I write a lot on Practically Perfect PA about how Assistants should speak-up, have confidence and represent themselves and their Executives in meetings. This is often easier said than done, because, as we all know, speaking in public (whether that is in a session or a larger public setting) is hard. Most people don’t do it because it is scary and way out of our comfort zone. But, being able to express yourself and your opinion is so valuable. For me, once I conquered my fear of speaking in meetings, and with large groups of people my career went up a whole level. Speaking in public is something you have to practice so I thought I would share 10 books that will help you improve your public speaking and also help you improve your executive’s public speaking and presentations. These books are all worth a read.
10 books to read to improve your public speaking
Born to Speak by Richard Newman
As most of you will know I ask Richard Newman to speak at most of the Practically Perfect PA conferences, and if you have seen him present you will understand why his book is number one on my list! He is a great speaker and his book details the journey he made to get to this point in his career. Well worth a read for anyone who wants to improve their public speaking.
We all know that TED Talks are the gold standard for presentations and sharing ideas. In this book, Carmine Gallo has analysed hundreds of TED Talks and conducted interviews with the most popular TED presenters and then sets out a step by step plan to help present like the best Ted Talks.
The quick and easy way to effective speaking by Dale Carnegie
Anything by Dale Carnegie is worth a read, but this book will show you how to overcome your fear of public speaking and structure your thoughts so that you can communicate effectively.
Karen Hough debunks over a dozen myths about presenting to make it more fun and natural for everyone. She explains how practising in front of a mirror makes you worse, why you should never end with questions, and much more. She includes true stories of people who not only were able to become great presenters by being “bad” but came to enjoy it!
Amy Cuddy has the second most watched Ted Talk so that in itself makes this book worth reading. This book is all about how you can position your body language so that what you are doing is as impactful as what you are saying.
slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte
Presentation software is one of the few tools that requires professionals to think visually on an almost daily basis. But unlike verbal skills, practical visual expression is not easy, natural, or actively taught in schools or business training programs. slide:ology fills that void. This is an excellent book if you are putting presentations and slide decks together for your Executive.
The Art of Public Speaking by Stephen Lucas
The Art of Public Speaking is a great place to start if you are new to presenting and speaking in public. Aimed at students, this book gives you a step by step guide to start and then improve your communications and presence in public.
While most public-speaking books talk about the mechanics of public speaking, this book provides an insight into the psychology of public speaking. For example, you may have heard that public speaking is people’s number one fear in life. It turns out most people are usually not afraid of public speaking at all; it’s the public judgment that they most fear
Public speaking is a part of our lives whether we like it or not. It’s a common fear that can have excellent outcomes on our lives once conquered. Whether you want to feel more comfortable speaking in front of crowds of tens or hundreds of people, apply the tactics laid out for you in Stage Fight to guide you
This is an easy to read guide that will give you excellent tips, 37 in fact, that will help you improve your public speaking, anxiety and technique so that you can quickly improve your communication skills.