Top critical review
Book for a different era
on 14 May 2018
I purchased this book after it was recommended in a newsletter by Jeremy Nicholas (professional public speaker), and whilst I have benefited from several of Jeremy's recommendations in the past, I'm afraid this wasn't one of them.
The book isn't terrible, it has some good snippets of advice, but it was a real chore to read it cover-to-cover. A lot of the advice in the book revolves around learning long-winded scripts and a lot of them are mediocre at best. Bob even advocates plagiarism in one part of the book and a lot of the jokes and anecdotes would come across as contrived, if used by a speaker.
The book is definitely dated, a lot of the jokes are lame, politically incorrect and based on dated stereotypes. If you're serious about improving your public speaking, I would recommend 'The Exceptional Speaker' by Alan Stevens and Paul Du Toit instead. If you're a "part-time" public speaker, looking to simply improve your talks, I would recommend 'Confessions of a public speaker' by Scott Berkun, which is written in a conversational style.
I haven't read any books on how to become better at comedy/joke-telling so I have no recommendations if that's what draws you to this book, save to say this book didn't make me laugh much, and I think it's far more effective to provide your own comedy from your own stories/experiences, rather than ripping off someone else's.