I initially questioned whether this were appropriate for a middle school student, but reading through Patrick Schwerdtefeger's story made me realize that sometimes even before middle school, we have an inkling of what we want to do and this is a great book on a very specific topic that could appeal to those students who have thought about working for themselves and getting better at a job that is not a mainstream occupation.
I do not think you have to be committed to being a professional speaker in order to gain insight from this book. The online worksheets and even the rhythm of his speech is a great way to really critically analyze craft and reveal one person's process in order to help your own process. One of the things he talks about is a kind of "go for broke" attitude that does not let lack of experience, lack of expertise, lack of education, even lack of money inhibit a person from pursuing their dream. What it does take is confidence, discipline, faith and bravery. I also think that the realistic journey, most evident by his credit card balances, shows the up and down trajectory of this kind of life.
I am not aspiring to be a keynote speaker, although as an assistant professor (the lowest rung of professors), I do need to get my writing out there and present at conferences in order to get funding to travel. The steps for someone like me to be a keynote, though, would still be very similar - authorship and international conferences being two similarities.
Finally, what I most enjoyed about this book is the ability of the author to look at his own flaws and not hide from them, but work through them. That in itself is a kind of bravery that should be honored.
This book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.