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on 3 October 2011
Within minutes of reading this book I felt bits of my brain untangle themselves - those bits that had got themselves in knots from an early age associating speach-giving with something close to a near-death experience.

Sarah's style of writing is relaxed, fresh and humourous. I could feel her voice speaking through the words on the page with an enthusiasm and groundedness that made me just want to keep on reading. She pretty much covers every aspect of public speaking with an ease which is contagious and reassuring. The illustrations reinforce the key points in a light-hearted and memorable way that also serve to unravel decades of taking the subject far too seriously.

This is a book I would have loved to have had as a teenager - infact would have loved everyone I know to have had because it does so much more than guide you to be a good public speaker - it supports you in valuing and expressing your authentic nature which would benefit all aspects of your life immeasurably.

Buy it for yourself. Buy it for everyone you know for Christmas - why not?
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on 10 October 2011
Some things seem simple when you can do them - public speaking is one such thing - but what about if your focus is potential negative consequences, trying to be perfect, worried you may look and sound stupid etc. If the above mentioned seem familiar then this will not only get you out of trouble - it will also get you speaking fluently, passionately, coming across as an accomplished speaker because the info in this book works. As a public speaker, toastmaster and presenter I love this book. The way it is presented is brilliant - the book is called "How to be Brilliant at..." so maybe that is to be expected.

Simple tips like learning how to be comfortable with silence. Engage people through thought provoking questions and It even has a lovely, easy to follow section on PowerPoint. And anyone who has ever used PowerPoint will know anything that can go wrong will go wrong and you may just have to speak, speak and speak some more.

Well done Sarah for putting the info in such a lovely, enjoyable read. Worth giving as a present to anyone who needs a little help with their presentation skills as this book covers so much more than just public speaking.
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on 27 September 2017
Arrived on time and as described. Good product.
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on 28 June 2017
As a trained actor, this is such a bland engagement with the skills needed for public speaking.
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on 24 September 2011
Having done one of the author's workshops, I was eager to get something that I could use to continue to practice at home. I can say I was not disappointed!
Sarah's workshop was fun and engaging, and she managed to take this style over into the book.
Public speaking can be a daunting prospect, and even reading a whole book on the subject can seem like a big ask. What's nice about How To Be Brilliant is that each chapter is split up into bite-size sections, sprinkled with quotes and home-grown illustrations, which often use the author's fairly apparent fetish for cake.

Even the best advice is not much use if you can't relate to it and recall it when you need it. Each topic in the book is nicely tied together using the metaphor of the House of Public Speaking, which makes it easy to remember. And the hundreds of examples and real-life stories mean that the principles never become abstract.

I have to give public talks every few weeks, and the examples and methods I learned from the book really helped me to be more confident and engaging as a speaker.
The one thing that sums up the book for me is the roof of the House of Public Speaking, Authenticity - in the end, getting through all the nerves and using the techniques is just to bring out your own true voice.
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on 24 September 2011
I found this book easy to read, fun, and packed with all sorts of useful tips and strategies to make your public speaking shine. What I love about this book is that it's not about 'faking it' as a speaker - the author encourages you to be yourself on stage and to let your passion for your subject show. Definitely my preferred approach to speaking.

A quick summary of each part:

Awareness - The first part starts with what you might consider the basics - how body language and vocal delivery affect your speaking. The angle here is that by becoming more aware of what your body and voice do whilst you're speaking, you can choose to act in a more powerful way.

Empathy - looking at how you build rapport with your audience and understand their needs. I particularly liked the bit about different audience types you might come across and how to handle them (I've definitely seen a sniper or two!)

Freshness - how to add interest to what you say to make it more memorable. This is a useful checklist of all of the ways you might use visual aids, the words you say and interactive techniques to wow your audience.

Balance - how to create a decent structure in your speaking that people can make sense of - and that has some power behind it.

Fearlessness- this is my favourite part - it looks at how we become nervous about public speaking and what to do to overcome the fear. It's packed with some really useful tools which I'll definitely try out on my next bit of speaking.

Authenticity - another favourite bit of mine, this section shows you how you don't have to pretend to be someone else to be a great public speaker.

All in all, a really handy read. The illustrations make it a very friendly and approachable book - it's a good one to dip in and out of when you need a refresher.
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on 13 October 2011
When I bought this book I didn't know quite what to expect, but I was blown away by the quality and depth of the information inside. The book is organised really well, so you can work out quickly how you'd like to use the book - read the whole thing or focus on specific points. It's packed with solid how-tos and lots of tips and you can read it in bite-size chunks if you want to. It's also great fun, with lots of diagrams to help your right brain engage with the content and amusing names to help you remember, for instance, the types of audience you might encounter: The Hotshot, The Snowman and The Black Cloud are a few of my favourites!

Personally, when I bought the book I was writing a script for a short video on my website. I found Sarah's instructions really helped me get clear on what I wanted to say and how I wanted to deliver it, even though my audience was virtual. It also inspired me to actually get on with it - thanks Sarah! And it made me want to go and see Sarah speak herself - she'd be a great role model.

So, if you're looking for a fun, practical and uplifting guide to any kind of presentation you're doing not just public speaking - it could help you liven up a powerpoint too!), then I'd recommend this book.
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on 20 December 2012
This book is an an engaging and fun read - two words I never thought I would write about public speaking ! It is based around being yourself when you talk to an audience, rather than running through a tickbox of techniques which apparently work. This is not to say that the author does not address issues such as eye contact, body language, structuring and use of voice - she does. But all these topics are linked into the wider issues - such as connecting with the audience and embracing our own style to make us feel more confident about public speaking. And the use of diagrams and writing style make it all the more accessible.
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on 4 October 2011
An excellent step by step guide, lots of humour and great tips to take the fear out of speaking in public!
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on 23 June 2012
This book is really well structured and easy to digest! I got through it in just 2 days simply because it was so well written. It definitely has some brilliant advice and I feel more relaxed about the idea of public speaking (even though I haven't had the opportunity to test it out yet). For those of you who are sceptical, just give it a try because it encourages you to look at public speaking from an entirely different perspective - and it makes sense!

The title of the book states: advice for any audience and any situation - this may make parts irrelevant if you only want advice on a specific type of public speaking, e.g. best man speech, in which case I would recommend reading something more specific to that purpose to avoid reading areas which cover business and workshops. I think this book is particularly helpful if you are in a situation where you will have many repeated public speaking encounters, e.g. weekly/monthly presentations, pitches, workshops and classes.

Definitely worth the money!
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