Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
This is about giving speeches
on May 8, 2008
The concept of giving a speech is very different from the more general concept of public speaking. For example, a trainer who teaches a class for five days is a public speaker; however, she is not really giving a speech. A speech is shorter in nature and very focused. One might argue that a training class is just a collection of speeches, but this is untrue. The public speaker - acting as a trainer - must involve the audience more so that they really learn and retain the information. The public speaker - acting as an orator or speech giver - does not have the same demands placed upon him.
Why all this discussion of speech versus training? Because this book seems to indicate that it is about public speaking (the back cover says, "There are several universal truths about public speaking") in general, but it is really about giving a speech. I point this out because the research shows that many recommendations in the book are completely wrong when applied to training though they are correct when applied to speeches.
For example, recommending that you do not use slides (I won't say PowerPoint because there are many presentation tools used for delivering slides) is a great suggestion for a speech but a horrible recommendation for training. Visual aids are absolutely and scientifically proven to improve the learning process in a training event. Slides should definitely be used to represent processes, show technical concepts and so on in a training class. The question is this: are you going to get extremely technical in a speech? It's doubtful; however, if you are, you should probably use handouts with the speech.
This is why I gave the book four stars. I think it's one of the best books I've read on giving speeches; however, it is not the best book on the more general topic of public speaking - which includes training. The back cover should be clearer about the focus of the book. Believe the cover and not the description is the best advice.
In fairness though, there aren't a lot of good books about public speaking in general that give the right advice for the varied types of presentaitons. You usually do need to get a book on the specialized mode of presentation in which you'll be involed. This book is an excellent one for giving speeches.
I'd recommend Beyond Bullet Points as another excellent book that shows how slids can be effectively used in a speech and Life is a Series of Presentations for a general resource on public speaking.