Monday, April 18, 2016

The Epic Keynote - a Review

Yesterday, I reviewed several books I've read this year in my Win Anyway Blog. Two of those books, The Art of Doing and You are a Badass, had some good lessons for speakers, but were still motivational in nature enough that I included them in that batch of reviews. The only true speaking book I've completed in 2016 is Jane Atkinson's 'The Epic Keynote' - which clearly belongs here!

I like Atkinson's style in general, and her book 'The Wealthy Speaker' is a great guide for beginners. Diving in this book, I was searching for a great keynote 'formula' that would make me look at what I'm doing in a whole new way.

What I got was the same old structure I always get, in the most simplified fashion possible.

Doesn't mean it's bad, however. In fact, it's filled with anecdotes from other speakers, almost to a fault. Atkinson seems more intent on compiling wisdom than chronicling her own.

The book covers a bit of old ground from The Wealthy Speaker, helping the reader identify the type of speaker they want to be, and who they should target. Then it hits the big topics - content, humor, style. It also talks about technology, storytelling, speaker's bureaus, and other ancillary aspects of the business, including finding a coach.

I did enjoy reading 'Tips From the Masters' and 'Flashpoints' from Mark Sanborn, Joe Heckler, Patricia Fripp, Darren LaCroix, and many, many others. I also found David Leiber's storytelling formula helpful.

It's easy to read, filled with short bits of accessible wisdom. If I'd picked it up 15 years ago, I'd be really impressed with it. If you're at the beginning of your journey in speaking, this is a great book for you. Just because it fell short of my likely too high expectations doesn't invalidate its content.

2 1/2 out of 4 Stars

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