Course Pack: Purposeful presenting

These curated resources, many referenced in our Purposeful Presenting course, will help to deepen your understanding on the topic and dig into the aspects that resonated. We've shared the facilitator workshop slides too, so you can replay what was covered among your teams. Be proactive, and learn by teaching!
Artwork by Lennard Kok

Resources and recommended reading

Try: Two Tools for Presentation Structure

You'll recognise the the Root, Stem, Branch tool from the live session, but take a look at this one too - the And-But-Therefore technique. Both are super simple ways to structure a presentation, and both are stepped out in these punchy resources.

Read: Resonate, by Nancy Duarte

From the "I have a dream" speech to Steve Jobs' iPhone launch, great presentations have a common structure that helps their message resonate with listeners. Nancy Duarte, the person behind Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth presentation and subsequent documentary, lays bare that structure and more in her seminal presentation guide, Resonate. Check out her TED talk too (linked below) if you haven't already, which condenses a lot of the books ideas into a bitesized twenty minutes.

Read: Do: Present, by Mark Shayler

We love the 'Do:' books at YCN, and this one is no exception. Do: Present is a fantastically punchy read with no jargon, no wasted space, and some great personal and purposeful pointers towards more authentic and creative presentations.

Watch: Three Great Presentations

Three different presentations from three very different people; but each showing some of the fundamentals of great presenting at play. They're Ronald Reagan, Steve Edge and J.K. Rowling.

Listen: The Speaking Club: Mastering the Art of Public Speaking

This podcast series, hosted by communication and business expert Sarah Archer, navigates the ins, outs, ups and downs of public speaking; business pitches, motivational speaking, teaching and training - everything. We recommend the two part episode from May of this year, Shifting from Awkward to Awesome in Public Speaking, which covers how to hook an audience, how to tell stories, and the hidden benefits of an unpolished delivery.

Watch: TED’s Secret to Great Public Speaking

Linked below is Chris Anderson (CEO of TED) who gives this brief, fireside-style talk on the through-line connecting every memorable presentation and great public speaker; the ability to build an idea in their audience’s mind. Anderson walks us through how to foster curiosity, the importance of vivid mental imagery, and how to keep your presentations simple but engaging.

Read: Do You Talk Funny?: 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker

It’s no secret that humour is a fantastic tool to hold an audience’s attention, but when pre-presentation stage fright already has you losing sleep, the thought of entertaining too can be daunting and draining. Nobody understands that better than author David Nihill, who (as well as giving a masterclass in timing, delivery and comedic storytelling) talks in detail about his own journey in overcoming presentation paranoia.

Read: How I Overcame the Fear of Public Speaking

Psychologist Adam Grant pens this brief, informative (and quite touching) article on overcoming stage-fright and the lessons he has learnt from his 100+ keynote talks and speeches. One of his suggestions? Don’t try to calm down. Who’d of thought?