I first became acquainted with this book when reading reviews for another one of Scott’s books, Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds. Though I still plan on reading Mindfire, my interest was temporarily diverted once I realized what Confessions of a Public Speaker was all about.
An excerpt of the book description on Amazon.com reads:
“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.”
When I finished this book, two words came to mind: hilarious and practical. Scott’s openess to share his many mistakes (and there have been many) in public speaking contexts is refreshing. He drew me into each scenario with language that put me right into the seat of his audience, allowing me to see each one unfold as if I were right there laughing with the crowd. But then, out of each one he drew a practical application, whether it was what or what not to do.
Scott’s engaging and humourous tone left me always wanting the next page. As a public speaker myself, I appreciated that Scott gave practical techniques over and over again on how to overcome fear, anxiety, awkwardness, and other situations that arise. He has been in just about every speaking scenario possible (though no mention of the local church, my primary setting for speaking) and was candid in sharing both the good and bad from his experiences.
It was gratifying to see the recurring topic of practice. This is an area that I admittedly could do much better at and his encouragement to practice each presentation at length before actually speaking was needed in this author’s life.
Lastly, it bears noting that, while not prolific, Scott’s use of profanity wasn’t overlooked. Some of you will be aware that I’m not at all a fan of the use of profanity as I’ve written about it previously. While it is my personal conviction that there’s no logical or even gratuitous need for profanity in mainstream writing, this will not prevent me from heartily recommending Confessions of a Public Speaker as an excellent resource for speakers, novice and veterans both.
Have you read Confessions of a Public Speaker? What thoughts did you have about it? What did I miss?