Media praise for Confessions of a Public Speaker

Have a blog? Join our Reader Review Program

"Scott Berkun tells it like it is. Whether you're speaking to 10 people or 1000 people, you will gain insights to take your presentation skills to the next level. It's a rare book that will make you think AND laugh."
-- Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com

"Smart, funny, and provocative, Scott Berkun's Confessions puts an very modern and wholly relevant spin on the fine art of public speaking. "
-- Suzy Welch, best-selling author and public speaker

"Your next talk will be ten times better if you read this book first. "
-- Gina Trapani, founding editor of Lifehacker.com

"Loved it! This is a very informative and entertaining look at the important art of public speaking. Anyone who speaks for a living— including teachers — will greatly benefit from this book."
-- Garr Reynolds, Author of Presentation Zen

"Even if you prepare well and avoid disaster, of course, you may not charm everyone in the audience. But you can at least--with Mr. Berkun's help--avoid being cripplingly nervous before that brown-bag presentation and wishing it were tomorrow. "
-- Philip Delves Broughton, The Wall Street Journal

"I've seen Scott speak a few times before, and he knows his stuff. Add to this his sense of humor, plus the fact that pretty much everyone can stand to learn some new ideas about speaking, and this book is a MUST for your collection."
-- Chris Brogan, Chrisbrogan.com

"For those that are contemplating public speaking, or want to improve their current aptitude, it is impossible that after reading the book, that they won't be a better speaker. For those that simply want to know what goes into, and what makes a really good presentation, Confessions of a Public Speaker is also a worthwhile book to read."
-- Ben Rothke, Slashdot.org

"With tips on how to combat pre-speech butterflies, battling the "tough room" and how not to bore people silly, this book will ensure your next Powerpoint will be a success. "
-- John Baichtal, Wired

"Part confessional, part "how-to," this entertaining book is a godsend for anyone who would rather have an appendectomy without anesthetic than address a group in public. "
-- Virginia Backaitis, The New York Post

"Confessions of a Public Speaker is one of those rare books that’s both entertaining and immediately useful. I’m going to recommend it to my fellow evangelists, and I certainly recommend it to you as well! "
-- Joey deVilla, Canadian Developer Connection

"A fresh, fun, memorable take on the most critical thing: what we say. Highly recommended."
-- Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Wired

"Scott Berkun has written the book I wish I had read before I started speaking publicly. He's described every bad experience I ever had and what I learned, painstakingly, to do about it. Plus, he has a whole bunch of tips that I'd never thought about before. And to top it all off, it's a really entertaining read! Whether you'll be in front of a team of 5 or an audience of 500, every tip in this book will make it easier."
-- Jared Spool, User Interface Engineering

"What a relief to finally read a book that prepares a presenter for the stage beyond eye contact and gestures. Scott covers a breadth of practical and humorous insights from his own success and mistakes. "
-- Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte, Inc. and Author of slide:ology

"“Part of me wishes that Scott Berkun had never written this book. As one who does a lot of speaking in public, Scott is giving everyone a peek behind the curtain in his new book, Confessions of a Public Speaker. Now what will we do that Scott has revealed our secrets? Seriously this book is a gem. Full of anecdotes as well as cogent advise, this book is a must for anyone who aspires to the public stage as well as those who consider hiring them. For everyone else it’s a great read and full of practical tips on presenting. I recommend it highly. "
-- John Baldoni, author of Great communication secrets of Great Leaders

"For me, the book delivered. It was fun, funny, useful, easy to read, practical. I learned something from every chapter, and even when I ‘knew’ the point Scott was trying to make I still benefited from his framing and personal anecdotes."
-- Bradley Horowitz, VP of Product Management, Google

"Cicero said you should make your audience receptive, attentive, and trusting. How do you do that? First, avoid pretentious references to dead people. Second, read Scott Berkun’s fun and useful guide to public speaking."
-- Jay Heinrichs, Author of Thank You For Arguing

"Confessions of a Public Speaker is fresh, honest, comprehensive and well organized. The suggestions he offers are GOLD for anyone who has to deliver a presentation."
-- Susan Roane, Keynote Speaker & Author of How to Work a Room

"...packed with invaluable tips and advice — gold dust for anyone who ever has to talk to a crowd. "
-- Tom Standage, business editor for the Economist, and author of History of the World in Six Glasses

"Confessions of a Public Speaker is the best book on this topic since Alan Weiss's Money Talks. I'd recommend it to novice and experienced speakers alike. It provides a lively introduction to the world of speaking professionally, and while it's fun to read, it provides solid and important information. I highly recommend it."
-- Bill Gurstelle, producer of the PBS television show MAKE:Television

"Read this book...it will make speaking in public a fun experience."
-- Arthur Pell, editor of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People

"Scott writes with both wit and wisdom and had me laughing one moment then in the next scurrying off to fix one of my upcoming talks. I recommend this book to anyone that has to speak to crowds of any size and in any setting. This book did more to relieve my fears and raise the level of my speaking than any book I've read. "
-- Bill Scott, Director, UI Engineering, Netflix

"Berkun takes you down the path of the experienced speaker. It's not about slides, it's not even about your words, it's about a performance that marries the two together and let's people walk away with at least one new idea. "
-- Brady Forrest, O'Reilly Radar/Ignite Co-Creator

"If have to just give one speech in your life, Chapter 5 is worth the cover price alone. Confessions of a Public Speaker lays out the traps that can turn a good idea into a bad speech, all wrapped in Berkun's entertaining style of layering myth and science with clear writing. There's a lot for veteran public speakers and put-upon audience members to learn about what goes on behind the scenes and inside the brain at one of white-collar works most dreaded features: the speech. "
-- Matt Waite, Principal developer at Politifact.com, 2009 Pulitzer prize winner

"This is a helpful, funny, useful, and most of all *truthful* book about public speaking. Read this and you'll never give (or listen to) a talk the same way again. "
-- Erin McKean, TED 2007 speaker, CEO of WordNik

"...a book for anyone faced with presenting an important message to an audience. This is a book that will be referenced frequently, often before giving a pubic speech or presenting at important social function. Practicing the book's tips will almost certainly improve the reader's spoken delivery and oratory confidence."
-- Mike Riley, Dr. Dobb's CodeTalk

"It is an excellent book for speakers - well organized, very good tips and lots of stories that make you want to read more to find more stories! I am a fairly experienced speaker but I found a lot of tips that will help me - can't wait to use them. "
-- Gary Olsen, Amazon.com

"His tips on coping with difficult situations would benefit any speaker, and would make novice presenters feel they could handle any mishaps. Even those who will conduct seminars and interviews for television will find helpful pointers. Confessions of a Public Speaker makes a valuable addition to anyone's presentation tool kit."
-- Kit O'Toole, Blogcritics.org

"Mr. Berkun's book is packed with tips on how to reduce anxiety and how to speak in public with greater effectiveness. They range from common sense—arrive early, make sure you have back-up copies of your speech, practice—to more advanced tips on what to do when 10 people show up to hear you in a 1,200-person room (cluster the 10 immediately), how to cut off rambling questions and how to fall silent after making a key point, to give the audience a chance to soak it in."
-- Delves Broughton, Wall Street Journal

"In the case of your year-end speech, if you don't already know, figure out "the politics of the committee and the board," Berkun advises. "Know who has the real power in the room, which may not be the person with the biggest title. Then while you're speaking, focus your attention on that person." If you can chat with a few people in your audience before your presentation, it will help calm you down because then you're not addressing a group of strangers: "Friends are less likely to try to eat you," he says."
-- Anne Fisher, CNNMoney.com/Fortune

"The book is riotously funny and Berkun is an endearingly honest writer...For the many of us who suffer from stage fright, I'm convinced that Berkun is on to something here. "
-- Christa Avampato, Christa in New York

"...It's got plenty of meat to it, but it's also loaded with personality...If nothing else, you'll learn that even the top public speakers have their flops, but of course there's a lot more to Confessions than that; I've already begun incorporating some of "the little things that pros do" into my own practice."
-- Ron Hogan, GalleyCat

"It's a great read, and I recommend it for any speaker (or speaker wannabe)...Confessions of a Public Speaker is one of those books I'd like to see handed out to every speaker at conferences I attend. Not only would it make the speakers better than they often are, but it would improve the experience for the attendees who pay significant amounts of money to show up. The time spent reading Confessions is time VERY well spent for everyone involved. Oh, and by the way... you *have* to read the book to the VERY end... yes, even the colophon and the following page. It's like sticking around past the movie credits for the short surprise clip... :) "
-- Thomas Duff, Duffbert's Random Musings

"Scott tells a great story and gives great advice both to people new to speaking and folks like me who have been doing it a long time...I highly recommend it to everyone needing to communicate effectively."
-- Stephen Forte, Stephen Forte's Blog

"Project managers often hide behind their desks or laptops. But we should be out there, talking about our roles and our projects. Confessions of a Public Speaker will help you do that, so next time you are asked to speak to a group, say yes, and enjoy it!"
-- Biljana Pesevska, XING

"The reason Berkun's advice resonates is that his heart is in the right place. He champions the audience and doesn't settle for the mediocre standard of so many corporate speeches."
-- Ian Griffin, Ragan.com

"Confessions of a Public Speaker is a brilliant book about public presentation--very funny, strikingly honest, and filled with smart and specific ideas."
-- Paul Bloom, Yale University, author of How Pleasure Works: The new science of why we like what we like

"If you have an interest in teaching, lecturing, conducting webcasts, or just engaging people at your next dinner party, I highly recommend this book. "
-- Tucker Bradford, Forgeover

"Confessions of a Public Speaker is different. Scott Berkun is a public speaker, he does it for a living. What makes this book so interesting is that he discusses his own mistakes, failures, and stage fright. He puts into practice one of his techniques to gain credibility with your audience: tell the truth and be honest."
-- Jan Schultink, StickySlides

"Berkun’s book offers great advice to people giving large or small presentations, and it’s funny."
-- Elizabeth Harrin, The Glass Hammer

"Sound advice."
-- Jay Cross, Internet Time Blog

"If you get only one good tip from this book, it's worth it. "
-- Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

"If you are among the many who have the responsibility to speak in public, whether to a group of colleagues or to a cavernous hall of conventioneers, this book will not only help to prepare you, but will entertain you in the process."
-- Michael L. Kleper, The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing

"The book is easy to digest, the content is top-notch, and the text is just as long as it needs to be to make its point--just like a great talk, and just like a good blog post, so I'll stop here. If you want to improve your public speaking, pick up a copy of this book right away."
-- Adam Machanic, SQLblog.com

"Very interesting..."
-- Helen Raptis and Dave Anderson, AM Northwest

"I have been reading Scott Berkun’s Confessions of a Public Speaker (O’Reilly, 2009) for literally two months now. It isn’t that it is hard to read, or boring, as it is neither of these. In fact, the reason is that I keep finding things I want to follow up, or to try out myself, and in doing so I frequently set the book down and actually went out and did things. That is the highest form of praise I can give for Confessions."
-- Jeffrey Osier-Mixon, Jeff's Open Source Resource

"In sum, this book is a must have for the shelf of any public speaker alongside other classics like Slide:ology..."
-- Matthew McCullough, DenverOpenSource.org

"Quite simply this is the best book on public speaking I have ever read."
-- Craig Linton, Fundraising Detective

"Confessions of a Public Speaker is something different, with the inside and personal story of a great public speaker, that is entertaining, inspiring and stuffed full of tips of the nature of public speaking and what makes a great public speaker."
-- Jason Clark, Deep Church

"...well worth the read. Not a how-to but more of a how-I type of book; more reading for leisure than reading for training but if that’s what you want, very definitely worth your £££ or $$$"
-- Dr Simon Raybould, Curved Vision

"Wonderfully written! Most public speaking books are written by speaking experts who, if I were to guess, are not authors by nature."
-- Andrew Dlugan, Six Minutes

"Confessions of a Public Speaker is one of my favorites in 2010."
-- Diane Danielson, Entrepreneur.com

"The stories are interesting and the tips are good. And of course even if you know all this stuff it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. Recommended for those who haven’t much speaking."
-- Jerry Pournelle, Chaos Manor, The User's Column, April 2010, Column 357

"The book is easy reading, full of tips, and provides valuable advice to both the beginner and more experienced speaker; well worth reading. "
-- Craig Strachan, NetGalley

"The work is a great read, and should be considered for anyone's bedside reading list."
-- Robert M. Slade, Internet Review Project

"The author has a warm, involving style with an anecdotal approach...Anyone who is nervous about speaking in public (ie every-one!) would benefit from reading this book. "
-- Roger Bernau, ACT Apple User Group Incorporated

"Overall, I highly recommend this book. It’s an enjoyable read, and you will learn something practical from each chapter."
-- Kevin Roberts, Atlanta PHP User Group



"Part confessional, part "how-to," this entertaining book is a godsend for anyone who would rather have an appendectomy without anesthetic than address a group in public. "
--Virginia Backaitis, The New York Post