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January 17, 2011

Training Tip 3: Presentations for Dummies

Since the publication many years ago of Dan Gookin's DOS for Dummies, the first book in the successful  Dummies line of technical books, I've been ambivalent about the company's naming and marketing strategy.  However, when a book's content is good enough, who cares about the name?

When I began giving important presentations in the mid-90s, I pretty much read, or at least surveyed, just about every instructional book I could find.  Presentations for Dummies was by far the best practical reference I found, and I have not encountered a better book since.

While "humor consultant" author Malcolm Kushner includes some technical information (including obscure-but-useful tips), he focuses on human factors and practical pointers.  The current edition is a revision of the 1996 original ("Successful Presentations for Dummies").  These links to the Dummies.com website provide examples of Kushner's down-to-earth approach:

  • Handling Problems during a Presentation
  • Preparing for a Virtual Presentation
  • Avoiding Stage Fright
  • Using Stories as a Presentation Tool
  • Chapter 13, on fielding audience questions, is available in PDF format.

    Google Product Search has information on multiple places the book can be purchased.

    We will be providing references to other resources in future columns.  In the meantime, we welcome your suggestions in the Comments section below.

    Biographical information about our Training Tips columnist is available. 

    Edited Jan. 23 to correct link to biographical information.

    Posted by J. Lawson in Training Tips | Permalink

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