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The Best Books to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Some people think that good presentation skills come naturally. The confidence, the body language, speaking skills might come to you naturally, but if you are not really good at presenting, or getting your message across, you don’t need to worry anymore, because we have a list of the best books for enhancing your presentation skills.

The list is not made in any specific order, so you might get a couple of them and increase the chance of becoming the presenter admired by all.

Speak to Win

Subtitle: How to Present with Power in Any Situation

Author: Brian Tracy

Why this book?

Brian Tracy is a living legend and his writing would definitely bring out the awesome presenter hiding inside you.

Best Quote: “Becoming an excellent public speaker will help you in every part of your career. But there is an even more important reason to learn to speak well to an audience. Psychologists tell us that your level of self-esteem, or ‘how much you like yourself,’ largely determines the quality of your inner and outer life. The better and more persuasively you speak, the more you like yourself. The more you like yourself, the more optimistic and confident you are. The more you like yourself, the most positive and personable you are in your relationships with others. The more you like yourself, the healthier, happier, and more positive you become in everything you do.”

Resonate

Subtitle: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences

Author: Nancy Duarte

Best Quote: “Moving an idea from its inception to adoption is hard, but it’s a battle that can be won simply by wielding a great presentation. Presentations are a powerfully persuasive tool, and when packaged in a story framework, your ideas become downright unstoppable. Story structures have been employed for hundred of generations to persuade and delight every known culture.”

The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

Subtitle: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

Authors: Gary Chapman and Paul White

Best Quote: “Each person has a primary and secondary language of appreciation. Our primary language communicates more deeply to us than the others. Although we will accept appreciation in all five languages, we will not feel truly encouraged unless the message is communicated through our primary language. When messages are sent repeatedly in ways outside of that language, the intent of the message ‘misses the mark’ and loses the impact the sender had hoped for.”

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

Author: Edward R. Tufte

Why This Book?

This book focuses on how the use of graphics makes presentations more interesting. Go ahead and get a copy to know more.

Best Quote“Words and pictures belong together. Viewers need the help that words can provide. Words on graphics are data-ink, making effective use of the space freed up by erasing redundant and non-data-ink. It is nearly always helpful to write little messages on the plotting field to explain the data, to label outliers and interesting data points, to write equations and sometimes tables on the graphic itself, and to integrate the caption and legend into the design so that the eye is not required to dart back and forth between textual material and the graphic.”

Presentation Zen

Subtitle: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

Author: Garr Reynolds. Foreword by Guy Kawasaki

Why This Book?                                                         

The author’s working model is that a presentation should appeal to six senses: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning. To know more, read this game changer.

Best Quote: “It is more difficult to process information if it is coming at us both verbally and in written form at the same time. Since people cannot read and listen well at the same time, displays filled with lots of text must be avoided. On the other hand, multimedia that displays visual information, including visualizations of quantitative information, can be processed while listening to somebody speaks about the visual content.”

Death by Meeting

Subtitle: A Leadership Fable…About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business

Author: Patrick Lencioni

Why this book?

This book is not based upon presentations and their do’s and don’ts. It simply tells you the reason why some meetings and presentations have a huge influence and why others don’t.

Best Quote: “If we hate meetings, can we be making good decisions and successfully leading our organizations? I don’t think so. There is simply no substitute for a good meeting–a dynamic, passionate, and focused engagement–when it comes to extracting the collective wisdom of a team. The hard truth is, bad meetings almost always lead to bad decisions, which is the best recipe for mediocrity.”

Confessions of a Public Speaker

Author: Scott Berkun

Why This Book?

Well, the reason why you would love this book is, just because it’s so damn funny!

Best Quote: “If you tell people you’re a public speaker, they’ll assume one of three bad things: 1) You’re a motivational speaker who wears bad suits, sweats too much, and dreams about Tony Robbins; 2) You’re a high priest in a cult and will soon try to convert them to your religion; 3) You’re single, unemployed, and live in a van down by the river.”

If your frequency doesn’t match with these, try the following.
Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story

Author: Jerry Weissman

Jerry Weisman would take you through a journey of presenting, not just for the sake of it, but presenting to win.

Speaking PowerPoint: The New Language Of Business

Author: Bruce Gabrielle

Creating a convincing business with strategic plans, with Bruce Gabrielle’s research of more than 40 years is the theme of this book.

Show Me The Numbers: Designing tables and graphs to enlighten

Author: Stephen Few

Stephen Few would guide you in making those raw tables and graphs into ones that would make your presentation stand out.

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─ April 11, 2016