Confession of a Public Speaker

A couple of years ago I bought the book Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun. I liked it very much.

Recently I bumped into this YouTube video where Scott Berkun talks about Public speaking.

These are my notes:

6 specific reasons to fail at public speaking and what we can do about them:

  1. All the public speakers are afraid because of the crowd because of our Amygdala that tells us when we are alone and many strange creatures are looking at us we are about to be eaten. (aka. Lizard brain) - Get there early. Make sure you know your material! Make yourself familiar with the place. Do some exercise before the talk to remove the energy. Relax!
  2. This is your first time. Look as if you know what are you doing. Learn your material. Make sure you know how to handle the projector and the pointer. Make sure people see that you are confident with your material. Practice! Practice! Practice! Spend your practice time on the talk and not just on preparing the slides.
  3. You are a turtle on drugs. (Slow and unpredictable.) Pace and rhythm matters. Most public speaker are bad because they are slow. People can pay attention max 5-10 minute. So divide the material with max 5-10 min chunks. People will pay attention to thing they are interested in.
  4. You make everything boring. Start with stuff that will be interesting to people. (Ok, at least make yourself interested in it. Make yourself excited about the material.) - Ask yourself, why are these people listening to you? What are they expecting.
  5. Obfuscation of fractured bilateral rhetoric. We can start using complex language or jargon is not a good way to win over people. - Make you slides and your points clear.
  6. Confused, visually evil slides. - Simple slides. Remember your points.
  1. Eliminate issues you can control.
  2. Practice, Practice, Practice.
  3. Rhythm.
  4. Clarity of your points.
  5. Make it interesting.
  6. The slide serve you and not the other way around.

The book is definitely recommended.