Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story: Updated and Expanded Edition by Jerry Weissman | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story

Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story

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by Jerry Weissman

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30 million presentations will be given today. Millions will fail. Millions more will be received with yawns.

A rare few will establish the most profound connection, in which presenter and audience understand each other perfectly ... discover common ground ... and, together, decide to act!Presenting to Win: Persuade Your Audience Every Time is about getting


30 million presentations will be given today. Millions will fail. Millions more will be received with yawns.

A rare few will establish the most profound connection, in which presenter and audience understand each other perfectly ... discover common ground ... and, together, decide to act!Presenting to Win: Persuade Your Audience Every Time is about getting those "A-ha!" moments, and the extraordinary success that follows from them.

Jerry Weissman shows you how to transform your presentations from dry recitals of facts into compelling stories with a laser-sharp focus on what matters most: what's in it for the audience.These techniques have proven themselves with billions of dollars on the line. Thousands of Weissman's elite clients have already mastered them. Now it's your turn!

* Techniques proven in hundreds of IPO road shows
How you can convince even the world's toughest audiences
* What you must do to tell your story
Focus before flow: Identifying your real goals and message
* The power of the WIIFY: What's In It For You
Staying focused on what your audience really cares about
* Capture your audience in 90 seconds ... and never let go!
Opening gambits and compelling linkages
* The practical mechanics of effective presentations
Making the most of bullets, graphics, charts, and special effects
* From brainstorming through delivery
Crafting the Power Presentation, one step at a time

Become one of the world's most persuasive presenters ... right now!

  • Beyond the bullet point: presentations that connect!
  • Bring your message to life: using provenstorytelling techniques
  • Show your audiences what really is in it for them
  • Use graphics to support your story, not bury it
  • Keep your presentations fresh, no matter how often you deliver it
  • Learn by example: case studies from the world's leading companies

Suddenly, in a flash, the lights go on in their heads. Aha! They smile. They nod. They get it. They're yours. You've persuaded them. All your presentations should be filled with moments like these, and with Presenting to Win: Persuade Your Audience Every Time, they will be.

You'll master the same step-by-step techniques Jerry Weissman uses to coach business people preparing for the most mission-critical presentations of their careers before the world's toughest audiences.

It's time to learn how to make your presentations unforgettable-and irresistible.

Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Thirty million presentations will be given today. Millions will fail. A rare few will establish the most profound connection, in which presenter and audience will understand each other perfectly, discover common ground, and together, decide to act. If you want your presentation to succeed, you must present to win. Transform your presentations from dry recitals of facts into compelling stories with a laser-sharp focus on what matters most: what's in it for your audience.

In Presenting to Win, corporate presentations coach Jerry Weissman shows how to create power presentations that can inform and persuade even the most hostile of audiences.

Weissman writes that few human activities are done as often as presentations, and as poorly. He explains that the vast majority of presentations fall prey to the Five Cardinal Sins:

  1. No clear point. The audience leaves the presentation wondering what it was all about.
  2. No audience benefit. The presentation fails to show how the audience can benefit from the information.
  3. No clear flow. The sequence of ideas is so confusing that the audience is unable to follow.
  4. Too detailed. The main point is obscured by irrelevant information.
  5. Too long. The audience loses focus and gets bored.

Every time you make a presentation, Weissman explains, you are trying to get the audience to do your bidding. The key to getting them to act is to build a Power Presentation - one that avoids the five cardinal sins.

Most people in business are too busy living their stories to focus on telling them. They rarely have the opportunity to step back and see the whole. Weissman writes that the remedy is painfully apparent: Focus. Give audience members only what they need to know.

Whether it is a formal presentation, speech, sales pitch, seminar or jury summation, Weissman explains that every communication has as its goal to take audience members from where they are at the start of your presentation (Point A) to your objective (Point B). This dynamic shift is persuasion.

  • Point A is the inert place where audience members start. They are uninformed, knowing little about you or your business, dubious, skeptical and ready to question your claims.
  • Point B is what you want them to do. To reach Point B, you must move uninformed audience members to understand, dubious audience members to believe, and resistant audience members to act. Point B is the endgame of every presentation.

According to Weissman, the only way to create a successful presentation is to begin with the goal in mind.

To get your audience to Point B, Weissman writes that you must learn to view yourself, your company, your story, and your presentation through the eyes of your audience. This is called Audience Advocacy. Everything you say and do in your presentation must serve the needs of your audience, he adds. If Audience Advocacy guides every decision in preparing your presentation, you'll be effective and persuasive.

Start by shifting the focus from features to benefits, Weissman writes. A feature is a fact or quality about you or your company, the products you sell or the idea you're advocating. By contrast, a benefit is how that fact or quality will help your audience. When you seek to persuade, every feature must always be translated into a benefit. For people to act on anything, they must have a reason to act, and it must be their reason, not yours.

Weissman writes that the key building block for Audience Advocacy is WIIFY - What's In It For You. The WIIFY is the audience benefit. In any presentation, before you make any statement about yourself, your company, or the products and services you offer, ask yourself, "What's the WIIFY? What benefit does this offer my listener?"

Some examples of WIIFY include:

  • When an entrepreneurial CEO and his or her management team launch an IPO road show for potential investors, the WIIFY is, "If you invest in our company, you'll enjoy an excellent return for your money."
  • When a corporate headhunter makes a job offer to a sought-after young recruit, the WIIFY is, "If you join our firm, you'll be starting an incredible career with great pay, fascinating challenges, and the prospect of someday becoming company president!"

For your presentation to be fresh, Weissman advises, you must create the illusion of the first time, every time. Make a deliberate effort to focus your energy every time you present. He writes that the most effective way to accomplish this is through customizing:

  • Mention specifically, by name one or more members of the audience.
  • Make reference to a person, company or organization related to both you and your audience.
  • Address a question directly to one or more members of the audience.
  • Make reference to what is happening on the day of your presentation.
  • Make reference to current information that links to and supports your message.
  • Start your presentation with a slide that includes your audience, location and the date. Copyright © 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Product Details

Prentice Hall
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6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)

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Read an Excerpt

What's Past Is Prologue

My first experience with the power of the spoken word came on December 8, 1941, when as a child, I joined my father and mother at the family Philco radio to hear President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor, deliver his stirring Day of Infamy speech. I'll never forget how he concluded, his rich voice reverberating: "With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounded determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God." In that exhilarating moment, Roosevelt's potent words pierced through our dismay, lifted our spirits, and restored our confidence in our nation and in our future.

Later, I learned more about the ability of words to move people's minds in my graduate classes in the Speech and Drama Department at Stanford University, where I studied the works of the great Greek orators. Still later, in my work as a news and public affairs producer for CBS Television in New York, I witnessed the momentous impact of the words of great national leaders, from John F. Kennedy to Martin Luther King, Jr.

But I never fully realized the universal significance of communication until I left the broadcast medium and entered the world of business. The medium of choice in business is the presentation, and I soon discovered the force it can exert: A poor presentation can kill a deal, while a powerful one can make it soar. Early in my business career, I was privileged to work on the Initial Public Offering presentation, known as an IPO road show, for Cisco Systems, and saw, on its first day of trading after the road show, Cisco's valuation increase by over 40 million dollars.

The bigAha!for me was the realization that every communication is an IPO. Everyone communicates every day. You do. I do. Every time we do, we can either fail or succeed. My job is to help you succeed in your everyday communications, just as I helped the Cisco IPO, and as I've helped hundreds of corporations like Microsoft and Intel, and thousands of clients who are executives or managers or salespeople just like you. My job is to help you persuade every audience, every time.

The very same principles that propelled Cisco's success reach all the way back to the classical concepts of Aristotle. Those same basics underlie Abraham Lincoln's towering rhetoric that healed a nation torn asunder by civil war. They underlie Sir Winston Churchill's inspiring orations and Franklin Roosevelt's assuring fireside chats that rallied their nations to the victorious defense of the free world. And they underlie Martin Luther King's rousing speeches that spearheaded the civil rights movement.

They also underlie your sales pitch, your presentation to a potential new customer, your bid for financing, your requisition for more resources, your petition for a promotion, your appeal for a raise, your call to action, your own quest for the big Aha!

They are the principles that will empower you to present to win.

What People are saying about this

Stewart Alsop
I've taken the training. If you pay attention to what Jerry Weissman tells you (and it's hard not to), you'll be a measurably better public speaker. And that leads directly to success.
— Fortune columnist and General Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Meet the Author

Jerry Weissman, the world's #1 corporate presentations consultant, is known worldwide for his confidential executive coaching sessions. Weissman's private client list reads like a Who's Who of the world's great companies, including the top brass at Yahoo!, eBay, Intel, Intuit, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and many others. Weissman's techniques have helped nearly 400 client firms hone persuasive IPO road show presentations that have raised hundreds of billions of dollars in the stock market; and have helped hundreds of other public and pre-public firms develop and deliver crucial business presentations.

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