I received the best compliment yesterday about my book, Speak Simple -Art of Simplifying Technical Presentations. A reader recently emailed me to say my presentation book was “different”!
She said that she is a long-time, self-help presentation hobbyist so she reads a lot of presentation books and they all sound alike – speak up, eye contact, and don’t “umm”.
I love getting feedback like this about my presentation book and it is so true that I’m different because that is my personality and my background. I didn’t set out to write a presentation book (or even start a presentation coaching company), I had a message that I wanted to share about simplification and being understood. One of the biggest challenges technical professionals have is communicating their expertise so their clients and prospective clients can understand them (and hire them); that is where Speak Simple came in and why I wrote my book about simplifying technical presentations.
I’m also an avid reader of presentation books and I agree with her assessment that one presentation book is like all the rest, with a few exceptions. I read so many presentation books and related books because shortly after founding Speak Simple, someone told me that experts have either lived it or researched it. The best experts do both!
After delivering over 1,000 presentations in just 5 years myself, I definitely lived it. In discovering my own form of simplification, I realized it comes to changing the way you phrase things to fit the audience’s needs. For this reason, I looked to other presentation “experts” to see how they explain things too, so I can vary my message to better help my clients and audiences.
Unfortunately, I found most presentation books to be repetitive and many share outdated practices. One of the most surprising facts that I found was that public speaking is NOT America’s #1 fear. It is actually #20 according to Chapman University’s Survey of American Fears. Fear of terrorism is our top fear! (Sadly.) The fear of public speaking, known as glossophobia, is our top social fear.
This lack of research frustrates me, so I try to seek out proof. The presentation community lacks bonafide research and relies on minimal observations and experiences. For this reason, I’ve looked outside the presentation book section and I’ve researched related topics such as communication, psychology, and behavior. See my full list “Presentation Books You’ve Probably Never Heard Of“.
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How Speak Simple Can Help You
Win more work, increasing your billing rate, and prospects coming to you are all results of being a good presenter. Erica Olson created Speak Simple to help technical professionals to become comfortable presenting and excel at each presentation, whether a bid presentation or an educational, content marketing presentation. Learn more about Speak Simple’s flagship program is SpeakU, a self-guided presentation training program.