As you may know, I’ve been working on writing and publishing a book on public speaking for a while now. The book, called The Confident Presenter, is very close to being available. For those who are keen to get a first look at it (and pre-launch access), you can join the Launch Team. Though the process has slowed down, I did get the cover designed.

Here’s how the cover design of The Confident Presenter went down.

The Confident Presenter on Fiverr

I got the book designed via the Fiverr platform. I made an extensive brief, selected a highly reviewed cover designer, and in short order received four very good options. I had a favorite (the yellow one with the old-school radio mic in the top right corner). I asked a few friends they were in agreement, but a few raised the point that it didn’t quite seem about “public speaking” but rather about performing and broadcasting.


Four different cover options for the book "the Confident Presenter" by Ryan Millar

Getting cover input from the mailing list

I turned to my mailing list. So I sent it out to my mailing list. I have about 800 people on there, so it’s not extensive, but the quality of responses was staggering. My folks really came through with lots of strong opinions. All of the covers got some votes, and the amount of care and consideration in the comments was awesome to read. But, as for votes: it was a complete split between the two clear favorites

The red book cover: It’s quite business-y, which accurately reflects the content of the book. It definitely frames public speaking as a career-oriented activity, and shows how to improve within that context.

And the other tie was my personal favorite, the yellow one with the radio mic. That reflects that it’s written in a fun, accessible and conversational style. And there’s lots of silliness and personality throughout, and that comes through in this cover.

Screenshot of poll results, showing two different votes of 26 people each


But you can’t argue with the data: there were clearly two different strong options. Unlike the Vice-President of the United States presiding over a divided senate, I was unable to cast the deciding vote.

So, I took that feedback to the designer and said, “Look, I asked my friends and they couldn’t decide. I think the yellow one is more eye-catching, but the old-school mic shows more of an entertainment vibe, rather than a professional sheen. Is it possible to merge the two covers, perhaps by using the podium on the yellow cover?”


The designer comes through with a new book cover

My man came through. So this is the cover, and I’m very excited to see where it goes from here.

Final cover design for The Confident Presenter, a book about public speaking. It's a yellow cover with blue text and shows a podium.