Rating: 4 stars
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Want to Inform, Influence and Entertain like a Pro? Simply Recognize the Seven Deadly Sins of Public Speaking and then Avoid Them by Suzen Fromstein includes the bonus, How to Add Humor to Everything co-authored with stand-up comic Michael Nemiroff. I was happy when I was gifted this book, for two reasons: I want to improve my public speaking abilities, and I want to start including humor in my speeches and writing.
This guide is full of practical tips, lessons that Ms. Fromstein learned on her way to becoming a successful public speaker. The author dedicates each chapter to one of the deadly sins and includes solutions for avoiding the sin, suggestions based on personal experience, case studies, or speech examples. If someone is intent on improving his/her speaking skills, following the advice in this book will provide the tools necessary for doing so. All the reader has to do, is practice, practice, practice.
The bonus section teaches how to use humor as a powerful communications tool. I learned not to rely on improvisations to add levity and comic relief, but to skillfully write humor into the speech using a variety of tactics, including the “set up” and “punch.” It takes a lot of work to be humorous. Following the advice presented in this book, a speaker can learn to seamlessly weave appropriate wit into the speech and to avoid the “humor sand traps,” which can include inappropriate language, racist or sexual remarks, and things that might be funny at a comedy club, but not for a particular audience. It all boils down to knowing your audience.
If you are really serious about becoming a professional speaker, I highly recommend this book. I know I will try out the suggested techniques and practices.