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 2nd edition of The Power Presenter.
Geetesh: Jerry, your newly released edition of The Power Presenter book has been often described by readers as the “bible for presentations.” Tell us more about the original book, and why you decided to update it? Also, what were these updates about?
Jerry: The intent of the original book—and the new edition—is to provide a simple solution to the anxiety that many presenters commonly experience when they face an audience. The Suasive Mental Method, inspired by the classic book “The Inner Game of Tennis,” is that simple solution—as well as a counterpoint to all the other performance-based solutions available.
However, in the dozen years since the first edition, presenters became inundated with more performance-based solutions in the form of new bells and whistles in presentation software and readily available video capabilities, the latter from the pervasive presence of social media. To return to the simple basics, the new edition of the The Power Presenter has removed most of the case studies of politicians (who are conventionally coached to be performers) and replaced them with case studies of businesspeople with whom readers of the book can identify.
In addition, the COVID pandemic made virtual meetings the new standard of presenting. And so, the new edition contains an entirely new set of best practices—that are based on the same original techniques of presenting in person—to apply to virtual settings.
Geetesh: One of the additions in the 2nd edition of The Power Presenter is that you provide links to videos of the presentations that you refer to, so that readers can not only read but also see for themselves. What inspired you to make this addition?
Jerry: The first commandment of communication is ‘show versus tell.’ While The Power Presenter has rich descriptions of the techniques, style, and strategy to be Suasive, it is important to show the best practices in action. Returning to tennis inspiration, a player can learn the best practices from a coach, but to perfect them, the player needs to step onto a court and try them. Readers of my book will find detailed instructions on how to apply the techniques and then see them in action with the businesspeople (here, too, identifiable people) manifesting them.
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