Makingpresentations is an integral part of daily life, which contributes toindividual and business success. Nonetheless, most people have notmastered the skill of public speaking thus, they encounterchallenges that make their message ineffective. Hence, Simpson’sbook, Presentingat Conferencescovers various aspects of presentation such as the audience,presenter, content, use of auditory and visual presenting tools, andcommon fears of the speakers. Simpson shows how presenting inconferences gives the speaker unique challenges and opportunities(Simpson, 2012). Accordingly, a presenter can acquire skills toimprove confidence and use audience friendly techniques of delivery.
However,presentation skills are rarely taught, which means that some speakersare incapable of understanding the audience’s verbal and non-verbalgestures. As a result, the presenter can leave the listenersuncomfortable, unsatisfied, and even bored. According to Simpson,knowing the topic or subject is the key to giving an excellentpresentation (2012). Consequently, Simpson examines the planningtechniques, tips, and tools that every speaker should use before theygive a presentation (Simpson, 2012).
SaraSimpson has over twenty-two years experience in the public sector asa senior manager, practitioner, lecturer, and trainer. She ispassionate about developing and delivering modified courses in theprivate and public sectors. Simpson utilizes the latest technology tooffer creative and innovative speeches that will facilitate changesin the working practices. Simpson draws on extensive experience fromthe public and private areas to ensure that organizations, teams, andindividuals gain the best possible return on investment and havetangible workplace results. She works with county council,universities, the police force, and the fire and rescue services.
Simpson’swork in these industries includes large-scale training needsanalysis, conflict management, dealing with difficult individuals,training, and development in gap analysis and 360 appraisals.Additionally, she has given speeches at international and nationalconferences and published several peer-reviewed articles onleadership and presentation skills and designs. Simpson bases herideas on the belief that the employees are the greatest assets in anorganization. Thus, their core skills are fundamental toorganizational growth and development.
Afterthe introduction, the author discusses the science bit in apresentation where she explains how fear affects the quality of theperformance. According to Simpson, most presenters are concernedabout their nerves, which can be experienced in the form of slightapprehension or full blown paralysis (2012). Subsequently, Simpsonexplains the origin of this fear by discussing the brain structureand how it affects the speaker’s reflexes and emotions. The authorgoes ahead to discuss the type of presenters and the styles eachspeaker uses to attract the audience’s attention. Another topicdiscussed in the book is the three core elements of a public speech,which Simpson explains to be the audience, presenter, and content.Subsequently, she discusses how each factor can either be effectiveor ineffective (Simpson, 2012).
Inchapter five, the author describes the seven ingredients that willresult in a well-structured presentation, which will fulfill theaudiences’ needs and objectives. The book also illustrates theimportance of a well-planned presentation, which considers theaspects of time, relevance, audience’s desired outcome, and logicalflow of information (Simpson, 2012). A presentation has severalstages all of which requires the speaker to give differentinformation. As Simpson explains, an excellent speech will includeseven stages, which should be carefully handled because theycontribute to the overall outcome. In each stage, the authoraddresses the concerns the speaker encounters that may inhibit aneffective presentation (Simpson, 2012).
Inchapter eight and nine, the author explains the importance of visualaids and slides to make an appealing presentation. Simpson mainlyconcentrates on explaining the benefits of using visual aids toenhance the message and retain the audiences’ attention (Simpson,2012). Simpsons explains the features that every speaker should usewhen making the presentation slides. Then, she explains howconsistency can make slides more appealing. Furthermore, thepresenter should be careful when writing the presentation slides toensure that they do not appear as though they are just scripts(Simpson, 2012). It is also crucial for the speaker to include onlythe information they need instead of adding even the slides that theywill end up skipping during the presentation. Simpson emphasizes thatthe technique used during the presentation can either make theaudience feel they are a part of the presentation or undervalued(Simpson, 2012).
Topicthat caught my attention
However,I found the subject in chapter nine on slides to be most interesting.In most instances, speakers only include the most important detailsof their speech, which they read during their presentation (Simpson,2012). Nevertheless, Simpson presents an interesting technique wherethe speaker can include visuals in a slide. Therefore, the chaptershows how these aspects can be incorporated in a presentation toreach the biggest number of audience. Additionally, the author goesfurther to explain how the speaker should format the presentation toensure that it is appealing instead of using features that may makethe slides distracting (Simpson, 2012).
Ican use the information in this chapter when preparing forpresentations. The information is clear on how each element of theslide is incorporated and formatted to give an excellent overallperformance. It is usually challenging for most people when designingthe appropriate slide that will attract the audience and retain theirattention (Simpson, 2012). Accordingly, the author goes into greatdetails to explain the general rules the speaker should follow whenpreparing the slides and how they can modify various aspects to meetthe unique information they plan on presenting (Simpson, 2012).Therefore, this chapter on slides is essential when preparing for apresentation because it gives very basic guidelines. Furthermore, itmakes work easier for a speaker, which offers someone more time tothink of the content to present instead of using all the preparationtime developing the best way to design the slides (Simpson, 2012).
Howto connect the information in this book with the general objectivesof the course
Theinformation in Simpson’s book relates to the objective of thecourse because it teaches on how to improve communication and publicspeaking skills. Simpson explains how presentation affects personaland business growth and development. The course focuses communicationand presentation skills to promote an effective and efficientexchange of ideas within an organizational environment. Theinformation provided in Simpson’s book clearly explains how aspeaker can improve their strategies when exchanging ideas to ensurethat their message reaches as many audiences as possible (Simpson,2012). Additionally, the author illustrates how speakers can usetechnology in their presentation to reduce monotony and attract theaudience’s attention. The author conducts a thorough analysis ofthe type of listeners and instructs the speakers on how to ensurethat the presentation is successful. According to Simpson, theaudience can either be effective or ineffective depending on the waythey interact with the speaker and understand the speech content(2012).
Onthe other hand, a presenter can only attain effective communicationif he or she follows some guidelines to ensure that the speechregularly engages the audience (Simpson, 2012). Additionally, theauthor explains the advantages of using technology in a presentationsuch as the visual and auditory aids to ensure that the messages areseen and heard clearly. Besides, the speaker can also use literarydevices such as metaphors, anecdotes, and stories to emphasize on themessage (Simpson, 2012). Consequently, Simpson’s book relates tothe course objective because it explains about the presenter,audience, and content as the three core elements that can determinethe outcome of a presentation. For example, the author instructs thereader on how to analyze the listeners as a major factor that canaffect effective communication in an organization. As Simpsonexplains, a presenter has to be keen and observe his or her bodylanguage, maintain appropriate eye contact, facial expressions, andtone (2012). Additionally, the content has to be designed in a waythat makes it easy for the audience to follow and understand.
Howcan this book assist you in your development?
Thebook can assist in my development in the business environment becauseit addresses one of the critical issues of communication andpresentation, which is crucial in driving personal and businessgrowth. I can use Simpson’s instructions and guidelines to enhancemy performance. In every job, communication and presentation skillsare important. Therefore, using the book to acquire and improve theseskills will ensure that I can articulate my business ideas to otherpeople as a way of getting more funding, proposing businessexpansion, or getting a promotion. Besides, the information in thebooks provides up-to-date information on technology that can enhancepresentation skills (Simpson, 2012). Therefore, it will improve myprofessional growth because my presentations will be in line with thestandards being used by other speakers.
Communicationskills are essential in on a daily basis in the workplace when Iinteract with my colleagues, managers or a client. Therefore, thebook will enhance my performance at work because it can help meimprove written, verbal, and non-verbal communications. Besides, Iacknowledge that to be a leader in any aspect requires excellentpresentation skills. Accordingly, I will use the book to learn how topresent my opinions in a compelling, memorable, and influential way.I will use the information to structure my thoughts, connect withpeople, and present my ideas in a way that resonates with theaudiences. Thus, I will compel my audience to take actions, whichwill be essential in my career and business development. Furthermore,I can use Simpson’s book to make effective presentations that cancommand audiences’ attention and gain their attention thus, I cansell my business ideas to anyone. Besides, the enhanced communicationand presentation skills will help me to showcase my professionalexpertise on a daily basis, which will help accelerate my businessand professional growth and development. As a result, the book willbe a change agent in my professional development.
Otherbooks or references that can complement this book
Presentingyour research: Conferences, symposiums, poster presentations andbeyondby Lucinda Becker complements the information presented in Simpson’sbook. Becker offers guidelines on how to make effective presentationsat conferences and seminars. Likewise, the book emphasizes on howpresenters can use technology to improve the outcome of their speech.The author explains the characteristics an effective presenter,content, structure, and audience (Becker, 2014). Additionally, thebook offers guidelines on how speakers can improve their presentationskills by boosting their confidence through adequate preparation andpractice.
Similarly,Becker offers personal experiences to emphasize his ideas and showthe readers how effective communication can facilitate personal andbusiness growth and development (Becker, 2014). Becker agrees withSimpson that a good presentation is all about good content,interaction between the speaker and audience, logical structure,reasonable self-presentation, and effective use of presentation aids.Moreover, the author discusses the problems caused by ineffectivecontent, audience, and presenter’s body language that hindersuccessful performance (Becker, 2014).
Accordingly,the information complements Simpsons’ books because it offerssimilar guidelines with an in-depth explanation of various aspectsbriefly discussed by Simpson. For example, Becker explains in detailsthe characteristics of excellent presentations and provides detailedexamples on how speakers can achieve a positive outcome using variouspublic speaking techniques (Becker, 2014). Besides, she discussesdifferent types of presentations, which are highlighted in Simpson’sbook and explains how authors can choose the most appropriate styledepending on the audience, the content or topic under discussion andthe length of the speech.
Otherbooks or references that antagonize or challenge the information onthis book Onthe other hand, Mary Jalongo and Crystal Machado’s book, makingeffective presentations at professional conferences: a guide forteachers, graduate students and professors,offers contrary guidelines on how to make effective presentations.According to Jalongo & Machado, speakers should mainlyconcentrate on the public speaking ethics and how their inclusionaffects the outcome of the speech (2016). According to this book,presenters can only be effective if they interact with otherprofessionals and participants. Therefore, as long as the speakercommunicates well with others, it is possible to have an effectivepresentation.
UnlikeSimpson, Jalongo & Machado do not pay much attention on howpresenters can use technology, verbal, and non-verbal communicationskills to improve a presentation. Moreover, the authors emphasize onmaking lengthy introduction regarding one’s expertise andexperience to attract the audience (Jalongo & Machado, 2016). Theinformation contradicts the guidelines presented by Simpson becauseshe explains that the key to effective speech well-designed content,effective audience, and presenter.
Personalopinion of this book
Ilike the information presented in the book because Simpson hasarticulated the ideas in a way that makes it easy to comprehend. Theauthor acknowledges the challenges many people encounter when givinga speech. Subsequently, Simpson guides people on how to correct theirpast failures and continually try to achieve their objectives(Simpson, 2012). Besides, the information in the book is based on heropinion and experiences, which make it logical for the reader toincorporate when making presenting. The book provides usefulinformation because it challenges the readers to do something uniqueand different when giving a speech to attract audience attention andattain a positive outcome (Simpson, 2012).
Throughoutthe book, Simpson offers practical strategies and activities thatteach the presenter how to make an effective presentation. Moreover,at the end of each chapter, the author gives an elaborate example andexercises, which prompts the reader to focus more on the featuresthat can facilitate an effective presentation (Simpson, 2012). Theactivities also provide real life examples of the issues mostspeakers encounter and how well these issues can be handled topromote a positive outcome during a presentation. For example, shenarrates stories to paint pictures in the audiences’ mind, whichgives the reader a unique opportunity to explore different tacticsthat can be helpful when making a presentation (Simpson, 2012). Theauthor also provides links to various videos and gives stories toemphasize the information and guidelines in the book. Therefore, theinformation in the book becomes easy to create to and apply in whenmaking presentations.
Howto teach others about the topic of this book
Iwill teach others by showing them how to incorporate the techniquesfrom this book in their presentations. Accordingly, I will use theinformation in the book to help others make effective and efficientpresentations. Further, I would ensure that a person uses thetechnological devices such as visual and auditory tools discussed inthe book when making a presentation. I will collaborate with otherpresenters so that I can teach them on how to include the ideas inthe book. The strategy will ensure that I can practically show theothers on how to improve their presentations skills instead ofteaching them verbally. Additionally, I will cooperate with otherpeople to design the speeches together. Thus, I will learn areas inwhich their presentations need improvements.
Becker,L. (2014). PresentingYour Research: Conferences, Symposiums, Poster Presentations andBeyond.
Jalongo,M. R., & Machado, C. (2016). Makingeffective presentations at professional conferences: A guide forteachers, graduate students and professors.Cham: Springer.
Simpson,S. (2012). presenting at conferences. Frederiksberg:VentusPublishing ApS.