The book for this review is entitled How to Wow, Proven Strategies for Presenting Your Ideas, Persuading Your Audience, and Perfecting Your Image. It’s written by Francis Cole Jones.
This is a book written for today, for a world where you may have only a few seconds to make your case, pitch your product or secure that job.
Jones opens the book with a quick little bit asking the question: how often you have left an interview, a meeting, a presentation, or an audition thinking that you nailed it – only to discover you didn’t get the job, the client, the account, the funding, or the part?
She spends the rest of the book giving you tools to ensure that that doesn’t happen to you. These tools are well thought out, succinct, and well written.
What about you?
Are you ready for that elevator ride with your CEO?
How about that impromptu presentation for the board?
Whatever your area of specialty, you need to be better at positively presenting your case, making the right first impression, and communicating the message you really want to communicate.
This book is a good tool to help in all those departments. My favorite part of the book was actually chapter one, which is called Don’t Leave Home Without Them,”the nonnegotiable general principles”. In this chapter, Jones provides some of the best summarized tips for good communication and persuasion I have ever seen collected in one place.
She follows this chapter up with details on how to make the most out of one-on-one encounters, how to maximize your meetings, how to ace job interviews without the stress and turmoil, the key to giving speeches that bring people to their feet and move them to action, and an entire chapter on creating powerful PowerPoints.
Each of these chapters is a seminar in and of itself, but Jones also includes chapters on how to put things in writing in a way that puts your best foot forward, making the most of social interactions (and, might I add, not completely blowing it during social interactions), and the fine points of what she calls “verbal finesse” (how to answer questions and how to handle question and answer periods after you speak).
If I were to levy any criticism of the book, it would be that it spends a lot of time on things that seem like basic principals to me — but based on my interactions with other human beings, they are basic principals that are not widely known.
The most useful function of the book is the handy bullet point summary at the end of each chapter. Truly, if you don’t have time to read, buy the book and photocopy the bullet points at the very least. If you employ at least half of them, I guarantee they will change your quality of life.
This book gets my recommendation.