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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 July 2004
The beauty of this book is that, upon picking it up, it is instantly readbale and enjoyable as an insight into Bob Monkhouse whilst, at the same time, providing you with witty anecdotes, skills and styles of comedy/speeches. The irony only comes when you start repeating parts of it and relating certain joke styles to people that you realise how effective it truly is. Whilst hideously dated in parts (bits refer to Thatcher and jokes on that theme), there is advice on how to update jokes like that with ease.
Buy it if you are ever thinking of giving a speech to a congregation of friends, family, businesses etc. but not to the United Nations.
Enjoy!
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on 31 October 2005
This books is easy to read, and is packed with hints and tips that really work in practice. I train and coach business presenters, and I recommend it to my clients. I use some of the techniques and one-liners in my own presentations, which has added to their effectiveness. The use of real life examples, quotes, and anecdotes makes this a thoroughly useful resource.
A good companion to this book would be Knockout Prsentations by Diane DiResta, as it gives more detail than Bob Monkhouse's book on how to structure a good business presentation.
I thoroughly recommend 'Just Say a Few Words'.
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VINE VOICEon 21 April 2006
I work as a speechwriter and I have this book close by every day. It's definitely not a work you read from cover to cover, but everyone should have a copy for the day they have to do a wedding speech or a presentation at work.

Monkhouse distils a lifetime's worth of experience into 208 pages. Little gems like, 'It's easy to tell right from wrong. Wrong is more fun.' or 'I warned the Chairman that I wouldn't have time to prepare a speech and he told me to say something off the top of my head, so - here's a short talk on dandruff.'

A lot of speechmaking is about regurgitating entertaining nonsense. You can make a patchwork quilt of Monkhouse's lines and it will work on an audience. Never trust what you think is funny yourself until you've had about ten year's experience.

The book also gives strategies for dealing with nerves and preparing your talk. The book has chapters on openings, closings and lots of longer anecdotes for the golf club or Rotary dinner.

Remember when Monkhouse lost his famous comedy books? Well I reckon this one has much of his best material.
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on 5 April 2015
There is good structure to this book and you will find some valuable and timeless advice in here on preparing and making all kinds of speeches. However, much of the humour is very dated and probably wouldn't raise a laugh today. Stick with the underlying principles and you will learn useful things from Mr Monkhouse. I would recommend buying this book if you can get it at a low price, but unless you're going to a 1970s/1980s after dinner speaking convention (are there such things??) then much of it is more a history of British humour than a useful guide for modern public speaking.
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on 6 July 2010
This is a fairly old book now and some examples Bob uses are a bit outdated but it's easy to adapt them for a more modern audience.

If you are unfamiliar with public speaking this is a great book, written with humour and understanding, which contains great pointers for successful public speaking writing and experiences!
I bought my copy second hand via the Amazon website and was incredibly pleased with how accurate the description of the condition of the book was. It was in great condition.
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on 27 July 2012
I'm a reasonably experienced public speaker but had to give a best mans speech for the first time so got this book on a friends recommendation. Whilst it has some good tips and lines to use overall it was at a fairly basic level and a lot of the humour was, in my opinion, dated and certainly not to my taste. This would be best for people who have little or no experience of public speaking.
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on 21 October 2015
Brilliant book by a great man. I used it to prepare for a best man speech and it was really useful, full of great transferable advice for various occasions. He comes across like a witty, methodical, conscientious performer and there was a clear craft to his work, and he was keen to provide advice for others based on countless years of experience.
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on 3 October 2010
Bob Monkhouse proves once again just how good he is was, and how much he is missed, this book is as good as its word it is all you need for you speech making needs.

BRAVO Mr Monkhouse
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on 22 July 2015
I would like to say how thoroughly I enjoyed this book. It was so very funny. Bob Monkhouse is a very funny man I wish I had met him. The T.V. shows he did were also fantastic.
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on 8 March 2010
Just what one would have expected from Bob Monkhouse; a well written, informative and entertaining piece .
An ideal introduction to the joy of public speaking.
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