"If you don't have something to say, then don't say anything. Joel Schwartzberg takes that simple edict and turns it into a manifesto for giving talks that make a difference."
- Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
Get to the Point!
Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter
Every time you communicate, you're doing it for a reason. You want someone to understand something, do something, or change something. You're trying to make a point. But the only way to make a point is to have a point. And the surprising truth is, very few communicators know their point or even understand what a point is, rendering them pointless.
In this concise and practical book, Joel Schwartzberg draws on his decades of experience as both a strategic communication professional and a professional public presentation coach to train you how to identify your point, elevate it, stick to it, and sell it. His point-making insight applies to communications of all kinds, including speeches, emails, PowerPoint presentations, staff meetings, conference panels, and performance reviews.
So what is a point? Schwartzberg says too many people confuse it with a title, a topic, an idea, a theme, or even something much less. A point is something more. It's a contention you can propose, argue, illustrate, and prove. A real point creates a position of value.
Schwartzberg's fresh approach also conquers common communication challenges like rambling, irrelevance, uptalk, slow starts, and a debilitating fear of presenting in public. He shows you how to go from simply sharing a thought to making a difference. Which would you rather do?
"If you don't have something to say, then don't say anything. Joel Schwartzberg takes that simple edict and turns it into a manifesto for giving talks that make a difference." - Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
"I'm in a profession that often looks at the presentation, representation, and misrepresentation of fact, and figuring out how to make a point to my audience with a clock ticking is crucial. Schwartzberg sketches out a simple tool kit on how to know, make, and sell your point. Whether you're writing a broadcast story to deadline, prepping for a speech, appearing on a panel, or crafting a PowerPoint presentation, his book is worth a close read."
- Hari Sreenivasan, Anchor and Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour
"Finally, a book with actionable tools that shows you how to make a point and stick to it. After reading it, I immediately rewrote the opening to a speech I was about to give. If you have something important to say, take Joel's advice and use it." - Allison Shapira, founder and CEO, Global Public Speaking LLC, and Harvard Kennedy School lecturer
"Mark Twain once said everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Everyone complains about the challenges of getting messages to cut through in the 21st century, but Joel Schwartzberg has actually done something about it. Get to the Point! walks you through the mechanics of making a contention or a proposal so that the audience or person you want to reach gets what you're talking about, understands why it matters, and then takes the action you want. This slim volume should be required reading, whether you're a company doing an annual report, a seventh grader doing a book report, or somewhere in between. It's that simple, incisive, and applicable. Highly recommended!" - Douglass Hatcher, Vice President, Executive Communications, Mastercard
"Good ideas too often get lost in a jungle of muddled thinking. In Get to the Point!, Joel Schwartzberg supplies useful tools to deliver your points with impact and elegance." - David Brancaccio, Host and Senior Editor, Marketplace Morning Report
"Get to the Point! does just that. This quick guide will help any busy professional become a more persuasive and effective speaker. Joel provides hard-won wisdom and makes it easy to apply, thanks to clear writing and great examples." - Lowell Weiss, former presidential speechwriter for Bill Clinton
"If you ever need to make a point--which is all of us, and often--this is a must-have guide to understand it, sharpen it, and convey it with precision and impact. Using clarity and humor, Joel makes the case that the best ideas deserve to be sold, not simply shared." - Betsy Berg, Senior Vice President of Speakers and Lecturers, Agency for the Performing Arts
"Loaded with pointed advice from a master public communicator, this book will punch up your delivery and sharpen your skills for any speech, toast, proposal, or presentation. Schwartzberg reveals his best secrets here--from maximizing those critical first seconds to ensuring your last words deliver a wallop. Get to the Point! is your appointment with public-speaking success." - Brad Dunn, Chief Digital Officer, Athlon Media Group/Parade
"Want to deliver a great speech? Then find the point you are making. Identify it, hone it, and deliver it simply and concisely. This is the message of Joel Schwartzberg's excellent new book. Today's audiences have the attention span of a gnat. Get to the Point! will give you a step-by-step guide to grabbing and keeping the attention of your audience." - Mark Ragan, CEO, Ragan Communications
"You get only one chance to reach your audience and make your message count. Schwartzberg lays out the definitive guide for how to make sure you get your message out to the right audience, the way they want to hear it." - Peter Shankman, Host, Faster Than Normal podcast
"I hope Get to the Point! sells well - but not too well. Because if every speaker absorbed the contents of this wee volume, every speech would be a vital speech, and professional speechwriters would be obsolete." - David Murray, Editor and Publisher, Vital Speeches of the Day, and Executive Director, Professional Speechwriters Association
"Joel understands the key difference between effective communicators and pointless public speakers, providing step-by-step instructions to help individuals identify and make their points. I'll be sharing his expertise and insights with my own students." - Jennifer Doody, writing and public speaking instructor, Harvard University, and President, World Class Words
"Joel offers pragmatic tips and insight on how to present your best self, regardless of your experience in communications. The insight and individual attention Joel provided our managers during training yielded results almost instantaneously, and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be a better, more effective communicator regardless of who and how big the audience is." - Risa Weinstock, President and CEO, Animal Care Centers of NYC
"For all of us who have endured the pain of a dull presentation from a coworker, boss, or employee, only to arrive at the end and think, 'Not only was that boring, but I still have no idea what this guy was trying to tell me, ' Joel Schwartzberg has the remedy. Get to the Point! clearly explains the problem and presents simple solutions to help salespeople sell, managers manage, leaders lead, and influencers influence." - Josh Steimle, founder and CEO, MWI, and author of Chief Marketing Officers at Work
"I love Get to the Point! for its point, clarity, simplicity, and brevity. If I were forced to select only one book for all the technical presenters I've coached through the years, this would be it." - Dianna Booher, bestselling author of Communicate Like a Leader and Creating Personal Presence
"Get to the Point! practices what it teaches. It is on point, makes a much-needed point, and gets to the point without INFObesity. It's a joy to read, and it's also funny. What's not to like?" - Sam Horn, CEO, the Intrigue Agency, and author of Got Your Attention?
"From the first page to the last, Joel Schwartzberg practices what he preaches about getting to the point with clear, concise, conversational language and concrete examples, providing priceless practical advice for communicating more effectively across a variety of fields, disciplines, professions, and topics." - Jill Swenson, PhD, former Ithaca College journalism professor and former professional writing coach
"Schwartzberg uses contemporary examples we can all relate to, and reminds us of the importance of clear and concise messaging." - Roberta Matuson, President, Matuson Consulting, and author of The Magnetic Leader
"Get to the Point! offers a blueprint for the formulation and delivery of effective points in speeches. A former national speaking champion and a highly regarded strategic communications trainer, Joel offers principles that will be useful for life in general as well as the boardroom, the classroom, and the workplace. The incorporation of humor makes this guide a quick and pleasant read, inviting the audience to refer back to it when needed. Joel's writing style is clear, informative, and persuasive. Using evidence and anecdotes, he makes the case quickly and effectively for why having a specific point is vital. These concepts can help people develop as speakers and also provide powerful distinctions between having a point and having a topic. Joel provides a robust step-by-step outline that takes you from topic formulation through the effective delivery of your message." - Will Baker, Director, Global Debate Initiative, New York University, and Chief Information Officer, Baker Consulting Associates
"Joel provided one of the most user-friendly trainings I have received in my professional career, and Get to the Point! covers all that information and more. I can honestly say that after one day with Joel, I picked up several tips that I believe will make me a more effective speaker. I would highly recommend him and his book for experienced and novice communicators and pretty much anyone in between." - Daniel Elbaum, Assistant Executive Director, American Jewish Committee
"Read this book and you'll not only get to the point but always be spot on. Joel Schwartzberg helps you develop clarity and credibility as an expert--regardless of your field." - Christine K. Clifford, CEO, Christine Clifford Enterprises, and coauthor of You, Inc.
"Joel Schwartzberg provides tremendous value in this little book, so don't let the size fool you. The strategies in Get to the Point! will force you to rethink every presentation and help you make your point more effectively. I loved it." - Fauzia Burke, President, FSB Associates, and author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors
"Get to the Point! delivers on this promise, enabling you to effectively get to, stick to, and make your point. Clear, helpful, and succinct, the lessons enabled me to communicate more effectively to all my employees, clients, and vendors." - Jeremy Miller, founder and CEO, FSAstore.com/HSAstore.com
"Chock-full of clearly written, easy-to-apply tips, Get to the Point! is a no-nonsense guide to communicating efficiently and effectively." - Monique Visintainer, Senior Director, Executive Communications, and Speechwriter for the President, Concur
"Having sat through countless presentations, I am always desperate for speakers to actually get to the point. Business leaders everywhere should buy copies of this book and dole it out like candy to their teams to see their communication capabilities transform overnight." - Allison Hemming, founder and CEO, The Hired Guns
"The most audiences will take away from a presentation is a single point. If you want to be memorable, Get to the Point! offers a valuable framework for how to make that happen." - Ken Goldstein, Chairman, ThriftBooks Global, and author of Endless Encores
"Providing a clear road map to get to the point, Joel sharpened my message, transformed my impact, and can do the same for you." - Joshua Ehrlich, executive coach and author of Mindshifting
"Joel Schwartzberg's approach is thought-provoking yet practical. He engages readers and students with a unique delivery and shares new tools and techniques that are essential for both students and seasoned professionals." - Stephanie A. Mattera, spokeswoman and Adjunct Professor of Public Relations and Corporate Communications, New York University
"Joel Schwartzberg is a master of helping speakers learn the art of narrowing an idea into riveting points designed to engage, motivate, and inspire audiences. The stunning approach in Get to the Point! combines Joel's wit and humor along with award-winning experience to lead any communicator to a higher level of speaking acumen." - Penny Joyner Waddell, EdD, Director, Public Speaking Program, Gwinnett Technical College; author of Going from Stress to Success and CEO, SpeechShark public speaking app
"What makes Joel Schwartzberg’s Get to the Point! an important book is that it applies not only to speakers who present on a stage, but is relevant to every one of us. No matter what role we play in life, we are constantly communicating -- not only with our work associates, but with our friends and family. Schwartzberg shows us how our words can more effectively lead us to whatever success we desire. To be fully heard and understood, we need to be more thoughtful about what we are saying and why. Schwartzberg gives a step-by-step process that helps us examine the points we are making and shows us how to put them to a test of believability and significance. He even takes us further into the specifics of how to enhance our message by staying focused and by adding value. The clear guidance we receive from Schwartzberg enables us to apply his message in all sorts of circumstances. If you don’t know the best way to start a presentation, or you get lost in the middle of a talk, or you are being challenged, there are specific words you can use that can instantly bring you back to your point. The tips found in these pages can improve how we conduct ourselves in the workplace where we need to speak up…meetings, reviews, presentations, conferences, and even written communications. Being smart and making our words impactful will bring respect. I suggest you give this book to yourself so you can learn how to get to a point and make it more quickly, and I recommend giving it to others so more of our conversations can be clear and meaningful." - Doreen Hamilton, PhD, founder of Essential Speaking