Daddy memoirs, part two.
Are we unwinding?

A really useful public speaking book.

About a million years ago I wrote a book on public speaking for librarians.

I originally wrote it because at one time I was lucky enough to teach library classes to university students, and because I really enjoy public speaking (and I also really enjoyed the university students, especially the ones in engineering, who seemed to be universally young and cheerful and funny) the classes always went fairly well. So my supervisor started asking me for "the script" I used for these classes, which used to make me crazy. Not only because I didn't use a script (I used notes, and I practiced, but never had a real script), but because I have always believed that if you have to read your talk or teach your class by reading a script, well, the battle is lost before you even start. She meant well, but no matter how many times I explained that, she would always end by saying, "So...I can have your script, then?"

And now I've broken one of my own cardinal rules of speaking and made a short story long. The crux of the matter is this: I still make it a habit to look at or read any new public speaking manuals I come across. The latest one I found in my local library catalog was Susan Weinschenk's 100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know about People. It's wonderful. It's straightforward and easy to read and contains a ton of useful tips, not only for speaking, but (I think), for getting along with people in general, in such categories as "How People Think and Learn," "How to Grab and Hold People's Attention," "How to Motivate People to Take Action," and "How People React to You," and many more. Each numbered point is described over the course of two to three pages, with sidebars providing a number of helpful "takeaways." Each point ranges from the basic, like #1: "People process information better in bite-size chunks," to the more advanced, like #62: "People respond more to anecdotes than to data."

I really, really enjoyed the bits of this book that I have read, and I want to get it back from the library someday to read more of its tidbits. Highly recommended, if you're looking for a no-nonsense guide to presenting.