The Truth About Confident Presenting

Book description

Praise for The Truth About Confident Presenting

"O'Rourke goes beyond the typical list of speaking tips and packs a lot of wisdom into his 51 truths. He explains the critical link between the content of a speech and its ultimate effectiveness, illuminating the powerful connection between preparation and performance. Speakers who follow his winning formula are sure to find a grateful audience."

R. Jeep Bryant, Executive Vice President, Chief Communications Officer, The Bank of New York Mellon

"From strategy to tactics, the 51 common-sense 'truths' in this book are useful, practical, and easy to adapt. Even reading just a few chapters will help to make you a better speaker. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to the executive speakers I work with."

Jan Botz, Executive Director, Chief Communications Officer, Dow Corning Corporation

“Whether you are speaking to a large audience, your boss, your employees, or your kids, you will feel more confident and prepared, and be far more effective, after reading this book. O’Rourke provides simple, doable tips that really make a difference. From caring to preparing, you’ll learn what it takes to engage your audience and make your message count!"

Patty Blackburn, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, RSM McGladrey, Inc.

The Truth About Confident Presenting is an excellent, practical guide for anyone who aspires to deliver effective and engaging presentations. It is a valuable resource for the novice as well as veteran speakers.”

Catherine V. Babington, Vice President, Public Affairs, Abbott Laboratories

“Years of successful presentation experience condensed into an easily digestible but invaluable checklist for anyone wishing to channel natural anxiety over public speaking into improving their presentation skills. Filled with real-world examples and anecdotes, O’Rourke focuses on the essentials of great presenting.”

Tim Andree, Chief Executive Officer, Dentsu America

All you need to know to make winning presentations--fearlessly and painlessly

•        The truth about preparing quickly, efficiently, and well

•        The truth about managing anxiety and handling hostile audiences

•        The truth about nonverbal signals, PowerPoint, microphones, and more

This book reveals 51 proven and bite-size, easy-to-use presenting techniques that work.


This book brings together everything you need to know to prepare well, manage anxiety, deliver effectively, connect with your audience, and succeed! Authored by top business consultant James O’Rourke, this book offers real solutions for the obstacles and fears faced by every presenter. You'll discover what makes people listen, and what instantly turns them off. You’ll learn how to prepare effectively, not obsessively; how to scope out your audience and muster evidence that'll convince them; when and how to listen; how to manage anxiety and establish a great first impression; how to make nonverbal cues work for you; how to use PowerPoint well; how to handle hostile questions confidently; and much more.

This isn't someone's opinion: it's a definitive guide to effective presenting—a set of bedrock principles you can rely on to help you win with any audience.

Table of contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Praise for The Truth About Confident Presenting
  3. Introduction
  4. I. Some Initial Truths
    1. 1. Public Speaking Is Not Easy, But It’s Certainly Doable
    2. 2. The Key to Success Is Preparation
    3. 3. Rehearsal Is Essential
    4. 4. Emulating Good Speakers Makes You Better
    5. 5. Establish Goals for Your Presentation
    6. 6. A Presentation Is a Learning Occasion
  5. II. The Truth About Getting Ready to Speak
    1. 7. Talk Is the Work
    2. 8. Know What Your Audience Is Looking for
    3. 9. There Is a Difference Between Speaking and Writing
    4. 10. Preparing a Presentation Is a Relatively Simple Process
    5. 11. Begin by Analyzing Your Audience
    6. 12. Know Your Audience
  6. III. The Truth About What Makes People Listen
    1. 13. Understand What Makes People Listen
    2. 14. Your Speaking Style Makes a Difference
    3. 15. Anticipate the Questions Your Audience Brings to Your Presentation
    4. 16. Listening Matters
    5. 17. Being an Active Listener Brings Real Benefits
    6. 18. You Can Overcome the Barriers to Successful Communication
  7. IV. The Truth About Developing Support for Your Presentation
    1. 19. Develop Support for Your Presentation
    2. 20. Understand the Power of Your Content
    3. 21. The Kinds and Quality of Evidence Matter to Your Audience
    4. 22. Structure Can Help Carry an Inexperienced Speaker
    5. 23. Find Support for Your Presentation
    6. 24. Use the Internet to Support Your Presentation
  8. V. The Truth About Getting Up to Speak
    1. 25. Select a Delivery Approach
    2. 26. Your Introduction Forms Their First Impression
    3. 27. Begin with a Purpose in Mind
    4. 28. Keep Your Audience Interested
    5. 29. Conclusions Are as Important as Introductions
    6. 30. Have Confidence in Your Preparation
    7. 31. Repeat the Process as Often as Possible
  9. VI. The Truth About Managing Anxiety
    1. 32. All Speakers Get Nervous
    2. 33. Recognize Anxiety Before It Begins
    3. 34. Deal with Nervous Behaviors
    4. 35. Keep Your Nervousness to Yourself
  10. VII. The Truth About Nonverbal Communication
    1. 36. Most Information Is Transferred Nonverbally
    2. 37. The Nonverbal Process Can Work for You
    3. 38. Nonverbal Communication Has Specific Functions
    4. 39. Nonverbal Communication Is Governed by Key Principles
    5. 40. Nonverbal Communication Has an Effect on Your Audience
  11. VIII. The Truth About Visual Aids
    1. 41. Visual Aids Can Help Your Audience Understand Your Message
    2. 42. Understand Visual Images Before You Use Them
    3. 43. Choose the Right Visual
    4. 44. Use PowerPoint Effectively
    5. 45. Consider Speaking Without Visuals
  12. IX. The Truth About Handling an Audience
    1. 46. Assess the Mood of Your Audience
    2. 47. Answer the Audience’s Questions
    3. 48. Handle Hostility with Confidence
  13. X. The Truth About What Makes a Presentation Work
    1. 49. Know as Much as Possible About the Location
    2. 50. Use the Microphone to Your Advantage
    3. 51. Know Your Limits
  14. References
  15. Acknowledgments
  16. About the Author

Product information

  • Title: The Truth About Confident Presenting
  • Author(s): James O’Rourke
  • Release date: February 2008
  • Publisher(s): Pearson
  • ISBN: 9780768681949