Monday, 23 April 2018

Pitch Perfect – How to Say it Right the First Time, Every Time: a book review

Bill McGowan and Alisa Bowman’s book is a prescription for public speaking success. It hits the mark though more so for those with some prior public speaking experience. For novices, there are likely better places to start and ‘graduate’ to Pitch Perfect.

The attempt to package McGowan’s ideas (it seems Alisa Bowman is a collaborating writer helping with copy) using catchy, easier to remember principles, e.g. the Pasta Sauce Principle, the Draper Principle, doesn’t work as well as McGowan may like to believe. They make sense while reading the chapters but is one really going to remember the Draper Principle based on the name of some television character?

Nonetheless, the book is a thoughtful ‘contemporization’ of presentation principles for the Social Media age. Public speaking is not what it used to be before the age of live streaming on social media and just because a speaker is learned and has many acronyms (Phd, MPhil, etc.) attached to his name doesn’t make her speech a must see. Indeed, academics and senior corporate types stuck in their world of jargon and knowledge delivery may benefit most from such self-help books.

For those wishing to perfect public speaking techniques Pitch Perfect will strike a chord though perhaps not too loudly. Like any good self-help book, the author has shared his expertise in the field but to benefit the reader must practice constantly by applying the principles highlighted by the author. Not always an easy thing to do, even for those with regular public speaking engagements.
Imran is a Singapore based Tour Guide with a special interest in arts and history. Imran has lived and worked in several countries during his past career as an international banker. He enjoys traveling, especially by train, as a way to feed his curiosity about the world and nurture his interest in photography. He is available on twitter (@grandmoofti); Instagram (@imranahmedsg) and can be contacted at

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