How to Speak
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How to Speak

Tips for people who want to tell their story

About the Book

How to Speak shares my tips and stories that help me create talks that rock. I want you to be able to do the same, and probably take yourself even higher. 20 years of public speaking has been distilled into an irreverent treatment of the honourable subject of oratory. Or is that rhetoric? Probably both...

This book is for people who want to share their stories as powerfully and effectively as possible. From lightning talk bit-part to center stage keynote, the highs and the lows, the pleasures and the pitfalls, this book aims to share the no-holds-barred journey so that you can make the most of your moments in the limelight.

For readers who want to connect with other readers to share their own experiences and tips, there are groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as the forums here.

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About the Author

Russ Miles
Russ Miles

Russ Miles is CEO at ChaosIQ where he works with his clients to help deliver simple and valuable software and change.

Russ' experience covers almost every facet of software delivery having worked across many different domains including Financial Services, Publishing, Defence, Insurance and Search. 

Russ helps to change all facets of the software delivery process in order to remove unnecessary and costly complexity in everything from developer skills and practices, through applying the right processes for the job at hand, to ensuring that the right change is delivered, be it through software or otherwise.

Passionate about open source software, Russ worked with SpringSource prior to the company's acquisition by VMware, leading the Spring Extensions project and helping international clients to simplify their software by effectively applying the Spring portfolio of projects.

Table of Contents

    • 1 Preface: A Letter from the Author
      • Tips and Tidbits to start your own Journey
      • Applying the secret sauce to everything!
      • TL; DRs and No Dumb Questions
      • Something you think I’ve missed?
      • Good luck and Enjoy!
  • I Setting the Stage
    • 2 Chapter 1: Honest Lying for a Living
      • The Dirt on Public Speaking
      • You are “The One and Only”
      • An “Odd” and “Strange” Craft and Practice
      • From “Why am I doing this?” to “Keeping Sane” and even “Enjoying it”
      • It’s how I Practice
      • “Engage…”
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 3 I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…
      • Never sit at the front
      • You have to be able to speak, so Speak
      • The Worst Crime?
      • The Good News
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 4 “I’m going to die!”
      • Messing with a Chimp’s Mind
      • Dealing with your Inner Chimp
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
  • II Preparing your Story
    • 5 It all lives or dies in preparation
      • What do they care about?
      • How to kill an audience, with boredom
      • Getting to know the audience before you meet them
      • Adjust, refine and keep
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 6 Introducing your Enemy: The Brain’s Crap Filter
      • A Crap Filter?
      • “Am I going to procreate?”
      • Worse… it’s the Brain that learns
      • Breaking into the audience’s brain, legally
      • TL; DRs
    • 7 Tell me a Story
      • Your talk is a Journey
      • You won’t know your talk’s story at the beginning
      • A Talk’s Story is its Framework
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 8 Exercise: Practice being a Meta-Watcher
    • 9 Starting to cook up a talk
      • But I don’t think I have anything to say…
      • How to start collecting ingredients
      • Get it all down
      • Mixing it up
      • It’s not about you…
      • Say less, and kick the ego out
      • Simmer and Reduce to Taste: Less really is more
      • Create your TL;DRs first
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 10 Exercise: Write your Future Review
    • 11 Dreaming up an Early & Winning Title & Synopsis
      • One talk proposal, three audiences
      • Tempting, Vague and… Controversial
      • Tempt Me!
      • You don’t want to miss this!
      • With a Title and Synopsis comes Feedback
      • The Ossifying Effect of a Talk’s Acceptance
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 12 Building your first narrative
      • “The first draft of anything is shit” - Ernest Hemingway
      • Playing + Working = Plorking
      • Why don’t you… Go Out And Do Something Less Boring Instead?
      • It’s only for you
      • How do I know I’m finished?
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 13 Making it Powerful, Memorable… Effective
      • The Stodge
      • Key Stodge Ingredient: The Title
      • Secondary, Tertiary and Miscellaneous Stodge: Titles with Pause
      • Adding Seasoning
      • The Special Case of the Spice of Humour
      • Building your Spice Cupboard
      • Read Wildly!
      • It’s not just about reading…
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 14 Bouncing Narrative Arcs
      • Don’t let your talk be like tinnitus
      • Arcs are not optional
      • “Oh crap!” to “I rule!”
      • “Oh crap!” is an opportunity
      • Close your arc with “I rule!”
      • Close with a hint of “crap”
      • Rinse and Reinforce (not Repeat)
      • The importance of …. (silence)
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
      • The Power and Danger of Garden Paths
      • You’re Wrong! Oh crap, to OH CRAP!
      • Use garden paths with care, or not at all
      • Losing trust
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 15 Applying the Meme Amplifier
      • Engineering a meme
      • Catchy enough?
      • Short enough?
      • Turning it up to ‘11’?
      • TL; DRs
    • 16 Rehearsal to Refine, Reduce, and Dodge Boredom
      • My Mechanics of Rehearsal to Refine
      • Rehearsal as the Great Reducer
      • There’s a Right Amount of Rehearsal for You
      • I need rehearsal
      • The Parable of the Obviously Bored Speaker
      • Rehearsal is a dance with your own Crap Filter
      • Working with your own Boredom Curve
      • Keep your Boredom to Yourself
      • Find your own Boredom Curve
      • TL; DRs
    • 17 Exercise: Build your own Rehearsal Chart
    • 18 We need to talk about Slides
      • Bad slides can be the Crap Filter’s Friend
      • Slides must complement the talk
      • When slides work
      • Make your slides emphasise
      • Minimise slides
      • Watching Comedians
      • But I need slides!
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 19 Compete for your Audience
      • Start attracting your audience immediately
      • You market your talk
      • Don’t ask for my slides early, please
    • 20 Exercise: Build a Talk Promotion Plan
    • 21 Questions anyone?
      • Avoid the Rhetorical
      • Prepare for Questions!
      • Keep your ear to the ground
    • 22 It’s your Style
      • You’d never know I am an introvert
      • I consider my clothes. No, really, I do!
      • Where’s your guitar?
      • Your Style, Your Audience’s Expectations
    • 23 Exercise: Plan some Style Experiments
  • III Performance: How was it for them?
    • 24 Nerves and the Night Before your Talk
      • Evil Temptations
      • Develop your routine for the “Night Before”
      • Rehearse once and early
      • I eat a regular meal
      • Do some (any) exercise
      • Lastly, meditate
      • How I sleep the night before
      • The morning after the night before
      • Moments before you take the stage
      • TL; DRs
      • (There are) No Dumb Questions
    • 25 Exercise: Develop and Evolve your NBR and PPR
      • Pre-Performance Routine (Sample)
      • Night Before Routine (Sample)
      • Adjust and Evolve
  • Notes

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