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Presentation Skills Books


I recently was chatting with a woman who’s new to the speech coaching business and she asked me what books I’d recommend.  Here’s the list I shared with her.

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds – Changed the way I do PowerPoint. His slides are beautiful! And he gives you enough details that you can do them too.

So What? How to Communicate What Really Matters to Your Audience by Mark Magnacca – It’s like he stole my lines — so of course I agree with his book. Good things to think about what we do from a business perspective.

From a business perspective, two must read books are Million Dollar Consulting and Money Talks – Hows to Make a Million as a Speaker both by Alan Weiss. Both books are great at helping us understand how we need to think of what we do from a business perspective.

Patricia Fripp is an EXCELLENT presentation coach. She’s got some great articles on her website.

http://speakingaboutpresenting.com/ is Olivia Mitchell’s website. She’s brilliant. I love her stuff. She seems to be tuned into the latest research and stretching beyond just the typical presentation stuff. She knows the old school stuff is important but she goes beyond that too. She’s awesome and a super nice person too!

Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun – a fun, insightful read on speaking.

In the vein of connecting your message, I like…

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath


Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School by John Medina


A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

On another track, I also like Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D.   It’s not a presentation book but good things to think about as you use those things you do best to be world class.  It’s also a good reminder when coaching clients to do what they do best as a presenter — rather than encouraging them to be just like you.

The Backchannel: How Audiences Are Using Twitter and Social Media…And Changing Presentations Forever – By Cliff Atkinson – I read this after Olivia’s ebook (below). Great read on this emerging trend.

How to Present with Twitter (and Other Backchannels) – Free e-book by Olivia Mitchell about using Twitter as a presenter.  http://www.speakingaboutpresenting.com/twitter/present-twitter-backchannel-ebook/

http://jeffhurtblog.com/ – Jeff is a nationally renowned meeting planner. He writes a lot of brilliant stuff about using technology in conferences, much of which pertains to having his speakers getting involved in using technology to interact with audiences.

Boring to Bravo – Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve, and Inspire Your Audience to Action by Kristin Arnold. Kristin has captured in one book a great collection of strong presentation techniques that I’ve read in multiple other places. She is currently the president of the National Speakers Association and in her book, she’s included tips from multiple other professional speakers which I thought added to the value of her content.

OK, so that’s the start of my list… Now it’s your turn!

What presentation books have you read?  What are your favorites and why?  What websites have you found helpful?  Please do share in the comments below!