Most helpful positive review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The real story in presenting
on April 13, 2004
I teach courses in business writing, including lessons on presentations. When students ask for good books to continue learning, this is the book I recommend for presentations. I also suggest that it will help them with all of their communications at work. The ideas in the book are simple yet powerful. For example, the most important communications we do at work is convincing others, and a powerful way to do that is to tell them a story. It is fundamental human nature that storytelling awakens, relaxes, and engages those who are listening.
Unfortunately, the editing and packaging of the book are not as well done as is the presentation of the main ideas. The author has had one audience for years: entrepreneurs who are trying to convince bankers to back their IPOs. The publisher tried to take his ideas and make them applicable and accessible to all business people everywhere. They did not quite succeed, for a variety of reasons.
The text uses vocabulary and figures of speech that exclude those who are not older, male, American, entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. It uses basic words (graphics, verbal) in ways I found confusing. It has errors in grammar and punctuation, as well as inconsistent ways of presenting material. The book includes an unnecessary color insert. The end of the book received much less editorial attention than did the beginning of the book. As I read the first parts of the book, I was usually smiling and saying, "Ah hah!" As I read the latter parts of the book I found myself occasionally frowning and asking, "Huh?" And the whole book is replete with intrusive "sideboxes" that repeat parts of the text. I find this distracting and insulting. I know publishers love them, but I think their reasons for using them have more to do with "doing what everyone else is doing" than with proven efficacy for the intended audience. Overall I would say it's an adequate first draft of an excellent book.
The usefulness of the ideas in this book almost justifies giving it a rating of 5 stars. The price is good, too. But an adjustment is necessary due to the audience bias, lackluster editing, and obtuse publishing. Despite all this, it is a very useful book on real-world business communication.