Working the Room: How to Move People to Action Through Audience-Centered Speaking

Nick Morgan, Author
Nick Morgan, Author Harvard Business School Press $24.95 (230p) ISBN 978-1-57851-819-7
Reviewed on: 04/01/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
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This useful guide to modern public speaking in business situations begins (as did public speaking) with the ancient Greeks. It's an auspicious start: the Greeks' influence lasted into the 20th century, even after television made our relationship with most of the speakers we hear far more intimate. Morgan, the founder of a communications coaching company, proposes what he calls""the audience-centered presentation process,"" in which the speaker listens to that audience--two-way communication, in other words. Morgan breaks down the generation of such a presentation into a series of steps, with guidelines and methods for overcoming phobias (he is adamant that his readers conduct the most intensive rehearsals possible, including at least one in the actual presentation site). He also warns against Q & A sessions (particularly for the media), lame and irrelevant jokes, and videoconferencing, and seems to loathe Power Point. While he speaks of""kinesthetics""--""being aware of the position and movement of the body in space""--he generally avoids polysyllables and never pushes fancy-sounding concepts as magic wands. This is a clear, engaging guide any socially and verbally competent person can benefit from, and not only those readers speaking to the business world.
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