Book Review: 5 Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’ – Changing the World One Conversation at a Time

Posted: June 26, 2012 in Book Review, PowerPoint, Presentations, Public relations, Writing
Tags: , , ,

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.

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Comments
  1. Great review, Judy! I found your site through a Google alert on my name. (Always nice to see somebody’s saying nice things about my blog/books and spelling my name right :-))

    And it seems to have been serendipitous!

    It just happens that I’m coming out with a non-fic book this week–a guidebook for writers that includes a lot of info from my blog as well as a lot of wisdom from my mentor, Catherine Ryan Hyde, the author of Pay it Forward (and 19 other novels.) This is called “HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE…And Keep Your E-Sanity.” It’s not about how to write–it’s about how to be a writer: how to navigate social media, build platform and still have time to write, decide between self-and trad-pubbing, how to avoid scams, dealing with rejection, etc.

    If you’re interested, I’d love to send you a review copy. My address is annerallen dot allen at gmail dot com.

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