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The Exceptional Presenter by Timothy J. Koegel

The Exceptional Presenter, by Timothy J. Koegel, is a book that is extremely helpful to anyone who wants to become a better presenter.  It teaches the basics, and gives you an outline of every step in the presentation process with tips on how to succeed.  Here are the highlights:

If you aren’t passionate about what you are presenting, why should anyone else be?!   How many of us remember the enthusiasm of a great speaker, versus the boring, monotone delivery of others. 

You need to be organzed, and this book includes a presentation prep list that helps you to structure any presentation.  The prep list helps you to be prepared and ready to take charge of the audience and the setting, and be poised and polished while doing so.  Exceptional presenters prepare in advance and the audience can feel that and in turn, respect what is being said. 

You need to be engaging and connect with your audience.  You do this by understanding what motivates them and this can be captured by spending some time informally with the audience before you speak.  Always get there early so you can meet those that arrive early. 

You need to practice because the more your practice, the more you improve!  This is true with any sport:  practice that tennis backhand and it only gets better.  When you see an actor in a Broadway show, their delivery is smooth and their acting becomes second nature.

If you concentrate enough on the material, you can “forget yourself” and the nerves that come with presenting.  You need to focus on your audience to get your message across.  Exceptional presenters make it look easy, but it’s only because they’ve invested the time necessary to make it look that way.

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