Hello Friday: 10 DAYS TO MORE CONFIDENT PUBLIC SPEAKING by Lenny Laskowski [Book 43 of 2010]

So I thought I’d end BOOK WEEK 2 with the book that — ┬álet’s face it — has probably helped me more than any other in my book promotion journey. It’s a plain little volume and doesn’t take long to read. So here are my thoughts on 10 DAYS TO MORE CONFIDENT PUBLIC SPEAKING by Lenny Laskowski.

Why I Decided to Read It: Well I realized about two weeks before my summer book tour kicked off that I hadn’t given a speech since um … 1999 when I presented my thesis. And that speech went terribly. Really, really terribly. Seriously, it’s on my list of Top 10 Worst Moments Ever. It was that bad. Also, I stutter, soooo … I thought it might be a good idea to pick up a book on public speaking. I downloaded several, but somehow only ended up reading this one.

What It’s About: This book ain’t frontin. The title pretty much says it all.

What Makes It Different? Well, I’m a busy chyck, and I just loved the idea of learning a new skill in 10 days. Hmm, now that I think about it, I can put my finger on the exact reason that I chose to read this book over all the other ones that I downloaded.

What I Loved: Due to a combination of dread and being really, freaking busy, I ended up reading this book in three days as opposed to the recommended ten, and I only had a couple of days to implement Laskowski’s advice — but lo and behold it worked! I’ll go over my favorite tips below.

What I Didn’t Like: I didn’t quite understand why the Princeton Language Institute took a co-author credit, when it was quite obviously from Laskowski’s POV. And on a personal note, the real author suggests recording yourself on video and watching the playback in order to figure out what you can improve. This is probably really good advice, but I can’t listen to or watch myself on recordings. Both are on my short-but-weird list of “I just really can’t.”

Public Speaking Lessons Learned:

Do use personal anecdotes. I was really wary of this suggestion at first, but as my book tour progressed I found that beginning a reading with a personal anecdote literally made a difference in how many books I sold. At first adding a personal anecdote felt a little forced, but eventually, people started liking the personal anecdotes more than the actual reading passage. I had a few buyers tell me that 32 CANDLES wasn’t quite their bag, but that they bought it anyway, because they just loved my personal anecdotes so much. Nice!

Practice! Practice! Practice! No matter how many times I did my “stump speech,” I found rehearsing it one mo’ gin vastly improved my live performance of it. I only didn’t practice twice, and if you were at either of those readings, you could probably tell.

Bullet point it out. If someone asks you to give an impromptu speech, take a quick minute to write down your bullet points — no matter how short the speech is. It will make the difference between you sounding like a stuttering idiot (my usual m.o.) and you sounding clever and confident (the surprising result of bullet-pointing short speeches).

To Whom Would I Recommend This Book: Anyone Who Has To Give A Speech Or Speeches And Doesn’t Have Time To Do A Year With Toastmasters.

Click on the pic to buy the book!

featured image credit: Ayton