But he argues that it’s nobody’s role, no matter what you may have been taught, to endeavor to “be yourself.” Descy reminds readers throughout that a presentation is a performance, and that preparing to perform—rather than merely memorizing the words and counting on your innate qualities to get them across—is the crucial work that puts a presentation over the top. His advice digs deep into concerns like clothes, (“dress one step above” your audience), eye contact (“PoweredPointer 37: Lock on to people’s eyes for three to five seconds”), how to design effective slides, and how to face audience questions.
“Use personal language as if you are just talking to one person,” Descy advises. He exemplifies that advice throughout Behind the Bullet Points, writing in a direct, friendly voice that inspires nods and occasional laughter. This volume can at times seem repetitious, and the guidance for virtual presentations (check your lighting, test your platform) isn’t as thorough and seasoned as the rest. This isn’t a book about composing a presentation—it’s instead a thorough, persuasive guide to getting one across and even making it fun.
Takeaway: Readers eager to improve their skills at professional presentations will find much fresh, helpful insight.
Great for fans of: Garr Reynolds’s Presentation Zen, Nancy Duarte’s Resonate.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A