Monday, February 26, 2018

Book Review: 'How to Make Powerful Speeches' by Eamonn O'Brien

Author Eamonn O'Brien received his an MBA from Manchester Business School and a BSc (Management) from Trinity College Dublin. He has made his impact on the world by sharing his knowledge of making public speaking meaningful and powerful. He is the founder of the Reluctant Speakers Club, President of Professional Speaking Association Ireland, broadcaster and blogger as well as having a fulltime career as a marketing consultant, with such companies as AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, Capital One, Citibank, Harvard Business Review, and the Smithsonian.

In his introductory comments he states, ‘Everyone in business with a level of responsibility and authority relies on the spoken word to communicate messages and get things done. Whatever audience you would like to influence, this step-by-step guide will help you to speak in public with a greater degree of clarity, persuasiveness and confidence. It can help you to banish your fears of the podium. Whether you are a new or experienced speaker, you will learn how to connect with an audience, construct arguments, and give talks for maximum impact and persuasion. If you need to regularly, or even occasionally, stand in front of others and inspire them through your words, this book is for you.’

In Part I – Why learning to speak in public matters – he presents the importance of impact on the audience you address (trust, inspiring confidence, etc). In Part II – The foundations you need to be a persuasive speaker – he discusses the ’art’ of speaking and form there he addresses audience analysis in making your speech building blocks - relevance, identify why your audience should care about your ideas, building and maintaining credibility, the focus and structure of a compelling speech, and then offers innumerable tips on how to secure the audience ongoing attention, enhance their experience and in the end come out a champion.

Wise advice and well presented. ‘Remember, everything you do when speaking to an audience is about them and their experiences, it’s never about you.’ It is unlikely that after reading and digesting this book that your ability to perform before an audience will be anything but enhanced. Eamonn O’Brien is on fire! Grady Harp, July 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.