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Book Review: Real Leaders Don't Do Powerpoint

I bought Real Leaders Don't Do Powerpoint by Christoper Witt ($15 at Amazon) on a trip, Powerpoint catching my eye and then deciding it was something I needed to read. It's not anti-Powerpoint, it's more about passion and messaging, something I've come to appreciate in both business and politics. For me the essence of the book was that to be a good to great leader you have to be able to communicate well. Some of that is body language. More of it is selling ideas and your ability to make to them happen.

You could call it speech writing and it wouldn't be wrong. As a blogger/writer there is value in shaping words for the desired impact, to me it's easily a step harder to write words that you or someone else will speak and then deliver them with the value add that only a good speaker can do. First you have to have a message, one that you're passionate about. Then you have to learn to deliver it in a way that opens doors instead of closing them.

Technical speaking is on the opposite end of this - there we're trying to portray complex ideas in a way that others can follow and learn from with typically no attempt to inspire or challenge. Technical speaking is far more teaching than speaking. Not bad, just different.

To give you a feel for the book, in one chapter the author talks about being yourself, being bigger and louder, being passionate, and being dramatic. If you don't see value or challenge in those, you won't enjoy the book. On the other hand, if you want to start down the road to real speaking, I think this book is a start and is approachable. Not sure? Think about speeches from history you admire. Was it the message or the delivery? Would it have been as good if you delivered it?

I've read it once and set it aside to read again later in the year. For now it's theory, at some point I think I'd like to try it.


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


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