Career Collection Spotlight: Public Speaking and Communication

A college student deejays from Carnegie-Mellon University's WRCT radio station. (c.1975)

A college student deejays from Carnegie-Mellon University's WRCT radio station. (c.1975) Image found in the University Archives, available online via our Digital Collections.

The University Libraries’ Career Collection is a treasure trove of valuable resources for professionals at any stage of their careers, from networking and interviewing to pursuing leadership positions. In this list, experts from the Libraries and the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) recommend ten books that focus on public speaking and communication skills.

World Class Speaking in Action
Valentine, Craig; Meyerson, Mitch (2015)

World Class Speaking in ActionCraft an unforgettable message that hits home with your audience * Deliver your speech in a way that keeps your audience on the edge of their seats * Sell your message so your audience members take the exact next step you want them to take * Master leading-edge technologies and speak to thousands without even leaving home "World Class Speaking In Action" is a definitive guide for the professional speaking and coaching industry.

Until now, public speaking books have covered either the art of public speaking or the business of public speaking. World Class Speaking In Action shows you how to master both. "World Class Speaking" is the one-stop-shop for building breakthrough presentations and turning them into bundles of profits! - Publisher's Description

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What Every BODY is Saying
Navarro, Joe; Karlins, Marvin (2008)

What Every BODY is SayingRead this book and send your nonverbal intelligence soaring. Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer and a recognized expert on nonverbal behavior, explains how to "speed-read" people: decode sentiments and behaviors, avoid hidden pitfalls, and look for deceptive behaviors.

You'll also learn how your body language can influence what your boss, family, friends, and strangers think of you. - Publisher's Description

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Talk Like TED
Gallo, Carmine (2015)

Talk Like TEDIdeas are the currency of the twenty-first century. In order to succeed, you need to be able to sell your ideas persuasively. This ability is the single greatest skill that will help you accomplish your dreams. Many people have a fear of public speaking or are insecure about their ability to give a successful presentation.

Now public speaking coach and bestselling author Carmine Gallo explores what makes a great presentation by examining the widely acclaimed TED Talks, which have redefined the elements of a successful presentation and become the gold standard for public speaking. TED - which stands for technology, entertainment, and design ? brings together the world's leading thinkers. These are the presentations that set the world on fire, and the techniques that top TED speakers use will make any presentation more dynamic, fire up any team, and give anyone the confidence to overcome their fear of public speaking. - Publisher's Description

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"Talk Like TED is the perfect book for someone who wants to write and give a speech that matters. Using stories from dozens of popular TED Talks, the author breaks down the speaking sub-skills needed to make your big idea connect to your audience in an emotional, novel, and memorable way. Read the book and implement the skills as you go. Maybe sign up to give a TedxTalk while you're at it!"

How To Own The Room
Groskop, Viv (2018)

How To Own The RoomMost books about public speaking don’t tell you what to do when you open your mouth and nothing comes out. And they don’t tell you how to get over the anxiety about performance that most people naturally have.

They don’t tell you what to do in the moments when you are made, as a woman, to feel small. They don’t tell you how to own the room. This book does. From the way Michelle Obama projects ‘happy high status’, and the power of J.K.Rowling’s understated speaking style, to Virginia Woolf’s leisurely pacing and Oprah Winfrey’s mastery of inner conviction, what is it that our heroines do to make us sit up and listen - really listen - to their every word? And how can you achieve that impact in your own life? Here’s how. - Publisher's Description

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Reynolds, Garr (2012)

PresentationZenPresentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert Garr Reynolds, creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the net — — shares his experience in a provocative mix of illumination, inspiration, education, and guidance that will change the way you think about making presentations with PowerPoint or Keynote.

"PresentationZen" challenges the conventional wisdom of making "slide presentations" in today’s world and encourages you to think differently and more creatively about the preparation, design, and delivery of your presentations. Garr shares lessons and perspectives that draw upon practical advice from the fields of communication and business. Combining solid principles of design with the tenets of Zen simplicity, this book will help you along the path to simpler, more effective presentations. - Publisher's Description

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Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences
Duarte, Nancy (2010)

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform AudiencesPresentations are meant to inform, inspire, and persuade audiences. So why then do so many audiences leave feeling like they've wasted their time? All too often, presentations don't resonate with the audience and move them to transformative action.

Just as the author's first book helped presenters become visual communicators, "Resonate" helps you make a strong connection with your audience and lead them to purposeful action. The author's approach is simple: building a presentation today is a bit like writing a documentary. Using this approach, you'll convey your content with passion, persuasion, and impact. - Publisher's Description

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Confessions of a Public Speaker
Berkun, Scott (2010)

Confessions of a Public SpeakerIn this hilarious and highly practical book, author and professional speaker Scott Berkun reveals the techniques behind what great communicators do, and shows how anyone can learn to use them well.

For managers and teachers -- and anyone else who talks and expects someone to listen -- "Confessions of a Public Speaker" provides an insider's perspective on how to effectively present ideas to anyone. It's a unique, entertaining, and instructional romp through the embarrassments and triumphs Scott has experienced over 15 years of speaking to crowds of all sizes. - Publisher's Description

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Speak With No Fear
Acker, Mike (2019)

Speak With No FearThrough this book you will learn 7 strategies you can begin today. These strategies will give you a new perspective, they will prepare you, and they will give you actions to practice. As you implement these strategies, your fear will begin to fade.

It can easily seem like everyone is a gifted speaker when you watch TED talks or compare yourself to skilled co-workers giving presentations. Don't get caught up in the costly comparison trap. Instead, take action to improve your ability and to overcome your fear. If you struggle in speaking, then first realize that you are not alone. Public Speaking is the #1 fear in America. You are not alone. - Publisher's Description

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Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts
Penn, Joanna (2019)

Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other IntrovertsAs creatives in a crowded world, we can no longer sit in our rooms, creating alone. If we want a viable income, we have to be out there in the world, sharing our knowledge and being visible in order to have a successful career. Public speaking can be an extra income stream or can form an integral part of your marketing. It's also a good idea to plan for success and authors/creatives often have to speak when they become well-known, so it's best to start practicing earlier.

This book is a starter pack and an easy reference guide with the information that you need the most to speak confidently and professionally in public. And, although some chapters have specific tips for introverts, much of this information will be useful for anyone who is interested in public speaking, regardless of their personality type. - Publisher's Description

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How to Talk to Anyone About Anything
Williams, James W. (2021)

How to Talk to Anyone About AnythingHave you always struggled with making small talk and want to stop feeling awkward? Do you wish to be able to tell stories where your listeners hang on to your every word? Do you wish you had the courage, the confidence, and the charisma to meet new people and make friends with them?

If you’ve answered yes, this is the book for you! "How to Talk to Anyone About Anything: Improve Your Social Skills, Master Small Talk, Connect Effortlessly, and Make Real Friends" is your complete guide to help you do just that. The chapters within this book cover everything you need to know to fully embrace your true self and become the most enthralling conversationalist in ANY room! - Publisher's Description

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For additional information, check out the Libraries’ Career Collection resources. Physical copies of books are located on the second floor of Hunt Library, and eBooks can be found in the catalog. You can also visit the CPDC website to find additional resources, or make an appointment with a Career Consultant.