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Dermot Greene at Geekspeak Training "geekspeak" (Dublin, Ireland)

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Presentation Magic!: Achieving Outstanding Business Presentations Using the Rules of Magic
Presentation Magic!: Achieving Outstanding Business Presentations Using the Rules of Magic
by Nick Fitzherbert
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.72

4.0 out of 5 stars Add some magic to your presentations, 4 Jan 2013
What's the difference between a good speaker and great speaker?

Good speakers don't bore us too much and pass on useful and interesting information while a great speaker captures our attention, makes us anticipate their next words and makes us say wow!

A lot like a magician....

Which is why I was intrigued about what a magician could teach us about being better presenters

What Nick Fitzherbert does in "Presentation Magic" is take the 20 rules of Magic and applies them to business presentations and it's a refreshing change of perspective.

Some of the most useful rule to take from the book are:

Rule 4 - "The brain filters out most information it receives, leaving only what it considers important"
We need to ensure that our message is something that our audience will think is important

Rule 11 - "Attention is sustained by variation"
We can't just talk at our audience for an hour, we need to engage them and we can do this by varying the way we deliver information by asking questions, giving them tasks or puzzles, telling stories and even giving them props.

Rule 19 - "People put more reliance on something they have worked out for themselves"
Think about it, which is more satisfying, solving a puzzle or being given the answer? Which way will you remember the answer longer?
Don't give all the information to your audience, let them work it out for themselves.

If you want a new perspective on presenting then give Presentation magic a try and add some sparkle to your next presentation.


Tribes: We need you to lead us
Tribes: We need you to lead us
by Seth Godin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very short book that's wayyyy too long, 1 Jan 2011
Seth Godin is the living, breathing embodiment of this book, he is a leader, he's not happy with the status quo and he has built up a tribe of followers who believe in the same ideas as he does. A tribe who will probably read and buy and possibly even worship everything he says or does.

Unfortunately this book is a bit of a one-trick pony, the concept is good, his arguments are relevant and his examples illustrate his points perfectly but.... it only has one idea and that idea (as other reviewers have noted) could probably have been covered in a few pages or in a blog entry but instead has been stretched though endless repetition to 130 pages of wasted paper.

To save you some money and the environment, here is a summary of the book:

1. don't stay with the same ol' same ol'
2. take a chance
3. change is good
4. be a leader
5. create a tribe of followers


Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations (Voices That Matter)
Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations (Voices That Matter)
by Garr Reynolds
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes a sequel can be better than the original, 22 Nov 2010
This was what I was looking for.

This does everything that Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter) doesn't, this is practical and has eliminated the philosophical waffle of its predecessor.

If you want to learn about how to design slides so that they can get clear and understandable ideas across to your listeners (and viewers) then this is the book your should get.

There is still some references to the Japanese culture but this time they are controlled and relevant, the author gets back to his old philosophical self in the chapter on Space but in general this is a tighter, more useful and educational book.

This is recommended reading for anyone who wants to understand how to design great slides.


Real Leaders Don't Do Powerpoint: How to speak so people listen: How to Sell Yourself and Your Ideas
Real Leaders Don't Do Powerpoint: How to speak so people listen: How to Sell Yourself and Your Ideas
by Christopher Witt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.59

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great practical approach to giving great speeches, 18 Nov 2010
What can you expect from such a dramatic title?

Well, the author justifiably takes the attention away from the presentation and puts it onto the broad shoulders of the presenter, giving them the power and the skills to give an inspirational or motivational speech to any audience with or without powerpoint.

The author has a very chatty but practical style putting emphasis on often over-looked areas such as knowing and understanding your audience, learning and using your own personal styles, and connecting with your audience.

What was different about this book was that not only did I learn and get new ideas about speaking but I enjoyed reading it and how many educational books can you say that about?


Giving Great Presentations In Easy Steps
Giving Great Presentations In Easy Steps
by Drew Provan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.14

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All you need for a great presentation in a nutshell, 18 Nov 2010
This has to be one of the better presentation skills books out there, not because it says anything new or radically different than the rest of the books but because of the way it puts the information together and delivers it to you.

There are a lot of presentation skills and public speaking books out there that are all text, black and white, with little or no pictures, they're not fun to read...

This book is bright and colourful, filled with illustrations and covers everything you need to bring you from being a mere speaker to becoming a great speaker. Topics range from the foundations of a great presentation to slide design and knowing your audience. It also covers a lot techniques and forms of presentations (tele-conferencing, webcasts, Q&A)

Who is this aimed at? This will be of the most use to someone who either hasn't read any books on presentations skills or has only read the boring black&white ones but anyone with a strong interest in presenting and presentation skills could learn something new from this book.


The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience
by Carmine Gallo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Best for the faithful or for those just starting out, 7 Nov 2010
Two questions you must ask yourself before you read this book:
1. Do you love Steve Jobs?
2. Is this the first book you've read on presentation skills?

If you answer yes to either of these questions then you will get a lot out of this book, if you've read books like Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Take Hold and Others Come Unstuck then you might find it a bit repetitive and covering a lot of ideas that you've read in other books.

The author covers a lot of information and gives good tips but there's nothing new here and having Steve Jobs as the subject does restrict the range of examples given and that take away from the book.

It's okay but there are better books


Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck
Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck
by Chip Heath
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sticky stories get the message across, 25 Oct 2010
This book is all about getting your message across effectively and this book does exactly that. It takes its SUCCESs model (Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credble, Emotion, Stories) and applies it quite well throughout the book but where it comes out strongest is by using stories as illustrations of their points.

The stories are great, they are really great stories that stick in your mind, there's one about how one teacher explained racism to a class of young children after the death of Martin Luther King by dividing them into blue eyes and brown eyes and treating each group differently and that lesson was so powerful for the class that they all remember it 30 or 40 years later and it's a story I won't forget anytime soon.

Their message is simple and clear and the way they get it across is both thoughful and entertaining.


Brilliant Presentation: What the Best Presenters Know, Do and Say (Brilliant Business)
Brilliant Presentation: What the Best Presenters Know, Do and Say (Brilliant Business)
by Richard Hall
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars A bit dry and dull, 25 Oct 2010
This was a disappointing book, there's nothing wrong with it as such and if it was the only presentation book that you have ever read then I think that it will be useful but there are much better books out there.

The author gives good advice but it's a bit dull, it doesn't inspire you to leap up on stage and talk which I think is where it fails. It doesn't excite.


Dragons' Den: The Perfect Pitch: How to win over an audience
Dragons' Den: The Perfect Pitch: How to win over an audience
by Peter Spalton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading to become a better presenter, 25 Oct 2010
There is always a danger when buying a book associated with a television program that you enjoy. The risk is that the publishers will use the good name of the programme to churn out any old rubbish.

Thankfully, this is not the case as in The Perfect Pitch we have actually been given a book that matches the quality of the series.

It's filled with practical information (and a lot of it) on how to put together a good sales pitch but its lessons can be used for not just sales pitches but for any presentation that you will give.

What gives the book its strength is that it is filled with real life examples from the television series, there are examples to back every one lessons it delivers and as well as that it has a collection of case studies to give you extra information about both successful and unsuccessful pitches.

Worth reading for anyone watching to know more about giving presentations or pitches.


Creativity Now: Get Inspired, Create Ideas and Make Them Happen - Now!
Creativity Now: Get Inspired, Create Ideas and Make Them Happen - Now!
by Jurgen Wolff
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bright green book filled with ideas, 25 Oct 2010
With a bright green cover, plenty of colours and pictures on every page, is this a book for children or for adults?

It's definitely for adults. But only for a particular type of adult...

Did you used to be more creative? Do you feel like you are a creative person but you have trouble finding that creative spark?

This book might help. The author doesn't make any assumptions about what will help stimulate your creativity, he doesn't give you one surefire way to be creative because as well we all know there is no one way, we all get excited by different experiences and stimuli.

Instead what he does is give you a range of options to help you find your own particular formula for being creative and it is this range of options that makes this book so strong, you can flip open a page, read it and give the suggestion a try. Not every suggestion will work for you but maybe the next one will.

For me there were definitely some ideas that were weird for but there were others that made sense, I think that there's probably something for everyone who wants to be that little bit more creative.


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