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36 Breathtaking Scott Berkun Quotes

Scott Berkun is an American author and speaker. Best known for his three best selling books, ‘The Myths of Innovation,’ ‘Confessions of a Public Speaker,’ and ‘Making Things Happen,’ Berkun spent almost a decade working for Microsoft as a part of their Internet Explorer team. Here is a look at some of the most notable Scott Berkun quotes to know.

“All great tasks test our motivation. It’s easy to court ideas over beers and change the world with napkin sketches, but like most things taken home from bars, new challenges arise the next day.”

“Anyone can criticize or accept praise, but initiating a positive exchange is a hallmark of a difference maker.”

“As superficial as public speaking can seem, history bears out that people with clear ideas and strong points are the ones we remember.”

“Big thoughts are fun to romanticize, but it’s many small insights coming together that bring big ideas into the world.”

“Commit yourself to taking enough risks that you will fail some of the time. If you’re not failing, we’re not doing something sufficiently difficult or creative.”

“Experiment is the expected failure to deliberately learn something.”

“Expressing ideas is often the only way to fully understand what ideas are, and to know what it is you really think.”

“Good public speaking is based on good private thinking.”

“Have to embody what I want the audience to be. If I want them to have fun, I have to have fun.”

“History can’t give attention to what’s been lost, hidden, or deliberately buried; it is mostly a telling of success, not the partial failures that enabled success.”

“I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be useful, I want to be good, and I want to sound like myself. Trying to be perfect gets in the way of all three.”

“If you’d like to be good at something, the first thing to out the window is the notion of perfection.”

“In hundreds of lectures around the world, I’ve done most of the scary, tragic, embarrassing things that terrify people. I’ve been heckled by drunken crowds in a Boston bar.”

“Innovation is significant positive change.”

“Innovative ideas are rarely rejected on their merits; they’re rejected because of how they make people feel. If you forget people’s concerns and feelings when you present an innovation, or neglect to understand their perspectives in your design, you’re setting yourself up to fail.”

“It seems that bad advice that’s fun will always be better known than than good advice that’s dull-no matter how useless that fun advice is.”

“It’s not the fear of writing that blocks people, it’s fear of not writing well; something quite different.”

“It’s only through effort that we learn what an idea actually is, and if our passion for it will last or fade. There is no shame in failure – all makers fail. But it’s hard to respect someone who never tries, even once, to do something good that’s always on their mind.”

“It’s rare for people to genuinely try to understand what others are trying to say.”

“It’s safe to assume that no matter where you stand, someone would be happy to be in your shoes, just as you’d be happy to be in someone else’s.”

“Most people doubt online meetings can work but they somehow overlook that most in-person meetings don’t work either.”

“Most people listening to presentations around the world right now are hoping their speakers will end soon. That’s all they want.”

“My intent is simply to know my material so well that I’m very comfortable with it. Confidence, not perfection, is the goal.”

“No one has died from giving a bad presentation. Well, at least one person did, President William Henry Harrison, but he developed pneumonia after giving the longest inaugural address in U.S. history. The easy lesson from his story: keep it short, or you might die.”

“Part of the challenge of innovation is coming up with the problem to solve, not just its solution.”

“People tell me this is obvious. But it’s ok to be obvious. Knowing and doing are different. Many people know many obvious things they completely fail to do, despite their knowledge.”

“People who truly have control over time always have some in their pocket to give to someone in need. A sense of priorities drives their use of time and it can shift away from the ordinary work that’s easy to justify, in favor of the more ethereal, deeper things that are harder to justify.”

“Silence between teachers’ remarks is a very important part of a lecture. Silence provides time for consolidation and thought.”

“Staying curious and open is what makes growth possible, and it requires practice to maintain that mindset. To keep learning, we have to avoid the temptation to slide into narrow, safe views of what we do.”

“The average person isn’t that smart — and worse, half the population is dumber than that average person.”

“The best teachers use entertainment as a way to fuel teaching, not simply to make their students laugh.”

“The bottleneck is never code or creativity; it’s lack of clarity.”

“The podium is what you stand on. The lectern is what you stand behind.”

“The temptation many creative people I know have is to strive for popularity. To make, do, and say things that other people like in the hopes of pleasing them. This motivation is nice.”

“The way you find the answers to your problems will be unique to you.”

“There is a big difference between wanting to say you wrote a book, and actually writing one. Many people think they want to write, even though they find crafting sentences and paragraphs unpleasant.”

Here is a look at a Ted Talk featuring Scott Berkun as he goes on to discuss how the creative process works and how to bring actionable ideas into reality.

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