Reviewed by Josephine Gross, Ph.D.

Presentations are everywhere, whether you are enrolling your child in a competitive program, selling a product to a customer or speaking in front of a large audience. In over two decades and thousands of presentations, superstar distributor Jan Ruhe has assembled all her speaking tips in this ultimate presentation guide. Use it daily, she counsels, if you want to build yourself into a great speaker.

This excellent compilation covers a wide variety of material, ranging from the more obvious (research your topic; get a good night’s rest; think before you speak; always have breath mints) to some less well-known but amply proven techniques. Throughout the book you will find presenter’s affirmations, quotes from the masters and techniques to develop warm feelings toward your audience. An appendix provides sample presentation music, dos and don’ts on dress, presentation openings, powerful words, oxymorons, words to avoid, and an almanac with interesting facts from history to spice up your presentation. A random sample of tidbits:

Before the presentation: write down the results you intend to produce; practice out loud and your confidence and poise will increase; before the presentation starts, it’s nice to give people a lift with positive music; arrive early so you can network and meet new people; find out who is the senior person in the room so you can honor her by using her name in your presentation.

When you present: be thrilled to be invited (not smug or exhausted); turn facts into benefits for your audience (including the ultimate benefit, a more meaningful life); ask a question every five sentences and avoid lengthy sentences and unnecessary words; present to all personality types—auditory, visual, kinesthetic and digital (numbers people); make purposeful gestures; move around and take two or three steps at a time (not one—when you take several steps, you look confident); if you want to engage your audience, look at people for longer than one second at a time; end sentences looking at people, not at your notes; pause between points; let the audience digest what you’ve just said; speak slower when you are making a key point; never say anything
negative or sarcastic if you want to get positive, powerful results.

Ending the presentation: finish with a call to action: “Now is the time!”—for a sales presentation, learn and memorize Tom Hopkins’s closing techniques; don’t get carried away—curb your urge to keep talking; close your presentations the way you shut a car door!

After the presentation: make notes, revise and refine what you can improve upon.

Want to become wealthier? Says Jan, work on your presentation skills—and watch your bank balance increase. In the process, your children will communicate better than most adults you know, your relationships will flourish and you will develop friendships around the world!

Paperback, 250 pages, $37.97; Proteus Press.