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Real Leaders Don't Do PowerPoint

How to Sell Yourself and Your Ideas

by Christopher Witt, Dale Fetherling

Product Details:
  • Pub. Date: February 2009
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Format: Digital
  • Pages: 256
  • ISBN-13: 9780307452306
  • ISBN: 0307452301
  • File Size: 2445 KB

  • Hardcover



Think about the most powerful speech you’ve ever heard a leader give. What made that speech–and that speaker–memorable was likely a mix of authenticity, stage presence, masterful delivery, and–above all–an inspirational message.

Nobody ever walked out of a great speech saying, “I loved the way she used PowerPoint.” Yet, all too often, speakers rely on tools like it to carry them through a presentation.

Real leaders speak to make a difference, to promote a vision, to change the way people think and feel and act. Their ability to lead goes hand in hand with their ability to get their message across, no matter what size audience they’re addressing. Drawing on his years of experience in coaching executives, Christopher Witt shows not just how to make a speech but why and when you should make one. His practical advice on how to take your game to the next level includes:

• You are the message. Who you are–your character, experience, values–shapes the message your listeners hear.

• Content is king. Delivery is important, but it is only the helpful–or unhelpful–servant of your message. So build each speech around one, and only one, “Big Idea.”

• A confused mind always says no. When you want your listeners to say yes, you’ve got to make them understand what you want them to do and why they should care.

• Dare to do the unexpected. Leaders know the rules, and they know when, why, and how to break them.

In chapters that can be read in five minutes or less and in a book that can be gone through in one sitting, Witt shows you how to becomemore confident, more commanding, more compelling speakers. But this isn’t just a book about speaking. It’s about leadership and about how people–CEOs and PTA presidents, small business owners and sales reps, middle managers and techno geeks–can present themselves and their ideas with greater impact.

Editorial Review

Publishers Weekly

In Witt's succinct and humorous assessment of leadership strategies and the art of the public presentation, the business consultant focuses on the basics and the particulars that often go by the wayside when speakers rely on crutches like PowerPoint. A good speaker and leader knows that the individual is inseparable from his or her message, that ideas must be conveyed simply and powerfully, and that conviction is paramount to get others on board. Witt, founder and president of his own Witt Communications company, goes into great detail illustrating exactly what a successful speaker does and how those skills translate to good leadership. While Witt's primer doesn't say anything particularly new, it's a fine demonstration of his principles at work: well-organized and straightforward, with plenty of concrete take-away techniques. Geared toward those looking to get a leg up at work, shape their ideas and overcome the public speaking jitters, Witt's quick, witty instructional makes a fine addition to the office arsenal.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Meet the Writer


Name: Christopher Witt


Christopher Witt is a speech consultant and coach with almost three decades of professional speaking experience. As president of San Diego—based Witt Communications, he has shown CEOs how to gain board approval and company-wide support for their initiatives, helped teams of technical experts win multimillion-dollar contracts, and empowered newly promoted managers. He holds a doctorate from Catholic University of America.


Table of Contents

Prologue: Why Leaders Aren't Like Other People 1

Pt. 1 A Great Person

You Are the Message 11

You Only Have Three Speeches 19

Take a Stand 27

Can Charisma Be Caught? 33

Dare to Be Different 37

Learning from Oprah 43

Pt. 2 A Noteworthy Event

What Are You Getting Yourself Into? 51

Don't Speak Unless You Can Do Some Good 57

Who Are These Guys? 61

The Eternal Question: WWIIFM? 67

Pt. 3 A Compelling Message

Content Is King 75

What's the Big Idea? 81

No Speech over 20 Minutes 87

Start Right 93

Chunk It 101

Be-Above All Else-a Storyteller 109

A Confused Mind Always Says No 117

Say It Again, Sam 123

Being Spontaneous Takes Some Planning 129

Take a Lesson from Kindergarten: Show-and-Tell 135

Going Out in Style 141

Why You Need a Speechwriter-or Maybe You Don't 147

Pt. 4 A Masterful Delivery

Deliver the Real You 155

Would You Rather Be in the Casket or Giving the Eulogy? 163

Have I Reached the Party to Whom I Am Speaking? 171

Writing, Reading, and Talking 177

Any Questions About Q&A? 185

Murphy Was Right (Things Will Go Wrong) 193

Humor Is No Joke 199

Projecting Power 205

When You Must Use PowerPoint 211

Life After PowerPoint 217

Epilogue: Now Break the Rules 221

Exemplary Speeches

"And Ain't I a Woman?" 229

"The Race Is Over, but the Work Never Is Done" 231

"Taxi to the Dark Side" 233

Index 235

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