013 is likely to adapt to those instructions. Weissman wants us to strongly remember the phrase, a presentation is not a document. The speaker needs more than Word to write a speech and PowerPoint for the graphics. He wants the speaker to be an audience advocate so that your message gets through to the audience before their e Presenting to Win was downloaded to my Nook library when Barnes and Noble offered it for free in October 2012. It uses PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 in its examples. PowerPoint 2013 is likely to adapt to those instructions. Weissman wants us to strongly remember the phrase, a presentation is not a document. The speaker needs more than Word to write a speech and PowerPoint for the graphics. He wants the speaker to be an audience advocate so that your message gets through to the audience before their eyes glaze over. Another important topic is the necessity of verbalizing your speech in practice, not simply disembodiment or mumbling. Linkages are meaningful verbal transitions from one slide to the next. Sometimes, the reader may think Weissman slows down too much, and this may be an indication Weissman is using spaced learning for a purpose. If you don't have the time for spaced learning, read the highlights from the last chapter, Appendix A and Appendix B. I recommend it to all who are required to give presentations.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Todd Bergman

    Older technology but timeless suggestions I was interested in this book because I do speak in front of people on a regular basis (as a preacher, I am publicly speaking every week). I wanted to improve my presentation skills. The subject of presentations is specifically directed at the business world and not sermon or teaching. The main idea of a narrative presentation model is relevant. The method applies to any speaker who may need to improve their presentation in preparation, flow, and visual a Older technology but timeless suggestions I was interested in this book because I do speak in front of people on a regular basis (as a preacher, I am publicly speaking every week). I wanted to improve my presentation skills. The subject of presentations is specifically directed at the business world and not sermon or teaching. The main idea of a narrative presentation model is relevant. The method applies to any speaker who may need to improve their presentation in preparation, flow, and visual aspects. The book refers to older versions of PowerPoint presentation software, but they may still be in use. The suggestions and skills described are still useful and do not suffer from the older software references. This is useful for persons who need to improve their public speaking presentation efforts.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Duncan

    Book had a slow start (chapter on cardinal sins of presenting), rehashing pretty obvious points, but gradually improved, especially from Chapter 3 onwards. Overall, I agree with most of Weissman's thoughts on how to make good persuasion presentations (e.g. keep it simple, slides are to support the presenter, use pics/graphs, carefully craft your story arc, etc.). He can be pretty prescriptive (e.g. the exact sequence and structure of a presentation), but I think this is a good thing, as he prese Book had a slow start (chapter on cardinal sins of presenting), rehashing pretty obvious points, but gradually improved, especially from Chapter 3 onwards. Overall, I agree with most of Weissman's thoughts on how to make good persuasion presentations (e.g. keep it simple, slides are to support the presenter, use pics/graphs, carefully craft your story arc, etc.). He can be pretty prescriptive (e.g. the exact sequence and structure of a presentation), but I think this is a good thing, as he presents easy-to-follow models. The book is dated by now (specific examples for PowerPoint are old, as are most of the examples), but the essentials still stand. The best part is Appendix B, which has checklists for all the chapters and thus makes it very easy to refer back to when actually building a presentation.

  17. 4 out of 5

    David

    The great Brad Holaway gave me this book saying, "I've read it 3x already, here, take it, just read it." It's on telling your "point" as a story. It's on seeing interaction as persuasion. An idea I am not always comfortable with (per conversations at my home in the early 2000's about relationship = influence). More to come... Pretty good book that pushes a main point: the What's In It for YOU!! Keys in on the idea of value: is a product, service, idea, relationship, etc. Valuable (worth something) The great Brad Holaway gave me this book saying, "I've read it 3x already, here, take it, just read it." It's on telling your "point" as a story. It's on seeing interaction as persuasion. An idea I am not always comfortable with (per conversations at my home in the early 2000's about relationship = influence). More to come... Pretty good book that pushes a main point: the What's In It for YOU!! Keys in on the idea of value: is a product, service, idea, relationship, etc. Valuable (worth something). Then how does one go about presenting this Value to whomever is listening, reading, etc. what "I" am putting out. Very worthwhile read for business, public speaking, or looking to have others consider owning a thought one has.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Raven

    Another book from my childbirth educator training reading list. Although teaching a course is quite different from giving a business pitch presentation, there were some good reminders throughout this book. For instance, remember that any visual aides or slide show presentations are there to support the presenter, not to state every word of the presentation or serve as a crutch for the presenter. Keep it simple, connect with your audience, and make things clear. I wouldn't say any of this was tha Another book from my childbirth educator training reading list. Although teaching a course is quite different from giving a business pitch presentation, there were some good reminders throughout this book. For instance, remember that any visual aides or slide show presentations are there to support the presenter, not to state every word of the presentation or serve as a crutch for the presenter. Keep it simple, connect with your audience, and make things clear. I wouldn't say any of this was that new to me--maybe because I've taught before?--but definitely some good reminders. I've fallen into some of the presentation traps he describes, so it was good for me to realize that and think about how my teaching will change now.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Johnny Holiday

    Great book if you are planning on giving any sort of presentation. I liked his emphasis on understanding the needs of your audience; what they care about, what they are interested in, the problems they face the dreams that they cherish and the biases that they hold. Then he asks the question...how can what you have (product, idea or service)give them what they want? This, of course, applies to business presentations as well as those that come up in personal and family life! He shows how to organiz Great book if you are planning on giving any sort of presentation. I liked his emphasis on understanding the needs of your audience; what they care about, what they are interested in, the problems they face the dreams that they cherish and the biases that they hold. Then he asks the question...how can what you have (product, idea or service)give them what they want? This, of course, applies to business presentations as well as those that come up in personal and family life! He shows how to organize a speech and how each section should tie in to the next. He gives ideas on how to use quotations and provides many of them throughout the book. It's well written and very helpful.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Res

    Focus is on structuring a presentation; there's very little on bells and whistles, and, refreshingly, no chapter on how to use PowerPoint. Actually delivering the presentation is only touched on. Other books will have better info on that. One drawback: He's only focusing on one type of presentation, the type that's designed to persuade an audience to do something for you. (Here, it's usually investing in your business.) It takes a bit of a leap to apply his lessons to presentations that are desi Focus is on structuring a presentation; there's very little on bells and whistles, and, refreshingly, no chapter on how to use PowerPoint. Actually delivering the presentation is only touched on. Other books will have better info on that. One drawback: He's only focusing on one type of presentation, the type that's designed to persuade an audience to do something for you. (Here, it's usually investing in your business.) It takes a bit of a leap to apply his lessons to presentations that are designed to inform or entertain.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ben Z.

    Useful, no-nonsense manual for creating effective business presentations. The author gives many useful tactics and ideas to help you create a narrative, organize your slides, customize for your audience, and design and animate the final presentation. While some of his case studies are a bit dated, many of Weissman's examples and "watch outs" offer a solid style guide for any modern presenter. Many of his principles are based on simple storytelling, perception, and audience psychology.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    Great how-to guide for how to perfect your presentation. The chapters are well organized and easy to understand. You can improve your presentations bit by bit adding an additional segment with each edit. The use of personal stories and references to current issues will bring participants into your realm of knowledge captivating their attention. Powerful reference tool which I will refer to often.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Raymond Esposito

    I have conducted hundreds of seminars, attended the same number of client meetings, presented to investors and board members, and have lead various teams. Presenting to Win has been my go to book for designing effective presentations that are concise, powerful and well-received. If you are in the a field that requires presentations this book should be the foundation for your approach and presentation.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This is an excellent aid to creating clear presentations. Weissman puts his principles into practice in the writing of the book itself. It is easy to follow and his main point of each chapter sticks with you. Here are his 5 cardinal problems with most presentations. 1. No clear point. 2. No audience benefit. 3. No Clear flow. 4. Too many details. 5. Too long.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vaughn

    Solid 3.5 stars. In this book, Weissman provides some very helpful insight into structuring and framing effective presentations. I found some of the examples redundant, which took away from the book's appeal. One of the most helpful aspects was the comprehensive appendixes, which I copied and stuck in my tool kit for presentation preparation - many, many good reminders.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jim Tincher

    A good overview of how to build a speech, with some very in-depth recommendations. There's nothing earth-shattering here, but it has some excellent reminders, and then really goes into detail around such things as slide design and connecting your various topics together.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Love clear books that serve as reference tools. This one is one of the best.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    This book offers a tool set for presentations. More importantly, it offers direction without over-saturated philosophy. This is more than a book - it is a reference.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Adam is reading this. It proves to be a great reference book. I tried to get into but it is more of something to read as you are preparing a presentation.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan Spehar

    My first Kindle book.

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