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Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know about Making Speeches and Presentations Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195300750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195300758
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 13.9 x 21.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,522,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Paperback
An enormously useful hands-on book, written by an experienced lecturer and lecturing coach in a captivating style. The author is using wealth of examples from historical as well as contemporary speeches as illustrations. In spite of decades of teaching, lecturing to large as well as small audiences, I found the book to be a treasure grove of excellent, practical and applicable advice. I recommed it without slightest reservations to all who will ever speak to more than one person at a time.
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Format: Paperback
This book is quite simply the best book on public speaking I've ever read, and I've read quite a few. The subtitle ("All you need to know about making speeches and presentations") is accurate. I consider myself a very experienced speaker, yet the author was able to give me plenty of new ideas and insights. His techniques, and analysis of what works and why, are easy to understand and practical. For me, this was a page-turner!

If anyone asked me to recommend just one book on public speaking, it would be this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Great book for writing a speech June 14 2007
By Christopher P. Witt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As an executive speech writer and coach, I've read many fine books on public speaking. This book is one of the best I've seen about the art of crafting a compelling speech.

I especially enjoyed the three chapters of the first section. They examine how giving a speech is like and unlike holding a conversation. And they suggest ways for making a speech more conversational. You've probably heard much of the advice before - make the audience part of your speech, establish eye contact, pause, avoid being overly formal or using words that are rarely heard in everyday conversation, etc. - but now you'll understand why.

I liked the chapter titled "The Persuasive Power of Words." It examines four rhetorical techniques that make audiences pay attention to and remember what you say:
1. CONTRASTS, which include contradictions ("not this but that"), comparisons ("more this than that"), opposites ("black or white"), and phrase reversals
2. PUZZLES (assertions that briefly confuse the audience, priming them for your solution) and QUESTIONS
3. LISTS OF THREE
4. A COMBINATION OF THE OTHER THREE TECHNIQUES

And I found a lot to think about in the chapter, "Painting Words with Pictures." It begins, "A picture may sometimes tell a thousand words, but words can just as easily be used to create a thousand images." It then examines the different ways of creating images in the minds of your audience: similes, metaphors, analogies, anecdotes, and quotations.

I found the other chapters on visual aids (including PowerPoint) and body language less insightful, although I agree with almost everything Atkinson writes in them. (Beware: if you're wedded to PowerPoint or if you believe that how you speak is more important than what you say, you're going to be challenged - rightly, I think - by what he writes.)

Each chapter is filled with examples and stories (mostly from politics) and ends with a one- or two-page summary. Each section concludes with exercises to help you apply what you've read.

The book's subtitle, "All You Need to Know about Making Speeches," is a bit misleading. The book is more about writing a speech than delivering one. And while it gives great advice about using words, phrases, and images to strengthen a speech's impact, it goes into considerably less detail about constructing a speech.

Atkinson has experience in academia and as a consultant for politicians and corporations. His book is both intellectually stimulating and practical.

You may not like this book if you're looking for a beginner's guide to public speaking. But if you want to make your speeches more engaging and memorable, you'll profit from this book.

It's one of the few books I go back to again and again as I'm writing speeches for my clients. I highly recommend it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Useful, practical textbook for speech preparation March 28 2008
By gracesantacruz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended by an excellent executive coach who trains many top executives' speeches and presentations.
It contains many practical ideas such as;
-Step-by-step guide for preparation,
-"Winning with Words" (effective use of rhetorical techniques,
-how to use visual aids,
-how to avoid using them as clutch,
-how spoken words are different from reading,
-tons of good quotes as examples, etc.

It was very useful for me as I prepare my 60-minute speech, and I highly recommend this for people who are challenging themselves as a public speaker.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know About Making Speeches And Presentations Nov. 24 2005
By Peter Always - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Without doubt this is the best ever "how to" book on speeches and presentations, no matter what the topic - business, social, political, or technical.

As a CEO I have sat through so many turn-off presentations by people I know to be literate and interesting. This book demonstrates how unnecessary this is and that one does not have to be a "born speaker" to make lively, interesting, really effective presentations.

It is completely practical in identifying the tried and tested techniques which have served the great communicators down the ages. It is also first class on how to use (but not over use) modern computer aids to great effect.

No wonder speechwriters to Presidents Reagan and Clinton say the author Professor Max Atkinson is the speechwriters Guru."
Probably the best I have read on public speaking July 5 2014
By Frank Montagna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Probably the best I have read on public speaking. Most books have a little useful info and a lot of nonsense. This one will actually give you help in public speaking.
Applied science May 29 2014
By Joao Pedro Padua - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There probably only a handful of social scientists who are able to translate the scientific logic and agenda into tools for everyday life. Max Atkinson and these book are examples of this rare phenomen, much in need these days. A indispensable source for anyone interested in becoming a better communicator, whether in informal or institutional situations.

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