On effective public speaking

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Confessions of a Public Speaker (Scott Berkun, O'Reilly Media, Oct 2009. 240 pages, ISBN: 978-0-596-80199-1) is a book on how to improve your public speaking.  Scott, who is a professional speaker (as well as a writer) has collated his extensive experience of public speaking into this delightful book. 

Instead of a dry book having bulleted contents and checklist, this book is woven together by a series of interesting anecdotes. The book begins with an inflight conversation, where Scott is asked, "When ... giving a lecture, do you imagine everyone in the room naked?" setting the tone for what is to follow.

Each chapter of the book focuses on various tips and tricks that a speaker should know.  One of the underlying message is about preparation and practice - nothing else matters.

There is an interesting chapter on how much speakers are paid and on what basis. There is another chapter dealing with the nuances of being on television.  A third one talks about how to be a good teacher, based on his experience learning stick shift (manual gear) driving, taught by his brother.

The most hilarious chapter is You can't do worse than this, which houses a collection of goof-ups by various public speaker.

Like his The Myths of Innovation, this book by Scott Berkum is also a very interesting read.  Perhaps it could have been shortened a bit, but then unlike speeches, books are not "time-boxed".

Note: I received a free copy of this, as part of O'Reilly  Blogger Review program.

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