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Might Have Missed List (02/06/11)

Saturday Night Live — Bachmann’s Second Attempt

(“The presentation you just saw was done on a reduced budget”)

Yahoo! News Network — Bachmann’s response marred by technical problems

But if cable news viewers turned to CNN to take a look at Bachmann’s response, the Minnesota congresswoman wasn’t exactly looking back. Instead, Bachmann faced slightly off to the side throughout.

Scott Berkun — An open letter to conference organizers

But it’s commonly forgotten in your trade, or by your sponsors, that speakers are the center of your event. They are the core of the agenda. They are what you advertise. And it’s what speakers promise to teach that gets people to pay to come. Yet once signed up to speak, they are often an afterthought, neglected behind the other critical tasks organizers have to manage.

There are simple and inexpensive ways to solve this problem.

Joyful Public Speaking — Is your speech ready for takeoff? Are you sure?

Lack of attention to details can cause a speech to crash. Checklists are one good way to avoid catastrophes, like forgetting to bring or do something critical beforehand. Checklists are broader than packing lists that only describe what to bring.

Bookwatch: Confessions of a Public Speaker

confessionsThis blog got its start because I’ve always been a sucker for a good story, especially a good story about a presentation gone bad. Given that, it’s not surprising that I”m really looking forward to when Scott Berkun’s Confessions of a Public Speaker hits the shelves. It sounds as if he’s going to be depending on narrative to help make the book stand out from its more run-of-the-mill counterparts:

The set up is this: I’m going to be completely honest with you. I have license, via the title, to call bullshit on myths, and legends that get in the way of speaking better, and to tell you useful things some are too polite to mention. I can share the messed up things that happen backstage, what speakers really think of their audiences, etc.

I’m telling real stories. Many books take on a “I’m a perfect speaker” tone that doesn’t help people learn. I know I’m far from perfect, as my speaking experiences over the last 15 years, which include many embarrassing, comical, and occasionally criminal behavior. I learned the very hard way and I’d love for you to do better. I also have stories from other veteran speakers, teachers, and professors who were happy to share their honest thoughts about all this.

It also sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Not enough of the thousands and thousands of pages written about presenting take advantage of all the funny, sad, harrowing, wince-inducing, triumphant, memorable stories that are the natural result of the somewhat unnatural act of placing yourself in front of an audience.

The early reviews look good. Confessions of a Public Speaker is now available for pre-order from Amazon.