Speak up with confidence (NavPress, 2007) by Carol Kent is a well written, easy to read book which contains many practical ideas for the would-be speaker. It is divided into six parts which are: Do I have potential for speaking? How do I prepare a talk? How do I deliver a talk? What do I speak about? How do I get organized? and Where do I go from here? As a Christian speaker, Carol also addresses her subject from a Christian perspective which I found particularly helpful.

Carol employs many illustrations from her own life and others, so not only does she explain what works for her but also gives suggestions which have worked well for others. Overall it is a very helpful book.

I’ve read a number of these types of books: here and here and here. Many of the same topics are covered by these authors with each one adding their own slant.

One interesting aside is that Carol Kent first wrote, Speak up with confidence in 1997. It was republished in 2007. In 1999 Carol Kent’s son was arrested. This information has been added in a couple of places in the 2007 edition but without any further details. Being a curious person I did a search on the internet to find out the details and discovered her son was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. I also learnt that she has told this story in two books called: When I lay my Isaac down and A new kind of normal. I have read the previews for both of these books and imagine they would be very challenging and emotionally draining books but nevertheless worthwhile reads.

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