Now that this year’s Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review is done and my winter quarter classes are in the home stretch, I am shifting my focus to my next big project: I am writing a book on creating powerful business presentations.
There are three insights driving this project.
First, business presentations are critically important for organizations. To reach decisions, gain alignment and move forward on projects, you need to get people together and go through a recommendation. Texting and chatting are great, but the platforms aren’t ideal for making tough, complicated decisions. Presentations play a crucial role.
Presenting also has an enormous impact on individual career success. If you present well, you shine. If you don’t present well, you look unprepared and uncertain. Most junior people don’t spend a lot of time with senior executives. In many cases, a presentation is a unique moment to succeed or fail in front of the people who will determine your future.
Second, many people simply don’t know how to create a good business presentation. At Kellogg, for example, my students sometimes fail to do basic things: write an executive summary, have an agenda, use headlines and create simple pages. The problem isn’t a lack of motivation or intelligence—they just don’t know what to do.
Third, there is a gap in the market. There are some great books on public speaking—Chris Anderson’s TED talk book, for example, is terrific— but there aren’t many that provide a step by step guide to creating a strong business presentation.
My book will be a practical roadmap for building and delivering a compelling business update. I start at the beginning: do you really need a presentation? Then I discuss the key steps, from finding the story to creating simple pages, engaging the team and presenting with confidence.
I’m making solid headway. The book is basically done, and it will be out in September.
Over the next several months, I’ll be posting about the book publishing journey—things like picking a publisher, settling on a title and creating the marketing effort.
I hope the finished product helps people sell their ideas and build their careers.
More to come!