Jerry Weissman is the founder and president of Suasive, Inc., formerly Power Presentations, Ltd. Jerry founded Suasive in 1988 and quickly established himself as the coach for Silicon Valley CEOs delivering critical presentations for their IPO roadshows. He taught them to tell their company stories through the eyes of their investors, and in so doing, significantly increased the valuations of their companies. He amassed an elite client list and soon widened his focus to helping public and privately held companies develop and deliver all types of business presentations.
Today his methodology has helped thousands of companies on every continent deliver mission-critical presentations with clarity, confidence, and maximum persuasion. Jerry is the author of five books on presentations, among them the recently released trilogy: Presenting to Win, The Power Presenter, In the Line of Fire, and regularly blogs for Forbes.
In this conversation, Jerry talks about the recently released 3rd edition of Presenting to Win.
Geetesh: Jerry, the new edition of Presenting to Win is not just another reprint of an already-awesome book, but it contains so much more. Tell us about these additions, and the motivation to update and expand the content.
Jerry: The third edition has, like the wedding tradition, “something old, something new.” The old is that it presents the same methodology I’ve used for over 30 years with hundreds of companies and thousands of presenters to help them develop successful and suasive presentations—demonstrating and validating the universal durability of the techniques. Along the way, I’ve also listened to feedback from our clients, and updated the basic techniques.
The new is dozens of new business case studies illustrating the techniques in action. Another new is an extension of the original concepts into specific applications for virtual presentations.
Geetesh: Presenting to Win is not just about conventional presenting but it’s about influencing, strategizing, thinking, communicating, and so much more. What can readers takeaway from this book to get further in life?
Jerry: Absolutely. Your question identifies the key words and Presenting to Win enables each of them:
Influencing only happens when the target of a presentation—the audience—understands what’s in it for them, their benefits. So, every chapter in the book, and every technique, is designed to produce a favourable audience reaction. Readers will learn how to explain the complexities of their business or the nuances of their product or service so they can close the sale, establish a partnership, or get to the next step in their career.
Use Case: I worked with a company in the health care industry that had difficulty in explaining the complexities of insurance reimbursement to a potential investor. By using the analysis tools in the book, they were able to link their methodology to investor benefits—and secure the investment.
Strategizing requires a clear step-by-step process to develop a presentation and the book provides the Suasive seven step method on how to do so. Readers will learn how to make conscious decisions on what to include in their story and what to omit, as well as how to focus it to their specific audience.
Use Case: A company in the semiconductor industry that has multiple product lines used the seven steps to create uniformity of the company message across all business units.
Thinking—All human minds process ideas in a natural way and understanding that process is an important part of creating the story and designing the slides. The book describes the process and provides for steps for you to implement so that you can create your presentation efficiently and set yourself up for success.
Use Case: A telecom CEO whose responsibilities spanned from the company’s complex technology to strategizing the business development, used the methodology to distil and customize the subject matter to each individual audience.
Communicating requires an effective delivery system to convey the content; an effective messenger to deliver the message. A companion book to Presenting to Win is The Power Presenter and it contains a rich array of techniques to present with poise and confidence. A third book, In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions, rounds out The Suasive Trilogy and provides an effective to answer questions effectively. Readers of all three books will learn how to optimize each of the critical components and apply them in every pitch, so that they can Present to Win.
Use Case: A CFO who had minimal presentation experience as a controller was suddenly tasked with having to deliver an IPO roadshow to an audience of investors. By using the techniques in the book—and getting the coaching in our program—she was able to deliver the roadshow authoritatively.
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