"Secrets of Superstar Speakers"
By Lilly Walters
McGraw-Hill, 241 pages, $16.95
Engaging: 2 Innovative: 1
Usefulness: 2 Visual Aids: 1
Never have so many been paid so well to say so little. This statement sums up what many of my colleagues and friends believe about one of business life's recurring little mysteries: the case of the blockbuster guest speaker at the company or industry convention. We have all been there.
Just in the last few years I have been subjected to keynote addresses from Pat Riley, Faith Popcorn, Larry King, Bill Walsh, Elizabeth Dole, Tom Hopkins, John Seeley Brown, Norman Schwartzkopf and Rick Pitino. These are big names and they command big fees, big ovations and big suites at the hotel.
Now, I am not saying that these folks don't deserve to be paid well for their presentation skills and prior accomplishments. I am not saying that even though they so often don't know a lick about the people whose conventions they address that we, out in the audience, can't learn something from them. And, I am not saying that the sole purpose of this book is to shine a headlamp on the names of the speakers the author represents in her company. But all these things did come to mind as I read this book.
There may be some value here for people who want to join the speaking circuit. I didn't find much that one couldn't find in other books on public speaking, unless you like to read about one blockbuster speaker touting another (Brian Tracy: Oh, that Anita Roddick. Anita Roddick: Oh, that Tony Robbins). As for this book's claim to be a source of wisdom and inspiration, well, I think I hear "The Simpsons" coming on the tube.
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