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  • Writer's pictureJayasree Menon

Readers' Review 1: The Art of Speeches and Presentations by Philip Collins

"A book’s worth is to be measured by what you can carry from it." - James Bryce

Time for book lovers to cherry-pick the right book. Join this blog series “Readers’ Review” to treasure the best books!

“Readers’ Review” is a blog series based on communication books - the lifeline of working/non-working professionals. Thought-provoking book reviews aid in proving a book's value and identifying its target readership. Peer endorsement is effective and inspiring. Readers are given the choice to move forward and it saves time to delve deep into the book of your right choice.

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Every Tuesday will unfold a new stirring book review. The book reviews cherry-picked from amongst diverse blog authors are a treat to your brains. The rich and diverse experience of blog authors has percolated into this series. Instead of reserving their praise for the book to themselves, each blog writer wants to let readers know why it is so great. This series is essential for readers since it teaches them how to turn the pages and discover each book's best features. As readers, this blog series will continue to serve as a resource.

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The first in this series is...

The Art of Speeches and Presentations by Philip Collins

Captivate the audience with the content

Social interactions, information collecting and sharing, and media consumption will all see considerable change as a result of the quick development of ubiquitous connections. However, one form of communication is still the same. Presentations and Speeches…

All of us have sighed and taken a deep breath after a speech or a presentation. We all have our checklists and recipes. How about a smart recipe from a renowned speech writer? Many of us fantasize about delivering a speech so flawlessly that the audience applauds like the famous speech “I have a Dream” (Martin Luther King (1963).

Here is a smart well-organized recipe for all Speakers: “The art of Speeches and Presentations by Philip Collins (Speech writer to Tony Blair). “PHILIP COLLINS, is a columnist and leader writer, for The Times”.

The book makes a good quality read. It is insightful and suggests easy-to-use guidelines. The title of the book portrays Speaking as an art. It is a right buy to know the secrets of “making people remember what you say”. The secret, according to Philip is content. Throughout the book, he emphasises that the central argument is the fulcrum of the whole writing process. As a skilled speechwriter, he can pinpoint the pulsating points for impactful delivery.

“When the content's right, the confidence will follow”.

The book is a step-by-step guide that includes the initial stage of the thinking and writing process, and finally delivering a speech. This book introduces you to the significance of the central argument, which is the most important precept of good writing. The author touches on the basics of the craft regarding the following mnemonic: D- Delivery, E- Expectations, T-the central argument or the Topic, A- Audience, L- Language, and Paying attention to Detail. There are six quick and smart chapters to cover these aspects. Collins outlines the preliminary inquiries a writer should put forth and underlines that those questions will lead to clarity and confidence in your speech. The paradoxes sprinkled in the book gives us an insight and how to believe with conviction and write or present the crux of our speech. The book offers five steps to address the topic, which serves as the speech's focal point. It's worthwhile to read the entire soundbite mentioned in the speech's chapter title (page no.88). You pause to consider the example where the author attempts to equate the subject with a brick. To know these points read this book…

You smile when you realise that writing is the only method to overcome writer's block. Collins convinces the readers of the importance of editing our work harshly. The reader can escape the lifeless language employed in our daily professional lives by using a dozen cliches that have been collected (page number 103). The mention of Your persona as a speaker is an additional tip in this book.

Furthermore, it provides concise tips, guidelines, and steps for writing your speech and presentations. It not only energizes us with practical examples of the great speeches, of Aristotle, Martin Luther King, Tony Blair, and John F Kennedy, in contrast with David Cameron’s Speeches, Winston Churchill, Barack Obama, and Margret Thatcher. All these speeches and examples give us a vivid picture and help to visualize and build your content.

This is an opportunity to think of plural audiences and how we cannot neglect them as speakers (an important point now). It is a short, easy-to-read, and cost-effective book. A good buy for professional speakers, politicians corporates, entrepreneurs, writers, and students who are afraid of writing and preparing content. The tips, guidelines, and examples will sharpen the skills of seasoned orators and presenters. Unlike other books, he explains this with several memorable examples of speeches and the reason why each speech was memorable. FAQs and bibliography clear the doubts of the readers.

The book could have covered more points on the Delivery of speeches. The author has failed to share examples of great speeches by women except for Margaret Thatcher and examples of good presentations. Collins could have touched upon humour and other aspects of speeches.

This book is a model for anyone who desires to improve themselves and refine their presentations and speaking skills. This book can be a link and a bridge to all future and existing writers and speakers. A trainer can use this as resource material for their lively sessions. This book will help readers to remember the messages as a capsule or a recipe. Do include this book in your library.


Jayasree Menon is a Corporate trainer, with several years of teaching experience. Associated with the English Language Teaching Institute of Symbiosis (ELTIS) as an Academic Project Coordinator and Faculty. She has honed the communication skills of working professionals, and Engineering and Management students. In addition to this, an experience in content development for tailor-made modules is a matter of great interest. She has presented papers and workshops and attended several CPDs to manage her learning growth. Please visit her LinkedIn profile here.

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