Book Review: OWN THE ROOM

Are you a public speaker or a business professional that gives presentations, looking for a book to help you become a better speaker? Look no further than OWN THE ROOM: Business Presentations That Persuade, Engage & Get Results. Co-authored by David Booth, Deborah Shames and Peter Desberg, this is one of the best books I’ve found for speakers. The trio are the founders of Eloqui, a communication consulting firm.

I was amazed at how many practical and applicable practices I found in this book. From giving a thirty-second elevator speech to a full-blown day-long training session, readers will find countless ways to improve their speaking skills. The eleven chapters cover just about every aspect of business presentations. The first four chapters; Intention, Roles, Premier and Finale, cover the construction of your speech. There are so many things covered here that are so often overlooked. For example, most business presentations seek to educate; however, as pointed out, educating causes people to think; persuading motivates them to act. These four chapters alone are worth much more than the price of this book, but we’re just getting started.

The next few chapters cover a variety of topics such as building a better narrative, overcoming stage fright, making multiple person presentations and grammar usage. Then we get to what I believe is the best chapter in the book; The Power Point Revival. We’ve all sat through, and have probably been guilty of giving, less than stellar power point presentations. This chapter gives the reader countless ways to improve power point presentations.

Imagine giving your next power point presentation without the use of a continuous flow of bullet points, but rather with an array of eye catching photos that work in harmony with your speech and that keep the audience riveted to your presentation. I love the analogy used of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach where music is composed with two separate melodies played at the same time. Although each melody by itself is beautiful, they intertwine. They support and lift each other creating a whole far greater than the sum of its parts. At any moment in time the notes from the different melodies are in harmony with each other. Isn’t that the way Power Point slides should be integrated into your speech? If you give Power Point presentations, don’t give another one until you read chapter 9 of this book!

Chapter 10 looks at being memorable and focuses on how the mind interprets things. Giving an extraordinary presentation is worthless if your audience doesn’t remember what you’ve told them. By understanding memory process, you will understand better how to craft and deliver your speech so more information is easily retained. Chapter 11 wraps it all up into a nice, neat package.

There are a lot of books available on becoming a better speaker. This one focuses specifically on the business speaker and is one of the best books I have seen on this topic. I highly recommend this to anyone who gives business presentations.

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About montyrainey

Public Speaker and District Manager. Mission: To empower and inspire others professionally, personally and spiritually to elevate their lives to a higher level.
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