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Confessions of a Public Speaker
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Confessions of a Public Speaker

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,477 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Tenere un discorso a una platea può diventare una vera angoscia. Combattere la tensione che sale prima e quella che serpeggia durante l'intervento a causa di fobie o paure, comunicare i concetti fondamentali, esprimere le idee all'interno di uno spazio limitato di tempo, provocano spesso serie preoccupazioni che addirittura portano a pregiudicare il risultato di un ottimo...more
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Antoinette Perez
A surprisingly good book -- surprising because I'd never heard of author Scott Berkun before. But since I speak publicly for a living, I had to have a go. He basically takes you through principles of good public speaking in a totally narrative format, and it works. He is a great writer. I imagine also a good speaker. A couple of things I fundamentally disagree with: don't leave much, if anything, to a group vote (is it too hot in here? anyone too cold?) -- just take a stand and go with it; I don...more
Ако ви се налага да говорите пред хора или да преподавате, това е полезна книжка. Вътре са събрани много практически съвети и весели истории.

Ако не ви се чете, ето двете най-важни неща: репетирайте и след репетициите кажете, нещо което да е полезно и забававно на хората пред вас. За предпочитане им разкажете история.
Michael Scott
I read Scott Berkun's Confessions of a Public Speaker triggered by the easy-to-read/good review feeling I've got from his Myths of Innovation. Again, it was a few hours' read.

What I like about this book:
1. I find myself in there: "In hundreds of lectures around the world, I’ve done most of the scary, tragic, embarrassing things that terrify people. I’ve been heckled by drunken crowds in a Boston bar. I’ve lectured to empty seats, and a bored janitor, in New York City. I’ve had a laptop crash in...more
Becky Ahrendsen
I can't see you naked
I got this book on a Toastmaster recommendation. It is nice to think about speaking, as you are preparing to give speeches. He writes in an entertaining way, and I found myself laughing outloud and sharing some things (worst human fears). It helped me a bit to talk to the exchange student who was planning to present about Italy to classes (practice, practice). However, it was easily set aside for other books.

If we all spoke thoughtfully and listened carefully, the world woul...more
Andy Shuping
this review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

I've read pretty much any book I can get my hands onto about public speaking as I've recently started speaking at conferences and was expecting this one to be similar with the same trite advice as everyone else. This was not the case at all. Scott speaks regularly around the world and offered first hand knowledge and experience through out the book. He openly speaks of his flubs and what he learned from them and how the reader can learn fr...more
I thought this book was a great overview of what it's like to work as a professional presenter. Unlike many other presentation books out there, Berkun doesn't mention slides or slide design at all; instead, he keeps his focus on how to connect and interact with a crowd during a presentation and how to deliver compelling content. I was gratified to see that his most-repeated piece of advice was something I've been doing for years: practice.

The book is a good mix of practical advice, helpful ane...more
A quick read, packed with practical tips & anecdotes about how to give your presentation polish and keep it engaging. But he states right up front that the only thing that will get you through is practice, and that if you don't practice, then it doesn't matter how good your points are.

The appendices were very useful: What to do if your talk sucks; What to do when things go wrong; You can't do worse than this.

Experienced public speakers may not get a lot out of this, unless they suspect the...more
Tiffany daSilva
I picked up this book as a way to ease my anxiety over public speaking and to stop myself from dry heaving the 24 hours before I'm scheduled to do so. This book, while hilarious, offered so much practical, easy to follow, easy to implement advice that I may just have to read it everytime I'm asked to speak again. The first person approach made everything he wrote more accessible, and more human and also was just the "practice what you preach" style that was needed for a book on this topic. Highl...more
I find myself doing a lot of public speaking these days: presentations on my research, guest lectures in undergraduate courses, leading course sections, that sort of thing. I'm also one of those crazy people who actually enjoys public speaking: the bigger the audience, the better. Lecturing doesn't leave me terrified or drained, not even a little bit. Put me in front of a crowd and I'll feel energized, excited. It's probably my favorite thing about graduate school.

Am I turning this review into a...more
Omar Halabieh
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1) "Most people listening to presentations around the world right now are hoping their speakers will end soon. That's all they want. They're not judging as much ass you link, because they don't care as much as you think. Knowing this helps enormously. If some disaster happens, something explodes or I trip and fall, I'll have more attention from the audience than I probably had 30 seconds before. And if I don't care that mu...more
A great read for anyone who is interested in the world of public speaking. Berkun takes a light-hearted (and self-depreciating) look at the ups and downs that are inevitable when we stand up in front of others to speak. But for all the humour, there are some important nuggets of wisdom in this book of which all speakers (novice and seasoned) should be mindful. An enjoyable, worthwhile read.
Vanessa Fox
This is not only a fun read, but I'm learning lots (even though I speak all the time, and I think I'm pretty good at it!).
Stefan Kanev
It's a good book to read if you want to get better in public speaking.

The writing is personal and motivating. It got me thinking about the way I give talks and it got me excited about improving. The author tells a stories about his experience and reflects a lot on what he learned about public speaking.

On the other side, there are not that many practical things to so – I was hoping for a bag of tricks.

The key take away is – practice your talks in advance. That's the best way to (1) give them out...more
Steve Maclaughlin
This book came recommended to me at just the right time. I had done hundreds of presentations to audiences over the years, but felt that I hit the limiter on getting better.

Scott's book is unlike any other in the typical make-your-presentations-better genre. He not only reviews in detail how to make better presentations but all the little details that go into it.

It was extremely helpful to have some habits validated and how to do some further fine tuning. Scott knows the tricks of the trade but...more
A unique, somewhat rowdy look at one man's experience with public speaking. I think this book includes some good pointers but, truly, the strength is it's curious format (part personal, blog-like essays, part instruction, part confessional) and humor. "Confessions" also has the interesting distinction, for me, of being the most noticeably male voice I've read in YEARS in contemporary self-help. In this time of being careful to sprinkle as many "she's" as "he's" across one's writing, I found Berk...more
Great book. Microsoft veteran and author Scott Berkun gives us a behind the scenes honest look at life on the road as a public speaker.

While this book is written in the context of doing speaking engagements, everything in here is relevant to internal company presentations, new business pitches, or any occasion that you have to speak to a group of people.

Apart from Scott's extensive experience speaking, he's also done his research on the topic.

Guess what? Everyone is afraid of public speaking. We...more
I loved this book . . . I have been struggling to find my something of speaking voice and anything like a public persona for years. A trek wrought with anxiety and insecurity. And wow! check this out . . . I am not alone and really it's not about me or even what I think I have to say. I was profoundly comforted. Also, I embraced Scott's sub-text about the limits of public address to truly educate and I re-designed a couple of Sunday School Classes to workshop some of his assumptions. I was STUNN...more
Very entertaining for the most part. The underlying theme of the book is that no book will ever make you a master public speaker. You could read 100's of these kinds of books and never get any better. The key is to practice practice practice until you master each and every presentation you give. He says that most of us will never be good public speakers because most of us are lazy and won't put in the preparation needed to be good at it.

I liked when he talked about what makes an interesting publ...more
Stacy Gahlman-schroeder
A must read for all Public Speakers- Especially newbies, and reluctant Public Speakers!!

Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun

This is the first book I have read and reviewed for O'Reilly Publishing house, and it is a definite read for any person who does any type of public speaking. Berkun starts the book with a story, and continues to provide personal stories through out the book which makes the book a great, fast read. Berkun also provides personal reflection as to what the audience e...more
Lars-Christian Elvenes
Dec 05, 2011 Lars-Christian Elvenes rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: favorites
Just finished reading Confessions of a Public Speaker (CoaPS) a few days ago, and it's a brilliant book.

I’ve read a few of the famous books on presentation, and while Presentation Zen (Garr Reynolds) and Slide:Ology and Resonate (Nancy Duarte) are great, I love the different approach that Scott Berkun takes.

CoaPS is very personal, and Scott’s stories add to the value of the book. He presents lots of common advice that no book on presentation and public speaking can really avoid, such as prepar...more
Alexandra Graßler
Ein etwas anderes Buch über's Redenhalten, als man es bisher gewohnt ist. Scott Berkun schreibt aus seiner Warte über die wahre Realität eines Redners und räumt dabei mit einigen Mythen auf.

Wichtig fand ich dabei z.B. die Erkenntniss, dass jeder Sprecher Fehler macht. Jeder. Es passieren Verhaspler, es wird gestottert, viel zu viele Ähs machen sich breit usw. Wichtig ist nur sich selbst nicht davon gefangen nehmen zu lassen und in seinem Vortrag fortzufahren. Denn kein Publikum kann einen Redne...more
Greg Linster
There are two things I'm pretty damn sure of:

1) Most people are afraid of public speaking.
2) I fall into the category of "most people".

That's right, I have a confession to make: I'm afraid of public speaking!

Confessions Of A Public Speaker , written by Scott Berkun, is laced with insights about speaking -- it's partly autobiographical and entirely useful. Near the beginning of the book Berkun reminds readers that if they're interested in the world of ideas, and want to help traffic them, then th...more
When the index of a book on public speaking has the item "turtle on crack, not being, p. 162," you know you're in for a good read.

Short summary: good book, great information and tips, very accessible, with hands-down the best colophon I've ever seen.

If you're a novice just getting into public speaking, this book will help you get over the initial scary bits and avoid some newbie mistakes. For someone who has some experience and is looking to increase their audience, this is also full of great st...more
Vladimir Tarasov
Dec 30, 2012 Vladimir Tarasov rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: conference organizers, speakers
Shelves: presenting
Коротко: если ты, читающий эти строки:
1. выступаешь публично
2. учишь людей
3. занимаешься организацией конференций или семинаров
4. помогаешь готовить выступление
то эта книга обязательна к прочтению.

В простой и ироничной форме автор, с помощью коротких историй-примеров, описывает ошибки и правильные приемы в подготовке выступления, во время выступления и после него. Однако, книга не является пошаговым руководством ни к тому как выступать, ни к тому, как организовывать конференции — читатель долж...more
Terri Griffith
Reposted from my blog:

I'm glad I read Scott Berkun's Confessions of a Public Speaker. If you're in one of my audiences, you're glad I read it. If you give talks, presentations, or just need to share your own ideas, you should read it too.

For the novice:

Scott gives us the nitty gritty. Why do some speakers make more than others? How do you manage to get to the venue on time, or not? What can you do...more
Ian Griffin
Professional speakers work their magic on an audience on many levels. Content, gesture, intonation and pacing all contribute to the impact a talk has on an audience. Watching a presenter at the top of their game is mesmerizing. Like Wimbledon tennis or Masters golf, professionals make it all seem so easy.

But if you are curious about what it really takes to deliver an effective speech, you need to understand both how compelling content is created as well as learning the presentation skills to del...more
I loved Confessions of a Public Speaker! Scott Berkun boils public speaking down to it's essence and candidly shares where he has gone wrong, where most speakers go wrong & how we can do better. I laughed out loud every page or two. Here's an excerpt from p.86:
"There are some things the human mind loves paying attention to, including the following: -Things we like to eat, Things that might eat us, Problems we relate to, People we empathize with, Topics we care about, Puzzles we want to sol...more
Ed Frank
No matter what your profession (school teacher, professor, interviewee, best man at a wedding, etc) anyone who has to speak publically will be benefitted by this book.

This is not a formal textbook on public speaking; rather it is more like a loosely formed collection of speaking tidbits (with stories) that one can use in a variety of situations.
The author gives good insights into how to properly conduct a classroom or conference, especially when things aren't going according to plan regarding te...more
Oh, the horrors of mishitting a button!

2nd try - better than the first?

With anything, practice makes perfect (which should be apparent when this post finally goes live). Scott provides us with a witting and refreshing take on presenting to others. While I'm not a public speaker of Scott's caliber, I do routinely have to speak in front of small to large crowds. I have my own pet peeves, which I attempt to alleviate while presenting information, but this book gives a whole list of others we should...more
Todd Nemet
May 19, 2010 Todd Nemet rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has to speak to more than three people
Shelves: kindle
A completely honest book on public speaking would be the size of a post-it note and would have the following written on it: "1. respect your audience, 2. practice your presentation a lot."

In this book ex-Microsoftie-turned-freelance-thinker Scott Berkun is as honest as a book this length can be. He even admits that his book won't make many people better public speakers because that takes practice and most people reading the book won't practice. Fortunately the rest of the book is filled with obs...more
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Scott Berkun is the author of four popular books, Making Things Happen, The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker and Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds. His work as a writer and speaker have appeared in the The Washington Post, the New York Times, Wired, the Economist, Fast Company, Forbes, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, National Public Radio and other media. His many popular essays and ente...more
More about Scott Berkun...
Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management The Myths of Innovation The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work The Art of Project Management Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds

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“I believe anyone can teach anyone anything. But I mean this in a specific sense. If you have two dedicated, reasonably intelligent people, one interested in teaching and the other wanting to learn, something great can happen. Think master and apprentice, mentor and protégé. For learning, small numbers win. The success of this one-on-one method is proven throughout history; many so-called prodigies were tutored by a parent or family friend (Einstein, Picasso, and Mozart all qualify). Yes, they had amazing, inherent talent, but they were still privately taught by people invested in their learning. Teaching is intimacy of the mind, and you can’t achieve that if you must work in large numbers.” 1 likes
“We develop ulcers, high blood pressure, headaches, and other physical problems in part because our stress systems aren’t designed to handle the “dangers” of our brave new world: computer crashes, micromanaging bosses, 12-way conference calls, and long commutes in rush-hour traffic.” 1 likes
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