Book review: You Said What?! A Confident Communicator’s Guide

You Said What?! book cover

Occasionally, you’ll watch someone give a speech or network in a crowded room and you’ll be awed by their calm, easy approach. How do they do it? How have they come to be so well respected in their circle? How can I emulate them?

You Said What?! seeks to answer those questions and guide the reader towards communicating effectively. The authors, Kim Zoller and Kerry Preston, are experts in leadership development and communication skills with more than two decades of experience each.

Their book compiles 16 common mistakes that professionals make, from not knowing your personal brand to not reacting professionally. There is advice on how to give and receive feedback, and how to handle the various characters you will meet in a business environment.

Our view

This isn’t a deeply scientific book. You won’t find in-depth studies or anything truly profound. The book is asking the right questions but often provides inadequate answers. As such, You Said What?! is unlikely to teach you something new, but it might just flag up personal issues that you weren’t aware of.

On reading the chapter about interrupting, for instance, you may stop and think about your own behaviour and whether that relates to you. If you’re aware of a bad habit that several colleagues have raised then it’s likely that Kim or Kerry will have noted examples that you can learn from.

The book is interspersed with ‘On The Side’ boxes that contain insight, experience and stories from real people. These sections are the main highlights as they draw on honest, relatable experiences from the workplace.

Is it worth the time?

If you’re looking for something more substantial, with case studies and psychological reports, then perhaps not. If someone has ever commented on the way you spoke to them or conducted a meeting, or if you’ve ever thought ‘am I doing or saying something wrong here?’ then yes, this book is worth your time.

Title: You Said What?! The Biggest Communication Mistakes Professionals Make
Authors: Kim Zoller and Kerry Preston
Length: 128 pages
Publisher: Career Press
Price: £8.07 on Amazon

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