The only thing I knew from Scott Berkun until now, from France, was the huge success of his latest book with the provocative and teasing tittle "Confessions of a Public Speaker".

I read somewhere on Twitter that this guy reminded someone of Tom Cruise 's character in Magnolia.Not a big fan of Tom Cruise, let alone of The Preacher ' style, so I didn't investigate further.

This guy looked a little like dynamite for me, red and dangerous!


By mistake, I picked up one extract in Spanish, but actually, since I don't understand Spanish, it's less insulting to watch!(sorry the Spanish speakers, the content might be very rude). Just check the first minute and the body language gives you enough clues to understand what's going on…

Then I read "How to be Passionate" (when you open your mouth) and stopped to watch Scott Berkun for the first time. I made my own judgement. Make yours!


Scott Berkun 's 4 "lessons" :

  1. My life is at stake.
  2. I believe what I say .
  3. I’ve extended my range.  
  4. I have great respect for anyone who voluntarily listens to me.

Here's what I wrote on his blog:

"Now I understand why people talk so much about you and why you make such an impact.
It’s the first time I’m watching a video of you, and frankly, I
expected you to come across much more excited and “like a preacher on
Instead, I see simplicity, honesty and humility wrapped into pure dynamite, “ignited” by 100% PRESENCE."

Triggered 3 ideas :

      1) In business presentations too,the most essential is to believe and care about what you say and why you say it.

No wonder we, as presentation coaches and trainers, find it so
hard for corporate clients to express themselves with Passion. Do they
believe in what they say? Do they actually feel that put their life at
stake when they present? Do they respect those who listen to them?…

Our role is to remind them of the fire which is burning inside of them.Why do they CARE?
Taking them back in touch with their inner child is one way.Telling their story is another.

      2) There’s a cultural dimension when you’re
speaking in public

I agree with Olivia Mitchell's comment that there’s a cultural dimension when you’re
speaking in public
. We each need to find what is the most comfortable
with our personality and our culture and pay attention to the
audience’s culture. But point 4 (respecting anyone who’s listening
to me) should take care of that! More on cultural dimensions with my blog series on 12 Women Speakers, 12 Communication Styles , based on the SPM approach.

3) There are other kinds of energy.

Scott Berkun talks about volume, about gestures, postures, facial
expressions.Smiling and making eye contact are also potential
“dynamites”.Using my background and training as a theater actress, I’ve
discovered other sources of energy. It comes from within, from your
desire to share
. It can be turned off or full watts, just like a light
bulb.You hardly need to speak very loud or gesticulate when you find
it. Actually you could very much stay still and silent and be intensely

Tap into your desire to share and contact this energy.

What does it look like? How does it feel? How does it sound like? How could you make it grow in intensity? How could you translate it so that people around you get it and act on it directly?

I started writing this post last Friday. Meanwhile I gave two days of training in Stress Management that ended just yesterday evening.

Stress is like the fire burning inside of us which ignites the energy and the passion Scott Berkun is talking about. Too little and you're invisible or boring, too much and you're burning yourself and others!

I spent two days helping managers to "play with this fire" and learn how to handle it with great respect and courage in order to share it with honesty, simplicity and effectiveness.

Having read Scott Berkun's 4 presentation lessons helped me give this talk.I made sure that each of the participants recognized the powerful energy there was inside of them and learned how to channel it and spread it,respecting their personal rythms and differences, according to the cultural environment they were into.Firewood

I hope it will help you, too!

What sort of reactions does it trigger, for you?

How do you connect with this fire? Does it look, feel, sound like dynamite or like camp fire?

What kind of fire are you willing to share today?

About "fire", read a warming and delightful post and short video from Terrence Gargiulo in Story Matters Stories & Fire.

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