Adequate To Excellent | Testimonials

Reviews of A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech.
Mostly posted on Amazon.

William Cohen
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A public speaking manual as a memoir
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 February 2021
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This is a very unconventional ‘rhetorical handbook’. It couldn’t be more unlike rivals in this market: Sam Leith, Mark Forsyth and Jay Heinrichs.

Flintoff draws his water from many wells. He blends Ciceronian insights with impro techniques, homiletics with after-dinner speaking, TED talks with Churchillian oratory.

We get Flintoff’s personal journey, but he manages to be rigorous in the application of the theory of public speaking. We are moved, entertained and instructed in that order.

Flintoff strains to be warm, friendly and self-deprecating, but his modesty often conceals a highly intuitive and sensitive mind, capable of seeing an opportunity under pressure and turning it to his advantage. One of the most powerful tools of the best public speakers, is to tell us they’re not very good at this stuff.

We get self-lacerating insights into John Paul’s vulnerability, which some readers might find hard to read. He’s very honest about how audiences react very differently to his style of speaking.

In a fascinating passage he shows how he learnt in an impro class that we really can’t control how an audience will react to us, it’s very much how those immediately around us react to us that will determine what the outcome is. The important thing is to genuinely love your audience. That tends to rub off.

I’ve been reading about this subject for 30 years. This book manages to offer many fresh and memorable insights into my trade and makes an ‘elite’ subject relevant and compelling to everyone who wants to be an effective citizen.

Richard H
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A Modest Review about a Great Storyteller, Artist and Coach
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 March 2021
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I first met JP nearly a decade ago at the School of Life, where I took most of the curriculum – ‘How to Face Death’, ‘How to be Confident’ etc. I was immediately drawn to his authenticity, humility and creative energy; his ability to engage and inspire us as audience/participant was already well-advanced. Soon thereafter as I went on an involuntary career break I asked him to coach me as I went through some challenging professional and personal transitions, which proved an invaluable resource during the break and as I resumed my career in a new organisation.

Of course this is not a testimonial about his value-add as a coach/mentor, but to praise JP’s new book which I have enjoyed tremendously. As someone who has had the great fortune to work with him in person, reading this has reminded me of important lessons about connecting with others through vulnerability and risk-taking – all of which he demonstrates here. JP is not just an amazing polymath with great stories to share, he is able to deconstruct his knowledge into digestible, user-friendly chunks so we too can model his behaviour – a true teacher/guide who leads by example.

Highly recommended!

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ It does exactly what it says on the tin !
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 March 2021
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There is so much in this book it’s hard to know where to begin. A chess player like assessment of how to think through all the dimensions of a speech in advance. The merits of, and tips for, improvisation in the moment of delivery. As well as insights on style of delivery. And all wrapped up in John-Paul’s chatty and amusing personal experiences of speech successes and speeches that didn’t go so well. A very useful guide to have by your side – thoroughly recommended !

Amazon Customer
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Engaging and effective – this book can only help!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 March 2021
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I am happy chatting to strangers or any number of people in a social environment, but when asked to give presentations in the past, my blood ran cold! I saw this book and thought I would give it a try, and I’m so glad I did; it’s easy to read, very engaging, open and honest. I know I will read it more than once – when each presentation opportunity presents itself – and each time it will help my perspective and build up my confidence.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars Delightful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 March 2021
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This book is written in such a charming way. The author walks you through his moving and funny experiences and then you realise how much you’ve learnt as a result. It felt like a lovely conversation with a supportive friend who urges you to be authentic and courageous. The author conquers his fears and encourages us to do the same. Having heard JP speak on a number of occasions I can only hope to be half as impactful as him having read this book. Highly recommended.

Lynda M Thompson
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A book to turn you into an inspirational speaker
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 March 2021
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A Modest Book about how to make an Adequate Speech tells us ways we can change from being a boring speaker to a scintillating one, a reluctant speaker to an enthusiastic one, a nervous speaker to a confident one. The author describes – modestly, humorously – his own successes and failures, and how often he managed to turn disaster into a creative solution. It’s brim-full of ideas to help us be as inventive as he is.

Muriel W
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A modest book, from an unpretentious writer, but certainly more than adequate
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 April 2021
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I only rarely have to make a speech but the next time I do I will definitely have JP Flintoff’s book to hand. It is not just about how to construct a speech, but about the attitude of the speaker to their audience, the purpose of the speech, and a light hearted look at how to deal with apparent disasters. I thoroughly recommend it.

Ayla Lepine
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ JP’s more than adequate ideas provide great wit and wisdom for new and experienced speakers alike
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 March 2021
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As someone who speaks in public a lot, and who loves doing it, I was really excited to read this new take on rhetoric, communication, and speaking well. I learned so much! I greatly enjoy JP’s writing style too – he is creative, accessible, humorous, vulnerable, witty, wise, and above all, authentic.

David Hutchinson
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A entertaining book that gives you the skills to do what the title says.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 March 2021
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Brilliant book about talking to groups large and small. I’ve always been nervous about talking in public, but after reading and taking on board Mr Flintoff’s advice and ideas Im still nervous, but now I enjoy doing it. Even if you think you are good at talking, this book will make you better.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A self help book for speaking – and everything else
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 March 2021
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This is a warm, wise, brave – and humble – book that makes you feel better about public self, whether its giving a speech or anything else. I am glad I read it.

J Lipton
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ … learn about public speaking in an entirely new way!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 June 2022
As much about overcoming the vicissitudes of life, Flintoff manages to humanize and demystify the art of public speaking with rare vulnerability and a self-effacing narrative intertwined with a deceptively complex and inimitable exposition of the subject. Replete with “ah-ha!” and “oh-no!” moments, absorbing illustrations, and practical pointers, you’ll learn about public speaking in an entirely new way!

Amazon Customer
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ A real pleasure to read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 April 2021
The author has an easy style which hides a considerable insight into his subject, and the book has a clear, logical structure to help the reader find the areas of greatest interest. This is not a book about technique but about how to share one’s passion with others – regardless of the risks involved. The author uses good illustrations – from his own and others’ experience – which bring the subject alive. And he is honest about admitting failures – perhaps the best aide to improvement. Don’t be dissuaded by the title – if you follow these tips you will end up becoming a very good public speaker!

Rev. Janet Rushton
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Transformative – and fun!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 March 2021
Flintoff is passionate about the power of public speaking as a skill and an art that transforms our lives, and he sees the potential in EVERYONE! He carefully, simply, with personal stories and gentle humour teaches us HOW we can each become public speakers in a way that is true to ourselves and honouring of others. Along the way, we learn the art of rhetoric and learn from other speakers. Superb!

William Coles
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Funny, Charming, Practical
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 February 2021
This is no modest little book on speech-making – it is far and away the best book I’ve ever read on the art of oratory. It’s funny. It’s practical. It’s charming – and it’s packed with some absolute gems. Every adult on earth will one day have to make the speech. This is only book in town. It blows all the others out of the water.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The best book on public speaking I have read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 March 2021
This is the best book on public speaking I have read – insightful, anecdotal and entertaining. John-Paul Flintoff speaks from the heart, sharing both his own journey and the art of storytelling. As well as providing practical tips, Flintoff role-models the honesty and authenticity that he commends to speech-writers, making the skills accessible and achievable. And above all he gives the reader confidence that they don’t need to be Churchill to make a decent speech, and that ‘modest’ and ‘adequate’ is almost always enough. Highly recommended.

Some companies and organisations I’ve worked with

Thank you so much for delivering that talk. I know it is strange talking into the void [online] but it went so well and the level of positive comments received was huge. It all came through on chat and Q&A as we were logging off – I have never seen such an avalanche of positivity.
- Mishcon de Reya

Royal College of Art, University of the Arts London, The Idler Academy, The School of Life, London Business School, University of Edinburgh, Accenture, EY, D&AD, Ogilvy, Stella McCartney, American Express, Experian, HSBC, Triodos, Innocent, Moet Hennessy, Unilever, The Office of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Bupa, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Healthwatch, Monitor, Rocco Forte Hotels, Octavia, Aviva, FieldFisher, FTI, Slaughter and May, Linklaters, Freshfields, Mishcon de Reya, Macfarlanes, Birketts, Clyde & Co, Norton Rose Fulbright, Weil, SpaceNK, BBC, Channel 4, United Nations, Department Store for the Mind, Selfridges, White Stuff, Saracens, Google, Microsoft, O2, The Phone Co-op, Vodafone.

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