Book Tour Review: You Brand: A Manual For Confidence


In 1989 Julia Goodman, a British actress, found herself at a crossroads in her career. A divorced mother of two, unemployed after coming off a tour into the midst of a recession, she cast around for what to do next. She decided to take her acting skills - the drills and techniques that allow an actor to repeat a solid performance night after night in front of audiences large and small - and teach them as a way to improve communication skills not only in business settings, but in all parts of life.

The result was a business and a coaching program - You Brand - that has been very successful in the UK. In this book Goodman lays out some of her coaching, and gives exercises to improve communication skills, mixed in some of the theory behind the techniques as well.

The initial chapters of the book take you through some of the reasons why people may not be perceived by others as they are by themselves, and why actors have developed the techniques they have. Then a couple of chapters on the power of storytelling and breaking down how to approach storytelling, and to use the tools of storytelling in settings like a business presentation, or a job interview. The next chapters discuss different settings and how to approach them to convey a consistent message across different venues, as an actor would need to do when moving from an intimate theater to a large arena. The book ends with a chapter on Listening.

I came to this book right after reading George Saunders' A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, which is a "master class" on short fiction writing. It may be because of that influence that the chapters on storytelling really spoke to me. I found Goodman's discussion of the tools of storytelling, her insights into plot, and her breakdown of story structure, to be really well done. I'm sure I'll be coming back to them in the future. 

And that's an indication, I think, of one of the reasons her consulting has been as successful as it has been. Communication is at the heart of everything we do in the working world as well as in the other parts of our lives. As a result, Goodman's coaching, and this book, both of which teach tools for better communication, has something in it that can benefit everyone.

Like many self-help or business coaching manual, this one is meant to be digested in pieces, taking the time in between to do some of the exercises laid out in the book and applying them to your own life. Though I've only had a chance to do one run-through so far, I do expect I'll keep coming back to it. 

If you are interested in improving your communication skills you will benefit from picking up a copy of You Brand: A Manual for Confidence. I give this book Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

NOTE: This blog post is my stop on Love Book Tours online tour for Julia Goodman's You Brand: A Manual for Confidence. I received a review copy from the author and Love Books Tours in exchange for participating in the tour and providing a fair and unbiased review.

You Brand links:

📙  Borrow this book: Find out if your library has the ebook or audiobook available.

📘 Buy this book: Amazon | Books-A-Million | AbeBooks