How I Wrote the Powerful Bestseller That Is Boosting Speakers' Self-Confidence

Behind the Concern That Sparked the Creation of 'How To Become a Super Speaker'

I COULDN'T BELIEVE MY EYES. With every passing minute of Dec. 14, 2019, my book, "How to Become a Super Speaker: The 7 Principles for Speaking with Confidence and Connecting with Audiences," was becoming a bestseller - and just one day after being officially launched!

It was amazing, thrilling and gratifying all at once. 

I had written this book out of my longstanding concern that articles, books and courses on public speaking were overly focused on the speaker and not nearly enough on the audience.

Some of these programs would have you believe that speaking takes place mainly in an empty room, rather than in front of a roomful of people waiting to be informed, entertained, or persuaded.

Determined to write a reader-friendly book that would not add excessively to the public's already high anxiety over speaking, I aimed to give the reader something short and easy to grasp.

A READER-FRIENDLY GUIDE TO PUBLIC SPEAKING

Thus, in my 107 page volume, I boil down the speaking challenge to seven principles for being engaging and for speaking with power, without allowing your fear of the crowd to ruin the speaker's message. I also included plenty of reflection exercises to get the reader emotionally involved and active, because as I knew as a lifelong teacher, including as a Rutgers University public speaking instructor, people learn best by doing. 

When I was done, I knew the book had the potential to make an impact and help a lot of people. But I was elated when I saw it jockeying for position on the public speaking bestseller chart alongside books by Dale Carnegie, the dean of public speaking training, and TED, the conference producer. (The top photo on this page shows me with members of a Red Bank, New Jersey, speaker training group after I did a presentation for them on the book's ideas.)

The 7 Principles for Super Speaking

1. Make Delivery the Priority. Content is important, but nothing in public speaking matters as much as the way you convey your message to the audience. 

2. Put on a Show. No matter what type of presentation you're delivering, you're putting on a "show" and need to play to your viewers, which an eye and ear to their emotional state. 

3. Display Personality. While a speaker has many tools with which to enthrall listeners, letting audiences see his personality may be the most compelling. 

4. Feel the Fear but Keep Practicing. Learning to deal with fear is part of growing as a speaker. If you persevere even as panic grips you, you will gain confidence that will both improve your speech and let you gauge the mood of the room and engage in a generous give-and-take with the audience. 

5. Give the Audience a Reason to Care. Including a few contextual details explaining why your content matters to the audience helps them answer the burning question: Why should I care about this topic? 

6. Reveal What's inside You. Audiences will connect with you and remember you if you let them catch you in the act of expressing emotion. 

7. Make Things Easy to Follow. Make it simple for audiences to follow your narrative, since they can't play back something you said.

Copyright 2020 by Michael Barris

What My Readers Say

A few reviews:

"Michael Barris makes the idea of speaking in public fun and not intimidating. I recommend this book for anyone who cares to improve their public presentation abilities. It's great for adults and young people."   
~A New Jersey sales associate 

"Michael colorfully and concisely walks the reader through the core principles of speaking beyond the obvious. I wish I could give a copy of this book to every person I meet who wants to improve their public speaking because this is everything you need to know!" 
~A happy Amazon customer 

"Being a non-native English speaker, public speaking is always challenging for me. Michael used real-life stories to make the reading fun and skills easily memorable. It's a must-read for any serious speaker." 
~Wendy H

"Lean, clean, and actionable. Solid advice."  
~American business consultant and author Price Pritchett