Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun

I zoomed through this book in 2 days and it is a worthy read. A few of Scott’s pearls of wisdom… get the book for more insights:

1. There is apparently a lecture game called ‘ummmster’ where you drink every time a speaker says ‘ummm’ – not recommended when you’re cramming for exams (for those in school) but I do post-watch a lot of conference videos at home so… ha!

2. Take an improv class. I’ve been wanting to do that for years, to train myself as a better speaker. Great, great reminder. Even if you don’t want to be a public speaker, know that ‘we perform all the time’ and it’s good to be comfortable in your own skin in any scenario.  A great joke I’ve never heard before that Scott offers up as performance practice:

Q. How many Zen masters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A. None. The Zen master has overcome his desire for the bulb to be changed.

3. People never fall asleep if they are at the center of the experience.

#3 can apply in almost EVERY situation in life. In general, when working in community (social media) or communications (marketing, PR, speaking), etc… you’re goal is to focus on the experience of your audience.

A handful of thought-provoking confessions that I really appreciate (Chapter 10) –

  • I’m insanely grateful to make a living as a trafficker of ideas. [me too! an eloquent way to put it. thank you.]
  • I’m an introvert. [Scott says he expends most of his social energy during his talks that he often prefers a window with a great view and a book. I’ve always come out as an ‘E’ in the Myers-Brigg tests but the last two years I’ve spent in the community limelight has evolved me to agree with his sentiment.]
  • Sometimes I lecture commando. [oh, this one is good. You have to read page 140 to hear the rest…]

My review. Short and sweet.  Thanks for the read Scott.

About janetti !

curious curious curious.
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