Real Leaders Don’t Do Powerpoint by Christopher Witt

How to Speak So People Listen

Have you ever been bored by a PowerPoint presentation? Of course you have. The real question is, why can’t more people speak in a way that has the power to change the way people think and feel and act?

This book shows readers how to capture an audience’s attention and win their cooperation by using the strategies and techniques leaders use.

If you are a leader – or aspiring to be one – then tools like PowerPoint detract, not add, to how your performance will be received. In fact, leadership and the ability to speak and sell yourself and your ideas are inextricably intertwined.

Successful leaders speak to help listeners know themselves as well as to influence and inspire them.


Think about the most powerful speech you’ve ever heard a leader give. What made that speech — and that speaker — memorable was likely a mix of authenticity, stage presence, masterful delivery, and — above all — an inspirational message.

Nobody ever walked out of a great speech saying, “I loved the way that speaker used PowerPoint.”

Yet all too often, leaders rely on PowerPoint and tools like it to carry them through a presentation — tools that lessen their impact.


As Chris Witt says “Let’s call PowerPoint what it really is — corporate karaoke. We endure it even though it bores audiences, trivializes content, and pushes speakers to the side of the stage where they interact with their slides, not with the audience.” Real leaders want nothing to do with it.

Real leaders speak to make a difference, to promote a vision, to change the way people think and feel and act. Their ability to lead goes hand-in-hand with their ability to get their message across, no matter what size audience they’re addressing. You may not be in a position of authority, but you can learn how to sell yourself and your ideas by mastering the strategies, skills, and techniques that great leaders use.


Drawing on his years of experience as an executive speech coach and professional speaker, Chris Witt provides practical advice on how to take your game to the next level, including:

  • Influence and inspire. People don’t need more information — at least not from their leaders. Give them instead a way of understanding what they already know, and give them hope that they can do something worthwhile.
  • You are the message. Who you are — your character, experience, values — shapes the message your listeners hear.
  • Content is king. Delivery is important, but it is only the helpful — or unhelpful — servant on your message. So build each speech around one, and only one, “Big Idea.”
  • A confused mind always says no. Your listeners will only say “yes” — to your proposal, initiative, direction, or vision — when they understand what you advocate and why they should care.
  • Dare to do the unexpectedLeaders know the rules, and they know when, why, and how to break them.


In chapters that can be read in five minutes or less and in a book that can be read in one sitting, Witt shows leaders and aspiring leaders how to become more confident, more commanding, more compelling speakers. But this isn’t just a book about speaking. It’s about leadership and about how people — CEOs and PTA presidents, small business owners and sales reps, middle managers and techno geeks — can present themselves and their ideas with greater impact.

Real Leaders Don’t Do PowerPoint is divided into four sections, which offer insights and practical advice to help you improve :

  1. A Great Person: Who you are shapes what  your listeners hear.
  2. A Noteworthy Event: It’s your responsibility to make not only the speech but the entire event a success.
  3. A Compelling Message: Build each speech around one Big Idea.
  4. A Masterful Delivery: Project your best self as powerfully as possible



With over a quarter of a century of professional speaking experience, Chris Witt has helped CEOs win board approval and company-wide support for their initiatives, turned technical experts into speakers anyone can understand.

He is the founder and president of Witt Communications and holds a doctorate from Catholic University of America.


“Geared toward those looking to get a leg up at work, shape their ideas and overcome the public speaking jitters, Witt’s quick, witty instructional makes a fine addition to the office arsenal.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY


Format: Paperback, 224 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 03 September 2009
Publisher: Piatkus Books
ISBN: 0749942606
EAN: 9780749942601
Dimensions: 21.0 x 13.0 centimeters