5 books on public speaking and communication you need to read

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”

This sentence by the writer Fran Lebowitz sums up the sense of mastery over a subject that the reading of a book gives us. It’s like a friend whispering the answers. And there are several answers that books on public speaking and communication can give you, ok?

How to improve the content of your presentations, how to improve your facial and body expressions, how to communicate more assertively … There is a book for each of these subjects and all of them can yield a happier ending for you.

So, to help you have more repertoire when preparing presentations, we’ve listed the top books on public speaking and communication. Prepare some tea, turn on the lamp and let’s meet!

TED Talks – The official TED guide to public speaking

Short, honest, and carefully crafted. That’s how TED Talks are. In fact, some lines are so emotional, engaging, and striking that they even change our view of the world in a matter of minutes, right?

In addition to sharing knowledge, they generate excitement, empathy, and insights. So it’s only fair to have a guide to building amazing talks written by TED president Chris Anderson himself.

Judging the book by its cover, we might think it’s going to tell us the “secret TED formula” to build moving lines. But the author explains that this is not the case, because each speech must be unique.

However, the work brings tools that anyone can use to improve their oratory, whether in content or interaction with the audience.

Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and Principles of Screenplay Writing

Imagine if superhero stories came in the form of a medicine package:

Medicine: Batman. Indication: fight crime. Contraindication: Wild. Use with a utility belt.

The information is there, but it’s not the same thing, right? Stories enchant, move, motivate and make information much easier to be absorbed. That’s why you can’t leave storytelling techniques aside when putting together a presentation.

To help you with that, creative writing professor Robert McKee talks about the elements that make one story more captivating than others. And he does this by dissecting scenes from movies like ”Casablanca” and ”Chinatown”.

So, by understanding the logic behind good stories, you begin to build content as compelling as Hollywood movies into your presentations. Come on, Oscar!

The body speaks

You can talk about the time you fell out of a chair in two ways. One way can be quite tragic. And the other, a funny story about a monkey you paid for.

For the audience to understand your intention when cutting that story, your facial expression, your gestures and your posture will make a big difference. After all, non-verbal communication is responsible for 55% of the understanding of the messages we convey.

In this sense, the book “O Corpo Fala” is like a dictionary of our body language, with explanations, exercises, and more than 350 illustrations on non-verbal communication.

Assertive Empathy: How to Be an Incisive Leader Without Losing Humanity

You may find empathy and assertiveness to be deadly enemies. The first, a kind of bunny jumping towards the rainbow. And the second, a Mexican soap opera villain.

But this book, written by Kim Scott, a former Google and Apple executive, proves that it’s possible to be a leader who communicates empathically and assertively. That is, being a leader who cares about people but is not afraid to confront them.

That’s because, in leadership, communication is a matter of balance. Confrontation without empathy is just aggression. But non-confrontational worry can be harmful to empathy. While lack of empathy and no confrontation can be manipulated.

In this sense, the book provides important lessons for leaders (and future leaders). Among them, how to communicate to promote a feedback culture, create a cohesive team, and achieve the best results.

non-violent communication

Disagreeing is normal and healthy. And there are effective ways to debate so that the result is productive. That’s why the author, Marshall Rosenberg, wrote this practical and educational guide with a methodology that helps improve relationships and reduce violence.

In it, the author recommends that you get off autopilot and put attention on speaking and especially listening.

Thus, with more awareness of what the other is proposing and how you are feeling about what is being put, it is possible to communicate clearly, honestly, and positively.

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