Issues with scottberkun.com

in this site

Hi there. Just wanted to drop a short note to let you know there have been performance issues with scottberkun.com. Most of it is increased traffic and some of it is wrestling with Mediatemple, my host, to sort out what can be done. I’ve been posting every day this month, but those of you who […]

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Seinfeld and The Heckler Therapist

in Public Speaking

It’s rare to get heckled when giving a lecture, yet it’s a top fear for many people. My own advice on dealing with hecklers is in the what to do when things go wrong chapter of Confessions of a Public Speaker. In short the best approach is to acknowledge them briefly, and politely ask them […]

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How I Decide What To Read

in ask berkun, Books, Writing Well
askberkun

This month I’m posting every day, taking the top voted question from readers and answering it.  With 37 votes, today’s winner was: How do you decide what to read? From what I can tell, you are a voracious reader. Do you read just one book at a time, or multiple books at a time? Advantages or […]

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Why It’s Ok To Be Average

in ask berkun, reader's choice
askberkun

This month I’m posting every day, picking the top voted reader question and answering it. With 41 votes, submitted by Carey, is: What is your advice to a guy who truly DON’T feel a calling/urge/nudge to be any other than an average Joe who loves his family? My interest in this question is based on […]

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How to Overcome Cynicism

in ask berkun, reader's choice
askberkun

This month I’m posting every day, picking the top voted question from readers and answering it.  With 54 votes, today’s winner was: How do you overcome cynicism in an environment determined to maintain it? You overcome a toxic environment by walking out the door. Unless you happen to be a powerful person in the organization, it is […]

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My Most Popular Posts of 2013

in this site

There are always surprises in which posts earn the most attention and which are ignored. I’ve learned it’s hard to predict which posts will do well: some well written ones with great title hooks get little attention, and some throw-away quickies do really well. I don’t know any blogger that isn’t frequently surprised. I don’t […]

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Why I’m Posting daily in January 2014

in ask berkun
askberkun

I love writing by assignment, especially challenges that test my limits. I’m grateful to you readers for helping me out over the years, as many of the 1400+ posts here were responses to questions you asked (see reader’s choice to see them). This year I created an easy way for you to submit questions and vote […]

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What designers can learn from the AK-47

in Design
800px-AK-47_type_II_Part_DM-ST-89-01131

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the primary inventor of the AK-47, died yesterday in Russia. His invention is possibly the most popular weapon ever made, as the design has been reused and modified to make more than 100 million weapons (an estimate, as no one really knows how many there are). I’m not a fan of guns, nor […]

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How to present well without slides

in Public Speaking
notes-on-stage

If you were having an important conversation with a friend at a restaurant, would you pull out a projector and put your slides on the wall while you talked to them? They’d think you were crazy (as would the people at other tables). Rather that look into your eyes or give full attention to your […]

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The 3 best books I read in 2013

in Book reviews, Books
greatbig (1)

It’s common in December to see lists of “best of the year” for books and films. I read 20 to 30 books a year but rarely do I read books published in the current year. I don’t have anything against new books, I certainly buy many of them, but I’m drawn to books that have […]

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Banning things makes them powerful

in history, politics
u-s-repeals-18th-amendment-80-years

Today is the 80th anniversary of the repeal of the American prohibition of alcohol, and it serves as an excellent example of unintended consequences. For 13 long years alcohol was illegal, but early in prohibition it was clear the law change didn’t have the intended effects. Alcohol became more powerful in many ways, and since […]

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Why Writers Are Cranky

in Writing Well
lion

I enjoyed this recent post, 14 Ways to Tick off a Writer, because many of these things have happened to me. My deepest thought however is that writers are a cranky bunch anyway. We’re arrogant enough to think the world needs our thoughts, despite all of the things about writing that make clear how far the […]

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The Dangers of Faith In Data

in Year Without Pants
YWP-sidebar-wings

Here are the notes from my Warm Gun SF 2013 keynote, based on one of the stories from The Year Without Pants (An Amazon.com best book of 2013). Thanks to folks that were there for being a great crowd. “Faith in a source of data grows in direct relation to your distance from the collection of it” The […]

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What I Learned At Hiroshima (In Photos)

in Travel
IMG_8719

I just returned from two weeks vacation in Japan. It was the first true vacation (no email, no lectures, no working) I’ve had in a long time. One highlight was the day trip we took from Kyoto to Hiroshima. We hadn’t originally planned to go to Hiroshima, or to be in Kyoto either actually, but […]

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Meeting the Street Poet of NYC

in On Tour, Writing Well
IMG_7629

Selling books is hard. It’s a surprise for most writers, even experienced ones, how much harder finding people interested in your work is than writing books themselves. So last month while I was on book tour, feeling down on my luck as I walked from a lecture at the Foursquare office to another one at NYU, […]

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