Kickass Presentations: Wow Audiences with PowerPoint Slides that Click, Humor that’s Quick, and Messages that Stick
Spirit Bear Books (2022)
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (07/2022)
As professionals in any business, across any industry, attending and putting on trainings, presentations, and conferences is inevitable. “Kickass Presentations” gives readers a thorough guide to ensuring their presentations are memorable, engaging, and executed flawlessly.
For several decades, author Dan Fraser worked with the Canadian Police Force teaching and training officers in the line of duty. He mentions putting on trainings for topics ranging from the introduction of tasers to communication language and skills. At the age of forty, he then took the leap onto a new stage, as a stand-up comic. With his first book, “Kickass Presentations,” he uses his stage experience both professionally and personally to deliver readers tips, tricks, and insights into delivering presentations that wow.
While Fraser indicates this book is for trainers, teachers, salespeople, educators, etc., one LARGE segment he is missing is students. As a student, I delivered countless presentations. In fact, I struggle to think of a class in which each member wasn’t required to craft and present a PowerPoint final project or presentation in some sense.
I think many people can, unfortunately, easily recall times they’ve sat through boring, monotone, and uninspiring presentations. They don’t have the saying “death by PowerPoint” for nothing. Through “Kickass Presentations” Fraser delivers valuable insights, from how to set up engaging slides, to ensuring your objectives are delivered seamlessly through each click of the slide deck. He also offers tips on formatting pictures with the camera grid lines, suggests dressing ten percent better than the audience, and shares comedy and font insights the average presenter would have certainly overlooked. I know I have. While some of the guidance offered was obvious and at times common sense for the seasoned presenter, such as arriving early and testing out the equipment, much of this book provided great information that I had not previously thought of. As a serial presenter both in my workplace and in the classroom, I was happily surprised by how much I still had to learn and incorporate thanks to the great insights offered in this read.
“Kickass Presentations” is absolutely one book I will return to time and time again as I revisit some of my go-to presentation slide decks. It lends so well to honing my own skills and testing out a whole new repertoire of PowerPoint presentation tricks. While I will likely never get over the nerves that come with stepping onto a stage, or presenting in front of a group, this read offers the confidence to know you will excel.