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Real Leaders Don't Do PowerPoint

How to Sell Yourself and Your Ideas

Christopher Witt, Dale Fetherling


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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 become more 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.

Praise For Real Leaders Don't Do PowerPoint: How to Sell Yourself and Your Ideas

“A practical guide for leaders and up-and-comers who want to enhance the impact of their speeches and presentations.”
—James M. Kilts, former chairman and CEO, The Gillette Company

“Excellent, well-written, and concise...a great resource for anyone who wants to make a memorable impact on the audience.”
—Avtar Dhillon, M.D., president and CEO, Inovio Biomedical Corporation

“Chris Witt helped me by simply cutting to the chase and communicating my message in a clear and commonsense style. I highly recommend this book to professionals who want to make critical presentations more effective and easily understood.”
—Patrick Caughey, FASLA, RLA, president, Wimmer Yamada and Caughey, landscape architects and environmental planners

“Chris Witt’s insights helped me make the transition to CEO and become a more effective speaker. I think you will be amazed how a few small changes can so dramatically improve your leadership and public speaking ability.”
—Norma Diaz, CEO, Community Health Group

“Chris is one of the top speakers and speaking coaches I know. When I need advice on promoting my own consulting practice or speaking as the chairman of a large professional association, I go to Chris; the advice he offers gets my message heard.”
—Drumm McNaughton, Ph.D., president, The Change Leader, and chair of the board of directors, Institute of Management Consultants, USA

"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."
Publishers Weekly

Currency, 9780307407702, 256pp.

Publication Date: February 3, 2009

About the Author

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.