Confessions of a Public Speaker
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2009
Pages: 240

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.

Highlights include:

  • 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.

Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Colophon
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
O'Reilly MediaConfessions of a Public Speaker
 
4.7

(based on 13 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (10)
  • Helpful examples (7)
  • Well-written (7)
  • Accurate (5)
  • Concise (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (8)
    • Novice (8)
    • Expert (5)
    • Student (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (4)

    Reviewed by 13 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-10

    Back to top

    Previous | Next »

     
    4.0

    This is a great read on Public Speaking!

    By Paras

    from Atlanta

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Deeply Informative
    • Easy To Understand
    • Great Insights

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Confessions of a Public Speaker:

        Short version!

        I like reading good books. This is one of those good books!

        Why did I choose this book?

        Public speaking is something I do every day. It's part of my Job. It's part of my daily life. So I had figured I'll keep working on improving this skill. As a part of that, I decided to read "Confessions of a Public Speaker" by Scott Berkun

        What did I like about it? Four things:

        "There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars."

        - Real Life Examples. Lot's of it!

        - Actionable Insights & Tips (like how to work a tough room, keep Practicing, how to gather feedback, how to get audience's attention etc!)

        - It's an easy quick simple read!

        - Funny!

        Bottom-line:

        if you think you public speaking is something you want to improve upon, I highly recommend this book!

        Disclaimer:

        I got a e-copy of the book via O'Reilly Media's Blogger Review Program.

         
        5.0

        Interesting techniques for public speaki

        By Sanaulla

        from Bangalore, India

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Broad Appeal
        • Deeply Informative
        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Easy To Understand
        • Expert Author
        • Great Insights
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Older Readers
          • Reference
          • Travel Reading
          • Younger Readers

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Confessions of a Public Speaker:

          Who among us has never feared speaking in front of a crowd- no matter how large the crowd be? We all have felt the fear, few of us overcome the fear to emerge as great speakers and few of us under Confessions of a public Speaker perform due to the fear and remain as mediocre speakers. Lot of us have attended workshops on public speaking, read numerous books on the same but yet we struggle each time we are asked to speak. Public speaking need not be limited to speaking at a conference to a crowd in hundreds, but it also includes the presentations we give to our team at work, the talks we give in our local user group meets and the teaching activities we undertake. Not only its a mighty task for the speaker, but also a mightier task for the audience listening if the speaker turns out to be a bad speaker.

          I have seen some of the best lectures and also the worst lectures. I know how a speaker feels when he has delivered an outstanding talk or when the audience are bored to death. Each one of us is in some way or the other are involved in public speaking and we all want to be remembered for our great talks and we want to see lecture halls overflowing with people to listen to our talks. There are numerous books out there which deal with this subject, but I happened to read this wonderful book by Scott Berkun titled "Confessions of a Public Speaker".

          If I were asked to review this in one sentence, I would say: "A must read book for any one aspiring to crack the art of public speaking". The book is so beautifully written that you feel as if the author is narrating a story in which the main actor is the author himself. The book is filled with interesting anecdotes, illustrations which will keep you glued to the book until you finish it. As you read the book you might be relating the situations to something which might have happened with you during your public speaking stint.

          The book also contains real life experiences from other speakers, references to other interesting material and related material and also a list of things which a public speaker should avoid and how to go about preventing those things from your talk.

           
          5.0

          Magnificant

          By HoaBeo

          from HCM

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Confessions of a Public Speaker:

          The book is quite good!

           
          4.0

          Practical advice for those who speak

          By JimDoesVoIP

          from Boston, MA

          Verified Reviewer

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Confessions of a Public Speaker:

          Recently read this book (and all the appendices on my Kindle. Knocked out most of it on a flight from SFO to BOS. It provides real, down to earth examples and advice on how you can improve your own speaking ability. Summary: Practice. Do obvious things like rehearse and put yourself in the seat of the people who will be tortured (or not) by listening to you.

           
          5.0

          Tips in a narrative style

          By AngieV

          from Saline, MI

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Broad Appeal
          • Deeply Informative
          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Easy To Understand
          • Expert Author
          • Great Insights
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Reference
            • Travel Reading

            Comments about O'Reilly Media Confessions of a Public Speaker:

            With anything, practice makes perfect. 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 strive to avoid. Scott's humor and narrative style of writing allowed me to read through this book quickly, while learning some tips and techniques along the way.

            I strongly urge you to read this one all the way to the end. And I mean all the way to the end. When you think you're done, you probably aren't. Believe me, it's worth it for the stories alone. It's also refreshing to know that even paid public speakers have their moments of embarrassment...it makes us all the more human (and memorable).

            If you have to present to 5 or 5,000 people, I suggest you pick this book up. At the very least, scan through for some great tips!

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Fear Not!

            By HartleyJ

            from Lyndon, Vermont

            About Me Mac user group ambassador

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Entertaining
            • Helpful examples
            • Useful
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Expert
              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Confessions of a Public Speaker:

              You are probably like me. You sit in a room of people you know, talking about what interests you. You have something you feel you have got to say about the topic. So, you say it. No big deal.

              However, if you are asked to stand up in front of the room, and give a presentation—TOTAL FEAR.

              Scott Berkun says "The stage is the safest place in the room," but you are without a weapon in front of a crowd of creatures staring at you.

              Fear not. In "Confessions of a Public Speaker" Scott provides the weapons you need to slay your fears and entertain and inform your audience. "Confessions of a Public Speaker" is fun reading. It has great photographic illustrations. It has humor and interesting experiences. It is by a person is making a good living by thinking about what interests him and audiences, and then writing and speaking about it.

              Enjoy reading "Confessions of a Public Speaker" which starts with the author on an airline flight in a chapter titled "I can't see you naked." Practice what the author has learned through thinking about his experiences as a public speaker. You probably will find yourself looking forward to your next opportunity to stand up and make a presentation before a group.

              (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Practcal book, with lots of examples.

              By Digibrarian

              from Baton Rouge, LA

              About Me Executive

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Helpful examples

              Cons

              • Use of profanity
              • Writing skills

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Confessions of a Public Speaker:

              In Scott's own words:

              "No matter how much you hate of love this book, you're unlikely to be a good public speaker. The marketing for this book likely promised you'd be a better speaker for reading it. I think that's true on one condition: you practice (which I know most of you won't do). Most people are lazy. I'm lazy. I expect you're lazy, too. There always be a shortage of good public speakers n the world, not matter how many great books there are on the subject. It's a performance skill, and performance means practice - and that's one of the reasons I wasn't afraid to write this book."

              This book is highly practical, and the overall subject coverage is very detailed. There are a lot of excellent tips and advice that stem from personal experience and what likely a very inquisitive mind. Scott seems to be a person highly interested in improving his own skills, achieving even more as a result, while not keeping his findings to himself. He
              s eager to share his knowledge with the rest of the world. Some of the ideas however take too long to be explained, while some of the analogies may probably need to be re-thought or re-written, if the second editions is ever considered.
              Overall, it does not take away from the main purpose of the book: If you are interested to improve your skills as a public speaker, and need some hardcore, practical advice on how to handle your audiences, from small groups to big crowds, you will find a lot of valuable information here.

              This book could not be possibly associated with O'Reilly if it didn't have some technical information. Scott covers some of the technology associated with the profession. And as with any gadget or technology, it can make or break your "gig".

              I must thank the author for such detailed coverage of his "encounter" with the TV industry and what one would expect if offered to do a show or an interview on TV.

              As for my 4 star rating. I didn't appreciate the occasional use of profanity, or somewhat cocky attitude. In the end, it does not diminish the value of this book, but I would appreciate a more professional approach to the subject.

              I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. Don't expect to learn all about public speaking from it, but this book definitely deserves to be on your bookshelf.

               
              5.0

              A must read for any presenter

              By Bryan - k0emt

              from Jefferson City, MO

              About Me Developer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Expert
                • Intermediate
                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about O'Reilly Media Confessions of a Public Speaker:

                Whether you are a seasoned expert or newbie there is something for you to learn from this book.

                This book covers fundamentals such as:
                know your material, know your audience and prepare.

                As well as more advanced/"in practice" topics like: "what to do if only a few people show up" or "how to deal with the 'helpful' guy in the audience"

                I am sure that my presenting skills will improve as a result of reading this book and applying it to my thought and action processes.

                 
                5.0

                Very interesting and enjoyable read

                By Remko

                from Leuven, Belgium

                About Me Developer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert
                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice
                  • Student

                  Comments about O'Reilly Media Confessions of a Public Speaker:

                  This 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. I read the book from the first page to the last in merely one day (which is a personal record for me)

                  This book is a must-read for virtually anyone, especially those who sometimes speak in front of an audience (even small ones)!

                   
                  5.0

                  Entertaining & Practical

                  By Howard Levine MD

                  from Cleveland, Ohio

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Accurate
                  • Concise
                  • Easy to understand
                  • Helpful examples
                  • Well-written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Expert
                    • Intermediate
                    • Novice

                    Comments about O'Reilly Media Confessions of a Public Speaker:

                    Most of us are asked at some point to be a public speaker. Maybe it isa formal lecture. Maybe a toast. Maybe a business presentation. Maybewe just need to make a point and win an argument. We cringe. Ourstomach turns. "Confessions of a Public Speaker" is non fiction…. no, Imean really a true compilation of the missteps, embarrassments anddilemmas encountered by noted and successful public speaker author,Scott Berkun. As Mr. Berkun says in his initial disclaimer "if youdon't want to hear the truth (about how you speak), this book is not foryou."This entertaining, practical book reads easily. Each chapter is shortand filled with useful information to make the preparation,presentation, and assessment of any speech better ("I Can See YouNaked." "The Attack of the Butterflies." "Don't Eat the Microphone.")"Confessions" is a book that can be read a part at a time, or start tofinish."Confessions" uses the author's successes and miseries from his lifetime behind the lectern and on the podium (we are told the difference) to illustrate how to be a successful presenter.There is a section of photos taken from actual speaking events but notof the actual speaker, but rather the scene around the venue thatcontributes to success or failure.A portion of "Confessions" includes "Backstage Notes" like "Littlethings pros do," "How to make a point," "What to do if your talksucks," and "What to do when things go wrong." Each of these is filledwith countless examples and suggestions.A "Research and Recommendations" section includes not only a list ofsources, but also commentary on the reasons to consider going to thesesources.The reader will want to read the usually skipped (except family andfriends looking for their name) boring "Acknowledgement" part of "Confessions." Mr. Berkun continues his humorous, engaging writing even to the final page and takes this section and writes it in a humorous and entertaining manner. He includes among other things amounts and kinds of junk food eaten and music listened to. Just another way Mr. Berkun illustrates that communication needs ways to maintain the interest of the reader (and in the case of the thesis of "Confessions") the listener. And if you are really compulsive and go to the second last page of "Confessions" you can find story about the "colophon."As a person asked to give many lectures, I will keep this book on mydesk, next to my computer and look at it when I get the next speakinginvitation and before I write the very first slide.Reviewed December 2009 by Howard Levine MDDirector, Cleveland, Ohio [...]

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

                    Back to top

                    Previous | Next »

                     
                    Buy 2 Get 1 Free Free Shipping Guarantee
                    Buying Options
                    Immediate Access - Go Digital what's this?
                    Ebook: $13.99
                    Formats:  APK, DAISY, ePub, Mobi, PDF
                    Print & Ebook: $18.69
                    Print: $16.99

                    Available in Multiple Languages