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On Monday evening, I was invited by a colleague to attend Arthur Herman's book launch at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. In "Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II," the AEI website writes," Pulitzer Prize finalist Arthur Herman describes how the U.S. won history’s greatest conflict by harnessing free market principles and private-sector creativity and innovation to increase war production."
I enjoyed Herman's talk very much. Overall, well done. I am looking forward to reading my signed copy of "Freedom's Forge."
For The Chief Storyteller's "Presentation Review" Series, here are some thoughts and ideas on Mr. Herman's presentation:
> Dr. Herman began talking about the rainy weather. While it may seem mundane, it was a great way to build rapport with the audience.
> The real meat and potatoes started with "Now, what I want to do here tonight is to tell you a story. And this is a story that usually is told backwards.
If you go to the textbooks, if you go to the movies, if you go to the usual discussions..."
> Excellent way of engaging the audience with "usually told backwards." Now we are waiting for how, why, etc. He builds intrigue.
> He uses a veru powerful figure of speech called anaphora. Anaphora is where the speaker repeats the same word or phrase at the beginning of two or more sentences. Herman uses "If you go to the" three times.
> He showed a black and white photograph of a B29 Bomber to complement his message.
> Herman shared a very logical and linear approach to support his ideas.
> My suggestion is to tell more stories to illustrate your points. While he hinted at some in short, 20 to 30 second spans, I'd suggest two to three minute stories. For example, in the Q&A, he mentioned a richly told story of a young woman working in a factory. He shared that she wrote a letter to her husband saying something like, "I am helping build a ship for him to come home in." The quiet in the room was palpable. It was a moving example. More example stories would have made his talk even better and more memorable.
> Herman wrapped up his presentation in a neat little bow. "The people I think you will meet in this book. The people that I met as a result of writing it. I have to tell you. I fell in love with them. I hope in reading this book you will too. Thank you very much." (Around the 44:00 minute mark in the video)
> During Q&A, Mr. Herman was poised, inviting, and comfortable. He made every person whom asked a question feel important.
> His photographs perfectly complemented his points and were engaging and interesting to look at.
> He varied his voice quality, tone, and cadence in just the right ways. Body language as well.
To learn more about Dr. Herman:
- AEI video of his presentation
- Wikipedia page
- Time interview "How To Build a War Machine"
- Book listing on Amazon (click here or on the image below)