Three books to read for public speaking.

December 16th, 2009

I do a fair amount of speaking, and friends sometimes ask me for advice on how to speak better. Sometime I’ll write more on that topic, but for starters, here are three books worth reading:

1. Dale Carnegie, The Quick and Easy Way to Effective SpeakingA fundamental text from one of the all-time leaders in the field. Carnegie trained thousands of businesspeople to be competent speakers, and his advice here can help anyone getting started on the road of public speaking.

2. Richard C. Borden, Public Speaking As Listeners Like It! — This book is worth finding in your library or elsewhere even though it’s been out of print for a long time. I dug it up after Guy Kawasaki recommended it (can’t remember where), and I was glad I did. It’s full of pithy, on-point advice that’s just as relevant today as when the book was written decades ago. (My favorite: the magic of using “For instance . . .”)

3. Garr Reynolds, Presentation Zen — This is a new-school title to complement the two old-school books above. Reynolds, who also has a great blog on this subject, has done a lot of deep thinking about how modern PowerPoint-driven presentations can be much better. He’s a clear writer who keeps the audience’s interests firmly in mind.

Now, what would you add to this list?

2 Responses to “Three books to read for public speaking.”

  1. Jim Storer Says:

    Hi Tim – I’d add “Made to Stick” to your list. The most effective talks are the ones that present ideas that resonate with the audience, giving them something to take home and chew on… act on. This book helps you understand how to do that.

    Cheers – Jim | @jimstorer

  2. Luis Valdes Says:

    I Can See You Naked by Ron Hoff. Very practical and done with humor.

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