There are millions of stellar books in the world. the trick is figuring out what are the must-reads and finding the time to read them. if you’re as busy as I am, that may take some work. but there are books that speech experts consistently recommend.
To save you time and hassle, I did a little research to find the six most highly recommended public speaking books of all time. These are the best Amazon picks, Goodreads, and public speaking book summaries from around the web. check the list to make sure you’ve read them all. And if you want to pass on a bit of knowledge to your students, this list is a great place to start.
You are reading: Books on becoming a motivational speaker
1. the art of public speaking—dale carnegie
no public speaking book list is complete without dale carnegie. he may have been writing in the early 20th century, but his work and his advice are far from outdated.
this is the same carnegie who wrote the timeless classic on how to win friends and influence people. His book on public speaking contains many of the same philosophies about confidence, positivity, and finding success by believing in yourself and constantly practicing. Carnegie firmly believes that preparation and passion are what make a message go home.
The Art of Public Speaking, not to be confused with the textbook of the same name by Stephen Lucas, is the best place to read Carnegie Basics. but you really can’t go wrong with any of his books. the quick and easy way to speak effectively and how to build self-confidence & amp; influencing people by public speaking are fantastic reads that will change the way you present.
2. Talk Like Ted: 9 Public Speaking Secrets From The World’s Greatest Minds—Carmine Gallo
hundreds of the world’s most successful speakers and thinkers have stepped onto the ted stage. Now, speech coach Carmine Gallo has written a comprehensive guide on how to become one of those people.
gallo is widely considered an expert in business communication and is a frequent contributor to national publications such as the wall street journal, the new york times and forbes. After analyzing hundreds of Ted Talks and interviewing the most successful Ted Presenters, Gallo summarized his best methods into nine simple steps to public speaking that anyone can master. according to gallo, talking like a ted expert boils down to excitement, novelty, and being memorable.
If you’re interested in more books on Tedsters and what they do, check out Ted Talks: The Official Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson and How to Give a Ted Talk by Jeremy Donovan. Mr. Gallo has also written other notable books on public speaking such as Steve Jobs Presentation Secrets. definitely worth a read.
3. confessions of a speaker: scott berkun
This one appears on almost every list of best reads for public speaking. And for good reason, as Scott Berkun presents his ideas with practicality and a heavy dose of humor.
As a professional public speaker, Berkun is the perfect writer to produce a book full of personal anecdotes and lots of practical advice. He combines scientific research and years of speaking experience to provide an entertaining and revealing inside look at what it’s like to make public speaking his job, and why certain speakers are paid thousands of dollars to do what they do. . the hilarious and heartbreaking disaster stories make this book worth reading.
if humor is your preferred method for learning and teaching public speaking, berkun’s book is not the only option out there. Speak!: An Illustrated Guide to Public Speaking by Douglas M. fraleigh is another highly recommended favorite with some personality.
4. presentation zen: simple ideas on presentation design and delivery—garr reynolds
This book is tops when it comes to slides, visuals, and presentation delivery. Its author, Garr Reynolds, is an internationally renowned communication consultant with many clients in Fortune 500 companies. He considers Japan to be home to him, which explains where the premise of this book comes from.
Although Presentation Zen is not a religious book by any means, it borrows principles from Japanese Zen arts. The main takeaway: Simplicity, storytelling, and focus are the keys to a memorable presentation.
garr also shares tips on slide design, delivery, and how to present even the most boring topics in a new way. Her entire approach focuses on simple, impactful messages that an audience will act on.
The Naked Presenter, also from Reynolds, is another highly recommended favorite full of great ideas on how to make an impactful presentation. And if he’s looking for more books on slides and visuals, definitely check out Nancy Duarte’s Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations.
5. resonates: presents visual stories that transform the public: nancy duarte
and speaking of mrs. duarte, his book resonate is also part of this list. Duarte is both a featured speaker and a CEO with expert PowerPoint skills. He has won a lot of awards for helping business influencers and even the ted organization improve his presentations.
in resonate duarte lays out his core philosophy: even the most valuable messages will not inspire unless they are forcefully articulated. This book is packed with thought-provoking ideas on how to tell stories that inspire conflict and resolution and how to present content as a documentary would. the ultimate goal is to resonate with your audience in an energizing way.
If you’re looking for another great read by this author, check out Duarte’s HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations. this book is ideal for someone with a busy schedule. its 50 bite-sized chapters are perfect for flipping through during your lunch break and are packed with practical advice.
6. made to stay: why some ideas survive and others die—chip and dan heath
This one goes a little further than public speaking, but appears in enough book summaries to land it a spot on our list. the authors are a duo of brothers, one who is a professor of organizational behavior and the other who is a consultant and textbook developer.
Together they combined their intelligence to write a New York Times bestseller that even the great Malcolm Gladwell has mentioned in his book The Tipping Point.
chip and dan boil it down to six key principles that fit together with the acronym success. these principles can be easily applied to presenting and choosing content that makes a lasting impression.
In case you’re interested, this isn’t the only book the heath brothers have written. His first publication, Switch, is also highly recommended reading, and his most recent book, called Decisive, is about making smart decisions both during and after work. check it out.
have you read all six books?
If you see something on this list that you don’t recognize, it’s never too late to grab a copy and see what you think. Do you agree that these are the main recommendations of the story? What is your favorite public speaking book of all time? comment below to let us know.