Synopses & Reviews
"At 7:48 a.m. on a Tuesday, I am showered, cleaned, shaved, pruned, fed, and deodorized, wearing a pressed shirt and shiny shoes, in a cab on my way to the San Francisco waterfront. I'm far from home, going to an unfamiliar place, and performing for strangers, three stressful facts that mean anything can happen."
In this hilarious and highly practical book, author and professional speaker Scott Berkun reveals the techniques behind what great communicators do, and shows how anyone can learn to use them well. For managers and teachers — and anyone else who talks and expects someone to listen — Confessions of a Public Speaker provides an insider's perspective on how to effectively present ideas to anyone. It's a unique, entertaining, and instructional romp through the embarrassments and triumphs Scott has experienced over 15 years of speaking to crowds of all sizes.
With lively lessons and surprising confessions, you'll get new insights into the art of persuasion — as well as teaching, learning, and performance — directly from a master of the trade.
- Berkun's hard-won and simple philosophy, culled from years of lectures, teaching courses, and hours of appearances on NPR, MSNBC, and CNBC
- Practical advice, including how to work a tough room, the science of not boring people, how to survive the attack of the butterflies, and what to do when things go wrong
- The inside scoop on who earns $30,000 for a one-hour lecture and why
- The worst — and funniest — disaster stories you've ever heard (plus countermoves you can use)
Filled with humorous and illuminating stories of thrilling performances and real-life disasters, Confessions of a Public Speaker
is inspirational, devastatingly honest, and a blast to read.
"A fresh, fun, memorable take on the most critical thing: what we say. Highly recommended." Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief, Wired
"Loved it Anyone who speaks for a living — including teachers — will greatly benefit from this book." Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen
In this funny and provocative collection of behind-the-scenes tales from the life of a successful public speaker, bestselling business author Scott Berkun offers a unique insider's take on what public speakers do, how they do it, and how anyone can do it well.
Confessions of a Public Speaker is an entertaining romp through the embarrassments and triumphs Berkun has experienced in front of crowds of all sizes, based on his 15 years of travel around the world giving speeches and lectures. With lessons on the craft for anyone who talks and expects someone to listen, amateurs and professional speakers alike will get a whole new world of insights into teaching, learning, and performance, straight from a master of the trade.
Get Berkun's tips, hard-won lessons, and philosophy that he's developed from years of experience. Learn a framework and a vocabulary for the process of preparing and delivering lectures. Find out how to work a tough room, the science of not boring people, and how to deal with the attack of the butterflies. Discover the wonders of making thousands of dollars for a single engagement. Learn what it takes to cope with an endless string of hotels and restaurants while on a speaking tour.
Filled with humor and illuminating anecdotes, this incisive book is highly practical and easy to read, brought to you by the bestselling author of The Myths of Innovation and Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management. With Confessions of a Public Speaker, you will save yourself months or even years of embarrassment and expensive failures.
With lessons for teachers, speakers, and anyone who opens their mouth and expects someone to listen, this book provides a world of insight, straight from a master of the trade. In this funny and provocative collection of behind-the-scenes tales from life in the public speaking trade, bestselling business author and speaker Scott Berkun romps through embarrassments and triumphs in front of crowds of all sizes, revealing a unique insider's take on what public speakers do, how they do it, and how anyone can do it well.
About the Author
Scott Berkun worked on the Internet Explorer team at Microsoft from 1994-1999 and left the company in 2003 with the goal of writing enough books to fill a shelf. His previous books include The Myths of Innovation and the bestseller, The Art of Project Management. Scott Berkun is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Digital and a management and creative thinking expert who appears frequently on MSNBC and CNBC.
Table of Contents
Disclaimer; Chapter 1: I can't see you naked; Chapter 2: The attack of the butterflies; 2.1 What to do before you speak; Chapter 3: $30,000 an hour; Chapter 4: How to work a tough room; Chapter 5: Do not eat the microphone; 5.1 Photos you don't expect to see; Chapter 6: The science of not boring people; 6.1 Set the pace; 6.2 Direct the attention ("What am I looking at and why?"); 6.3 Play the part: you're the star; 6.4 Know what happens next; 6.5 Tension and release; 6.6 Get the audience involved; 6.7 You are judge, jury, and executioner; 6.8 Always end early; Chapter 7: Lessons from my 15 minutes of fame; 7.1 We perform all the time; 7.2 Teleprompters (and memorization) are evil; Chapter 8: The things people say; 8.1 The sneaky lessons of Dr. Fox; 8.2 Why most speaker evaluations are useless; 8.3 The speaker must match the audience; 8.4 Expert feedback you can get right now; Chapter 9: The clutch is your friend; 9.1 Why teaching is almost impossible; 9.2 How to teach anyone anything; Chapter 10: Confessions; 10.1 Backstage notes; The little things pros do; The confidence monitor; The countdown timer; The remote control; Give stuff away to fill the front row; Hide your microphone (and wear a collar); We don't need no stinking badges; Lectern vs. podium; Work the camera; How to make a point; Being silent makes your points; What to do if your talk sucks; Why your talk might suck; Medium list of little things; What to do when things go wrong; You're being heckled; Everyone is staring at their laptops; Your time slot gets cut from 45 minutes to 10; Everyone in the room hates you; One guy won't stop asking questions; There is a rambling question that makes no sense and takes three minutes to ask; You are asked an impossible question; The microphone breaks; Your laptop explodes; There is a typo on your slide (nooooo!); You're late for your own talk; You feel sick; You're running out of time; You left your slide deck at home; Your hosts are control freaks; You have a wardrobe malfunction; There are only five people in the audience; What to do if your situation is not here; You can't do worse than this; Does anyone speak Georgian?; What to do when the SWAT team comes; A funny thing happened on my way to the stage; Death by lecture; CEO demo gone wrong; Do not set anything on fire; No one likes surprise porn; I see sleeping people; At worst we will shoot you; Don't blame the trains; You work where?; Watch your slides; Why you don't want to be up against Bono; You will never speak of this to anyone; Watch where you sit; Please make a new talk and give it five minutes from now; Check your mirror; Waterproofing cannot save you; Why you should not lecture in bars; Research and recommendations; Annotated bibliography; Studying comedians; Ranked bibliography; Other research sources; How to help this book: a request; Acknowledgments; Photo credits; ; Colophon;