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Top reads for honing your presentation skills

Posted 2023-08-31
Top reads for honing your presentation skills


This blog curates an essential reading list for anyone looking to enhance their presentation skills. From mastering TED Talk techniques to effective storytelling and data visualization, the recommended books offer comprehensive insights. Whether you're a…... read more This blog curates an essential reading list for anyone looking to enhance their presentation skills. From mastering TED Talk techniques to effective storytelling and data visualization, the recommended books offer comprehensive insights. Whether you're a novice or seasoned presenter, these resources can guide you towards creating more impactful, memorable presentations. close

At any stage, continuously enhancing your presentation skills is key to becoming a better presenter. So many aspects contribute to a powerful presentation, and being a strong presenter relies on your knowledge of each. And many of the answers you seek can often be found in a book. From presenting to storytelling to data visualization, there’s a book for everything! This blog explores a curated reading list of eye-opening books that can enhance your presentation skills.

Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

Some of the most impactful and engaging presentations we’re familiar with are TED Talks, but what is it that makes them work? In his book, Talk Like TED, Gallo goes into what factors contribute to their success. TED Talks have set a standard for presentations that many aspire to reach, and this book breaks down why that is and how to reach it. Discussing structure, storytelling, and public speaking, Gallo looks into the different techniques that TED speakers have relied on to make their presentations dynamic, memorable, and compelling. By unraveling the secrets behind the iconic TED speakers, he simplifies what it takes to create a captivating and extraordinary presentation, as elaborated more in the following recommendation. 

Show and Tell by Dan Roam

In the book Show and Tell, Dan Roam discusses a revolutionary concept that easily improves any presentation: the art of visual storytelling. Roam believes that using visual elements can heighten audience engagement and even improve their understanding of the material. Here, he provides a detailed guide to conveying big, complex ideas using simple visuals and illustrations. By sharing practical tips and illustrative examples, you can learn how to use pictures, diagrams, and visual metaphors effectively to leave a lasting impression on your audience. Show and Tell encourages you to harness your creativity and produce powerful pieces of visual communication that do your ideas justice.

Presentation Patterns by Neal Ford

Is your presentation missing just that extra touch that makes it special? Presentation Patterns explores many tried-and-true designs and techniques with insights on how to engage a variety of different audiences. By looking through these chapters, you can find ways to stand out as an exceptional presenter through their unique techniques that break the conventional mold. Regardless of the type of presentation you seek to prepare, you can adapt these techniques to keep all eyes on you as you speak. With a touch of innovation to spruce up your slides, this book lets you create inventive, eye-catching presentations with informative slides to make you stand out. 

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics by Dona M. Wong

Presenting data is a sensitive, high-stakes mission. There is no room for misunderstandings here, and luckily, this book understands that. Wong’s guide is the ultimate resource for anything related to presenting data, facts, and numbers with enough clarity to ensure that there is no need for any double takes or confusing follow-up questions. The process of breaking down complex information to make it accessible and digestible for an audience is simplified and explained. This book outlines the necessary do’s and don’ts of data visualization to make sure that your visuals are coherent and informative to allow stakeholders and audience members to make informed business decisions. 

Nothing Gets Sold Until the Story Gets Told by Steve Mutler

Whether it’s for a product showcase or a business pitch, the secret weapon for any effective presentation is almost always storytelling. This book offers a fascinating perspective that highlights the importance of storytelling in sales and presentations. Learning the art of narrative doesn’t only engage your audience; it also stokes the flames of action within them. This is why, in Steve Mutler’s book, he takes the time to eloquently describe what it takes to craft an engaging narrative, enabling you to sell your ideas and bring your audience to action confidently.  

It’s Called Presenting, Not Talking Out Loud by Al Golzari

Despite the harsh truth stated in the title, Al Golzari is right. In this short guide, he outlines his insightful, and often humorous, take on what it takes to speak well during your presentation. Using anecdotes, examples, and actionable advice, the book is able to reduce presentation nerves and empower readers to rock the stage. Through this book’s journey, you learn to embrace your speaking style, conquer any stage fright, and reframe your view of presenting to a more receptive one. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced speaker, the author meets you where you are with step-by-step guides on planning and delivering presentations.

A browse in your local bookstore is one step toward figuring out what your presentation needs, other than a consultation with our very own experts. These books cover many topics related to presentations, including public speaking, slide structure, information design, and showcasing concepts for business presentations. With a comprehensive range of the different facets of presentations, they will surely set you on a path toward extraordinary presentations. Start your journey now by exploring these invaluable resources!