Areas of Expertise:
Scott Berkun is the best selling author of Confessions of a Public Speaker, The Myths of Innovation, and Making Things Happen. His work as a writer and public speaker have appeared in the The Washington Post, The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes Magazine, and other media. He has taught creative thinking at the University of Washington and has been a regular commentator on CNBC, MSNBC and National Public Radio. His many popular essays and entertaining lectures can be found for free on his blog at Scott Berkun.
Scott blogs at:
April 10 2014I believe in first impressions, especially if you’re asking someone else for something. When you make a connection to another person, even on the interwebs, please take 60 seconds to say something personal about why you’re making the connection. If you’re not willing to take 60 seconds to write something… read more
April 09 2014I’m fascinated by religious history and love movies, so it’s no surprise I’ve seen many films with religious themes. Even when I’m familiar with the texts they refer to, I often go back to reread and compare how the filmmakers handled the many challenges of trying to make a narrative… read more
April 07 2014It’s wise to read books with points of view you don’t share. It’s the only way you get exposed to ideas with the power to change your mind. For a long time I’ve been a techno-neutralist. I’m not convinced technology is good or bad, it depends. I know from history how… read more
April 02 2014Yesterday I gave the closing talk at An Event Apart Seattle. It was a new talk, requested by organizers Marci Eversole, Jeffrey Zeldman & Toby Malina. From their observations and attendee feedback they knew one big challenge for all events is how to help attendees bring ideas with them back to work. As… read more
March 27 2014I’m finishing up work on a talk for An Event Apart Seattle about what happens after the conference is over [update: that presentation is here]. At first this might seem like an odd session to have, but it’s reflective of a fundamental problem of all events: events are intense short… read more
March 26 2014What does a good parent do for their children? What specifically, if anything, can only a father do for a child? It’s an easy question to ask, but complex to answer. Much of what we have in our minds about what good parents do, or don’t do, is based on… read more
March 25 2014Status quo is a powerful beast. No matter the organization, once people are in powerful roles they tend to want to change as little as possible out of fear of losing that power. Despite all of their rhetoric about progress and change, most bosses are hard to convince to try… read more
March 18 2014I rarely write about food here, but eating and cooking are two of my favorite things. Pho, Vietnamese rice noodle soup, is a pleasure I discovered more than a decade ago, when I went gluten-free for a time and struggled to eat anything anywhere. I’ve always loved noodles and it… read more
March 18 2014A good question about The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com & The Future of Work from Sibylle, in a comment: I was wondering how you think Automattic’s model would work for a more diverse workforce. The culture you describe in the book is very much centered on young, male, tech-savvy, western-socialised software… read more
March 17 2014Next Thursday Citrix will be hosting me with a live webinar about remote work and The Year Without Pants. It’s completely free, and I promise it will be fun. Date: Thursday Mar 27, 2014 | 10:00 AM PDT Hosted by: Citrix Register here If you’ve read the book and have… read more
March 14 2014Hi folks. Its been a long time since I gave things away. Some of you subscribe directly by email (“Get Posts Instantly” in the sidebar) or RSS to every single post. That’s swell of you. As a small token of thanks you get the first shot at this. I won’t… read more
March 13 2014This essay in the NYTimes, Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem by Yiren Lu, is a kaleidoscopic essay on culture divide, and the angst of being smart, young and successful in Silicon Valley. It’s a well written but strange essay in that she seems unsure about where she lands on many of the issues… read more
March 12 2014In honor of the 25th anniversary of the web, here’s my story. I was a senior at CMU in ’93/’94 and for my computer science classes I spent many long hours in the computer labs, called clusters, working on programming projects or doing other schoolwork. Many of my friends hung… read more
March 12 2014I write nearly every day and I have the hypothesis that there are three writing mindsets. Put simply: Raw. When I wake up from a dream, or share a meal with someone interesting, I have a surplus of ideas in my head. Often they’re strange, sometimes they’re interesting, occasionally they’re… read more
March 11 2014[Update: I learned a lesson about infographic spam after posting this] Here’s a quick visual rundown on remote work and WordPress. They got a handful of things wrong: P2 and IRC should have been listed as communication tools WordPress is not strictly owned by Automattic (the company that runs WordPress.com) to call it… read more
March 07 2014I’m a fan of Melville house, a young, savvy publishing company founded in 2001 in Brooklyn, NYC. They have a lively twitter feed, they publish interesting books, and generally seem wise about what books and book publishing mean in this technological age. But a recent article of theirs titled Publishing… read more
March 06 2014My next book is a departure and a risk. If you want to understand why, read the goal of my life explained. I’ve been asking questions about fathers and sons my entire life, which makes it no surprise I’ve had a difficult relationship with my father. He is not an… read more
March 05 2014Yahoo is a curious poster child for banning remote work, as they’re not a company that’s doing very well. Yet Google has strict policies against it too, as the recent post by famous programmer Tim Bray explained: As of March 17th I’ll be an ex-employee. It’s an amicable separation in… read more
February 26 2014In my first book I put a simple photo on the author page at the end. It showed a shelf near my desk that I’d cleared. My goal, since 2003 is to fill this shelf with books I’ve written. This is an odd thing to do I realize, but I… read more
February 26 2014One of the many surprises from The Year Without Pants is that Automattic, makers of WordPress.com, doesn’t pay employees more when them become a team leader. They consider being a leader a role, not a job. One of the fun experiments this enabled for me while I worked there was to… read more
February 25 2014It’s been a great few months for my 5th book, The Year Without Pants, my book about my year at WordPress.com a 100% distributed company. Thanks for spreading the word and helping it find its way. The book was named an Amazon.com best book of 2013, was covered by Forbes,… read more
February 23 2014The resurfacing of Woody Allen’s past is sad from many perspectives, amplified by how a daughter and a family are still struggling, very publicly, to deal with events that took place decades ago. I’ll leave the conclusions for you to draw, as my question in this post is a practical… read more
Webcast: When The Dog Eats Your Slides: How To Overcome Tough Presentation Situations
Webcast: The Myths of Innovation: Remixed and Remastered
Webcast - Confessions of a Public Speaker
Webcast: How progress happens: the down and dirty truths and secrets that make innovation possible
"Not many how-to books can both inform and entertain. Berkun has written such a book."
"Myths of Innovation is strongly recommended for anyone interested in innovation and creativity especially as it applies to practical applications."
"Warning: Reading this book will make you analyze the next 100 speakers you hear! While doing this you should improve your own skill sets but it will make those speeches tuff to sit through!"
"All in all, a meaningful and fun read, even if you think youll never do any public speaking. Watch out...you might open your mouth and find yourself on a Committee or making a report to your work group. Or worse yet, Chairman of a Board! This book will ease your fears and give you
great tools to help any speaking task."
"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.
"The work is a great read, and should be considered for anyone's bedside reading list."
"The book is easy reading, full of tips, and provides valuable advice to both the beginner and more experienced speaker; well worth reading. "
"Confessions of a Public Speaker is one of my favorites in 2010."
"Wonderfully written! Most public speaking books are written by speaking experts who, if I were to guess, are not authors by nature."
"...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 thats what you want, very definitely worth your £££ or $$$"
"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."
"Quite simply this is the best book on public speaking I have ever read."
"In sum, this book is a must have for the shelf of any public speaker alongside other classics like Slide:ology..."
"I have been reading Scott Berkuns Confessions of a Public Speaker (OReilly, 2009) for literally two months now. It isnt 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."
"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."
"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."
"If you get only one good tip from this book, it's worth it. "
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