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Stellar Presentations: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Giving Great Talks Paperback – Feb 18 2012
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Stellar CVR 199x3002 Create Stellar Presentations with Coach Shel IsraelI decided to write Stellar Presentations, a small book for a niche market that I know and love. This is a book for tech entrepreneurs who need to present at conferences. I hope you find it useful."
To me, however, it is so much more. This book is conversation and personal, allowing the rest of us to have a taste of Shel as our personal business coach.
While the book gets into the nitty gritty of presenting your new tech start-up to venture capitalists, it's much more generally accessible than that. It offers tips that can be mapped to any sort of presentation you'll need to make on any subject because it addresses issues interesting to anyone who needs to do any sort of public speaking. For example, I believe I will stop winging it when I am up on stage. Shel has finally convinced me that practice does make perfect and even though I may well be a subject matter expert, I am not a public speaking expert, which is something needs to prepare for:
"I don't wish to overstate my point. You probably don't have time to practice 10,000 hours for your talk. Nor is the challenge before you quite as difficult as composing a Mozart masterpiece. But public speaking does require a lot of practice."
But this sort of practice demands brevity and prioritization because time is the enemy of the presenter's presentation:
"As a speaker, your constraint is not space, but time. The inverted pyramid structure will also work for you. It disciplines you to get your best points out at the top. If you find that you are running short of time, then you can comfortably chop out the lesser details before reaching your deadline."
Also, remember, that these are Internet times and everything you say, assert, promise, and state are not only recorded for posterity but laid bare to immediate public scrutiny and Fisking, so beware:
"You may be the last speaker in a long day at a third tier event, but when you speak from a stage these days, you have to assume that anyone in the world could be listening in and somewhere someone will check out your assertions. Even the smallest fib is like a loose thread in the fabric of your talk. It may get pulled and everything will unravel."
Finally, Shel reminded me that at the end of the day, your presentation will probably suck and you probably won't be able to connect with your audience if you're stiff and can't quite loosen up enough to enjoy yourself:
"Making a public presentation is damn hard. But if you really want to succeed, if you really wish to be stellar, then have as much fun as you possibly can while standing in front of the room."
Oh, and one final delicious piece of advice that you can take away from this review on the way to your Kindle to buy Stellar Presentations:
"The best remedy for a crackling throat is a few slices of cantaloupe before speaking. Other melons will help, but nothing works quite like cantaloupe."
Now that's advice I can get on board with!
To all presenters, there is something in this short book for each one of you, do not miss it.
Last week, I attended Where 2.0 conference where my startup was selected as a startup showcase, I need to pitch many times to the visitors to my booth, do a video interview in front of camera and deliver a short key notes to hundreds people on stage, with what I learned from the book, and what I practiced in the past events, I feel I did well, and my startup become one of the 3 winners. I would like to say thanks to Shel and his awesome book, it is really helpful!
Happened to see a tweet from him last week offering a copy of his book to anyone who would then review it so I took the opportunity. I bought and read a previous book of his - Twitterville and have also sampled his 2006 Naked Conversations.
I really enjoyed it. 71 pages (so as someone else said the price could be a little high) but on the other hand I have previously happily paid that price for really well written books which were also an hour'ish in the reading.
This is a topic I have read about and taken advice on for years and this summarises the best of that. He teases out the contradictions in the space and gives entrepreneurs the confidence to go out and win audiences over. Precious little structural stuff (you know the bullet point, image and font size kinda advice) and much more so about the tone and passion which are so essential in the delivery of a memorable pitch.
Nice one. Or as we say in Ireland "deadly". Oh, should say it is $4.99 on Kindle for April. That hikes it nicely from 4 stars to 5.