Thursday, June 22, 2017

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR: Speaking with Strategic Impact by Kate LeVan with interview and giveaway

This book is a must-read if you’re a consultant, analyst, pitch team leader, roadshow executive, technology specialist, project manager, internal or external marketer, sales rep, subject matter expert or innovator.

Book Details:

Book Title: Speaking with Strategic Impact: Four Steps to Extraordinary Presence & Persuasion

​Author: Kate LeVan

Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 152 pages

Genre: Business

Publisher: Delton Press

Release date: May 24, 2017

Tour dates: June 12 to 30, 2017

Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Speaking with Strategic Impact is for business people who make their living—or their mark—through presentations long and short.

It’s a must-read if you’re a consultant, analyst, pitch team leader, roadshow executive, technology specialist, project manager, internal or external marketer, sales rep, subject matter expert or innovator.

Do your presentations unexpectedly fall flat? Do others hijack your meetings? Do you spend more time compiling slide decks than actually influencing decision-makers? Has someone vaguely told you that you “should look more confident up there” or that you “lack gravitas”? Have you watched TED Talks but wonder how you can bring that level of effectiveness into real business presentations?

Speaking with Strategic Impact gives you the key to leadership presence and persuasion. More than just tips and tricks, it outlines a discipline for navigating real business situations with consistently superior outcomes that’s favored by top business schools and Fortune 500 companies. You’ll get specific strategic and tactical advice to keep you on the mark in your presentations and meetings—and differentiate you from the vast majority of business presenters.

Read Speaking with Strategic Impact to master the means by which you make a living and a difference in the world!

Buy the Book:

Meet the Author:

Kate LeVan trains, coaches and collaborates on business communication effectiveness with major corporations worldwide and as an instructor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Her training consistently receives top ratings from executive development program participants for its simplicity, applicability and career-changing impact.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Interview with Kate LeVan

What prompted you to write this book?
It’s about what I do for a living.  I train and coach business people in face-to-face effectiveness.  After twenty years and seeing about 2000 presentations, I’m writing this book because it seems more relevant than ever.  

I literally just read this in USA Today, in an article about what it takes to nab today’s best jobs:  “…both a passion for figuring out what huge sets of numbers mean and a skill for distilling those conclusions in a way that ultimately helps a business, be it a shoe retailer or a media company.”   That’s basically what I do these days—help people distill their conclusions in a way that ultimately helps a business.  

The book gives people who are mostly subject matter experts—like data scientists, engineers and analysts—a professional discipline around how to communicate what they know with the rest of us.  They’re smart people, but no one ever told them to focus their smarts on what it takes to be seen and heard.

I have found that when you break it down for these folks and put it into more of a process like this book does, they get it and quickly rise to the top of their profession, simply because they can now “talk” to people.  Many go on to become sought-after business partners and leaders in their respective fields.

So you’re not a numbers person yourself?
I am so not a numbers person!  My degrees are in English, history and literary criticism.  My avocations are journalism, art history and acting.  My first career was in advertising.  So, I am a more conceptual person.

But all this perfectly qualifies me to be on the evaluating end of a business presentation.  If my training clients can engage me and explain things in a way that allows me to comprehend and perceive the benefits of what they are proposing, they have succeeded.  For me, it’s not the content of their presentations and meetings that excite me—although I’ve seen some interesting ones—it’s seeing these people succeed in a way they never thought they could.

What are some of the most interesting business presentations you’ve seen?
I sign non-disclosure agreements, so I’d have to kill you if I told you any details!  But, in general, I’ve had a window into what got us into and out of the great recession, the next new pharma product, the pitches that move companies from one state to another, the lobbying that sadly determines our policy-making and the cyberthreat that is real.  To name just a few.

In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?
I have.  Usually on planes and usually when I’m just getting started.  There’s something about scratching things down on paper, crossing them out and capturing the next idea that flits across your brain that I find easier than cutting and pasting and saving, etc.  Once I have the ideas and the structure, then I can go to my laptop and fill it all in.

What was the last great book you read?
I must list two—one I guess you’d classify as self-help; the other an historical biography, which I enjoy because they have more human interest, but are informative too.

The self-help book that most recently rocked my world was that practical little best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, the Japanese cleaning consultant.  After cleaning out my clothes closet like a ninja as Kondo recommends, I started on reducing paper.  That meant I needed to tackle 10 years of it in my office.  As I did, it dawned on me that I really needed only half the space I had and could reclaim the room I was in for our bedroom.  After moving my office to a smaller and better designed room—surrounded by things I loved, but that never before had a proper home—I felt clear-headed and focused enough to tackle what I had started 10 years before, this book!

Then there’s William Boyd’s Sweet Caress.  I hate the title, but what an entertaining and well-written biography about one of the first female society photographers and early war photojournalists, Amory Clay.  Just when you think you’re reading some flight of fancy by the author, one of Clay’s photos shows up documenting that this really happened.  But what fascinated me even more was this man’s ability to get into the head of, and write about, a woman.  He obviously picked a great subject, but his skill is something I aspire to.  

So how did you decide on your title?
Frankly, it was after some business people strongly pointed out to me that I wasn’t being very “strategic” with the title I had!  My first title was “Before I Begin:  Four Steps to Extraordinary Presence and Impact” which I thought implied that the book was about what you needed to do before you began speaking.  As an English major, it also satisfied my need for a more conceptual, thematic play on words, since many people begin what they have to say with some variation of, “Before I begin, let me just say…”

What I learned from a focus group of professionals at a networking event was that I may have been satisfying myself, but I was leaving most people saying, “Huh?”  They either thought the title was too whimsical—like “before I begin my piano recital”—which wasn’t a good fit with the experienced professionals I was hoping to reach.  Or, they just said, “Before I begin what?” and needed a picture to explain it—something that the title wouldn’t always be able to rely on.  
When I changed the title, all the business people who wrote my testimonials—and I mean to a person—agreed it was a better title.  As one practical company president commented, “It’s not as catchy, but much more Amazon-searchable.”

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends July 8
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  1. Thanks for featuring my book and including me with all your great 'stuff!'

  2. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the interview and learning more about this book! This book sounds like a very interesting and intriguing read! Looking forward to checking it out!

  3. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for a great interview!
    Best wishes for you and your book!!