Disclaimer: this post is not intended for the planet. When aggregation of my blog was set up, there was an agreement that only posts with certain tags are syndicated. This setting is perhaps no longer operational.

As a speaker at an O’Reilly conference, I got a free book, “Confessions of a public speaker” by Berkun. Despite the somewhat cheesy title, I found the book practical and amusing. The book has a lot of hands-on material and is written in a live, entertaining manner.

Especially when comparing with a voluminous college book on rhetoric, which I got myself a few years ago, and since then never touched. Berkun’s book is an easy read, and I worked it off on planes and in Moscow metro.

The matter of good rhetoric deserved an own chapter, called “The art of making a point”. Berkun writes, that the art did not change much since the ancient Greece, and success is still achieved by three major components: logic, character and emotion (Logos, Pathos, Ethos). Still, the manner of public speaking (the emotion), has evolved, and, notes Berkun, got to be measured right, in proportion to the character of the audience. He compares a modern lecture on a technical subject with a modern sermon, and notes that the level of emotion differs.

Similarly, classical marketing materials, created by professional corporate staff look out of place in the modern world of blogging, where the distance between hands-on technical people and users/consumers is significantly shorter.