Communication is a way of life for some, and for some, giving a presentation can be nerve wracking, but not for Mark Johnson and his new book, “Powerful Presentations that Connect.”
Mark Johnson has taught at Pittsburg State University for 37 years. He began teaching vocational teachers, and then transitioned into teaching managers and trainers in how to improve employee performance. Classes that he teaches are “Intro to Human Resource Development,” “HRD Foundations,” and “Applications.”
“My grandmother left a legacy of teachers.” said Johnson.
Johnson has a family history with teaching, as his grandmother and son graduated from PSU. When he was a student at PSU, he was student body president 1982-1983, and his son followed in his footsteps, serving in 2008 and 2009.
Johnson’s book “Powerful Presentation that Connect” is a textbook designed to guide readers to become more confident in giving presentations.
“It’s a little more than a textbook, it’s a guidebook used in the classroom and in the industry,” Johnson said. “It is a performance-based text that helps you perform in front of people.”
This is Johnson’s first published book, was published in July, and includes tips to being an efficient presenter.
“(The book) includes 50 years of examples of successes and failures I’ve had and how to get better at presenting, and making sure people understand your message,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s book is also aimed at aiding in face to face communication, such as performing well in a job interview or meeting new people..
“(In the book), I give the secret on how to make a connection with an audience because by making a connection you have credibility and trust,” Johnson said.
According to Johnson, the key to perfecting a presentation is practice and exercising many different aspects, including eye contact and hand motion.
“If you want to be a better presenter, you can’t just read through the playbook,” Johnson said. “You have to stand up and do it.”
Johnson’s textbook has had a positive impact at PSU, according to Johnson’s colleague Clifford Morris. It’s also been implement in several majors due to the local success.
“This class gives students the skills, techniques, and confidence to give professional quality presentations,” Morris said. “Dr. Johnson has a passion for teaching and helping students learn.”
Johnson’s career at PSU has had much success and he plans to continue teaching and writing.
“Always take up an opportunity because you never know where it’s going to take you,” Johnson said.