When it comes to selling, they say we are all salesmen. I firmly agree. In the world we live in, we need to move people to action. In order to do that, we need to communicate effectively. Guess what? It is essential that we all learn how to communicate effectively in front of groups. You don’t need to give presentations for a living to realize that learning to engage, and move, groups of people to action is a critical skill that we just can’t run and hide from… particularly in this day and age.
In 1993, my first book, How to Run Seminars & Workshops, hit the bookshelves. The book did a wonderful job of teaching trainers and teachers how to survive in front of a room. It also did a wonderful job of teaching presenters which side of the overhead projector to stand on, how to skillfully reveal information one bullet at a time, and for those who really wanted to wow an audience, how to create clean, clear 35 millimeter slides.
Thankfully, John Wiley & Sons allowed me to write a second edition in 1998, and amongst other re-writes, I was able to update that technology section and bring in the power of presentation software like PowerPoint.
In 2005, I was asked to write a third edition that addressed the quickly changing technology. I was also able to do more; I added a professional speaking element to the book.
In three weeks, John Wiley & Sons will release the 4th edition of this book, and I’m thrilled! Interestingly enough, although I gave it a thorough rewrite, the delivery software hasn’t changed that dramatically in the past ten years. What has changed is that it isn’t just teachers and trainers that have to deliver information to others. Many other people, in a wide variety of jobs, are being put in positions to deliver information to others. The people delivering the information are in front of a different kind of audience, and they are delivering the message from a different kind of stage. That stage includes:
- Online presentations
- Internal meetings
- External meetings
- Team meetings
- Group selling environments
And the list goes on and on. I’ve added applications for delivery as a way to market businesses. I’ve added updates to the current AV options. I’ve added more interest sustaining ideas, and tricks of the trade, along with templates and worksheets for delivery in any situation. I’ve even added a new chapter about how to take your training online.
Presenting professionally is a skill that should, and can, be mastered by all. Of course there’s an element of fear! Of course there’s an element of the unknown! Of course you can talk yourself out of stepping to the front of a room! A fellow author, Suzy Kassem, said the following: “Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.” I’d like to leave you with a few words of my own:
Knowledge is a wonderful antidote for fear.