I Can See You Naked
This may be the best piece of advice in this book:
When something strikes you as funny, don't let it get away. Hold on to it for dear life. It could be gold. My theory is this: Everything that strikes you as funny is going to turn up on television some day.
I'll just give you this one example—because it relates directly to the book you're reading.
For as long as I can remember, I've always thought that the old idea of visualizing an audience naked, as a way to control nervousness, was a funny sort of notion. It just struck me funny.
I mean, it's not one of those ideas that flits in and out of your mind. It sticks. And it asks for some kind of response.
So, I made it the title of a book on presentations.
I Can See You Naked.
Need I tell you what happened next?
The idea spread across the networks like a giggle through a classroom. Millions upon millions of people are howling their heads off about this quirky notion of speakers talking to naked audiences. It's hilarious. Dynamite. A TV writer's dream come true.
Then, amidst the laughter, a question hit me: Had my book unleashed all of this hilarity?
Surely not. But how many speakers would now visualize their next audience in a state of dishabille? I shuddered to think of it.
If you're a presenter, a naked audience is not going to improve your concentration. Eye contact is going to be a real problem for you. And you're going to be very self-conscious about that $600 designer suit you're wearing.
This was all dutifully explained in I Can See You Naked—the first edition. But something told me it was time for new emphasis. Even with the relaxed morality that pervades our TV sets and movie screens, there remains a statement that must be resaid:
Never speak to a naked audience. It can be distracting.
There are all kinds of other psychological exercises that can be tapped to rid yourself of nervousness in the face of an awaiting audience. One woman even wrote to tell me that Chapter 13, which starts, "It's the night before your big presentation" enabled her to keep her sanity. Can you imagine? I considered changing the title of the book to reflect that thought, then decided that a promise of sanity was probably more that I could deliver—times being what they are.
As with the first edition, this expanded edition is dedicated to helping you be a better presenter. But it is also dedicated to candor, to saying things that—for one reason or another—never show up in other books on presentation.
Who else would tell you "to keep an eye out for the barracuda?" (Chapter 51). Who else would tell you that "you may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time?" (Chapter 17). Who else would employ the Mafia to give you a pointer or two on presentations? (Chapter 31).
In short, this is a very different book on presentations. It's even different from the first edition of I Can See You Naked, which still strikes me as a funny notion, great for sitcoms—but now there are other things to laugh about, look at, learn from, and try as you get ready to make your next presentation.
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Whos going to be Stanley Kubrick?
How to get the best out of nervousnessand control the rest
Sometimes the best offense is to let your guard down
The worlds smallest secretfor presenters who like
PART FOUR Im so boring I even bore myself How to get out of the gray
What TV has taught us but most presenters ignore
The audience is much olderor much youngerthan you Either way the Age Gap can be trouble
What audiences know without being told
Questions that often float through the minds of audiences
Who wants to get hit by a truck?
The Man in the Box
The audience needs a breakbut when?
How to eliminate audiences and start reading faces
It can sound an alarm without making a sound
Podiums are poison Lecterns are lethal
Theres nothing more boring than something that never moves
How do you create excitement if youre not Madonna Prince or Zig Ziglar?
They call it chemistry
Great props dont have to be proper
powerful but explosive
Its low tech on a high wire
Im speaking to what I see in your eyes
Spend a day with your voice
Rapture of the deep can steal defeat from the jaws of victory
A true story about Valium
How to make a speech in a strange hotel
The Electronic Presenter
Are you Red Blue or Gray? How to find yourself in the presentation spectrum
How to pull yourself out of the Gray Zone
Are you the presenter you think you are? A selfanalysis to help you find out
PART FIVE Understanding the audience How to get inside their heads
How to become one with your audiencewith a little help from Jackie Mason
A simple structure for your next presentation Its All About Them
What to wear to a winning presentation when youre the presenter
Is it helpful harmful or just hot air?
If you dont give me a list Audiences just love do lists
Nerve Endings Insensitivity can overpower any subject
Test your mettle as a presenter
Hold that temper
Heyyouve drawn a crowd
Your best chance to work a miracle
Ten points to pin to the wall before your next oneonone
A guide to relationshipsthe hot new word in making presentations
The Deadly Gamecompetitive presentations and how to win them
PART SIX How to deal with questions
What no questions really means
Questions that top executives like to askand some suggestions that may save the day
The short form list for answering questions
How to handle questions that are really suggestions
Never incur the wrath of a talky crusader
Tell me about OM The dynamics of Donahue
Compliments countercompliments and presentation diaries
Heres looking at you kidon viewing your first videotape