Presenting and Teaching

My Next Project: A Book on Business Presenting

6 Mar 2018  

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.

Three Insights

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.

Next Steps

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!

8 Responses

  1. Tom Reeder says:

    Hi Tim-
    I look forward to your book, and its business-oriented positioning!

    I often look to the Heath brothers for guidance on high-level differentiated messaging, and appreciate Nancy Duarte for her analysis+ of more tactical elements.

    Best of luck. Tom Reeder

  2. Great news. I’m looking forward to read a practical book on business presentations and very interesting to learn more about the publishing journey in the upcoming posts!

  3. Jill Orum says:

    Tim – will look forward to reading this! Agree that there’s a void in the market and I’m still amazed at how many weak presentations I see/experience. Also agree with Greg’s comment that webinars are a new forum where I feel like the quality of presentations is even more variable. Good luck with the launch of the book!

  4. Greg Pomerantz says:

    This is a great idea. One question Tim, are you thinking of including anything in conducting presentations via a webinar? There is a real void out there on doing webinars well and I know I would love to learn how to improve my presentation delivered this way.

    • timcalkins says:

      Greg–The concepts all apply but the webinar format certainly creates some unique challenges. I’ll try to address the topic as I put final touches on the book.

  5. emitahill says:

    Sounds like a valuable book. Should have a wide audience.

  6. Thom Disch says:

    This is a great project idea and a book that we can all use. I look forward to reading it!

  7. Kathy Kraas says:

    Can’t wait to get a copy.

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