Chapter 13

Presenting a Briefer Case

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, and to have the two as close together as possible.

—George Burns

Long story, short. See how a presentation as succinct as a general's brief and svelte as a TED Talk can respect an audience and catch its attention.

Practicing What You Preach

The thought of hearing a long sermon probably doesn't thrill you.

Imagine that you are sitting in a church and the preacher stands up at the podium and begins his remarks. Chances are, you're thinking something like, “How long is this going to last? Is it going to mean anything to me? Will it be different from all the speeches I've heard before?”

Are you enthused? Or dreading that he might go on forever?

And when your fears become a reality, and the remarks have gone over an hour with no end in sight, do you think, “Why does praying feel so painful?”

So then why do the same thing to your captive audience when it's time for you to give a presentation? Perhaps it's out of vengeance, but what makes everyone think that bigger is better when it comes to speeches?

If the mere mention of the word presentations immediately triggers what your PowerPoint is going to include, then you need to think again. Your mind should instead leap to your audience's needs and wants. Respect them.

However, few executives feel comfortable without the crutch of their slides when left standing alone in front of a room of people. Unfortunately, the people in your ...

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