I’m feeling lucky – book review

I’m Feeling Lucky. The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59

Doug Edwards

This book is for anybody looking for an inside view into the growth of one of the biggest brands in the world. Marketers, techies or anybody wanting to learn what it is like working at Google should ready this book. He tells a personal story, describing his own misgivings, challenges and successes as an early employee. He describes the people culture, technical and marketing challenges, and the chaotic and crazy startup days.

The book provides Insights into Google as it grew from startup to large business, and provides some valuable lessons to take into our own organisations. For example, make decisions quickly, but made key decisions.

While the book provides a very detailed and almost daily account of his work, it is sometimes almost too detailed (I sometimes felt a little like I was reading the minutes of every discussion and meeting at Google). If you just want to find out about Google, there are plenty of shorter and easier to read books. But if you are looking for a personal and detailed account for life at Google, this is a great book, and worth reading.

You can pre-order from Amazon.com

Grow your Voice to Speak with Confidence

Grow your Voice to Speak with Confidence

Dr Petro Janse van Vuuren

This book discusses aspects of public speaking that we often neglect, and that is using your voice as an effective tool to get your message across.  Instead of telling you how to structure your presentation, how to use the stage or to use body language, she focuses understanding, developing and using the core muscles required to have an effective speaking voice.

It is a little like a Pilates or Yoga course for developing your speaking voice. It is written in 6 chapters, each building on the previous chapter to help you to develop your speaking voice. The accompanying CD takes you through the physical and vocal exercise in the book. While the exercise are good for developing the core muscles (hence my Pilates comment), they are also good for general warm-up (thinking about it they remind me of choir warm-up exercises from high school).

Dr van Vuuren has plenty of experience in the theatre, and many case studies to backup her approach. The book is for sale on her website for R190. You can find out more about her book and workshops on her website.

This is a good book to compliment traditional public speaking training, and I see a place in my bookshelf for it.

Music on NPR

(Slightly off topic)

Here is something a little unusual. On Saturday. a song that I wrote using Garage Band on my IPAD was broadcast live as the opening song on Geek Speak, a radio show from KUSP (Central Coast Public Radio, Santa Cruz). It is syndicatd via the US National Public Radio podcasts. You can listen to the show here (but you have to wait until the end to hear the credits).

You can downoad the song off my photo-blog here: Geek Speak Theme

10 Delivery Guidelines for Speaking with Impact

Craig Valentine offers 10 simple guidelines for adding impact to your speech. Included are:

1. Don’t move all the time. If you are always moving then no movement will be meaningful. Your audience will never know what’s most important. Move with a purpose. When there is no reason to move, don’t.

6. Don’t use the same gesture over and over again. This is evidence of a habit and most likely distracts from your presentation.

Read the full list with more details and audio-examples here.