Guide to Presentations

Lynn Russell / Mary M. Munter  
Total pages
July 2018
Related Titles

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Guide to Presentations
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For anyone who has to make presentations.
A brief, professional, reader-friendly guide to creating effective presentations.
Many people avoid giving presentations or simply suffer through them. Guide to Presentations, with its clear, concise, and practical information, helps readers understand how to prepare and practice in order to make presentations far less troubling.


Getting straight to the point: The brevity of this text is designed to help the reader take in only necessary information, and to quickly ready themselves for crystal-clear, powerful presentations.
Keeping it short, professional, and readable:

  • Short: The authors have summarized key ideas from thousands of pages of text and research. Bulky examples, cases, footnotes, and exercises have been omitted for brevity’s sake.
  • Professional: This text only includes the information professionals will find useful because unlike other textbooks, it has been designed specifically for business students.
  • Readable: The format of this text, along with its clear writing style, makes it easy to read and skim. Overall, the tone is direct, matter-of-fact, and nontheoretical.
Presenting the essentials–this book is separated into two parts, in which the first half is dedicated to establishing the concepts, and the second half explains how students can put their knowledge into practice.
Part 1: Presentation Strategy. Effective strategy is vital to any successful presentation. And to make strategy easier to teach, remember, and apply, this text condenses presentation strategy into three variables: audience, intent, and message–or “AIM” strategy.
  • Analyze the Audience. This chapter explains how to answer the questions:
    • Who are they?
    • What do they know and expect?
    • What do they feel?
    • What will persuade them?
  • Identify Your Intent. This chapter recommends that presenters:
    • Consider their general purpose.
    • Write a presentation objective.
    • Use their objective to keep them focused as they prepare and present.
  • Make the Most of the Message. This chapter shares techniques students can use to make their messages memorable. It also includes a checklist that enables them to confirm that a presentation is the right way to deliver their message.
Part II: Presentation Implementation. The second part of this text explains how to apply AIM strategy to presentation structure, visuals, and nonverbal delivery.
  • Structure the Content. This chapter takes students through the process of structuring a presentation:
    • Exploring possible content: collecting, focusing, and ordering information.
    • Deciding what to say in the opening, body, and closing of a talk.
    • Preparing for the audience’s questions.
  • NEW! Design Effective PowerPoint Presentation Visuals. After they have decided what to say, students are ready to create their visual aids. This chapter suggests that they:
    • Start with their titles.
    • Design a basic template.
    • Think visually as they design.
    • Edit their efforts.
  • Refine Your Nonverbal Delivery. The final aspect of preparing a presentation involves nonverbal skills–how presenters look and sound to their audience. This chapter helps students:
    • Analyze their nonverbal style.
    • Practice their delivery.
    • Manage their nervous symptoms.
Making it easy for you to combine this text with additional guides: Pearson offers “value packs” which would allow you to combine Guide to Presentations with any other book in the “Guide To” series. So, if you would like to teach any of the following topics in more detail, consider adding any of the following books:
  • To increase PowerPoint skills: Guide to PowerPoint (for PPt. version 2007) or Guide to PowerPoint (for PPt. version 2010) depending on which version your students use. This book provides specific “point here, click there” instruc

New to this Edition

In this edition, you will find changes in all six chapters. The authors have also added several pages of web references so your students can read, watch, and listen to information that builds on what is included in the book.
Changes in Part I: AIM Strategy
Chapter 1. Analyze the Audience. Most of this chapter has been rewritten. You’ll find more detail about emotional appeals, a clearer link between cultural expectations and presentations, and specific tips about how your students can check their use of jargon. You’ll also find updated web references, such as links to video presentations that show how to use statistics and storytelling persuasively.
Chapter 2. Identify your Intent. The authors have revised the first two sections of this chapter to make them easier to understand and apply. First, they've added more detail about how informative talks differ from persuasive ones. Most importantly, they've included examples that illustrate how to master the complex task of identifying what speakers want their audiences to think, feel, or do.
Chapter 3. Make the Most of the Message. The first half of this chapter has been revised. You'll find more emphasis on how to use attention-getting techniques, a table to clarify the difference between using a direct and indirect approach, more detail about how to use sections and subsections to structure a presentation so students can learn to do more than just organize by topic. The authors have also simplified the material that compares presentations to other communication choices.
Changes in Part II: Implementation
Chapter 4. Craft the Content. The opening section for this chapter has been rewritten. Now your students will find more ideas about how to use the internet to research, several suggestions about how to link information to an audience, and clearer instructions about how to use various focusing tools to clarify a presentation objective. The authors also also revised the examples about how to structure the body of a presentation to reflect the new information in Chapter 3. At the end of this chapter, students will find ideas about how to interact with an audience online, using what is called the “backchannel.”
Chapter 5. Design Your Visuals. In this edition, the authors still focus on using projected slides and printed decks, but they also include information about slides that are more image-driven (those that rely more on photos and drastically cut text).
Chapter 6. Refine Your Nonverbal Delivery. Most of the changes in this chapter are in the second two sections, which focus on how to rehearse and how to manage nervousness. Specifically, the authors go into more detail about how to practice with slides by using “Presenter View” and how to prepare for deck presentations as well as those delivered online. To help students deal with the anxiety that sometimes accompanies a talk, the authors included more information about how to analyze nervous symptoms and offer ideas about how to get useful feedback from colleagues. Also included are several new tips, such as “power poses,” which your students can learn even more about by using the web link in the bibliography.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents




1. Analyze the Audience



Mary Munter/Lynn Russell 1



2. Identify Your Intent



Mary Munter/Lynn Russell 23



3. Craft the Content



Mary Munter/Lynn Russell 37



4. Make the Most of the Message



Mary Munter/Lynn Russell 63



5. Refine Your Nonverbal Delivery



Mary Munter/Lynn Russell 81



6. Design Your Visuals



Mary Munter/Lynn Russell 109



Index 151