A book review: You brand (ARC)

You brand: A Manual for Confidence: Julia Goodman:  9781838593568: Books

TITLE: You brand: A Manual for Confidence

AUTHOR: Julia Goodman

PUBLISHED: January 2021


I received an eARC copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. My thanks goes to NetGalley and the publisher Troubador Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.

*Synopsis taken from NetGalley*

In You brand, Julia Goodman, one of the world’s top communication coaches, has written a unique and maverick manual for personal confidence. Drawing on her successful acting career, You brand lets you in on the secrets of her one-on-one coaching – a methodology she began to develop 30 years ago which is rooted in the psychology, science and techniques of the professional Theatre. 

Full of intuitive theory and practical exercises, this book will help you connect your head, heart and body to bridge the ‘perception gap’ – the gap between how you think you come over and how people can actually experience you. It will give you a whole new understanding and self-awareness and put you more in control in any situation where you may feel exposed, vulnerable and judged. 

You brand is about projecting and performing yourself, warts ‘n all. It isn’t about being perfect or liked necessarily, but about giving you the courage, confidence and ability to “be yourself – more – with skill” … it’s a life-changer! 

“You ‘remoulded’ me to be me, and made a huge and positive difference in my life. You stand out in my career as the person who made the biggest lasting difference. Thank you with all my heart.”  Des Crowley, speaking as CEO, Bank of Ireland UK

This book was another random NetGalley request. I spotted it whilst browsing and thought why not. I’m somebody that is confident in certain situations and not so confident in others. My main issue is confrontation, I hate it, and I’m awful at it, and I thought perhaps this book might teach me some techniques that would help with that. To be honest though, that was only going to be a bonus for me. The main reason why I hit the request button was because I haven’t read a self-help book before and I was intrigued to see what all the fuss is about. With that last sentence in mind, I have nothing to compare this one to, but if it is indicative of its type then I can see why self-help books are so popular.

Let me begin by telling you a little bit about the book. It’s a manual all about building confidence through the ‘you brand’. This brand is you as an individual, and so it focuses heavily on perception – your perception of yourself, others around you, and their perception of you. It is packed full of exercises designed to show you where you stand currently, and to practice new techniques to improve things. You are encouraged to film these exercises, and also to keep a you brand diary. I didn’t keep a diary, instead I utilised the notes function on my kindle, and I confess I didn’t film all the exercises, but overall I participated in the way the author suggested.

I enjoyed how easy it is to navigate the book. The chapters are clearly laid out, and this makes it simple to move back and forth as necessary. The book is extremely accessible because of this, and so it is one that you can leave and come back to effortlessly. I also liked the author’s tone, it is straightforward and not at all patronising – which I must admit was a concern of mine before I began reading. I think I’m guilty here of prejudging, but yes, I was worried that the author may be slightly bossy in her delivery. The reality could not be further from this.

Now onto the reason why this book didn’t rate higher with me. In my opinion it is marketed in a way that is slightly misleading. From reading the synopsis I believed it to be a manual all about our individual confidence, and whilst it is, it is heavily centred around the workplace – specifically corporate presentations and conferences. I’m sure this will be super useful for so many, but for me it just isn’t relevant for my personal or professional life. That’s not to say that the book isn’t useful, because it is, and some of the tools can certainly be utilised in everyday life, but I suppose I would have just liked to have seen more mainstream content.

Overall, whilst I did enjoy it, and I have taken certain techniques away from it, I feel as though the end product was not what I thought it would be. Had I known more of what to expect prior to reading then I probably would’ve chosen a different book. Would I recommend? Absolutely if you are looking to build confidence within the workplace, but if your focus is you outside of your job then I feel there are better options out there to read instead.

Have you read You brand? What did you think about it? If you haven’t read it do you think that you will? As always I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!

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Until the next time…Jess x

9 thoughts on “A book review: You brand (ARC)

  1. Self-help – Great review, and I dread confrontation.
    I’m intrigued, and might look out for this, especially as work related training days have involved so much presentation skills. Open, on the spot assessment of your performance can be overwhelming too.
    Maybe most people are totally different in defined contexts ?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s interesting Goodman has based her techniques on her experiences of acting, I would potentially read it from that point of view. The notion of the three centres, head, heart and body/gut is something I have come across in my own reading recently, and think there is definitely something in it worth further exploration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the angle that she approached it from, and the accessibility of her writing were both really interesting. It’s definitely worth a try if it relates to other literature you’ve been reading lately, it wasn’t for me personally but the reviews on NetGalley are fantastic so I’m firmly in the minority.


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