Public speaking. Two little words that have the power to strike unspeakable fear into the hearts of the bravest of souls. I’m not sure what it is about presenting to a group, giving a speech or leading a workshop that is so fear inspiring, but there it is. Actually, I took an informal poll among my friends and got some interesting answers.
The most common responses were “I might forget what I was going to say;” “No one is interested in what I have to say;” “I am afraid I’ll say something stupid.”
Looking at these and the other responses, I would surmise that one of the biggest challenges people have in becoming accomplished public speakers is a lack of confidence. Fortunately, there’s a remedy for that. Part of the remedy is to speak in public. One of the best ways to become a better speaker is to speak. We only get better at things by actually doing them. Or by studying the techniques and then putting them into practice.
If you have a job or other position that may require you to speak regularly, or even occasionally, now is the perfect time to work on becoming a better speaker and presenter—before you’re called upon. To help you get going and get some ideas, here are four of my favorite books that I have used to become a better speaker.
I’d love to know what has helped you become a more confident and better speaker, and if you have any books you would add to this list.
By the way, you can purchase any of the books through Amazon.com by clicking on their images or the links. I will receive a small commission should you purchase one, and it will not affect the price you pay.
Ted Talks seem to be like the Olympics of public speaking. Nearly everyone I know who enjoys speaking or who’s an entrepreneur has “giving a TED Talk” on their to-do list. Trivia note: Did you know that TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design?
The goal of TED has been to bring together the world’s leading thinkers, to have them give presentations that set the world on fire. So, to successfully talk like TED, you need to create a presentation that’s dynamic and motivating, as well as entertaining. And this book will teach you the techniques that TED presenters use to do just that.
In his book, Carmine Gallo has broken down hundreds of TED talks and interviewed the most popular TED presenters, as well as the top researchers in the fields of psychology, communications, and neuroscience to reveal the nine secrets of all successful TED presentations. Gallo’s step-by-step method makes it possible for anyone to deliver a presentation that is engaging, persuasive, and memorable.
Carmine Gallo’s top 10 Wall Street Journal Bestseller Talk Like TED will give anyone who is insecure about their public speaking abilities the tools to communicate the ideas that matter most to them, the skill to win over hearts and minds, and the confidence to deliver the talk of their lives.
Being Boring Sucks, So Stop It!: Your Journey to Delivering Powerful, Lucrative, and Inspiring Presentations Begins Here!
I met Eric in 2017 after we had connected on Facebook through a mutual friend. I happened to be taking care of some business in Utah, and he was putting on a workshop about the same time. Besides being a generally nice guy, he turned out to be an engaging presenter, and I found his workshop to be interesting, motivating and fun.
You’ll find the same in his book. It’s formatted a lot like one of presentations, only in writing. It’s full of personal experiences that illustrate all his principles for being a successful presenter, including how to plan, organize and deliver powerful presentations—and have fun doing it.
After all, who wants to be a boring presenter?
The skills taught in this book can not only help you become a better speaker, but they can also be used to increase sales, inspire and motivate a team to perform better, and even become a more effective and influential parent. Read Being Boring Sucks, So Stop It! and begin your journey to success today!
Brian Tracy says that anyone can learn to be a great speaker. As one of the most well-known public speakers and success experts in the world, I’d say he knows a thing or two about presenting and speaking.
In this book, Brian Tracy shares his time-tested “tricks of the trade” to help readers learn to present and speak powerfully and persuasively. He covers topics such as using body language and props, to keep listeners engaged. He also talks about the power of humor, stories and questions as part of your presentation.
In addition, he focuses on learning to speak persuasively, a critical skill in today’s business world. Learning and using Brian’s techniques can definitely help you to increase your authority and advance your career.
This last one is actually two titles, but I couldn’t decide which I like better and, since they’re both from the same author, you get both titles here.
This is the bible of public speaking. Pretty much everyone I know who speaks has studied this book at one time or another. It’s been around for a long time, but it was recently updated. It covers many techniques of effective public speaking in a variety of settings. And, in addition, he covers informal presentations (i.e., conversation & impromptu speaking) as well.
If you need some extra help to become a better speaker, here is Dale Carnegie’s public speaking course in a book. Like the other title, this one has been updated to reflect 21st-century language and points of reference, but it still has all of Dale Carnegie’s original ideas and methods, including his speech and diction exercises, which can help you develop confidence in your speaking skills.
This edition also restores Carnegie’s original appendix of the three complete self-help classics: Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, and A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard. Carnegie included these essays in his original edition because, although they do not directly relate to public speaking, he felt they would be of great value to the readers. Here is the definitive update of the best-loved public-speaking book of all time.