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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Yak, Yak, Yak, A book about Public Speaking

Yak! Yak! Yak!

Ira Hayes

I would love to give this book five stars.  In fact, I looked forward to reading this book because it was published by the NCR Corporation. 

My father and uncle both worked for NCR in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Both my father and my Uncle Carl were members of the CPC, which is an organization of the top 100 salesmen at NCR.

It is possible that my father knew the author, Ira Hayes.  Giving this book a bad review is very much like showing disrespect to a family member.  It is something that just is not done.

However, the best I can give this book is two stars. I would have to say that the second star is given primarily because I could not bring myself to insult the NCR Corporation by completely discounting their book.

The book is meant to be a guide to aid those who wish to learn the art of public speaking to become outstanding public speakers.  Mr. Hayes tells his readers to make it interesting, use props or visual aids, and know what they are talking about.

The author gives several rules that one must always comply with and he goes on to break all the rules he gives.  The most important of these rules is not to tell “off color" jokes.  Mr. Hayes lists a section of jokes and many of them would be “off color” by today’s standards, and most certainly would have been by the standards of 1976, when the book was written.

Mr. Hayes instructs his readers to know what they are talking about. As a professional speaker wishing to educate potential professional speakers, it would seem wise to teach readers the proper terms for equipment that we would use.  

Any person who needed to communicate with a sound person would need to know how to ask for the type of microphone they needed by the proper name. Mister Hayes repeatedly referred to a lavalier microphone as a “neck-type” microphone. 

Hayes missed the occasion to educate his readers about a term any public speaker should know. Of course, today we use wireless lapel microphones to serve the purpose Mr. Hayes was trying to serve.

He tells them not to use big words when a little word will do.  He tells us that presentations are meant to educate and move people to do something. Yet, he misses the opportunity to educate his readers on several occasions.

The book is short.  It is more of a booklet than a book.  It is most likely out of print since I could not find it on Amazon.  If you wish to read it, you will probably be able to find it through your local library through Inter Library Loan (ILL).

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We borrowed this book through the Wharton County Library via ILL (inter-library loan).  Visit your local library and enjoy thousands of books free.

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