Confessions of a Public Speaker - Deepstash
Confessions of a Public Speaker

Confessions of a Public Speaker

Scott Berkun

10 ideas


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Public speaking is dangerous and powerful. When done right, lives change.



144 reads

Reframing Nerves as Excitement and Passion

Reframing Nerves as Excitement and Passion

Learn to reframe anxiety as excitement to positively fuel your stage presence.

Recognize nervousness simply means you genuinely care about your presentation. Harness that energy, don’t resist it.

A perfect smooth deliver can feel robotic. Embrace imperfections and stay true to your passion, as that authenticity builds rapport with audiences.


121 reads

Structuring Content in a Clear, Logical Flow

Structuring Content in a Clear, Logical Flow

  • Hook audiences’ attention quickly and make them care about your topic.
  • Organize your content in a logical flow that progressively builds understanding from basic concepts to more complex ideas.
  • Signpost transitions clearly. Word choice greatly impacts audience comprehension. Remove unnecessary complexities.


106 reads


Great public speaking is more about connection than perfection.



249 reads

Balancing Thorough Preparation with In-the-Moment Flexibility

Balancing Thorough Preparation with In-the-Moment Flexibility

Thoroughly prepare your talk structure, key points and stories, but leave room to improvise and be responsive in the moment.

Rigidly scripted, word-for-word deliveries often feel stale. React to audience reactions.

No plan survives first contact; be adaptable. 


108 reads

Incorporating Impactful Stories and Examples

Incorporating Impactful Stories and Examples

Humanize abstract concepts through vivid, memorable stories and examples. Stories captivate audiences, drive meaning, and aid retention much more than mere facts or data ever could.

Build talks around relatable narratives.


96 reads

Reading the Room and Adjusting Accordingly

Reading the Room and Adjusting Accordingly

  • Pay close attention to audience reactions moment-to-moment, and seamlessly adapt your pace, tone, volume, energy level and choice of examples to re-engage them.
  • Base adjustments on real-time feedback from the room.
  • Every audience has a different energy.


93 reads

Embracing Vulnerability and Imperfection Authentically

Embracing Vulnerability and Imperfection Authentically

  • Don’t feel pressured to pretend to have all the answers.
  • It can be enormously powerful to admit doubts, embrace vulnerability, and share personal stories of imperfection.
  • This builds trust and human connection. Avoid polished facades.


86 reads

Intentional, Iterative Practice and Critique

Intentional, Iterative Practice and Critique

  • Improve skills by repetitively practicing presentations in low-stakes environments.
  • Record yourself and provide self-critiques. But also invite honest observer feedback.
  • Critique to identify improvement areas. Turn performances into learning opportunities.


85 reads

Connecting Content Purposefully to Why It Matters

Connecting Content Purposefully to Why It Matters

Explain directly why your talk matters to audience’s lives and interests. Paint a vision of the key post-talk insights and actions you want them to take away.

Inspire people by illuminating shared meaning, purpose and human truths.


85 reads



Diplomatic Services operational officer


In Confessions of a Public Speaker, Scott Berkun provides an entertaining insider's look at the world of public speaking, sharing practical advice for improving presentations, managing nerves, engaging audiences, and learning from mistakes.

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