This short volume on speech writing and presentation skills tips is one of the best that I've read. I have given speeches and coached others in how to do theirs, so I have a lot of hands on experience and have dedicated many hours to studying the craft.
I have read countless books on the subject and none of them even come close in terms of the advice and detail. Max Atkinson's analysis of rhetorical speeches is the best that I've come across, it really gets under the skin of some of the best political speeches of the 20th century. Like you I have been easily turned off by a lot of political hot air and spin in recent years.
But the best political speeches by the likes of Kennedy, Obama, Reagan or Churchill get remembered and make an impact because of their heartfelt honesty. This book shows you where some of the success of those speakers lay and provides you with the tools in order to help make your own speeches, whether for sales or charity fund-raising, persuasive and successful.
I do feel, however, that the chapter on social speeches such as the Best Man's speech did not contain the same level of detail as the other chapters. Personally, I would have wanted more expansion of the ideas in the other chapters to the exclusion of this one.
That said, I have not read Atkinson's other work, Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know About Making Speeches and Presentations
, of which Speech-making and Presentation Made Easy: Seven Essential Steps to Success
is a distillation. I can imagine that that larger book packs an even bigger punch than this one.
If I could only recommend one book on public speaking, this would be it! Max Atkinson's short book on public speaking contains more information than one 20 times it's size. Go, sit at this man's feet and learn!