I've bought a number of Harvard Business School books over the years, and I've never had reason for complaint - until now. Because this book is one big letdown.
The contents of the book follow the usual reprint pattern, more or less, consisting of a number of focused chapters by several different authors. The exception to the rule, in this instance, is that one author in particular (who also edited the book?) features several times.
Not that it makes much difference who wrote what, because the entire contents are uniformly mediocre.
Firstly there's far too much "what" you should do, and far too little "how" to do it.
Secondly, there doesn't seem to have been any attempt at all to deal with the frequent, and wholly unnecessary repetition - or sometimes contradiction - in the information on offer.
Thirdly there seems to be considerable confusion as to what is meant by the word "presentation". Thus more than one author pigeonholes their comments under sales, speeches, etc., instead of giving guidance that is useful in ANY presentation. Which wouldn't be so bad if only these "tips" weren't presented at such a high level that they are almost entirely devoid of useful detail.
The fact is that anyone with a passing knowledge of the presentations business - but without any practical experience - could have written this book. And quite likely made a better job of it.
Indeed, I have a book on "Successful Presentation Skills" (ISBN 0-7494-3259-4) which I got 2-3 years ago, which covers everything in the Harvard book, and quite a lot more, without the pointless repetitions. It also gives far more practical advice - both "how" to do things, and "why". For example, instead of merely naming different types of presentations, it identifies the five most frequent reasons for giving a presentation, and defines a basic layout for each.
Despite that, it's written by just one person. And it's cheaper!
Not very difficult to decide which book to go for, IMO.