Although I love the thrill of speaking in public, I unfortunately don’t get to do it as often as I used to (once, maybe twice a year lately). The few times I do speak, though, I’ld like it to be as good as possible. That’s why I was very interested in O’Reilly’s announcement of Scott Berkun’s Confessions of a Public Speaker, and so I put the book on my shopping list right away. Not having heard of the author before, I was hoping for the best (light, interesting, with a touch of “funny”), but expecting the worst (“I am your presentation God; people sell their own mother to hear my voice; although you are not worthy, I will lower myself to your level and give some insight in why I am so fantastic.”). After receiving the book in the mail, I read it from the first page to the last in merely one day (a new personal record). Needless to say the book exceeded my expectations.
The book talks about many aspects of public speaking: why are we affraid of talking in public, and how can we avoid this? How is it to earn a living of public speaking? How do you work a tough room? How can you attract people to your talk? How do you keep people from falling asleep? How should you get and interpret feedback? What to do if your talk sucks? What to do when things go wrong? What are the little things pros do? The list just goes on and on.
Not only is this book packed with handy tips and anecdotes, it’s also written in a very light and funny way, making this book both extremely pleasant and interesting to read. A must-read for virtually anyone, especially those who sometimes speak in front of an audience (even small ones)!