December 2011

Secrets of Public Speaking by Lily Walters

I bought Secrets of Successful Speakers when I first began doing presentations as part of my job as a registered nurse. I was relatively new to the field of nursing and as a second career nurse, I was unsure of myself when presenting to colleague who were often younger than me much had more nursing experience.

Walters' book helped me build confidence, figure out how to put material and presentations together. The book also includes great sections on audience customization, building rapport and dealing with difficult audience situations (eg hostile crowd, scattered crowd, distracted audience members). There is also a great section on conquering what Walters' calls “stage fright” which is an interesting choice of words since the book is most assuredly not written for the stage type performer. The book also does well covering all the different aspects of marketing. Considering that the bulk of this book was written almost a decade before speakers were even using AOL addresses and faxing would have been considered 'fancy pants technology use” the marketing information still rings true. One might guess that this is because so much of good networking is just good manners and while specifics of online etiquette are different than offline networking, the basis guiding principles are the same.

Street World: Urban Culture and Art from Five Continents

By Roger Gastman

A friend bought me a copy of Street World: Urban Culture and Art from Five Continents for my birthday and it's definitely not the kind of book I would buy for myself. First of all, don't plan on taking this book on vacation for beach reading because it will tear the bottom out of your backpack: it must weigh nearly five pounds. I have a feeling it was quite expensive as well, but it is a very beautiful book nonetheless. It contains a fair amount of text, but much more of pages and pages of beautiful photography of graffiti, urban wear, tattoos, skateboarding and skateboarding culture, urban cars and car culture, bikes, etc.