Here is the rough draft for the intro for my new book on public speaking
How to Give a Pretty Good Presentation
Shortly after my book “TJ Walker’s Secret to Foolproof Presentations” went to #1 on the USA Today Bestseller list, I received a call from an editor. “Hey TJ, congrats on the book, but what about all the people who don’t want to give a “Foolproof Presentation?”
I said “What?”
She responded, “Well, your book talks about how to give a Foolproof Presentation, and it seems like all the books on speaking are on how to get a standing ovation, an exceptional presentation or and insanely great presentation. What about the 99% of the world who don’t want to be the next Tony Robbins? What about the people who either don’t like giving presentations or fear public speaking and just want to get through the darn thing? What about all the people who just want to give a pretty good presentation, but not one that will set the world on fire…don’t they have a right to get what they want?”
And that’s how this book was born.
If you want to become the next Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, or Winston Churchill, then this book is NOT for you. (There are already a gazillion books written for you) If there is nothing you would rather do than deliver a PowerPoint to 1000 people, give a toast to a wedding party of 500 or do a live interview on CNN, then this book is not for you (though you would be just like me).
This book is written for normal people (I readily admit I’m not one – I was the nerdy, dweeby JR High School student council President who loved giving speeches in front of 1200 students at age 13)
I’m not going to waste your time giving you time-consuming and difficult exercises in order to make you the next king of the motivational speaking circuit, as seen on late night infomercials. Instead, I’m going to give you the fastest, shortest, simplest ways of giving a pretty good presentation. Period.
I work with thousands of business people, political leaders, United Nations officials and beauty queens from 6 contents every year—and they have varying skills and goals when it comes down to their speaking abilities. Everything I’m going to share with you is based on real world experience helping people just like you—most of them sent to my presentation workshops reluctantly — usually by a boss who believed in them and wanted to help them gain skills needed to advance to the next part of their careers.
While there are a million different kinds of speakers and speaking situations in the world, I boil everything down into three main categories. First, there are the truly awful speakers: these people do boring data dumps. No one in the audience remembers anything from the message or the speaker other than that the speaker was boring and perhaps seemed nervous. This is the widest variety of all presenters in the world.
Second, there is the category of truly outstanding speakers. Whether it is someone on the international level like a Steve Jobs in business or Tony Blair in Politics, they have the ability to make any presentation truly memorable, engaging, interesting, and useful—plus they convey confidence, warmth and likeability in the process. At the local level, your own mayor or head of the Chamber of Commerce may be like this. This is a small group of people, typically less than 1% of all speakers.
There is also a third group of people. These individuals are able to speak much better than the second group, but not nearly as well as the first group. The third group is able to come across professional, competent and understandable. These presenters are able to get to their points in a concise manner and have their points remembered. No one was ever moved to tears after listening to someone in this third group give a presentation. But no one ever fell asleep while one of these third group speakers was presenting either. Members of this third group don’t spend days preparing and rehearsing their speech the way Ronald Reagan did or the way Steve Jobs does. They don’t spend days rehearsing because they have too many other demands on their time at work and home and giving a spell-binding speech simply isn’t a top priority in their life. But they are willing to spend between 5 minutes to one hour preparing their speeches because they know they have to in order to get what they want done for their career and in life. They want to eliminate the pain of giving an awful presentation and avoid the pain of dozens of hours of rehearsal. Members of this third group simply want to give a pretty good presentation—and they do it, every time.
If you want to be in the group, the third category of speaker who can give a pretty good presentation, then this book is for you. I promise you that if you follow the simple and straight forward lessons I have laid out for you, you will consistently be a pretty good presenter. You will never fail to get a promotion or win a new client, just because your presentation skills are considered substandard. You will never have to spend another sleepless night before a big speech worrying that you will bomb, because you will know that it will no longer be possible for you to bomb.
I am going to respect your time because I know that speech making is not your number one concern, so I am only going to give you the most important and least time-consuming tips to make you a better presenter.
Here’s what else you will learn: 1. the most common blunders in every speaking situation that plague most presenters. 2. The difficult and time-consuming advanced techniques that professional speakers use THAT YOU WONT HAVE TO USE. And 3. The simple, easy, fast way to give your presentation better than 80 percent of your colleagues so that you can sit down and get on with the rest of your busy life.
Shall we begin?