Once upon a time in a far away land, there lived a group of people. And one day, a man (because this was not an equal-opportunity age) decided he wanted to tell everyone something that he thought was important. So he gathered the people together, stepped up onto a rock, and started talking.
This has been the basic model for every presentation held for the last several thousand years, with minor stylistic variations in the design of the rock, of course. The forum of Plato’s Academy, the Sermon on the Mount, the plays of William Shakespeare, and the radio addresses of World War II all hold to this fundamental format. And it does not matter whether you call it a speech, lecture, address, briefing, or keynote, nor whether your intent is to educate, entertain, persuade, or inspire. A presentation is still just a person standing up and talking to a group.
For some people, this skill comes very easily and naturally (lucky them). But for the rest of us, delivering a presentation is a learned skill. So if you’re interested (and I’m guessing you are), and you’re reading this book (and I’m guessing you are), then you’re ready to start learning.