The title of this book could just as easily have been Presentation Skills of the Masters because few of us in business are called upon to give formal speeches but most of us frequently make all manner of presentations such as proposals, reports, briefings, and updates to individuals as well as to groups.
Have you ever stood up to speak to an audience, even a friendly one, and "died"? It's a terrible feeling, isn't it? Countless research studies indicate that a substantial majority of those surveyed have a greater fear of speaking in public than of dying. (This may explain the origin of the comment "I really died up there.") Here in a single volume are the thoughts, feelings, values, skills, techniques, reminiscences, and recommendations of 22 of the world's greatest public speakers. This book is a "must read" for anyone (literally anyone) who, from time to time, must prepare and then present a program of some kind to an audience.
Obviously, no single chapter (much less all of them) can guarantee that the reader will then be able to overcome fear or discomfort. However, after having read the entire book, the reader will then be much better prepared for whatever public presentations may be required of her or him. Advance preparation is essential and that includes such seemingly unimportant items as having a spare bulb for the overhead or slide projector; checking out the room, the seating arrangements, the room's lighting and temperature, and the sound equipment in advance; completing adequate "homework" on the audience and its expectations; and as conducting as many rehearsals as necessary to become comfortable with both the material and the flow of presenting it. I learned something of great value from each of the "masters" who contributed to this volume. Each of them has a distinctive style but all are effective communicators. Each prepares for a presentation in different ways but all believe in Murphy's Law and proceed accordingly.
Many of the "secrets" referred to in the book's title are just plain common sense but many others, until now, have been unknown to most people. All can be very helpful during the preparation and presentation process. Because almost everyone dreads speaking in public and so few people are any good at it, this book can provide you with a significant advantage during the progress of your career by setting you apart from (and a rung or two above) almost everyone else in your organization. It can also help you to have a much greater positive impact on those outside your organization, especially current and prospective customers. Those who are effective public speakers have much greater impact in one-to-one conversations and during group discussions. They respond more crisply and eloquently, hence more impressively, when asked direct questions. They are invariably better prepared. They speak with conviction. And they are highly persuasive. If this is the kind of impact you wish to have in all manner of situations, buy the book, read it, and then apply what you have learned in each and every situation in which you have the opportunity to communicate with someone else.