Thursday, February 25, 2016

Book Review: Keynote Mastery by Patrick Schwerdtfeger

Title: Keynote Mastery: The Personal Journey of a Professional Speaker

Author: Patrick Schwerdtfeger

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Publication Date: January 6, 2016

Length: 284 Pages

About The Author
Patrick Schwerdtfeger (@schwerdtfeger on Twitter) is a leading authority on global business trends including demographics, big data and the social media revolution. He is a keynote speaker who has headlined events for conferences all over the world.

The Show Must Go On!
Mr. Schwerdtfeger writes about his life journey as a professional speaker. He is brutally honest about the challenges of self-employment and his personal struggles to survive.

However, he has a dream and his determination, perseverance and tenacity lead to a degree of success that many speakers never achieve.

This is a memoir that offers inspiration and motivation to all who aspire to be a professional speaker. The author shares many "insider secrets" that he has learned from being a speaker for the past seven years. 

My Thoughts
When I listen to a keynote speaker, I expect to be informed, inspired and entertained. I have never had the opportunity to hear the author speak, however, I listened to Mr. Schwerdtfeger's Tedx speech on YouTube and was very impressed.

These are the things I especially liked about this book:

1. The transparent look at the author's life. Mr. Schwerdtfeger posted his credit card balances all along his seven year journey to become a successful keynote speaker. He did not candy-coat his life or make it appear to be something that it is not.

2. The easy-to-read flow of the narrative. The author wrote in a very engaging manner and I felt like I was traveling right along with him on the many journeys that he wrote about.

3. The sensitive manner the author dealt with his mother's mental illness and his father's chronic illness. I am sure this was very difficult to describe, but it was part of the journey and described in an admirable way.

4. Information the author shared about professional speaking. He goes into detail about the structure of a keynote speech. The author was especially open about the financial challenges that he faced and how he handled them.

5. The author's marketing strategies. Mr. Schwerdtfeger's business success depends on how well he markets himself. He has come up with some very creative marketing techniques that should benefit other self-employed entrepreneurs.

What I didn't like about this book:

1. Chapter 61 - "Book marketing sucks." There is a discussion on the trials and tribulations of book marketing in this chapter. The author discusses "pay to play" programs and other ways to get your book noticed for a price. It seems like book marketing would be a piece of cake after all the experience the author has in promoting his speaking career. The chapter is just too negative for my tastes.

2. Chapter 62 and 63 - "The Keynote Mastery Program" and "The Speaker Syndicate".  These chapters promote two programs that the author is selling to professional speakers. I think these chapters could have been cut down to a one page "teaser" that encouraged speakers to contact the author for more information.


FYI ~ I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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