Sunday, April 17, 2011

15 Minutes Including Q&A - A Plan To Save The World From Lousy Presentations

I just finished reading Joey Asher's "15 Minutes Including Q&A - A Plan To Save The World From Lousy Presentations".  I get sent books often to review, but few garner much interest for me to actually read them to completion.  This book got my attention because I, too, am on a quest to stop the spread of bad speaking.... and because it is well written and only 106 pages.

I wrote "The ABC's of Speaking" to help those business professionals who do not want to be a professional speaker, but instead need to make presentations as part of their job.  They do not want to suck on stage, but far too often they do!  Having access to realistic advice is key to success.  It is not hard to deliver a good speech, but if you "wing it" you will bomb.

Joey Asher does a fabulous job of providing easy and actionable tips to help people be better orators.

The title and premise of the book is that no talk needs to be more than 15 minutes long (half presentation, half Q&A).  While this is a cute idea, I totally disagree with this as a real life way to eliminate bad speeches.  There is a trend at conferences to make everything resemble a TED Conference.  I am a huge fan of TED, but their success is not as much based on their short format talks as it is on the way the speakers are vetted and coached to make an impact on the audience.  Four awful speakers in an hour is not better than one awful speaker. 

Ignore Asher's idea that short is always best, and then devour the rest of his advice on planning, rehearsal, messaging, delivery, style, and audience engagement.  After he gets past the silly notion of short as the only format for delivery, he knocks the rest of the book out of the park.

The book is worth your time if you want to improve your speaking skills.  Also a good gift for all bosses who host company meetings where any human beings are in the audience.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

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