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Death by PowerPoint - Eric Bergman

This book is fantastic!

I first read this 12 years ago, and it was incredibly helpful back then, before I did any type of professional speaking. The second and third reads have been even more helpful since I began speaking for a living.

I have read many books about communication, and this may be the best one. Even though the focus is on presentations, I think the principles apply very well to all communication.

Many communication books are loaded with rules that I cannot even pretend to remember. I can’t afford to think about my body language or the NLP preferences of the audience, and I’m pretty sure that most commonly touted rules are irrelevant. This book cuts through all the nonsense and provides a very simple 5 step process to creating a presentation with effective communication. The steps don’t really need to be thought about while you’re presenting, because they’re built into your presentation.

Since this book came out, “death by PowerPoint” is an even bigger problem. I’m sure we have all wasted countless hours suffering through terrible presentations, or fallen asleep on zoom meetings that make the same mistakes. Video essays, Instagram lives, and many other forms of modern media also make these mistakes.

I think anyone in any type of business should read this book. It is very clear and concise (which you would incorrectly assume is common in communication books), and really explains it’s core concepts very well, without any fluff. It is basically a perfect book, accomplishing exactly what it intended to.

Even if you don’t speak yourself, there are tips in this book to get other people to present better, which should reduce the wasted time for all parties involved.

Disclosure: I know the author IRL and he gave me this book before it was published, many years before I started reviewing. I have no obligation to give a good review, but this is genuinely one of my favorite books of all time. I have put it on my “top obscure books” list, and I do hope that it gets the attention it deserves.

I recorded a podcast with Eric, available on most podcast platforms (Notus & Friends podcast), and my YouTube channel.