Snowed in with Confessions of a Public Speaker

Rikki Endsley

ROSE Blog: Rikki's Open Source Exchange

Jan 04, 2010 GMT
Rikki Kite

I love a New Year! I'm all about a holiday that doesn't require any actual effort, but does leave you with a fresh start. One of my personal goals this new year is to help encourage other women to attend and participate in open source events. One great way to participate is to speak at an event, and if you're considering submitting your very first talk proposal, you might want to pick up Scott Berkun's Confessions of a Public Speaker.

I read Confessions of a Public Speaker on Christmas Day, while snowed in at my dad's house out in the middle of the country. (That's a photo of my dad, frantically trying to dig us out because *no one* wants to be stuck in a house with yours truly for two days. Happy Birthday, Dad! Thanks for digging us out!)

Confessions of a Public Speaker is a quick, enjoyable read, packed full of personal stories and practical advice. Feeling too freaked out and nervous about speaking in public? Scott offers tips for helping you get over your nerves. If you already speak at events, you'll still find other practical advice on engaging – instead of boring – your audience. Scott also includes his own "confessions" about public speaking engagements that were less than perfect, in addition to humorous confessions from other well-known speakers. The Appendix is particularly useful, offering tips for handling hecklers, filling the front row, and looking good on stage. At the end of the book, Scott provides an annotated bibliography so you can be more than prepared for your next speaking gig. (I really really really wish I'd read this book before my first stab at public speaking. Really.)

And speaking of speaking gigs: SCALE 8x is still accepting talk proposals for the Women in Open Source day. As if speaking at SCALE 8x isn't reward enough, the WIOS speakers can receive a 1-year free subscription to Ubuntu User magazine*, so submit your talk proposal soon!

I confess that I also considered offering my review copy of Confessions of a Public Speaker as a giveaway, but I don't think I'm ready to give it away yet – I should use it as a reference when I'm working on my next talk.

Happy speaking!

* The magazine must be shipped to an address in North America.


  • Thanks

    Thanks for posting this review - and very glad you didn't have to resort to using my book as kindling blunk
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