Praise for The Truth About Confident Presenting
"O'Rourke goes beyond the typical list of speaking tips and packs a lot of wisdom into his 51 truths. He explains the critical link between the content of a speech and its ultimate effectiveness, illuminating the powerful connection between preparation and performance. Speakers who follow his winning formula are sure to find a grateful audience."
R. Jeep Bryant, Executive Vice President, Chief Communications Officer, The Bank of New York Mellon
"From strategy to tactics, the 51 common-sense 'truths' in this book are useful, practical, and easy to adapt. Even reading just a few chapters will help to make you a better speaker. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to the executive speakers I work with."
Jan Botz, Executive Director, Chief Communications Officer, Dow Corning Corporation
“Whether you are speaking to a large audience, your boss, your employees, or your kids, you will feel more confident and prepared, and be far more effective, after reading this book. O’Rourke provides simple, doable tips that really make a difference. From caring to preparing, you’ll learn what it takes to engage your audience and make your message count!"
Patty Blackburn, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, RSM McGladrey, Inc.
“The Truth About Confident Presenting is an excellent, practical guide for anyone who aspires to deliver effective and engaging presentations. It is a valuable resource for the novice as well as veteran speakers.”
Catherine V. Babington, Vice President, Public Affairs, Abbott Laboratories
“Years of successful presentation experience condensed into an easily digestible but invaluable checklist for anyone wishing to channel natural anxiety over public speaking into improving their presentation skills. Filled with real-world examples and anecdotes, O’Rourke focuses on the essentials of great presenting.”
Tim Andree, Chief Executive Officer, Dentsu America
All you need to know to make winning presentations--fearlessly and painlessly
• The truth about preparing quickly, efficiently, and well
• The truth about managing anxiety and handling hostile audiences
• The truth about nonverbal signals, PowerPoint, microphones, and more
This book reveals 51 proven and bite-size, easy-to-use presenting techniques that work.
This book brings together everything you need to know to prepare well, manage anxiety, deliver effectively, connect with your audience, and succeed! Authored by top business consultant James O’Rourke, this book offers real solutions for the obstacles and fears faced by every presenter. You'll discover what makes people listen, and what instantly turns them off. You’ll learn how to prepare effectively, not obsessively; how to scope out your audience and muster evidence that'll convince them; when and how to listen; how to manage anxiety and establish a great first impression; how to make nonverbal cues work for you; how to use PowerPoint well; how to handle hostile questions confidently; and much more.
This isn't someone's opinion: it's a definitive guide to effective presenting—a set of bedrock principles you can rely on to help you win with any audience.
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James S. O’Rourke, IV teaches management and corporate communication at the University of Notre Dame, where he is a Concurrent Professor of Management and the Arthur F. and Mary J. O’Neil Director of the Eugene D. Fanning Center for Business Communication. In a career spanning four decades, he has earned an international reputation in business and corporate communication. Business Week magazine has named him one of the “outstanding faculty” in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.
In 2004, he was named as recipient of the Fifth Annual John A. Kaneb Teaching Award in the Mendoza College of Business and was recognized during the University’s 159th Commencement exercises.
His publications include Management Communication: A Case Analysis Approach (3rd edition, Prentice-Hall, 2007), and Business Communication: A Framework for Success (Thomson Learning, 2001). Professor O’Rourke is senior editor of an eight-book series on Managerial Communication from Thomson Learning and is principal author or directing editor of more than 130 management and corporate communication case studies.
Professor O’Rourke is a graduate of Notre Dame with advanced degrees from Temple University, the University of New Mexico, and a doctorate in Communication from the S. I. Newhouse School of Syracuse University. He has held faculty appointments in such schools as the United States Air Force Academy, the Defense Information School, the United States Air War College, and the Communications Institute of Ireland. He was a Gannett Foundation Teaching Fellow at Indiana University in the 1980s, and a graduate student in language and history at Christ’s College, Cambridge University in England during the 1970s. He has delivered invited lectures at leading universities in Denmark, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Singapore.
Professor O’Rourke is a trustee of both The Arthur W. Page Society and the Institute for Public Relations. He is a member of the Reputation Institute and the Management Communication Association. He is also a regular consultant to Fortune 500 and mid-size businesses throughout North America. Dr. O’Rourke and his wife, Pam, have three daughters: Colleen (St. Mary’s College, 1994), Molly (Notre Dame, 2000), and Kathleen (Notre Dame, 2007).
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Harvard Business School professor John Kotter studied a number of successful general managers over a five-year period and found that they spend most of their time with other people, including subordinates, their bosses, and numerous people from outside the organization. His study found that the average manager spends just 25 percent of his time working alone. Most of that time with others, Kotter found, was spent talking and listening—and a sizable fraction was spent presenting ideas and actions to others.
Similarly, management consultant Dierdre Borden found that successful managers spend about 75 percent of their time in verbal interaction with others: on the telephone, face-to-face, in meetings, and in presentations to large and small groups. The fact is, most information in contemporary business and social settings is passed orally, and our most important ideas are frequently formalized in presentations to clients, customers, shareholders, superiors, and key decision makers.
You can't avoid it. At some point soon in your career, you're going to be asked to give a presentation. The problem is that most people are genuinely apprehensive about doing that. We can compose a memo, letter, report, or e-mail in the quiet and comfort of our home or office, but standing in front of a group to offer our thoughts—or to motivate them to action—is simply frightening to many people. Like it or not, during a presentation you're being evaluated by everyone in the audience. You're being sized up, critiqued, and assessed. For those 15 or 20 minutes, your value to the organization, your career...your future are on the line. No wonder people get nervous.
I've been teaching public speaking to business school students, government and military officials, and professionals in all lines of work for more than 35 years, and I've learned one simple truth about public speaking: It's not easy, but it's certainly doable. I've helped people overcome fears, anxieties, and apprehensions of all sorts and watched them go on to wow an audience with their presentation skills. If they can do it, so can you.
This book, simple and compact as it is, can do three things for you. First, it can help you to diagnose your current speaking abilities It can help you size up your skill levels and get some sense of whether you're "ready for prime time." Second, it shows you the standards of the North American marketplace. Point-by-point, you find the expectations of the business and professional world. Finally, this book gives you the toolkit you need to prepare, improve, and present. It's all here, neatly tucked into 51 Truths.
The most important truth to be learned, however, is this: Great presenters weren't born that way. They became great by focusing on their message, the needs of the audience, the pattern of organization, and the details of presenting. Persistence, dedication, and a little practice can go a long way toward making you a top-notch public speaker. The details are straight ahead.
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