Top critical review
Good if you've never spoken publicly
16 April 2019
This is an entertaining read, and I did not regret buying it, but I will pass the book on now as I would not read it again. There are very few practical tips and tricks on how to improve your talks in here, unless you are pretty much a novice to public speaking. If you struggle with the idea of speaking or suffer from strong anxiety at such events then this book will be good for you. However, if you already speak publicly on a routine basis (e.g. as a teacher, or someone with intense people interactions) then there is little concrete here to improve your technique. Much of the book comments on recent TED talks that have done well, then presents personal opinions of why the author thinks they have gone down well. I was left with the feeling that watching those TED talks would have been more instructive than reading the book (although admittedly, watching lots of TED talks is one of the bits of useful advice that it gives). Still, it's an entertaining book - but I would just struggle to write down a few ideas of what I might change how when I present a talk next. It was all a bit too furry and along the lines of "go baby, you can do it, just stand your ground". If that's what you need, then do read the book. But I did not feel that it delivered the title line of "how to own the room".