Speak: A Simple Guide to Public Speaking


A Simple Guide to Public Speaking
Steve Alexander Jr. (amazon.com link)



SPEAK: Structure, Presence, Engage, Articulate, Knowledge



  • Outline your speech keeping AIDA in mind
  1. Attention – story, quote, your own qualifications, statistics, strong emotions (why you care yourself)
  2. Interest – keep them interested, review what you’ll cover
  3. Desire – connect with their feeling
  4. Action – call to action, buy product,
  • Insert a clear opening, body, and conclusion
    • And state three main points in intro, in body, and then again in conclusion
  • Use an acronym to help remember your points



  • Dress appropriately, use good posture
    • Watch movie scenes without volume
  • Use the stage deliberately (3 point triangle on stage)
  • Gesture often and use visual aids well, if at all
    • 3×5 powerpoint rule: 3-5 words per bullet, and 3-5 bullet points per slide onscreen



  • Use stats, question, and quotes moderately
    • But ask questions!
  • Personal stories
  • Insert good, respectful humor, and avoid using one-liners
    • Connect your points together
    • Give the audience something actionable!



  • Pronounce and enunciate your words
    • Read books aloud
    • Video yourself
  • Use literary devices; vary vocal tone
    • Metaphor – comparing working class like an engine; depression to a sea
    • Simile – like or as,
    • Alliteration – repeating sound, like trials and tribulations
    • Anaphora – repeating whole words or phrases, like “now is the time” or “no more”
    • Polysyndeton – using and/or repeatedly to connect phrases, common but often overused, and 3 is best
    • Asyndeton – no connecting words like and/or
  • Breathe deeply, reduce filler words and phrases
    • Embrace your accent!



  • Know your topic
  • Know your audience!
    • “Why should my audience care about this topic?”
    • Religious audience
    • Fraternity/sorority
    • Corporate audience
    • Tech audience
  • Know the venue



On going to a Toastmasters meeting for the first time, he says:

…I was in disbelief at how well some of the members spoke. I assumed that either the meeting was staged by trained actors, or they were all on some powerful drug. They expressed themselves eloquently and were all much happier than the people I had left back at the office.


Decent; much too expensive for such a short book, especially in print. Good info, but it reads (grammatical errors and all) more like a quality semi-free bound pamphlet to friends or small community than a published, well-edited book. Bought because I met Steve a few times and wanted to support him. Worth it for the review of basic presentation principles from another perspective. For those who really want to internalize speaking, the book might be worthwhile compared to the cost of TM, but only if the information here augments regular practice. The book alone won’t transform anyone, and helped Steve synthesize and solidify his own ideas and the art more than it will most of us. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that last point, as it’s the reason many authors write to begin with.


A better book would be from a public speaking coach who’d successfully transformed hundreds or thousands of clients. Should search to see if such a book exists.

Future: Good to review my notes here along with TM notes in Evernote and Language Intelligence notes periodically. Read Shakespeare aloud, etc…