Cover image for Confessions of a Public Speaker

Book description

" at 7:48 a.m. on a Tuesday, I am showered, cleaned, shaved, pruned, fed, and deodorized, wearing a pressed shirt and shiny shoes, in a cab on my way to the San Francisco waterfront I'm far from home, going to an unfamiliar place, and performing for strangers, three stressful facts that mean anything can happen " 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.

"A fresh, fun, memorable take on the most critical thing: what we say. Highly recommended." -Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief, Wired

"Loved it! Anyone who speaks for a living-including teachers-will greatly benefit from this book." -Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen

Table of Contents

  1. Confessions of a Public Speaker
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Disclaimer
    3. 1. I can’t see you naked
    4. 2. The attack of the butterflies
      1. What to do before you speak
    5. 3. $30,000 an hour
    6. 4. How to work a tough room
    7. 5. Do not eat the microphone
      1. Photos you don’t expect to see
    8. 6. The science of not boring people
      1. Set the pace
      2. Direct the attention (“What am I looking at and why?”)
      3. Play the part: you’re the star
      4. Know what happens next
      5. Tension and release
      6. Get the audience involved
      7. You are judge, jury, and executioner
      8. Always end early
    9. 7. Lessons from my 15 minutes of fame
      1. We perform all the time
      2. Teleprompters (and memorization) are evil
    10. 8. The things people say
      1. The sneaky lessons of Dr. Fox
      2. Why most speaker evaluations are useless
      3. The speaker must match the audience
      4. Expert feedback you can get right now
    11. 9. The clutch is your friend
      1. Why teaching is almost impossible
      2. How to teach anyone anything
        1. Active and interesting
        2. Start with an insight of interest
        3. Adapt to how students respond
    12. 10. Confessions
      1. Backstage notes
    13. A. The little things pros do
      1. The confidence monitor
      2. The countdown timer
      3. The remote control
      4. Give stuff away to fill the front row
      5. Hide your microphone (and wear a collar)
      6. We don’t need no stinking badges
      7. Lectern vs. podium
      8. Work the camera
    14. B. How to make a point
      1. Being silent makes your points
    15. C. What to do if your talk sucks
      1. Why your talk might suck
        1. This is your first time
        2. You are a turtle on crack
        3. Obfuscation of fractured bilateral rhetoric
        4. You make sex boring
        5. Your slides make me hate you
        6. You are afraid of the crowd
      2. Medium list of little things
        1. Feedback you get for free
    16. D. What to do when things go wrong
      1. You’re being heckled
      2. Everyone is staring at their laptops
      3. Your time slot gets cut from 45 minutes to 10
      4. Everyone in the room hates you
      5. One guy won’t stop asking questions
      6. There is a rambling question that makes no sense and takes three minutes to ask
      7. You are asked an impossible question
      8. The microphone breaks
      9. Your laptop explodes
      10. There is a typo on your slide (nooooo!)
      11. You’re late for your own talk
      12. You feel sick
      13. You’re running out of time
      14. You left your slide deck at home
      15. Your hosts are control freaks
      16. You have a wardrobe malfunction
      17. There are only five people in the audience
      18. What to do if your situation is not here
    17. E. You can’t do worse than this
      1. Does anyone speak Georgian?
      2. What to do when the SWAT team comes
      3. A funny thing happened on my way to the stage
      4. Death by lecture
      5. CEO demo gone wrong
      6. Do not set anything on fire
      7. No one likes surprise porn
      8. I see sleeping people
      9. At worst we will shoot you
      10. Don’t blame the trains
      11. You work where?
      12. Watch your slides
      13. Why you don’t want to be up against Bono
      14. You will never speak of this to anyone
      15. Watch where you sit
      16. Please make a new talk and give it five minutes from now
      17. Check your mirror
      18. Waterproofing cannot save you
      19. Why you should not lecture in bars
    18. F. Research and recommendations
      1. Annotated bibliography
        1. How to get over fears and anxiety
        2. How to tell great stories
        3. How to teach
        4. Presentation design
      2. Studying comedians
        1. How to make a living as a public speaker
      3. Ranked bibliography
      4. Other research sources
    19. G. How to help this book: a request
    20. H. Acknowledgments
    21. I. Photo credits
    22. J.
    23. Index
    24. About the Author
    25. Colophon
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