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The DIY Post-Graduate Institute for the Communication Arts

What is this DIY Postgraduate Institute of the Communication Arts all about?

In January 2009, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent book Outliers. Mr. Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule removed any doubt I had that the best way to learn anything was through one’s own studying and practicing.

My favorite example that Gladwell gives to explain the 10,000 hour rule is The Beatles. Between 1960 and 1962, The Beatles played in Hamburg, Germany on 270 nights.  By playing 270 nights of multiple shows in Hamburg, The Beatles played 1200 shows together before they became famous worldwide in 1964.

Yes, The Beatles were extremely creative and very talented, but imagine this scenario – it’s late in 1959, and a young John Lennon and an even younger Paul McCartney are deciding whether to sign a contract to be the house band in the nastiest dive, on the nastiest side, of Hamburg, Germany.  Let’s say that John and Paul are so confused and frustrated that they are not only unsure about taking work in Hamburg, but unsure about continuing on as the Beatles.  To help sort things out, they seek the advice of a local businessman who says, “Lads, I’d say there is much risk in this Hamburg thing, why don’t you stay here, take on a trade, take a few courses at school in the evening, and play as the Beatles in your spare time?”  What if Lennon and McCartney had followed that advice? We don’t know what would have happened, but I don’t believe that there would be people all over the world walking around humming Beatles tunes today, if The Beatles had chosen to play music in their “spare time.”

My plan is to follow “The Beatle Rule of Education,” by writing as often as I can, while speaking as often as I can, to as many different audiences as I can, learning from as many other writers and speakers as I can, and reading as many books about writing and speaking as I can. I will share what I learn with you through The Speaking Husky Blog.

Consider Enrolling in the DIY Postgraduate Institute of the Communication Arts with Me

While I will love it if everyone who views this page decides to join me as a student at the Institute, I know that many of you who come across this page may not be interested in becoming a professional speaker or writer, but you would like to improve your speaking or writing skills.  My goal is to help you save time in whatever your goals in speaking and writing are, by providing reviews and summaries of the books that are currently on my Speaking book and Writing book lists, and by providing updates on how my own studies at Speaking Husky Institute are benefiting me as a speaker and writer.

The Institute Does Not Provide a Diploma but It Can Provide a Shortcut to Your Cycle of Excellence

I believe that there is a seven step cycle of excellence that applies to everyone:

  1. Research
  2. Analyze
  3. Synthesize
  4. Rehearse and Edit
  5. Present
  6. Feedback
  7. Repeat

I have and will continue to research the best books about speaking and writing, so if you want to become a better writer or speaker I’ve done part of step 1 for you. Want a short example of The Speaking Husky cycle of excellence?  If you do, please go here. (I use The Beatles as an example.  Shocker!)

If nothing else, I hope that you will peruse the book lists and pick out a cool book or two to read. When you think about it, all of life is communication and learning a bit more about communication will probably help you with whatever your goals are.  In my opinion, reading every book on these lists will earn one an unofficial masters in the communication arts.

Do You Have Any Suggestions?

Are there speaking and writing books that you believe I should add the next version of these lists?  Do you have any suggestions about how I should expand the DIY Postgraduate Degree In The Communication Arts concept? Please contact me with your suggestions.

Okay, Let’s Get Started

Public Speaking Book List
Writing Book List