Reading List: Pitch Perfect

UPDATED: April 19, 2014
PUBLISHED: April 19, 2014

Do you interrupt the flow of your story by correcting unimportant details as you’re speaking? “We were in Miami in November. No, actually we were in Tampa, and it was December.” Or perhaps you’re an Expounder, who repeats the same point over and over. As for Minutiae Lovers and Cliché Champs, you know who you are—and you’re not alone.

Don’t despair. You can learn to express yourself more effectively, handle difficult conversations gracefully and deliver a great presentation by following and practicing (yes, watching yourself on video is involved) the authors’ Seven Principles of Persuasion. Bill McGowan, the founder and CEO of Clarity Media Group, is a media and communications coach who’s worked with Jack Welch, Eli Manning and Kelly Clarkson and advises Facebook, Spotify, Dropbox and AirBnB. McGowan explains the Seven Principles and then illustrates how to apply each to personal and professional communications. He explains how to amicably part ways with a business associate, how to redirect a conversation and how to extricate yourself from an awkward conversation. McGowan packs the book with valuable examples of what was said versus what should have been said, advice on appropriate facial expressions, good posture and body language. Filled with smart, valuable advice, Pitch Perfect is a home run.

by Bill McGowan and Alisa Bowman

Harper Business; $27.99

Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.