Brilliant Presentation:
What the Best Presenters Know, Do & Say

By Richard Hall
Pearson / Prentice Hall
Distributed by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
December 2008
ISBN: 9780273720768
182 Pages
$36.50 paper original




1  The stuff of brilliant presentations  


Five critical processes  

2  Coping with nerves  

Nerves are normal  

It’s the voice that is key  

How to avoid freezing  

So how do brilliant presenters feel?  

Be honest with yourself  

What is actually going on?  

Be self-aware  

To be nervous is normal  


3  The five levels of mastery  

The world of the non-presenter  

Five steps to brilliance

This is what brilliance is

Brilliant presenters are shameless


4  The context of the presentation  

Have you got the plot?  

First, get the exam question right


5  How to write a brilliant story  

A brilliant story  

Death to mission statements and other jargon  

Truth is a powerful weapon  

Does the story grab the imagination?  

Become a story student

The elements of a great story

The best presentations were brilliant stories  

Great memory hook, but what’s the story?  

Tellling it like it is - brilliantly


6  How to give your story colour  

A nearly brilliant presentation in the making  

A bare presentation is like bare walls


7  How to illustrate your presentation  

Think of slides as your music  

Bad slides slow you down  

Professional slides help

Professorial vagueness has its place

Less is more  

Why people avoid slides  


8  Performance  

What acting can do  

In praise of work – in praise of America  

Illogical arguments show up in a presentation  

Why? Why?? Why??? Why???? Why?????

A strong argument helps you feel confident  


9  I’ve got the power  

The power of PowerPoint

Pluses and minuses  

Be fair – blame the workman, not his tools  

PowerPoint has improved working lives  

Let’s get a bit more technical  

Things to do to your PC  

You have only one chance

You thought the technical stuff was easy?  


10  The book as a presentation  

Following my own advice… almost  

Discovering what really happens  

Impediments to brilliance

How to do brilliant presentations  

11  Really understanding your audience  

Brilliance wrecked by not listening

Lessons in how to understand audiences  

12  From ordinary to brilliant

A change and a commitment  

Getting the story right will drive everything else  

How do the brilliant presenters do it?  

13  The graduation to brilliance  

A scale of improvement  


14  So you made it - brilliant, well done!

This is the brilliant formula  

How with it are you?  

Presentation has never been more important


15 Applying your skills to smaller meetings

No slides. Why not?

You've been promoted, so make the first meeting count

You want to be promoted, so raise your game

Be prepared: the key advantage

Make your meeting sound as if it's worth going to

Location: choose it, use it, make it memorable

Learning to think on your feet

The brilliant executive summary

Brand your meetings so they want to come again

Enjoy yourself

16  Summary of the lessons in this book

The biggest challenges to brilliance

What you must avoid

My top three brilliant tips


Richard Hall is Chairman of RH&a and Showcase Presentations Limited and has been recently Chair of many marketing services businesses including flying Pictures and kaizo. His background is in marketing and advertising. Now he specialises in executive mentoring, team building and strategic consulting. He has just finished his fourth book for Pearson, The Secrets of Success At Work. He says his mission is to turn good people into great people by inspiring them, by accentuating their positive assets and by making them feel excited by the world in which they live.

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