In the past 5 years, I have given four public speeches and although they went well a strange thing happened. Every time I stepped onto the stage the master orator i had imagined myself to be panicked, packed his bags and ran for the exit. Leaving a slightly awkward fella behind to deliver the talk. Although the content and laughs were the same, they didn’t seem as interesting or funny.
So, this year I have made it a goal to: a) learn how to become a better public speaker and, b) to find someone brave enough to let me have another go. With that in mind I trudged off to Waterstones, book voucher in hand, to pick up a copy of Scott Berkun’s Confessions of a public speaker and boy, I’m really glad I did!
As with his other books: Making things Happen and Myths of innovation. He combines expert storytelling and command of his subject to create an entertaining and practical book on the dos and don’ts of public speaking.
Chapter 5, Do not eat your microphone, alone is worth the cover price. As the simple process, he applies to crafting a presentation can be used equally as effectively when creating essays and blog posts.
The book boils down to three main themes:
- Know your material
- Know your audience
- Practice, practice, practice
Of these, he shares honest, hard-won advice which is guaranteed to make your next presentation a much more rewarding experience for you and your audience.
This book is for anyone who has to give a presentation to their boss, clients or has the ambition to become a conference speaker. It’s a highly enjoyable, quick read (once you start you won’t want to put it down – I read it in a day). Well worth the £18.
A list of the books I read throughout 2009. (Perhaps I should find a hobby, go out and meet more people.)
Business, Marketing and Business Philosophy
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad 2: Cash Flow Quadrant – Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom – Robert T. Kiyosaki
- The 4-hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich – Timothy Ferris
- E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – Micahel E. Gerber
- Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Technology Products to Mainstream Customers – Geoffrey A. Moore
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t (Hardcover) – Jim Collins
- Tribes – Seth Godin
- Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell
- Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management – Scott Berkun
User Experience and design
- Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design – Bill Buxton
- Subject To Change: Creating Great Products & Services for an Uncertain World – Adaptive Path
- Institutionalization of Usability: A Step-by-step Guide – Eric Schaffer
- Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics – Tom Tullis and Bill Albert
- Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions – Tim Ash
- Thoughtless Acts? (Hardcover) – Jane Fulton Suri
- Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories – Donna Spencer
- Prototyping: A Practitioner’s Guide – Todd Zaki Warfel
Philosophy and Self Development
- The World as I See it – Albert Einstein
- 59 Seconds: Think a little, change a lot – Prof. Richard Wiseman
- Einstein: His Life and Universe (Paperback) by Walter Isaacson
- Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson
- Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson
- The Tiger in the Well (Sally Lockhart Quartet) – Philip Pullman
- The Tin Princess (Sally Lockhart Quartet) – Philip Pullman
- The Straw Men – Michael Marshal
- Moriarty – John Gardner
If you have any suggestions then please feel free to add a comment below – as you can tell I have wide ranging tastes.
Just received my copy of Landing page optimization by Tim Ash.
Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions (Paperback)
From the Back Cover
How much money are you losing because of poor landing page design? In this comprehensive, step–by–step guide, you’ll learn all the skills necessary to dramatically improve your bottom line, including identifying mission critical parts of your website and their true economic value, defining important visitor classes and key conversion tasks, gaining insight on customer decision–making, uncovering problems with your page and deciding which elements to test, developing an action plan, and avoiding common pitfalls. Includes a companion website and a detailed review of the Google Website Optimizer tool.
OPTIMIZE YOUR LANDING PAGES TO TURBOCHARGE YOUR PROFITS
How much money are you losing because of poor landing page design? In this comprehensive, step–by–step guide, you will learn all the skills necessary to dramatically improve your bottom line:
Identify mission critical parts of your website and their true economic value
Define important visitor classes and key conversion tasks
Gain insight on customer decision–making and make your page friction–free
Uncover problems with your page and decide which elements to test
Understand the power and limitations of common optimization approaches
Develop an action plan and get buy–in from all key players
Avoid common real–world pitfalls that can sabotage your test
Packed with case studies, practical strategies, a detailed review of the Google Website Optimizer tool, and a comprehensive companion website, this one–of–a–kind resource will help you make your landing pages more profitable.
“Tim has figured out what so many people don′t understand: your website can (and should) get better. Every single day.”
—Seth Godin, author of Meatball Sundae
“This book is a must–read for the modern Internet marketer.”
—Kevin M. Ryan, Vice President, Global Content Director, Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch
“This is the best business–focused, measurement–based guide to website design I have seen.”
—Don Norman, cofounder of Nielsen Norman Group and author of The Design of Future Things
“Stop guessing at the best landing page designs and embrace true customer centricity. This book shows you how!”
—Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist and author of Web Analytics: An Hour A Day
“Tim′s Landing Page Optimization is a must–have for your bookshelf.”
—Bryan Eisenberg, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author
Had good reviews on Amazon, will let you know what i think a little later.