With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to be getting some new books!
Whether you have a bit of extra time to slow down and feast on some new knowledge, or you need some inspiration for what to put on your holiday gift list, books are ideal.
We’ve compiled this list of the top twelve book recommendations published in the past year. While there are many lists of the top books of all time, we are guessing you have already read those and are looking for something fresh and new.
Here are the top twelve highest-rated or most interesting books on public speaking and audience engagement published in 2018.
1. Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great
Author: Carmine Gallo
Topic: Master the ancient art of persuasion. A skill that is key to thriving in a world of rapid technological change.
“As technology threatens to displace countless jobs and skills, the ability to communicate is becoming more important than ever. This book is full of examples to help you get better at transporting your thoughts and emotions into the minds of other people.”
2. How to Wash a Chicken: Mastering the Business Presentation
Author: Tim Calkins
Topic: Take the guesswork out of business presentations with simple, no-nonsense tips that will pack punch, infuse energy and win over audiences.
“Clear, practical, thorough and right on the mark. It’s a must-read for people who are new to giving presentations, as well as for experienced presenters who want to get even better. This book belongs on everyone’s bookshelf.”
3. How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking
Author: Viv Groskop
Topic: What is it that our heroines do to make us sit up and listen to their every word? Here’s how you can achieve a similar impact.
“This book covers how to camouflage nerves, how to "present" yourself in different situations, how to cope with mistakes, how to generate more speaking opportunities... With tons of analysis from some of the best female speakers from Oprah, Michelle Obama, Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed and Amy Cuddy to Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, JK Rowling, Joan Rivers and more. This book makes no apology that it is aimed at and about women and only women. There are very few books at all about women public speakers, and it’s time there were more.”
4. Storytelling: The Presenter's Secret Weapon
Author: John Clare
Topic: This book is packed with techniques and examples to help you stop reading slides and start telling stories that make an impact.
“Excellent. Buy it. Read it. Use it. There’s a huge amount to like in this book and nothing to dislike.”
5. The Messenger is the Message: How to Mobilize Customers and Unleash the Power of Advocate Marketing
Authors: Mark Organ and Deena Zenyk
Topic: An authentic voice with relevant experience is the most convincing proponent when we're considering a new product or company—that is the power of an advocate.
“This book is both clearer and deeper than you might expect. A lot of really exciting ideas put it well outside the "one idea stretched out to 300 pages" category. The Messenger is the Message is a quick, easy, but intellectually satisfying read that will have you going back to the ideas time after time. A real paradigm shift in thinking”
6. The Ultimate Public Speaking Survival Guide: 37 Things You Must Know When You Start Public Speaking
Authors: Ramakrishna Reddy
Topic: Thoroughly well researched and in-depth book on the art of public speaking.
“If you're someone who wants to learn how to be a great speaker in a hurry, then Rama's book contains a wealth of tools and tips that will cut years off your learning curve.”
7. Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling
Author: Matthew Dicks
Topic: This book shows how to tell a great story — and why doing so matters.
“In Storyworthy, Matthew Dicks gives us all the tools we’ll need to become an effective storyteller, and he does so with wit, wisdom, and self-effacing charm. What’s more, he reminds us that through storytelling — and our willingness to be honest and vulnerable when sharing the different moments that have helped shape our lives — we invite the great possibility of deeper connection with others, and with ourselves. This book serves as a guidebook and a muse, rooted in the belief that our individual stories, when shared with heart, end up walking us down the pathway to true belonging. Storyworthy acts as a bright light along that journey.”
8. The Breakthrough Speaker: How to Build a Public Speaking Career
Author: Adam Smiley Poswolsky
Topic: How to transition from being a free to a paid speaker. The lessons in this book will help new speakers looking to break into the corporate speaking industry, as well as entrepreneurs, creatives, and influencers who want to gain exposure, build their personal brand, and make a greater impact
“For those who want to spread their message and earn credibility via public speaking—and be paid to do so—Adam Smiley Poswolsky’s The Breakthrough Speaker offers smart, inspiring, and actionable advice. From discovering your own story, to negotiating speaking fees, this comprehensive guide will be invaluable for new speakers, including those who want to break into the corporate speaking industry.”
9. Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks
Author: Jonathan Schwabish
Topic: Designed for presenters of scholarly or data-intensive content, this book details essential strategies for developing clear, sophisticated, and visually captivating presentations.
“Jon does an excellent job laying out an easy-to-follow framework for approaching presentation design, from overall flow to simple tweaks anyone can make to a slide to make it easier for your audience to connect to your story. Unlike many other presentation and visualization design books that focus primarily on examples from business (sales, profit, KPIs, etc.), I've found his book to be highly relatable for those working in social sector programs and would recommend it to anyone looking to rock their next big presentation.”
10. Frankly Speaking... Insider Advice (Most) Meeting Planners Won't Share with Speakers
Authors: Maralynn Adams, Bonni Scepkowski, Tracey Smith, and Shawna Suckow
Topic: 4 event organizers discuss 15 different topics that will help speakers of all experience levels navigate their prospecting and relationship-building with planners.
“Frankly Speaking is like stealing the playbook on getting booked. If you want better relationships with meeting planners and more business than you can handle, then pick up a copy”
11. Squelched: Succeeding in Business and Life by Finding Your Voice
Author: Terry Beard
Topic: How to tackle self-doubt with real-life strategies that make you "feel good enough" to succeed on stage, in business, and in life.
"Terry's enthusiasm has helped countless men and women "find their voice." The book is refreshingly honest and enjoyable to read. Terry's storytelling throughout the book will motivate others to seek their potential. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.”
12. Taking the Numb Out of Numbers: Explaining and Presenting Financial Information with Confidence and Clarity
Author: Peter A. Margaritis
Topic: Learn the key differences between data storytelling and data visualization, and discover step by step, how to talk to you audience about numbers so they can understand and use the data you are presenting.
“Peter does an outstanding job demonstrating how to present numbers to a non-number audience. It is useful information that can be used in any presentation. Can help make the presenter a "rock star". I highly recommend this book for anyone who presents financial data and wants to make it interesting and relative to their audience, whoever they may be. I have already used many of the suggestions in his book.”
Bonus Audiobook: Out Front: How Women Can Become Engaging, Memorable, and Fearless Speakers
Author: Deborah Shames
Topic: This audiobook, specifically geared towards women, guides readers in the mechanics of communicating efficiently and constructing successful presentations, even with pressing deadlines.
“With a focus on motivating action, women in sales or climbing the management or partner ladder will find a treasure trove of information and anecdotes that spur real change in the way they address an audience. This book is not only for emerging women professionals, but for those of us with 20 years experience in front of an audience. Deborah’s sage voice is in my head every time I create a presentation or update tested material.”
Interested in being listed on SpeakerHub? We are the fastest growing speaker’s network. Sign up here.
Disclaimer: please note that links to the above books are affiliate links.