Listen, Write, Present – REVIEW!

I am all for especially powerful communication, no matter the field and no matter the topic.

Clear, concise, direct.

And while many books on presenting give promise to you, few deliver on that promise.

I collect those kinds of books – books on public speaking, on presenting, on oratory.  I own almost 1,000 of them, going back to original volumes published in 1762 . . . and to reprints of classic works from ancient Rome and Greece.  And, of course, books from our modern gurus of clear communication, only a handful of which I recommend.  Many books are good, some are bad . . . and a very few are great.

I recommend this one.

Listen, Write, Present.

The Keys to the Kingdom?

We all want the keys to the kingdom, the secrets to help us develop into powerful presenters.  Or at least we ought to want to become capable presenters if presenting is part of our mandate in the workplace.  This is crucial for those of who work in esoteric fields, such as in science or technology.

If you work in science or technology, recognize that those of us not facile in the vernacular of your specialty will have especial difficulty in receiving complex messages not delivered in a way that’s understandable.  And yet, you wonder how to communicate to those outside your priesthood.

So what can you do?

Listen, Write, Present is one answer to your dilemma.

Written by Stephanie Roberson Barnard and Deborah St. James for Yale University Press, this work is a tonic for virtually all of the ailments that plague the goodhearted presenter, who wants to communicate the core of her or his work – but finds the task daunting.  The task is clear and the mission important, because:

“What you say, how you say it, and why you say it speak volumes.  Make sure that the words coming from your mouth and the actions accompanying them truly reflect what you want to communicate.  Whether you’re communicating to your patients, your clients, your colleagues, or your boss, your success depends on structuring a clear message and delivering that message with confidence and conviction.”

Especially Powerful

And this book is packed with instruction on just how to do all of that . . . and more.  I am a big fan of books that seek to transform the reader in positive ways, and Listen, Write, Present stands tall in that category.  Ms. Barnard and Ms. St. James don’t provide useless communication “theory” – they tell you exactly what you must do to craft your message and deliver a winning presentation, particularly if you work in a technical field.

But even outside the science disciplines, this book can mold you into a more capable speaker, because many of the principles proffered are universal precepts from the canon of great speaker techniques.  Moreover, the book is a delight to read . . . clear, pleasant, and elegant prose

As the book’s preface contends, if you are a science professional who wants to achieve better outcomes with patients, gain more funding for research, or advance your career or receive that coveted promotion, then precision communication skills are required.

This book delivers on the promise to mold you into that especially powerful communicator,  provided, of course, that you actually commit to transforming yourself and your presenting habits.  I recommend that you do.

A worthy book and a proud addition to your collection!