The presentation design space is saturated with books that claim they’ll make you a better presenter. Some of those books are great and deserve to be revisited time and again while others are full of less-than-valuable information. To help you discover the truly helpful gems, we’ve done our research so you don’t have to. The following five presentation books are packed full of useful information and are guaranteed to make you a better presenter.
Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte
This book is all about helping you cultivate a connection with your audience through storytelling. It takes a documentarian’s approach to presenting and teaches readers not only how to find the best story in their content, but how to convey that story with passion, persuasion, and impact. Given that the author, Nancy Duarte, has created Oscar-winning slides, hers is advice that you’ll definitely want to take.
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte
Truth be told, this book isn’t going to keep you up late into the night because it’s so gripping; it’s really more of a textbook. That said, it’s a textbook you absolutely need in your resource library. That’s because it’s overflowing with critical information about how to create data visuals that connect, inspire, and compel. And as any presentation expert will tell you, if your visuals suck, so will your presentation.
Speak to Win: How to Present With Power in Any Situation by Brian Tracy
The title pretty much says it all. This book leverages the author’s keen insight into people and sales to deliver a wealth of knowledge about how to present with power and passion, no matter your industry. You’ll learn how to feel more relaxed in front of an audience, how to grab people’s attention and never let go, and how to use humor to make your presentation more compelling, just to name a few.
What’s Your Presentation Persona? Discover Your Unique Communication Style and Succeed in Any Arena by Scott Schwertly and Sunday Mancini
If you don’t know your presentation strengths, then you can’t use them to your advantage. This book is essentially a guide designed to help you discover what makes you awesome as a presenter and what areas you need to work on. You’ll learn how to leverage your core strengths to deliver your message with charisma and authenticity, as well as how to overcome your shortcomings. It’s basically a Myers-Briggs for presenters and it’s something you definitely need in your presentation arsenal.
The Art of Explanation: Making your Ideas, Products, and Services Easier to Understand by Lee LeFever
You can have the best product in the world but if people don’t understand why or how it’s valuable, then you really have nothing. In this book, Lee LeFever walks you through exactly how to distill any abstract idea or concept into digestible nuggets of information that any audience will understand. You’ll also find out why certain explanations fail and others win, as well as how to use visuals to drive your message home.
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