Public speaking can be terrifying. For David Nihill, the idea of standing in front of an audience was scarier than cliff jumping into a thorny pit of spiders and mothers-in-law. Without a parachute or advanced weaponry. Something had to change.
In what doesn't sound like the best plan ever, David decided to overcome his fears by pretending to be a comedian called "Irish Dave" for one full year, crashing as many comedy clubs, festivals, and shows as possible. One part of the plan was at least logical: He was already Irish and already called Dave. In one year David went from being deathly afraid of public speaking to hosting a business conference, regularly performing stand-up comedy, and winning storytelling competitions in front of packed houses. He did it by learning from some of the best public speakers in the world: stand-up comedians.
Do You Talk Funny? shows how the key principles of stand-up comedy can be applied to your speaking engagements and presentations to make you funnier, more interesting, and better looking (or at least two of the three). Whether you are preparing for a business presentation, giving a wedding toast, defending your thesis, raising money from investors, or simply want to take on something you're afraid of, this book will take you from sweaty to stage-ready. Ten percent of the author's proceeds from this book will go to Arash Bayatmakou via Help Hope Live until he is fully back on his feet and thereafter to one of the many facing the same challenges after suffering severe spinal cord injuries.
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A Textbook for a Take Action Program
I'd listen to Do You Talk Funny again because he is implementing in his writing and editing what he's trying to teach us. So, he'll teach you something, and you'll quickly realize he's actually using that mechanism himself.
David has clearly done his research. Unlike most authors, he doesn't just change the words of the ideas he's 'borrowed' and make himself come off like a scholarly expert. He simply wraps his ideas in the quotations of people we all know, like and trust. It's as if he had an idea, discovered the formula, and implemented the wisdom from many - many people; as we all do naturally.
I've heard David live - and it's easy to imagine how the simple techniques he covers can actually be learned. He went through an intensive obsession to master his fear of public speaking. He immersed himself in standup comedy, figuring those people are the best suited to deal with fears in public speaking.
The first time I met David, my face was literally falling apart I was laughing so hard for more than an hour. Great stories, Humor ( the formula is included ), and what I now know is rehearsed spontaneity are all pulled together with some delivery techniques that absolutely had him controlling the audience (chapter #6 in the book)
What struck me about the book is how confident I felt I could absorb the material. It's presented in a very pragmatic way that can be absorbed (practiced) in small chunks.
It's not critical that you get 100% before you're ready to use these knew skills.
You can immediately read or listen to a single chapter, and start to get ideas for experiments you can try. With practice and feedback (which he encourages), you'll start to be like the professional comedians who watch for the things that make people laugh. (think about those memes you've seen of cats trying to get out of bath tubs - guaranteed laugh)
In his talks, he shows with videos how predictable humans are when it comes to humor.
Certain things will always make us laugh. He encourages you to not be afraid to just insert those funny things into your talk. Don't invent funny; borrow it.
In summary, there are things that are always funny. There are ways to make things more funny. When you put those two ideas together, you'll be able to predictably add laughter to your presentations. People listen better and remember feeling great about your talk when you've made them laugh.
When I go back to read it a second time, I'm going to really pay attention to the structure. If you do the same, you'll feel not only like you can be more humorous, but that you could take any thing you're interested in, research the heck out of it, and write your own book.
- Brian Ball
Hilarious (and Informative) Read!
This was a phenomenal read! Not only is it well written, packed with TONS of great information, but it's also really funny! One day I was listening to the audiobook while flying back from a business trip and I kept cracking up to the point that the person sitting next to me had to ask what I was reading. I love the information that David provides in the book- not only are they great insights, but it's also easily implementable. I recall taking notes like a mad-woman as I was reading (well...listening to) the book. I highly recommend reading Do You Talk Funny! It will definitely be one of my many business books that I keep looking to for a refresher!