Article Category: Resources for Speakers

27 Hot Summer Reads for Speakers

The barbecues are ready. The vacations are planned. The schools are squeezing students out.

Summer has arrived.

Lazy summer days and relaxing summer evenings provide some of the best conditions for enjoying a good book, whether educational or frivolous.

What will you be reading? Will a speaking book or two slide into your plans? If you are looking for a great summer read, consider the books below.

In this article, we list the most popular public speaking books being read by the Six Minutes community — people just like you with an avid interest in speaking effectively.

These are the books Six Minutes readers are buying

We get a sneak peak into what Six Minutes readers buy when they click on one of our links to the Amazon store. We do not get specific info on who is buying what — only aggregate information about what is being purchased.

This information gives a good indication of what is popular. We value your opinion of what is worth reading. Indeed, several of the book review choices (including the most recent, Back of the Napkin) were strongly influenced by which books you were buying!

You may be interested to know that when you make a purchase at Amazon after clicking on one of these links, we get a small commission. This helps us to keep Six Minutes free and continue to improve it with the articles you want. Thank you for your support in this way.

Popular PowerPoint and Visual Design Books

These are the most popular books which help you design better visuals, whether you use PowerPoint, Keynote, flip charts, or napkins as your visual tool.

Because reviews here on Six Minutes can obviously bias the sample, we’ll rank reviewed books separately from non-reviewed books.

Reviewed on Six Minutes

  1. Clear and to the Point: 8 Psychological Principles for Compelling PowerPoint Presentations by Stephen Kosslyn
  2. The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  3. Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds
  4. slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte
  5. Multimedia Learning by Richard E. Mayer

Not (Yet) Reviewed on Six Minutes

  1. Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations by Garr Reynolds
  2. Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson
  3. The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don’ts of Presenting Data, Facts, and Figures by Dona M. Wong
  4. Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten by Stephen Few
  5. 7-Slide Solution by Paul J. Kelly

Popular Speechwriting and Storytelling Books

These are the most popular public speaking books which focus on audience analysis, determining your message, and selecting the best words, phrases, anecdotes, evidence, and stories.

Reviewed on Six Minutes

  1. The Story Factor by Annette Simmons
  2. Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History’s Greatest Speakers by James C. Humes
  3. Better Beginnings: How to capture your audience in 30 seconds by Carmen Taran
  4. Thank You For Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion by Jan Heinrichs
  5. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Not (Yet) Reviewed on Six Minutes

  1. Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story by Jerry Weissman
  2. The Lost Art of the Great Speech: How to Write One–How to Deliver It by Richard Dowis
  3. Give Your Speech, Change the World: How to Move Your Audience to Action by Nick Morgan
  4. The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling by Stephen Denning

Popular Public Speaking Books

These are the most popular public speaking books which have a broad focus and cover many aspects of effective communication.

Reviewed on Six Minutes

  1. Confessions of  a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun
  2. The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking by Dale Carnegie
  3. You’ve Got to Be Believed to Be Heard by Bert Decker
  4. Fire Them Up! by Carmine Gallo

Not (Yet) Reviewed on Six Minutes

  1. How to Develop Self-Confidence And Influence People By Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie
  2. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo
  3. 10 Days to More Confident Public Speaking by Lenny Laskowski
  4. The Power Presenter by Jerry Weissman

Which Speaking Book Are You Reading This Summer?

Please drop a note in the article comments to share your summer reading plans with the Six Minutes community.

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Comments icon4 Comments

  1. Kahille says:

    Just wanted to say thank you! Your posts can’t come quick enough for me! As a science educator in an informal setting, I always look for ways to sharpen my storytelling and presenting skills-keeps my audience (schoolchildren, teachers and parents!) engaged. Your blog posts and book reviews are consistently helpful and I find my self checking in with Six Minutes all the time to see what goodies you have for us. I found Back of the Napkin in my library about a month ago and keep renewing it because I don’t want to let it go! (I guess I should buy my own copy, huh?)So seeing that book on your reviewed list immediately made me check out all the others you recommend…Thanks again!

  2. Dale Carnegie book is definitely one of my favorites. Just like his “how to win friends…” one. He had a unique talent to capture the essence of the topic he was writing about and that’s what he also teaches in his book. Highly recommended.

  3. TJ Walker says:

    I’ve got my summer reading cut out for me. Thanks for the excellent due diligence Andrew.

  4. Joel says:

    Everyone Communicates Few Connect by John Maxwell. definitely a must read for public speakers

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