Book Review: The Manager’s Guide to Presentations

69-word Summary:

New managers have a lot to learn. Supervising and coaching is a major element that most new managers lack and it’s a reason that many new managers struggle… The Manager’s Guide to Presentations won’t help you there. Managers also need to deliver presentations that motivate, persuade, inform and influence. This book is all about helping managers (and anyone else who presents) to prepare, deliver and assess presentations that motivate, persuade, inform and influence.

The Details:

  • Author: Lauren Hug
  • Price: $17.99 on Amazon; $7.99 as a Kindle book
  • 68 Pages

Bright Spots:

  • The Length: I’ve read a lot of books on presentations, and after the first 100 pages or so, they tend to get very redundant. In this book, Lauren Hug respects her readers by making her point and then moving on.
  • The Tight Organization: Related to the length and the author’s ability to make her point and move on, this book is tightly organized: what to do before presenting, during the presentation and afterwards. Period. There were very times that I thought: “Huh, that’s an interesting concept and if I had unlimited time I might someday try that, but honestly I’m too busy to ever actually do that in real-life.”
  • The templates! This isn’t just a book to read and put away on the shelf, never to be touched again. There are templates to help organize your thoughts on your audience’s needs and expectations, addressing your personal concerns and fears about public speaking, putting together your content, creating interaction with your audience and once your presentation is over there is a template for getting meaningful feedback. Truly, this is a book to work through… unless you buy the Kindle version, which makes it tough to write in. Which brings me to my next point…

Room for Improvement:

I do really like the templates in this book. It would be nice to be able to print them out and write on them. It would be great if downloadable, printable templates were available on the Hug Speak website. Until then, I’ll just have to re-create the templates in Word.

Who Should Buy It?

As mentioned earlier, this book is not only for new managers but anyone who finds themselves needing to put together a meaningful presentation. It’s $7.99 (e-reader version), it’s less than 100 pages, it can be read in one evening, it has templates for organizing your thoughts and it might even help you prepare for and deliver an engaging presentation that leads others to act. What do you have to lose?

Training the Trainer: A Crash Course

Here’s a short compilation of places to turn if you’re looking for some help with your training programs.  Whether you’re just getting started in the training field, you’re asked to do a presentation every once in a while or you’re a seasoned training professional, there’s something here for everyone.

All-around Amazing Training Tips

Anyone who ever gets in front of a group to present – whether as an occasional “extra duties as assigned” job duty or as a professional trainer – should have a copy of Bob Pike’s Creative Training Techniques Handbook on their bookshelf. Written in plain English and loaded with practical ideas, tips and suggestions that can be used immediately.

Building a Foundation in Adult Learning

Malcolm Knowles is the father of adult education.  At some point in their careers, all training professionals should read The Adult Learner since it’s the foundation of every adult learning principle they (hopefully) integrate into their training design.  The language is very academic.

Jane Vella built upon Knowles’ work in adult education with her book Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults.  She offers a set of principles in dialogue education and illustrates them through stories from her experiences in working with groups across cultures and around the world. 

Elearning

Elearning doesn’t have to be a boring set of slides that a learner is required to click through in order to complete a course and receive a certificate.  Michael Allen’s Guide to Elearning illustrates this point and offers tons of ideas and examples, painting a picture of what elearning should be.

Professional Associations

The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) is the principle professional association for folks in the training field.  Their website offers plenty of resources – both free and fee-based.  An annual membership comes with a monthly subscription to T+D magazine and discounts on training materials and conferences.  Personally, I learned a lot from the ASTD discussion boards on their web site during my first year as a trainer.  By attending various ASTD conferences I’ve had an opportunity to attend sessions led by such thought leaders as John Kotter, Ken Blanchard, Bob Pike and Michael Allen. 

Industry Magazines

The following monthly publications are free to those in the training industry and provide a slew of insights about training trends, ideas and best practices:

What did I miss?  The comment section is all yours.