Top critical review
Low On The List
Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2002
Bly used a lot of fluff and padding throughout this book�such as lists, ultra simple forms, notes on other peoples presentations. Finally, the last 100 pages are filler lists that have little to do with the advertised purpose of the book. It is extremely easy to read as the thought content is low. To many topics are covered and with little substance. A good editor could cut the text to a third its size and lose little substance. After cutting the text to a third and dropping the near frivolous lists you would be left with less than 50 pages of material worthy of a competing book.
For me one paragraph was worth more than the price of the book. I have read and reviewed on Amazon 35 books on speaking in the last 18 months. That qualifies me as an obsessive learner or researcher. When Bly pointed out that professional speakers are more about intense up-to-date research than platform skills, it is an awakening. You get paid to study provided you find a market for your subject. One of the most famous motivational speakers said that he still spends more than 50 hours preparation for each client speech. Clearly, a speaker based on specific expertise would prepare considerably more. The fee per hour expended would be an unromantic number for most professional speakers.
Two books that are better for getting started in higher level professional speaking are as follows: Speaking for Profit and Pleasure by William D. Thompson. Speak and Grow Rich by Dottie Walters. If you are lacking in a topic for developing expertise and likely to spend considerable time in the training market for a public seminar company Bly�s book may be the place to start your study.