Web Site Resource: One-Minute Book Reviews

I coach senior finance executives to craft memorable (hopefully!) messages and stories from often data-heavy presentations. Which is not always that easy. I teach them how to create taglines – short pithy phrases – that sum up vast amounts of data, rather than present 57 very dull slides crammed full of tables. Sometimes I am challenged by executives who find it tough to boil down their messsages to such short and catchy phrases. I admit it’s a skill which takes practice.

One great resource I have just come across which demonstrates this skill in bags is Janice Harayda‘s One-Minute Book Reviews site (no connection with The One Minute Presenter!). In a fantastic section called Books in a Sentence, Janice distills her opinion of the book into a short sentence (or two). It makes for great reading. Here are some of my favorites:

Managing Employees From Hell: Handling Idiots, Whiners, Slackers and Other Workplace Demons. By Gini Graham Scott. A much more useful guide to managing saboteurs at work than the insipid The Power of Nice.

Your Management Sucks: Why You Have to Declare War on Yourself … and Your Business. By Mark Stevens. No, the book does.

Beauty Junkies: Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession with Cosmetic Surgery. By Alex Kuczynski. An impressive blend of reporting and social commentary that may stand for years as a definitive book on the 21st-century cosmetic surgery boom.

Mystic River. By Dennis Lehane. Clint Eastwood shows, as with The Bridges of Madison County, that he’s a good director of bad books.

Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling: Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling/Career Strategies for Asians: The Essential Guide to Getting In, Moving Up, and Reaching the Top. By Jane Hyun. A former HR executive says that Asian-Americans can succeed at work partly by — surprise, surprise — “networking” and “mentoring.”

I highly recommend that you go and take a look at the others. If a book can be reduced to an informative sentence, can’t your presentation story be told in fewer words too?

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