A long-time colleague who I respect a lot recently published a book. He was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy. I liked it so much, and agreed with it so wholeheartedly, I decided to write a review.
5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’
Changing the World One Conversation at a Time
By Eric Bergman
Petticoat Creek Press, 2012
5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’ – Changing the World One Conversation at a Time tackles our obsession with popular slideware programs head on while providing an easy-to-follow framework for presentations that inform and influence.
Author Eric Bergman pulls no punches: “. . . slides are not working. They stifle discussion. They impede understanding. They hinder decision-making. They crush audience participation. They smother critical thinking. They leave boredom and lost productivity in their wake.”
I create and deliver presentations all the time, and I teach people how to present. After reading the first chapter, it was crystal clear it’s been far too long since I’ve thought about the process I use.
This book provides a well-reasoned argument for limiting if not eliminating slides in presentations. It is based on social science research, but easy to read and apply—scholarly in content, but pragmatic in tone.
Bergman maintains that to be effective, all face-to-face communication must be a true conversation: “If you treat people with respect and create a two-way process in which they can absorb your information and you can answer their questions clearly and concisely, you stand a better chance of having them apply or act on your message than if you stand in front of them and dump data while talking to your slides.” His advice could be applied equally well to a one-on-one pitch, or a plenary at a major conference.
By the end of 5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint,’ I was completely sold. I’ve already downloaded the free workbook from Five Steps to Conquer; and I plan to use it.
Eric Bergman, ABC, APR is a prominent Canadian speaking and media relations trainer. He is also the author of IABC’s Media Training with Excellence: A Balanced Approach and the creator of Present with Ease and At Ease with the Media.
5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’ is available from Amazon.
Writing a Book Review
I have posted this review on Amazon as well—the first time I have ever done so. In preparation, I read this excellent post from Anne R. Allen’s Blog, A Reader’s Guide to Amazon Reviewing. I also checked out Amazon’s Review Creation Guidelines.
Recommend a Book, or Ask Me to Review One
Got a public relations, communications, social media, or marketing book you’d like to recommend? Have a book you think I should review? Just leave me a comment. Be prepared, though. I call ’em like I see ’em.