I’ve heard that experts come in two forms, those that have done it and those that research it – the best experts do both. After giving over 1,000 presentations myself and coaching dozens of presenters, I knew my way wasn’t the only way, so I began researching presentation books.
What I found was that most presentation books just repeat the same old information over and over. So I began researching things that most wouldn’t consider “presentations” to validate my personal experiences with research including marketing, biological, physiological, and psychological. I’ve included this presentation research in SpeakU, my self-guided presentation skills course.
I’m asked all the time what presentation books that I recommend, so here is my official list. (I’ll probably add to it time to time too.)
Top 10 Presentation Books You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
10) The Visible Expert by Hinge – The first book I’ve found that cites the benefits of presentations through research. The book states that presentations are one of the primary methods to showcase one’s expertise, which generates leads and increasing expertise can boost your firm’s billing rate (and your salary).
9) Sleaze-Free Selling by Julia Kline – A new outlook on the method of selling your business by positioning your message as audience-centric, or a typical problem your audience faces.
8) Love Your Voice by Roger Love – A snippet of a larger program to identify what voice you have and how to exercise your voice so that it is more appealing to those listening to you.
7) From Hand To Mouth: The Origins of Language by Michael C. Corballis – Discover everything you wanted to know and even things you didn’t wish to know about quirky grammar, the dawn of communication through gestures, and how language is learned.
6) Smart Talk by Lisa B. Marshall – Covers all of your generic communication questions such as following up on your conversations and how to accept criticism. Important information you may need for the workplace.
5) UMM by Michael Erard – A book that looks at the history of verbal blunders, how and when people use them, and what verbal blunders say about the speaker. It’s an interesting read to learn why it’s so difficult to rid your vocabulary of this pesky non-vocabulary word.
4) Made to Stick by Chip & Dan Heath – This book dives deep into the root of what makes any message sticky. Based on through research, explores why certain messages are remembered by listeners and why others are not.
3) Hearing Gesture by Susan Goldin-Meadow – Dissertation-like information explaining hand gestures, what they mean, and how individuals use them.
2) PresentationZen by Garr Reynolds – This Infamous book walks you through how to set up your presentation slides and why you should strip out all the bullet points and text in favor of a simplified slide that is easy on the eyes.
1) Speak Simple: The Art of Simplifying Technical Presentations by Erica Olson – I couldn’t exclude my book. I had this revolutionary idea that all presentations need to be simplified, so your audience understands what you are speaking about. I’m delighted by the response I’ve received people that have read my book. (Download the first chapter for free.)
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How Speak Simple Can Help You
Speak Simple helps teams too! Whether it is coaching a team of technicals to win the big bid presentation or training professionals to share their expertise in educational, thought leadership presentations. Learn more about how Speak Simple can help your firm win more work and increase your billing rate.