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OT Reviews


I Hate Presentations
by James Caplin
(Wiley, £9.99, pb) http://eu.wiley.com

Some business people have a fear of presentations. They either avoid preparing or prepare down to the last detail – then present in a frozen, lifeless manner guaranteed to switch off the audience. This book is for them: it’s a portable toolkit for repairing damaged confidence.

I Hate Presentations will help you to structure a presentation and maintain a theme. If you are confused about your approach, it will guide you by clarifying what not to do. It covers such topics as communication skills, dealing with technical problems, time management and combining themes. The cover illustration, which shows a Power Point memory stick consigned to a waste-paper bin, is a fair indication of the author’s attitude: if you lean too heavily on props, you’ll never develop your own sense of balance.

The way this book is structured adds to its value. Sections on various aspects of giving a presentation, written accessibly in short paragraphs, make it an ideal source for a brief refresher course in a tight spot. The chapter ‘In an Emergency’ is particularly helpful.

Caplin’s book can be recommended to presentation-haters who want to improve, but need detailed help and guidance. The successful giver of presentations will inevitably find it less useful, though it will reinforce the good habits they have developed from experience.

And of course, no book can give you that indefinable aura that makes a ‘natural’ speaker – though I Hate Presentations will certainly help you to fine-tune the way you put your message across.

Manjit Johal is Sales Manager at Health Sector Publishing, and is a former medical sales representative.

On Target special book offer
Wiley is offering a free copy of I Hate Presentations to the first 3 On Target readers who answer this question correctly: The word ‘laser’ is an acronym – what does it stand for? Send your answer to: joel.lane@healthpublishing.co.uk..

I Will Need To Break Your Other Leg
by Prasanna Gautam
(Hammersmith Press, £9.99, pb) www.hammersmithpress.co.uk

I Will Need To Break Your Other LegSubtitled ‘tales of medical adventure and misadventure’, this book is a series of memoirs from a lifetime of medical practice by a Nepalese community doctor who became an NHS geriatric consultant in Scotland.

Some of these anecdotes are amusing, some are horrific and some are sad. They all illustrate Dr Gautam’s view that the doctor must treat the patient as ‘a whole human being’, deciding on both diagnosis and treatment by using all the available facts about the patient. However, he gives an example where sympathy for a patient’s feelings led him to make a serious error; and another where a patient who urgently needed help refused to be treated by a non-white doctor. Though compassionate, he is no sentimentalist.

From the villages of rural Nepal to the cities of northern Scotland, these memoirs illustrate the impact of non-medical issues – poverty, religion, passion and bigotry – on the crises handled by the doctor. The book’s title comes from a bizarre chain of events involving a husband, a prostitute and an accident. Perhaps the saddest episode concerns the operation Dr Gautam performed to correct a teenage girl’s harelip. The operation succeeded – and within a year, the girl had died from a backstreet abortion.

Readers involved in selling medical devices or services will learn much from these stories of healthcare on the front line. How do you make a catheter from household materials to save a life in an emergency? How do you explain the apparent failure of a vasectomy when to say that it may not have failed would provoke a catastrophic reaction? This memorable book is a window on a world of difficult choices.

On Target special book offer
You can order I Will Need To Break Your Other Leg for the special price of £7.99 including free p&p in the UK by phoning Combined Book Services on 01892 837171 and quoting ‘On Target offer’.

On Target special offer winners: free copies of Meeting Magic by Katherine Woods and Ingrid Uden were won by Iain Duncan, Ivan Clark and Asif Anwar. Will it be you next time?


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