Dancing in the Line of Fire

Knowing what to do is one thing, and knowing how to do it can be quite another; and few things reveal the difference and distance between the two than giving a presentation. Well intentioned advice such as “You need to have good body language, speak in a measured tone and confidently hold the space” may be true, but what is good body language and who determines it? Is there a size, shape and look that should be conformed to? What is a measured tone? Is it a particular speed; not too fast and not too slow? How on earth do you confidently hold a space? Assuming you knew and could implement such advice, as a formula it would - and does - produce a standardised result. Dancing in the Line of Fire proposes that each presenter has a unique style that can be developed, enhanced and refined not through following a predetermined formula, but by carefully exploring an algorithm that includes such variables as their individuality, personality, background, experiences and many others.

This book invites you to consider yourself as a presenter, to imagine yourself in the situations described in it and ask yourself what you do and what you might like to do differently. Think about the ideas in it and determine which ones sound useful and which don’t. Open yourself to the possibility that doing what you’ve always done might just continue to get you what you’ve always got - and doing something else, something different, something new might create a better result.

Creating, developing and refining a personal presenting style is, in many ways, a Sisyphean task that no one should feel compelled to continue or condemned for stopping. But for some people there can be enjoyment, reward and a sense of achievement in the adjustments and refinements that are to be found on such a never-ending journey, and this book - also available as an audiobook - is written for them.

"I've watched Piero share his work with groups of all sizes, across multiple venues and different countries. Every word in this thought provoking guide comes from lived experience, tested under 'battle' conditions and now available as an insiders guide to the craft of presenting. Don't buy it for tips, although there are plenty of tips, buy it and read it if you care about giving your audiences a better experience. Dancing In The Line Of Fire will make you think, make you reconsider some things you thought you knew and in the end will make you better presenter. Highly recommended."

Following in Ted’s Footsteps

Prompted by a life-changing workplace accident and the ensuing psychological upset of what was to be a rather nasty six year legal battle, Maria and Piero Vitelli gave up their comfortable life in London and moved to an unmodernised smallholding in Herefordshire. In one of the most sparsely populated counties of England, they planned to put down new roots and start afresh.

Over the following four years their family gradually expanded with the arrival of two children, a brood of chickens, a flock of sheep and one dog. During the same time they started to tackle some of the challenges of rural life in the form of learning to light and extinguish fires, taming rampant vegetation and discovering just how hard it can be to hammer a nail into a piece of wood without injury. Slowly, and often with the help of red wine and a good sunset, they began to put the past behind them.

In an attempt to chronicle their progress from the outset for geographically distant friends and family, these whimsical, descriptive, often funny and sometimes moving one hundred and forty seven letters were written as a blog between July 2011 and May 2015 before being published later that year.

"Reminiscent of Chris Stewart's book Driving Over Lemons, these are the stories of an optimist in Herefordshire."

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