I don’t like public speaking.
I get really, really nervous anytime I need to make a presentation, run a meeting, or basically stand up in front of people and have all eyes on me. So I wasn’t sure what I would get out of this book, but I figured if I’m going to get advice on public speaking I should go to the ‘best’ – hence I bought this book by Chris Anderson.
For those who are not familiar with TED, they are devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. Chris Anderson is the owner of TED.
And anybody who has watched a couple of the amazing TED talks over the years will probably know that TED speakers are some of the best public speakers there are (Obama and Michelle I am still waiting on your TED Talks).
Chris Anderson does a great job of breaking down some of the best presentations he’s seen over the last 15 years to give us the most useful advice he can.
The core of the book is based on how public speaking is nothing but an idea that you want to transfer to the mind of your audience – that insight alone is worth the time you spend reading and learning from this book.
Most advice on public speaking give more weight to body language, posture and charisma, whereas this book rightly emphasises on the words you speak, and the value you provide to the audience.
The book is broken up into many small chapters each focusing on a different tip or area of focus. There are chapters on connecting with the audience, making a good impression, how to be persuasive and more. It’s a good idea to break up the book like this, as you can easily flip to the section you need the most help with.
Personally, I recommend reading it the whole way through from start to finish and then keeping it around for reference anytime you need to prepare for a presentation.
Overall, this book is great if you want to improve your public speaking, or if you want to figure out how some extremely influential and successful people do such a good job of being engaging and convincing on stage. Easy to follow and never too long-winded, which in my eyes is a plus.