The Public Speaker’s Reading List in 2021


Average: 5 (1 vote)


You might have struggled to adapt to speaking from home or simply want to brush up on those skills that make a good speaker regardless of where you are. Either way, digging into the research and writings of experts is the best way to answer all those questions you have, find useful tips, build confidence and generally, just get better at public speaking.

We did a little research into the books that have been written and published in the past year aimed at helping one navigate public speaking. 

We found some gems and we’re sharing them with you here. 

Read, get curious, and dive into the tips and tricks of public speaking.

1. Public Speaking Principles 

Author:  Gerard Shaw

Topic: The book offers tips for beginners to become efficient communicators and improve their presentation skills by losing their fear and anxiety to be able to excite their audience as confident speakers.


“Public speaking isn't only for those who have the gift of gab. And even those who have it in them to be good communicators, public speaking success doesn't just happen for them. Public speaking is a learned skill that is honed, polished, and deliberately developed if you want to be successful. The most talented speakers took their time to study everything about this communication skill. Nobody can just stand there and nail it the first time. Gerard Shaw, the writer attests to that. I trust his experience and I learned to trust in my own journey too. I trust someone who believes that talent is a product of hard work, passion, and many years of learning. I know that talented speakers have taken lessons and courses in public speaking. If you wish to start your learning journey, this book is a good way to start. It is a good book to learn the fundamentals and how to's of developing the skill. I am amazed by how Gerard designed this book, gradually building your confidence and addressing important elements that make a good public speaker and communicator in general. And then, the book takes you to chapters and chapters of learning and improving your skill in public speaking. It is an absolutely unique experience reading this book. I am ready to explore more about my public speaking and presentation skills. I plan to re-read the book to implement the learnings I found there more, as I find it easy to apply these things to real-life situations. I can say this book is relatable and relevant today because we all need a little push to realize that everything we need to succeed can be learned. This book will reinforce your love for learning and self-improvement. This is the first lesson you should take on the topic of public speaking.”

Link: Public Speaking Principles 


2. The Public Speaking Playbook 

Author:   Teri Kwal Gamble &  Michael W Gamble 

Topic: The Public Speaking Playbook shows students how to prepare, practice, and present their public speeches with the highest level of confidence. With a focus on actively building skills, Teri Kwal Gamble and Michael W. Gamble coach students in the fundamentals of the public speaking process, using engaging learning modules that allow them to practice--and improve--their public speaking. 


The Public Speaking Playbook is a very relevant public speaking textbook for the 21st-century learner. It's a text that students will be able to learn from because they will be able to relate to many of the examples that are used.

Link: The Public Speaking Playbook


3. Social Skills: Improve Self-Esteem and Nonverbal Communication by Managing Shyness and Social Anxiety for Happier Relationships. Gain Self-Confidence, Public Speaking, Friendships & Change Your Life. 

Author: Ted Goleman 

Topic: The book gives a comprehensive guide on how to know, evaluate and enhance your skills to improve self-esteem, improve your verbal and non-verbal communication skills, recognize social anxiety and practice self-confidence and self-love. It also offers practical exercises you can do to improve your social skills.


Great book for awkward people like me who don't quite understand the inner-workings of social interactions.

Link: Social Skills


4. The Billie Shepard Presentation Method: Why an Acting Teacher Holds the Key to Greater Influence, Happier Customers, and Better Relationships

Author:  Billie Shepard

Topic: Veteran Silicon Valley presentation coach Billie Shepard offers readers access to the unique public speaking approach she has developed for business professionals all over the world. 


The Billie Shepard Presentation Method is a practical and easy-to-understand guidebook for anyone who wants to get better at making corporate presentations. Unlike other books on public speaking, this one is geared specifically towards business professionals. Billie covers the subject with calmness, candour and humour, giving readers an insight into methods and techniques she has honed over decades of training thousands of actors and business people. Highly recommended.

Link: The Billie Shepard Presentation Method: Why an Acting Teacher Holds the Key to Greater Influence, Happier Customers, and Better Relationships


5. The Successful Speaker: Five Steps for Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform

Author:  Grant Baldwin

Topic: The Successful Speaker gives the five-step road map to start and scale a speaking business from the ground up, including how to hone your message and know exactly who it's for, the preparation process to help your next speech move an audience to action, what it takes to establish yourself as an in-demand expert, practical steps to finding and booking paid speaking gigs, how to know when it's time to grow your impact and income.


Finally, a book that really provides some insight into successful speaking. Not so much on the technique, but on how to be successful getting gigs and booked. There is plenty of material on the method of speaking, so I was glad to find a book that actually helps speakers determine where they want to go. My husband speaks frequently at conferences across the nation as a subject matter expert and I asked him to read the book to get his opinion on it. He agreed with almost all of the concepts this book lays out. He fully agreed that if you want to be asked to speak, you can’t just speak about whatever you want. First you have to find a problem to solve that people are going to want to hear your thought. Then rather than trying to speak about a bunch of different topics, you need to focus on your message and get good at delivery. Then build your brand so that your expertise is recognized. If you are looking to make a career out of speaking, then this is a great resource for you. It is easy to follow and provides several personal examples from both the author and other speakers.”

Link: The Successful Speaker


6. Crucial Communication Skills for Everyday 5 Books in 1: Public Speaking Principles, Simple Small Talk, Alpha Assertiveness, Conflict Resolution Techniques and Bold Body Language

Author:  Gerard Shaw

Topic: This 5-in-1 book by Gerard Shaw reveals all the tried-and-true hacks to master the top 5 communication skills that can guarantee your success, even if you are struggling in social interactions, have challenges on your self-image, or are an introvert.


This book was quite a find, especially if you are in a position of making public speeches and feel nervous getting in front of people. The author shares his personal experiences with fear when it came to public speaking and how he overcame it. He gives some great strategies for crafting winning speeches and gaining the confidence necessary to come across as an accomplished speaker.

Link: Crucial Communication Skills for Everyday 


7. 100 Tips & Tricks to Appear Confident in Presentations: Public Speaking Success in 5 Minutes or Less

Author: Diane Windingland 

Topic: Complete with illustrated tips, 100 Tips & Tricks will help you learn quick techniques (most no more than 5 minutes long to apply) to appear confident in presentations, to help you to act confidently, and ultimately to help you feel more confident.


I have had to speak in front of crowds for over 30 years. I wish I would have had this book 31 years ago. Easy read and good tips. At the end of the day, you have to practice but you should practice using this as a reference.

Link: 100 Tips & Tricks to Appear Confident in Presentations: Public Speaking Success in 5 Minutes or Less


8. The Storytelling Code: 10 Simple Rules to Shape and Tell a Brilliant Story

Author:  Dana Norris

Topic: The Storytelling Code provides step-by-step help on crafting your narrative, as well as simple exercises to put those public speaking skills into practice.


Dana Norris's true passion for writing and storytelling is on display in this book. The Storytelling Code contains useful and valuable tools for any writer.

Link: The Storytelling Code: 10 Simple Rules to Shape and Tell a Brilliant Story


9. PUBLIC SPEAKING... SIMPLIFIED: A Straightforward Guide to Confident and Effective Speeches, Talks and Presentations

Author:  F. P. Driscoll

Topic: Public Speaking... Simplified is a straightforward path to confidence and effectiveness in giving speeches and presentations at work, school and in the community. It focuses on the core skills, attitudes, actions and strategies that will unleash anyone’s natural public speaking abilities and eliminates the complex and confusing instructions and advice that never really move the needle in creating public speaking success for people.

Review:  Be the first one to read and review this book.


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Disclaimer: Please note that links to the above books are affiliate links.

Average: 5 (1 vote)