A communications book for the professional

Projecting your image means projecting your inner soul. Sometimes this is enjoyable at other times the idea that you need to stand up and speak is onerous and full of fear. For others, it is an opportunity to promote their business and show their ability. Outcomes the PowerPoint package, time to show our image in full technicolour. But…

…Is it really easy or done well?

Once behind that podium we feel in command and flick through each slide with gay abandonment. Slide after slide has heavy text and the odd image of us on holiday show everyone that we travel widely, or have a fast car or that we are good at sports. Those bullet points soon come into play and the audience glazes over nods off or concentrates on their Smartphones. Small screens glare as flashes light up across the phalanx of seats in the auditorium. And on he drones…

What is the best slide in the deck?

digital projector 

Strangely enough, it is the non-slide, the one I call ‘black’ that is the most important, let alone the best slide in your deck. As British actor Mark Strong says at the start of the introduction to Vue cinemas’ big-screen attractions ...makes you notice, doesn’t it? A little bit of darkness. Refines the senses. Focuses the mind… Of course, this was when we could all go to the cinema and Mark’s voice is no longer used when I last went.

An old adage

Suddenly the voice becomes the important tool, not the PowerPoint slide. It is the voice that is remembered, not the slide. It’s not all bad though because a good PowerPoint presentation can enhance any talk. Not least because we are driven by that old adage,

Hearing something a hundred times isn’t better than seeing it once.’  This turned into ‘a picture paints a thousand words.

Projecting your image through the combination of talk and use of pictures is critical to good presenting. You can go without images, but in our modern world imagery is important.  And so for the zillionth time, I reflected on the talks I attended, let alone had given myself. Some were truly bad despite all efforts and I include my own as examples. The translated talk I gave in Helsinki in Finnish, the joke I cracked that fell flat to a group of rheumatologists, the first talk I ever gave and wanted to hide in the toilet before it started! Then there was Jim who failed to understand the concept of time and technology. The CNN reporter was less interesting than his audience at question time. We all have memories.

What readers have said about this book

‘…very comprehensive…I thought this would also make a great course on public speaking/education the content is so detailed. There are gems on every page delivered with a lovely sense of support and humour. The political examples made me laugh.’ John Malik, former Head of Podiatry School, Aston University, Birmingham

‘‘This a great book and very user friendly. It is great that you share your life experiences as both a clinician, academic and event organizer with the reader. You give the reader the perspective of how to present from all angles…The book goes over the whole anatomy of presentation and the act of presenting. This is a great book for any novice presenter. I will definitely recommend this highly to my students.’ Dr Reza Naraghi, Podiatry Lecturer, Western Australia offers extensive and sound advice.

‘I like very much the quotations at the start of chapters … the personal nature of some of these is very effective… extremely succinct and the tone of the writing is well balanced that it encourages you to want to read on. You seem to be talking to the reader and this is very effective.’ Simon Whitfield, Director Profile Productions

‘‘There is a real benefit from writing from your own experience which the author uses to good effect. Reflecting on his own mistakes allows the reader to relate more accurately to the key points made in this book. The book was well organised making it easier to dip in and out as needed. The quotes used from many seasoned sources were both relevant and emphasised the point being made in each chapter,’ Professor David Pratt, (former) Director Bioengineering, Birmingham

Forty years experience +2 years researching

I decided to put 40 years of my own experience together to help novices get the best out of projecting their own images and consider with the help of those wiser than me how best to speak with a remote control in hand. This book does not promise to make you a brilliant speaker but if you avoid all those common mistakes and know the rules, it is doubtful you will make a bad job. Anyway to my readers on Social Media it is available for all budding speakers, from Amazon today.

Thanks for reading ‘Projecting your Image’ by David R Tollafield

Look out for the companion book ‘PowerPoint is more than a slide program‘ only paperback

David Tollafield was a Consultant podiatrist as well as a Senior University Lecturer with over forty years of experience. Now retired he concentrates on writing, foot health journalism, reflecting and public speaking. In 2019 he wrote these two books for a conference which was cancelled about the art of the ‘talk’ with PowerPoint in mind.  Read more about public speaking on this site.

Published by Busypencilcase Reflective Communications Est. 2015

June 2021


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