I wish that... I had more time, more shelf space and more money to be able to buy all the books I want to read. On my fridge I have a magnet from The Strand Bookstore, New York that says: “There is no such thing as too many books”.
The last book I read was... Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate by Richard M. Watt. An excellent account of the painful birth, tormented life, and cataclysmic death of Poland between the wars. Clear, informative and devoid of the presence of the author.
My desert island book would be… The Complete Works of George Orwell, such a brilliant, insightful writer, with a crystal-like clarity in his use of the English language. His novels are justifiably lauded but as a journalist he wrote so much on so many issues it would be great to have the time to be able to read it all.
The book I learned from the most is... Secrets of Sleep by Alexander A. Borbély. On my first day of working the field of sleep, 36 years ago, I was given it to read. I finished it in two days and this started my love affair with the topic. I may not have learnt a lot from the book itself but since that day I have never stopped learning about sleep. My library of sleep books now numbers over 1,000.
My favourite book is... The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I don’t like science fiction, I really don’t like comedy science fiction but I love this. I suppose it is because it is, in essence, PG Wodehouse in space. The quiet absurdity of the Englishman abroad is brilliantly captured by Adams and his flights of imagination are delightful.
The Presenter’s Secret Weapon
The clever bloke promoting this book, which is based on 25 years of author John Clare’s experience as a coach, caught our attention with this memorable story: “Did you know that Charlie Chaplin once entered a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like competition and finished third? In an era of black and white cinema where he had only ever been seen on screen, Chaplin’s unnaturally blue eyes made the judges place him third.”
Making something truly memorable will make it more compelling, says Clare, and that includes the dreaded PowerPoint presentation. The way you deliver information has a big impact on how much of it people retain. Embrace the techniques of storytelling rather than dump data on your audience and they’ll enjoy and remember it.
This book covers content, voice, and body language. It includes case studies and, more importantly, techniques and exercises so you can improve your presentations. Practical and well thought out, it is recommended.