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A Book Apart #21

Demystifying Public Speaking

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Don’t think public speaking is for you? It is—whether you’re bracing for a conference talk or a team meeting. Lara Hogan helps you identify your fears and face them, so you can make your way to the stage (big or small). Get clear, practical advice through every step, from choosing a topic and creating a presentation, to gathering and distilling feedback, to event-day prep. You’ll feel confident and equipped to step into the spotlight.

83 pages, Paperback

Published October 25, 2016

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About the author

Lara Hogan

6 books60 followers

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29 (16%)
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Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 reviews
Profile Image for Edaena.
11 reviews9 followers
September 6, 2017
Excellent read. Straight to the point, actionable advice on public speaking.
Public speaking is not only about getting on stage and giving a talk, it's also about speaking at a team meeting. It is an important skill to present ideas to your team and convince them about a technical solution.

Lara is great at explaining the importance of public speaking and gives you ideas that you can start using right now to improve in public speaking.

I recommend it to anyone in the tech field, that feels nervous during meetings or has trouble getting heard and communicating effectively. I also recommend it to anyone that things that to give a talk at a tech conference you have to be an expert.
Profile Image for Mindaugas Mozūras.
308 reviews169 followers
June 16, 2019
Being onstage is an incredibly vulnerable act.

It is. Luckily, this book gives guidance on how to prepare, give a talk and survive. As I've read other books about public speaking before, not much of it was new to me. It mostly served as a useful reminder, with the section of CFPs being the most exciting and unique to me. Others books didn't delve into actually getting the talk accepted, only in preparing and giving it.
Profile Image for Tyler.
213 reviews
July 27, 2022
Some nice reminders and explanation of process. Found the most eloquent pieces to be quotes of other peoples words. Still a handy quick reference as I go through some of the more rigorous parts of public speaking to a technical audience.
31 reviews1 follower
November 13, 2017
I needed some good advice on things I need to give consideration to when I give my presentation. This was perfect.
Profile Image for Camille.
293 reviews47 followers
November 10, 2016
What's that old slogan? Looks like a snack, eats like a meal. Something like that. Anyhow, Lara's short but thorough book could definitely be described in those terms.

I bought this book because I like and admire Lara and wanted to show my support. I also bought it because I am embarking on my own speaking "career" and am gobbling up all the guidance on speaking that I can get my hands on. In the last few months I've gathered valuable wisdom from Scott Berkun, Kathy Sierra, Catt Small, Erica Joy Baker, Carmine Gallo, Seth Godin, and Nancy Duerte about how to give talks that engage and delight and Lara's book provided yet another valuable perspective. This book stands out for emphasizing inclusiveness and self-care. She doesn't have any hard and fast DON'Ts and she specifically speaks about how being female/femme can be a challenge when even AV equipment is built to male/masculine specifications.

Thanks to Lara for taking the time to share her wisdom and empower the next generation of great speakers and life changing talks!
Profile Image for Boyan.
43 reviews5 followers
October 29, 2017
If you are interested in public speaking, especially if you are in the tech industry, this is the book for you. It’s relatively short and to the point, but in the same time covers the whole process from conception of an idea, trough research and preparation, practice, delivery and even collecting and analyzing feedback.
There are a ton of examples from her experience and also a lot of links to articles that expand on certain topics.
Profile Image for Tim.
21 reviews2 followers
June 14, 2017
This books offers clear and concise guidance for anyone looking to improve their abilities as a public speaker. Whether you're trying to just become more comfortable talking to a small group of people or you're looking to jump on the conference circuit, there is clear cut advice here for even the experienced speaker.
Profile Image for Bjoern Rochel.
378 reviews71 followers
August 11, 2017
The perfect practical companion to Gar Reynolds Presentation Zen and Nancy Duartes Resonate.
Very handy and easy to follow advice.

Since I've already read a lot about public presentations (crafting slides, story-building, body language, etc), I didn't get big new insights from this one. NEVERTHELESS, all the smaller tips and habits made it definitely worth the read.
157 reviews2 followers
August 5, 2018
Demystifying Public Speaking is a book that teaches you how to select a talk, prepare the talk, give the talk and get feedback. It's short and well layed out. It's has plenty of ideas and best practice guidelines, but does not read preachy at all. A must read for anyone preparing to do a talk in public.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Agisilaos Tsaraboulidis.
8 reviews5 followers
January 9, 2019
Lara with this book gives us a lot of info behind prepping for a talk, writing a proposal and so many other things related to before & after a talk. It was a east & calm read and she provided a lot of valuable info related to Public Speaking and how to overcome our fears about it.
Profile Image for Morgan.
61 reviews
July 3, 2018
I *loved* this book. Lara handles the practicalities of public speaking beautifully. It made me feel so much more capable of giving a great talk and I'm excited to implement her suggestions.
Profile Image for Olivier Grange-Labat.
46 reviews8 followers
July 10, 2018
Nice short book on public speaking (at conferences, meetups, etc.) full of actionable advices and written in a kind, warm, non-judging tone.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
27 reviews
December 27, 2018
This is a super quick read, and is written in a way where all the advice feels obvious; it's just now clearly presented in a way that's actually digestable.

I used Lara's book to help me give better presentations at work, and after working on it for a year, I'm moving into speaking more in broader audiences with her help. I keep this book beside me while planning talks and making CFPs now. Thanks, Lara. :)
Profile Image for Tyler.
31 reviews1 follower
January 4, 2019
This is a very good resource, very in depth tips based on Lara's experiences. If you are interested in public speaking, big or small groups, this is an incredible read.
Profile Image for Liz.
35 reviews
September 3, 2021
Clear, actionable advice on the entire process, from vetting the right topic to delivering your talk.
Profile Image for Katya.
23 reviews3 followers
February 5, 2022
Being new to the topic, I found this book an incredibly helpful introduction. It's short, to-the-point and reassuring. I will be revisiting it in future!
Profile Image for Fermin.
21 reviews1 follower
April 10, 2022
Buen libro con tips para hacer charlas públicas en eventos o meets en vivo.
Me llevo algún tip, pero no consejos para preparar estás charlas.
Profile Image for Rachel Leite.
1 review
November 16, 2017
Really great and easy read that helped me understand I'm not alone in my fears of public speaking (which is probably the first step in overcoming them). She gave some really practical things to consider on feeling comfortable being yourself, sharing your ideas, and receiving feedback. Useful not only for public speaking, but also everyday life.
Profile Image for Marcus Österberg.
Author 9 books15 followers
February 3, 2017
"What if I mess up? What if they don't like what I have to say? What if they disagree, or worse, what if the don't like me?"
The fears of public speaking are many and hard to overcome. This book is a fantastic guide for those who'd like to give it a try, no matter the size of the venue. The book's on point and not unnecessarily wordy. The key to it all seems to be ensuring you're prepared, and fortunately the book covers all aspects of it.
Even though I've already presented a couple of times, this book is helpful when preparing for my next talk.
Profile Image for Adam.
Author 1 book5 followers
January 21, 2017
Demystifying Public Speaking is a good walkthrough of giving a talk. It covers the whole process but isn't very opinionated on how to do X/Y.

It's not a mind-blowing book but it's not meant to be. It's a good insight into how the whole thing works, even pay negotiation for example.

I wish it had given some examples like real talk proposals, if they were accepted, and if not, why the speaker & author think it wasn't. There are a load of resources given at the end thought which look like they might really help here
Profile Image for Lindsay Schmidt.
16 reviews
November 23, 2016
Practical and easy read with some great tips on breaking into the speaking scene, preparing your content, gathering feedback, and delivering an awesome talk. Definitely check this book out if you find yourself giving presentations, no matter the format or size. Laura's book has takeaways that can apply to many types of presentations!
Profile Image for Stringy.
147 reviews41 followers
November 14, 2016
Practical advice from an author and other speakers who have done a lot of public speaking. I particularly liked the tips on how to gather honest but useful feedback beyond "you're amazing!" from your friends or "this was terrible" from useless people.
Profile Image for Ben Ng.
29 reviews9 followers
January 9, 2017
A short handbook packed with useful advice. I plan to refer to this book whenever I have to prepare for public speaking.
Displaying 1 - 27 of 27 reviews

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