Thursday, July 11, 2013

Real Magic by Nana Danso - A Book Review

As I've said before - every speaker should have a book.

Nana Danso is an up and coming speaker who has made a huge mark in Toastmasters as a four-time semi-finalist in the World Championship of Public Speaking, and, as seen in his TEDx presentation, has a bright future ahead of him.

'Real Magic' (non-affiliate link) is Nana's first book, expanding and crystallizing his approach for the reader as to how to create a successful life through M.A.G.I.C. - Motivation, Aspiration, Gifts, Innovation, and Confidence.

A true storyteller, Nana takes us on a wonderful ride through his own life, from a great honeymoon story where the magic wasn't quite where you might expect it to be, to his upbringing, to his experiences with education and the workplace. It is in these stories this book truly sparkles, as we see into his life and mind, and have the opportunity to reflect on our own lives.

It also, for better or worse, offers a treasure trove of traditional motivational examples, right where you'd expect them to be - IF you are a motivational junkie like this reviewer. While I found myself skipping through the stories, other readers with real lives may not. Cliches become cliches because they are true, and time-worn motivational parables become time-worn because people like to hear them, and because not all people have.

Nana offers a refreshing view of 'self-help' - giving us a perspective of someone in the midst of living a successful life, without coming across as an arrogant 'look at me' motivational author, like so many others. He has a self-awareness about himself and what he's offering, and chooses to be authentic and self-deprecating while still firm in his approach and his results. When he's in his zone talking about his own life, the book reads more like a conversation over coffee than a traditional motivational sermon.

The book is highly organized, relying on each prong of M.A.G.I.C. for it's structure. He offers short summaries at the end of each chapter, complete with action items, plus a funny/poignant story, each which stands on it's own. The book ends with a recap of the book as a whole, creating an accessible read whether you have five minutes or 2 hours.

'Real Magic' is an ideal back of the room sell - listen to Nana, then bring him home. It's a strong example of what most emerging speakers need to add credibility and income to their speaking careers.

While I would have liked more of HIM and less of the time-worn stories, there is enough personal, original, and insightful magic here for me to give 'Real Magic' four stars out of five.

Now, before you head off to Amazon to buy the book - take a look at Nana in action - if for no other reason than to be able to hear his amazing voice in your head when you start reading!

(Disclaimer - I was sent a review copy of Real Magic by the author, but this review is unpaid, and all links are non-affiliate.)

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