Sales and Sales Management Blog

November 25, 2009

Book Review: Own the Room: Business Presentations that Persuade, Engage, & Get Results


Put a classically trained actor, an award winning director, and a clinical psychologist together and what do you get?  Why a book that should be on every seller’s bookshelf, of course.

David Booth, Deborah Shames, and Peter Desberg, the authors of Own the Room: Business Presentations that Persuade, Engage, & Get Results (McGraw Hill: 2010), are not the typical authors you’ll run across when looking for a book that can help you increase your sales and income.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that none of the authors can define the Puppy Dog Close, write a top notch cold calling script, or coach you through the negotiation process with a tough customer. 

They don’t know sales; they know people, they know presentation, they know how to connect with others.  They know how to use words, body language, voice, props, and silence—all the things that we sellers use every day, usually with little grace and less control—to gain and keep someone’s attention.  More importantly, they know how to turn attention into genuine interest. 

Own the Room isn’t going to close deals for you, but it is going to give you the opportunity to close deals by showing you how to really engage your prospects and make presentations that will bring the prospect along with you; and frankly, you can’t sell if your prospect has turned you off and is daydreaming about what they’re going to have for lunch—or the relief they’d feel if they could throw you and your damned PowerPoint presentation out the window.

From your opening sentence—you’ve got 30 to 60 seconds to grab (or lose) your audience’s attention—to your closing remarks, Own the Room gives solid, tested and proven guidance.  Guidance is what you  get in Own the Room, not just tips and tricks, and because the authors are giving guidance and I’m dense, I sometimes wished they’d been more concrete and said “Thou shalt do this in exactly this way” instead of giving an example of the concept and leaving the rest up to me.   

Booth, Shames, and Desberg take on all aspects of the presentation from preparation to dealing with stage fright to using PowerPoint to using physical movement to make your point to how to make effective team presentations.  The book seeks to be comprehensive in scope without smothering you with needless detail.

Whether your make presentations to a single potential buyer or to a room of thousands at a formal dinner, you’ll walk away from Own the Room with some very practical guidance that will make your presentations more effective—or very likely, transform them altogether.  Either way, you’ll sell more of whatever you’re selling.

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1 Comment »

  1. yeah,you are right,Own the Room isn’t going to close deals for us.

    Comment by business project management software — December 1, 2009 @ 4:35 pm | Reply


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