Fanning Center for Business Communication

The Truth About Confident Presenting

Confident PresentingAll you need to know to make winning presentations -- fearlessly and painlessly.

  • The truth about preparing quickly, efficiently, and well
  • The truth about managing anxiety and handling hostile audiences
  • The truth about nonverbal signals, PowerPoint, microphones, and more

This book reveals 51 proven and bite-size, easy-to-use presenting techniques that work. This book brings together everything you need to know to prepare well, manage anxiety, deliver effectively, connect with your audience, and succeed! Authored by top business consultant James O'Rourke, this book offers real solutions for the obstacles and fears faced by every presenter.

You'll discover what makes people listen, and what instantly turns them off. You'll learn how to prepare effectively, not obsessively; how to scope out your audience and muster evidence that'll convince them; when and how to listen; how to manage anxiety and establish a great first impression; how to make nonverbal cues work for you; how to use PowerPoint well; how to handle hostile questions confidently; and much more. This isn't someone's opinion: it's a definitive guide to effective presenting -- a set of bedrock principles you can rely on to help you win with any audience.

audio Click image to hear James O'Rourke discuss
The Truth About Confident Presenting
5.02 minutes, 1,773 MB


O'Rourke goes beyond the typical list of speaking tips and packs a lot of wisdom into his 51 truths. He explains the critical link between the content of a speech and its ultimate effectiveness, illuminating the powerful connection between preparation and performance. Speakers who follow his winning formula are sure to find a grateful audience.”

R. Jeep Bryant
Executive Vice President
Chief Communications Officer
The Bank of New York Mellon


“From strategy to tactics, the 51 common-sense ‘truths’ in this book are useful, practical and easy to adapt. Even reading just a few chapters will help to make you a better speaker. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to the executive speakers I work with.”

Jan Botz
Executive Director
Chief Communications Officer
Dow Corning Corporation


“Whether you are speaking to a large audience, your boss, your employees or your kids, you will feel more confident and prepared, and be far more effective, after reading this book. Dr. O’Rourke provides simple, doable tips that really make a difference. From caring to preparing, you’ll learn what it takes to engage your audience and make your message count!

Patty Blackburn
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
RSM McGladrey, Inc.


The Truth About Confident Presenting is an excellent, practical guide for anyone who aspires to deliver effective and engaging presentations. It is a valuable resource for the novice as well as veteran speakers.”

Catherine V. Babington
Vice President, Public Affairs
Abbott Laboratories


“Years of successful presentation experience condensed into an easily digestible but invaluable checklist for anyone wishing to channel natural anxiety over public speaking into improving their presentation skills. Filled with real world examples and anecdotes . . . O’Rourke focuses on the essentials of great presenting.”

Tim Andree
Chief Executive Officer
Dentsu America