Get to the Point by Joel Schwartzberg (Book Review by Mary Van Everbroeck)
Welcome to our new book review series. This review of Get to the Point by Joel Schwartzberg is written by Mary Van Everbroeck, student at Barany School of Fiction who writes fiction and nonfiction. If you’d like to write review for Writer’s Fun Zone, check out the guidelines here.
Take it away, Mary.
I’m excited to recommend this book, Get to the Point by Joel Schwartzberg, to you. Although the author teaches public speaking, every concept in his book is also applicable to writers.
Reading this book helped me:
- Create a title for a short story I’ve written that best exemplifies the story’s meaning.
- Re-design my business, by targeting and meeting the specific professional services that are most beneficial to my clients.
- Adopt a more focused and succinct style for both written and spoken communication.
- Decide to continue editing the non-fiction book that I began five years, by reimagining the point of the book.
Although I don’t remember how I came upon this book, I’m certain that it was while reading a book about writing or editing since these are the topics of the books I currently read.
When books pique my interest, I search for the titles on Amazon, download the Kindle samples, and promise myself to read them soon.
Indicative of my history of reviewing samples on my Kindle, it took over two months to read this one. Wanting to bop myself on the head for not reading it sooner and ordering it pronto because the words grabbed on and held my attention from the start, I surprised myself by the action I took.
I didn’t automatically order any of the formats offered: hardback, kindle or audio. While not expecting my local library to carry the book, I still checked. And I’m so glad that I did. They only offered the audio version. Audio is perfect for me because I listen to Audible while I’m at the gym, which is almost every day.
Finding out that the library didn’t use Audible, I had to figure out how I could listen to it. I did, along with realizing that even before listening to this book it helped me by opening up another world to be able to listen to audio books.
I ended each gym session arguing with myself as to whether to continue or stop listening. I wanted to continue listening, but not exercise. I thought about continuing to listen to the audio at other times throughout the day but decided against this, since listening to enlightening and powerful books while walking the track increases my alertness and my experience of being happy.
Listening to Get to the Point was similar to a fine wine, and I wanted to savor it. It took me several days to complete. I felt disappointed when the book ended. I usually purchase either the print or audio version first and then later get the other format.
Audio and Print!
But with Get to the Point, I purchased both the audio and print editions. The audio gives me the opportunity to experience the speaker’s elevating enthusiasm for this topic, while the print book helps me to concentrate on the many examples he offers.
There are catch phrases from Schwartzberg’s book that I think of while developing a story idea, writing a first draft, and preparing a pitch or editing. I’ll share my favorite with you.
“Don’t share your point. You need to sell your point.”
The author has helped me to understand that there is a huge difference between these two processes. I’ve come to realize that while I’m proficient in sharing my point, I need to learn how to sell my point.
Let me offer an example: Reading this book prompted me to change the message on my voicemail. It used to tell people what I did in general terms and invited them to call me.
Now if you call me, you’ll hear my name, my credentials and then, “I believe any marriage can be saved by learning specific skills. I teach these skills.”
Did you get my point?
I also feel that any speech, workshop or seminar I have the opportunity to give going forward will absolutely hit the mark of delivering my point because of what I’ve learned in this book.
As a writer, or a speaker, I have one job, and that is to make sure that I deliver my point(s) effectively. If the receiver doesn’t get my point, I’ve failed. Or if I think I’m relaying a point, but instead I’m sharing what is considered the theme, again I fail.
The point of his book is to arm us with information and tactics by which we succeed at delivering our point(s). He definitely succeeds!