For the many people who dread public speaking, Roth Fay’s concise debut is not just instructional, but reassuring.
A public speaking coach, Roth Fay lays out a well-structured, step-by-step plan for creating any type of presentation, covering the key parts—audience, message, and presenter—in text that is informal yet highly informative, using plenty of examples (both good and bad) and reinforcing her points with useful takeaways at the end of each chapter. The author stresses the importance of audience, preaching that presenters often spend virtually all of their time thinking about themselves when they should be attentive to those they’re instructing. Her “Audience Assessment Tool” provides critical questions to ask that should help any presenter more effectively concentrate on the needs of attendees. Likewise, she offers two authoritative chapters on the presentation itself, including tips on using bold, energetic words, how to structure a presentation, the value of storytelling, and essential rules for creating good visuals. Here, Roth Fay highlights many of the common mistakes that plague presenters; she humorously addresses “non-verbal distractors,” such as playing with a pen or eyeglasses, as well as “verbal audience distractors” of the “um” and “you know” variety. Some of her wise suggestions—“Don’t be guilty of focusing only on one or two audience members” and “Don’t be afraid to go out into the audience and get within touching distance”—are sure to resonate even with experienced presenters. As for anxiety, Roth Fay provides several calming suggestions, such as reducing one’s focus on the “initial physical reaction.” Two additional chapters regarding elevator pitches and job interviews demonstrate ways the author’s advice can be applied more broadly. The tone is easy and nonthreatening, and many helpful suggestions occur throughout.
Compassionate, positive encouragement for speakers who need to improve their games.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)