Wandering through Blackwells in Oxford (as I do) the other day, I saw a copy of this book that I'd been meaning to buy. I know Scott Berkun from some of his writings around project management and his blog.
Well, as a frequent public speaker I very much enjoyed this book. I think the enjoyment came from the empathy I felt for Scott Berkun as well as his humour - he has a nice turn of ironic simile, almost on a par with that of Douglas Adams or of Raymond Chandler.Empathy came from the approach he has taken, which is an unapologetic personal take on his journey to become a competent presenter. I found this quite refreshing. In fact, in his notes towards the end of the book, he comes clean about the power of storytelling, even though he didn’t include a specific chapter or section on it.
So this is no dry, systematic treatise on the obvious mechanics of presenting - eye contact, posture, and so on - although most of the main elements are touched on at some point. No, here the reader finds lived experiences written with the visceral relevance of someone who has found himself speaking in all kinds of unpredictable contexts, written sometimes in a self-deprecating and irreverent style.
I will be recommending this to my colleagues in pearcemayfield.