Communications coach Gallo (The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How To Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience, 2009, etc.) distills the public-speaking secrets of some of the world's top leaders and celebrities.
The author, who has worked with executives from Intel, Cisco, Chevron and other corporations, analyzed more than 500 speeches posted on the online site of TED, which was launched in 2006. By the end of 2012, more than 1 billion users had logged in, and the speeches had been translated into nearly 100 languages. Gallo examines the speaking skills of political leaders (Colin Powell, Al Gore), shapers of the modern digital revolution (Bill Gates, Larry Ellison), and celebrities of the literary, sports and movie worlds. The author organizes his principles under three general headings: unleashing emotional power by using conversational storytelling techniques; employing novelty to surprise, shock, teach and amuse, enhanced by focused multisensory experiences; and keeping to the guidelines set out by TED. These guidelines include the necessity of speakers to keep their speeches under 18 minutes. Gallo draws from current research on how the brain processes information to show why that is “the ideal length of time for a presentation.” Concision counters cognitive backlog, which impedes the assimilation of ideas. Gallo's practical orientation assists his selection of the methods and tactics the speakers employ, and the author holds himself to the same standards he recommends for others. Gallo brings the narrative to life with plenty of examples—e.g., a speech by Harvard neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor about growing up or Bill Gates' effective presentation of the reality of mosquito-borne disease. The author also includes successful outlines and guides to using both audio-visual aides and effective body language.
Dramatic composition and vigorous presentation make this a powerful tool to improve mastery of speaking skills.