I had never heard of the author before and so I was curious what qualified him to write a book about communication. Turns out Ken Davies is the president of Dynamic Communications International and teaches speaking skills to ministry professionals and corporate executives. The ministry professionals as target audience is the likely reason Ken’s book was offered by booksneeze. Ken also has a daily radio show, Lighten Up! and as a radio host you need to be fairly energetic. So this book sounded more interesting as I learned more about the author.
The book is divided into three sections: preparation, delivery and application. Based on the headings alone, you can kind of guess how the contents are structured and I really like this structure of the book. It is treating dynamic communication like an evolving or developing process and to me that makes intuitively sense.
Maybe influenced by his radio work, Ken really stresses the need to focus. Get to the point and keep your audience on that point. He uses the acronym SCORRE to help the reader memorize how to keep the listener engaged. SCORRE is composed of
Subject: the need to stay on a single clear subject
Central Theme: keep information limited and to the point
Objective: include a short sentence to make clear to the listener the purpose of the presentation
Rationale: make sure that the listener is exposed to the purpose of the presentation and is clear about it
Resources: break up a boring, monotone talk with jokes, images, anecdotes
Evaluation: afterwards and throughout, continuously evaluate whether the presentation is effective
After laying this groundwork in preparing for the presentation, the important part in the actual presentation is to keep the listeners engaged. If the listener is engaged, he can provide important feedback about the presentation throughout the presentation. Aides to keep the listener engaged include moving around, keeping eye contact, using slides and gestures to stress specific points. Besides the actual speaker and his involvement, Ken also mentioned the environmental variables such as lighting or audio and their importance to engage the audience. We all have sat in presentations in which the room was really dark and not surprisingly we all had to fight with sleep. So some the guidance is obvious, but Ken does a good job of summarizing the most important points in his book.
The third part deals with application and ken likes to use humor as a way to liven up a presentation and make it, in the true meaning of the word, more memorable to the audience.This part is somewhat surprising because having the book offered through a Chrisitan publisher, humor is not commonly associated with sermons in church. Although I have seen a few clergy use it very successfully and I personally prefer humor in church. Not to make light of the matter, but to underscore the community between clergy and community. So as a mean to remove the separation between the presenter and the audience, humor can work really well.
Overall, I found this book to useful and actually entertaining. I feel that is provides in general terms some good guidance for people who need to present in public and may need some quick and easily applied tips.Will you sound like a professional speaker after reading this book? No, but the audience has a good chance of experiencing a more entertaining presentation than before you read the book.
Disclaimer: I received this book courtesy of booksneeze.com in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by booksneeze or any other third party.