How to Wash a Chicken

Mastering the Business Presentation

Tim Calkins

More often than not, the best intentions and most innovative ideas get lost in a poorly executed presentation. Author Tim Calkins understands the power of a compelling presentation and the difficulty in accomplishing one. The brand strategist, professor, and author has been giving presentations since he was eight, when he delivered his first official presentation with an uncooperative chicken at a 4-H competition. From presenting business updates to project recommendations to marketing plans, Calkins has given more than 5,000 presentations to date.

With concrete suggestions, helpful tricks, and step-by-step guidance that’s applicable to all industries, Calkins sets out to propel his readers to create and deliver effective business presentations and pitches. When all lessons from How to Wash a Chicken are applied, readers will be empowered throughout the preparation and presentation process. They will be able to present with more confidence and conviction than they ever had before, setting them on a path of professional growth.


“Clear, practical, thorough and right on the mark. It’s a must-read for people who are new to giving presentations as well as experienced presenters who want to get even better. This book belongs on everyone’s bookshelf.”

“This book is The Elements of Style for presenting. Tim is a master presenter and he has constructed the best short book I know of on presenting powerfully.”

“I learned everything I know about business storytelling and great presentations from Tim Calkins… Tim’s new book is smart, fun, and engaging.”


“Tim Calkins is a master presenter. Reading this book tells you why.”

“Just like a good presentation is a gift of knowledge and insight, Tim Calkins’s book is a gift for all of us… While washing a chicken might not always be that easy, presenting with confidence and purpose will become much more so for anyone who reads Tim’s book. I highly recommend it.”

“Turning a complex situation into a simple story requires real effort. Tim Calkins makes getting there easy with a playbook that should be in the hands of any successful business leader today. Tim takes the guesswork out of business presentations with simple, no-nonsense tips that will pack punch, infuse energy, and win audiences.”

“Calkins reminds us that there is a process and structure for creating compelling presentations that will advance your ideas and your career. If your job involves selling or persuading, then you will benefit from applying the lessons of this book.”

“It is clear from reading Tim’s book that everyone can become a great presenter. Great presenters are not born, they are made through hard work and practice! Applying the lessons in Tim’s book guarantees your presentation skills will soar and your message will hit the bull’s-eye.”

“Thoughtful guidance on how to master effective business presentations. I recommend this book for business professionals who seek to improve their effectiveness and grow their personal brand.”

“A practical guide grounded in how the business world really works… It is a quick and enjoyable read, as Tim follows his own advice by making his points with effective storytelling from his years in both business and academia.”

“Tim Calkins brings to life the art and science of presenting and makes it easy to master one of the most challenging aspects in business. His approach allows professionals to gain alignment and move recommendations forward.”

“Clear and practical advice on the art of presenting… valuable for CEOs, junior employees, and everyone in between. Plus, it’s the rare business book that is an incredibly fun read.”

“Tim Calkins is known at Kellogg School of Management as one of the best presenters and storytellers. In this new book, he shares some of his secrets on how to make your presentation more effective. His tips are simple, easy to remember, and valuable even if you consider yourself a master of presentations.”

“Few individuals can capture an audience like Professor Calkins, and reading through these pages is like being in one of his dynamic and inspiring classes at Kellogg. This book is a powerful tool that will help you prepare and deliver epic presentations, both personal and professional.”

“As Tim so convincingly demonstrates, relevant and engaging presentations are the perfect balance of ‘what we say’ and ‘how we say it.’ By following Tim’s pragmatic approach, all of us will be better equipped to ‘make the sale.'”

“Business leaders have to present well if they are going to have an impact. This book is the best one I’ve seen on creating and delivering an effective business presentation.”

“A smart, strategic, and pragmatic approach for becoming a critical, confident, and compelling presenter, regardless of where you find yourself on your own presenter journey. Bravo, Tim!”

“My life would have been so much easier if presenters would have practiced what Professor Calkins is preaching in this book. A joy to read and stacked with clear takeaways. You will not regret reading this book—and your business presentations will be so much better.”


TIM CALKINS is a business writer, a marketing consultant, an award-winning clinical professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and the co-academic director of the Kellogg on Branding executive education program. The marketing and advertising expert founded and leads the Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review (which has received more than 5 billion media impressions to date), and he also manages the popular online business publication, Building Strong Brands. Prior to How to Wash a Chicken, Calkins authored Breakthrough Marketing Plans (Palgrave, 2008) and Defending Your Brand (Palgrave, 2012), which Expert Marketer Magazine picked as the Marketing Book of the Year in 2013. As the managing director at his marketing firm, Class 5 Consulting, Calkins consults on strategy and branding issues for major corporations around the world such as Roche, PepsiCo, Pfizer, and Hewlett-Packard. In addition to his work as a writer and consultant, Calkins teaches Business Strategy and Biomedical Marketing at Northwestern University. His teaching has earned him numerous awards―including the top teaching award at Kellogg School, twice. Calkins currently calls Chicago home, but works out of the City of Evanston.

ISBN 978-1-98902-503-1
$24.95 CAD $19.95 USD
Published September 25, 2018
6 × 9 256 Pages
Hardcover, ebook, audiobook