The Leader’s Guide to Speaking with Presence: A book review by Bob Morris

Leader's GuideThe Leader’s Guide to Speaking with Presence: How to Project Confidence, Conviction, and Authority
John Baldoni
AMACOM (2013)A primer that offers basic, invaluable advice

Many of John Baldoni’s key points provided in this booklet were discussed in his previously published books, notably, Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders (2003), 12 Steps to Power Presence: How to Assert Your Authority to Lead (2010), and Lead with Purpose: Giving Your Organization a Reason to Believe in Itself (2012). The unique appeal of this booklet is that his most valuable insights focus entirely on how those who aspire to become a leader can communicate effectively by projecting confidence, conviction, and authority.

Frankly, I view charisma the same way I view an expensive fragrance: It smells great but don’t drink it. Charisma is often confused with presence. What Baldoni is talking about is a process by which to develop an appeal based on authentic character rather disingenuous charm.

The information, insights, and counsel he provides achieve two separate but related objectives: They explain how to prepare a presentation, and, they explain how to deliver it effectively. He includes an “Action Steps” section at the conclusion of each of the twelve brief chapters [i.e. mental checklists], then a “Handbook On Communicating Leadership Presence.”

Is this a definitive source? No, nor does Balboni make any such claim. Will this book help hucksters and charlatans sharpen their skills of persuasion? Probably, but this booklet was not written for them. Rather, for principled people who are willing to commit the time and effort to learning how to project confidence, conviction, and authority when seeking support to achieve worthy objectives. The cost of John Balboni’s expert advice is only $6.26 when purchased from Amazon. That’s not a bargain, that’s a steal.

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