Best Books About Public Speaking
Are you looking for public speaking books to help you overcome anxiety or be a more confident speaker?
I’ve rounded up the 12 most amazingly helpful books that you’ll want to consider if you struggle with performance anxiety or just want to be a better public speaker.
If you’d rather listen instead of reading print books, you’ll want to sign up for a free 30-day trial of Audible from Amazon because you’ll be able to listen to one of these books for free!
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1. Speak With No Fear by Mike Acker
The book Speak With No Fear was written by communications coach Mike Acker and promises to give you 7 strategies to reduce anxiety and improve your public speaking.
They are as follows:
- uncover and clean the wound
- imagine the worst
- you be you
- speak to one
- it’s not about you
- channel the power
- be in the moment
If you’re looking for a book with guidance as well as anecdotes and laughs, you may enjoy this book.
It also may be helpful if you are an introvert and just feel like it’s “impossible” for you ever to be comfortable as a public speaker.
2. Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts by Joanna Penn
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If you consider yourself an introvert and need or want to do public speaking events as part of your business endeavors, then you may be interested in the book Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives, and Other Introverts.
This book is one part public speaking tips, one part anxiety tips, and one part business tips.
Best of all, you don’t have to become someone other than who you are to succeed at public speaking, according to this book.
3. Public Speaking: Speak Like a Pro – How to Destroy Anxiety, Develop Self-Confidence, Improve Your Persuasion Skills, and Become a Master Presenter by James W. Williams
This books should be on your list if you are interested in public speaking as a career or have concnerns that self esteem issues are holding you back.
It teachers you how to get on with the “mindset” part of public speaking, such as getting outside your comfort zone and past limiting beliefs and build confidence.
You’ll also learn the practicalities of public speaking such as how to deliver a speech, the right body language and vocal qualities, and how to dress for success.
4. In the Spotlight: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing by Janet E. Esposito
Are you afraid of public speaking because of physical anxiety and a deep feeling of dread?
If that’s you, then the book In the Spotlight could be the one you need! This book was written by Janet Esposito, who has been running workshops for decades helping people overcome their public speaking fears.
This book will help you decrease fear, eliminate physical anxiety, reduce dread, stop avoidance, feel relaxed and confident, and finally have inner peace about public speaking.
5. Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice by Katherine Preston
If you have a problem with stuttering that interferes with speaking in public, then you may be interested in the book Out With It.
This is a memoir of Katherine Preston of how she began to struggle with stuttering at age 8 and then at age 24 went on a journey to find answers.
She spoke to experts but also professionals who themselves struggled with stuttering, along with celebrities and artists.
This book is about understanding yourself if you stutter and embracing who you are.
6. Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun
Are you looking for a book that is one-part funny and one-part practical? If so, Confessions of a Public Speaker may fit the bill.
This book is written by professional speaker Scott Berkun and includes practical advice and funny stories from his public speaking experiences.
This book isn’t so much about how to deal with anxiety, but rather how to become a tough public speaker who can deal with the hardest of situations.
Berkun also discusses the business side of being a professional speaker as well as his own “worst-case scenario” situations.
7. Public Speaking for Success by Dale Carnegie
Are you interested in a classic book on public speaking? If so, you’ll want to order Dale Carnegie’s Public Speaking for Success.
First published in 1926, this book has been revised several times, but includes the original exercises that were included.
Dale Carnegie got his start teaching public speaking as a skill that could be taught and learned and this book includes the speech exercises that were in the original 1926 edition.
8. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo
Are you interested in learning the secrets that make the best TED talks successful?
If so, you’ll be interested in this book by public speaking coach Carmine Gallo. In it, she reveals a step-by-step method that you can use to give an engaging presentation, just like the TED talk speakers that you admire.
Her book is based on an examination of hundreds of successful TED talks along with interviews with popular presenters and psychological researchers.
9. Public Speaking Without Fear: How to Overcome Anxiety and Present with Confidence by Clare Cairns
Are you looking for a secret weapon to help you with your public speaking? In Public Speaking Without Fear, drama school director Claire Cairns draws on her theatre knowledge to provide secret tips for public speaking.
Her unique “Pressure” System is made up of eight parts:
- super objective
- role play
Cairns has trained high-profile actors and people from world-famous organizations, but she can help even the average person do better with public speaking.
This book also deals with topics like what to wear to a speech and how to stop from shaking. It draws on techniques from communication, meditation, psychology, etc.
10. Do You Talk Funny? 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker by David Nihill
Is your biggest fear public speaking? And is the thing that bothers you the most the feeling that you won’t be interesting, funny, or confident?
If so, then Do You Talk Funny might be of interest! This book was written by David Nihill, a formerly terrified public speaker who spent a year pretending to be a standup comedian to get over his fear.
A year later he had been to comedy clubs, shows, and festivals and honed the craft of public speaking by learning from other comedians.
This book is unique because it shows you how to apply the principles of standup comedy to your own public speaking to make it more engaging.
This book will be particularly helpful if you have a wedding speech, business presentation, or other speaking event coming up where you want to be more engaging.
11. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Are you looking for a little different take on what makes a great leader or public speaker?
If so, you might be interested in the book Start With Why by Simon Sinek.
Simon gave one of the most popular Ted Talks of all time, where he discussed why some organizations succeed and others fail—and what they have in common.
What he determined was that great leaders always start with a WHY behind what they do.
Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. or Steve Jobs. And they do the opposite of what everyone else does in the way that they think, behave, and speak. He calls this the Golden Circle.
If you want to be an influence when you speak, you’ll need this book.
12. How to Write and Give a Speech: A Practical Guide for Anyone Who Has to Make Every Word Count by Joan Detz
Finally, if you’re simply looking for a how-to guide for public speaking, this is the one that you’ll want to buy.
This book by Joan Detz covers topics related to audience, research, speech devices, special occasions, visual aids, social media, and up-to-date technology.
The books includes stories, advice, examples, and tips to keep things fun and make you a better speaker.
What do you think? Do you have trouble with public speaking? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Related Articles About Public Speaking
- 5 Quick Tips to Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety
- Where to Find Public Speaking Classes
- How to Overcome a Public Speaking Phobia
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12 Amazingly Helpful Public Speaking Books
Here are some of my favorite social anxiety tools
Thanks for reading! I hope you found some helpful tips. Since this site is about social anxiety, I wanted to also share some tools I use that I hope you’ll find helpful. Some of these are affiliate links, so if you decide to try them, I’ll earn a commission. However, I only recommend things I have used myself and would recommend to a friend or family member.
Online Therapy: For online therapy, I have personally used and like the service offered by Betterhelp. It's easy to get started from the comfort of your home. You'll even get a discount on your first month of therapy when you use my link.
Doctor Visits: For doctor visits, Web Doctors offers convenient online appointments.
Audible Subscription: I recommend a lot of self-help books on this site, but I actually prefer an audiobook subscription over print books! My favorite subscription service is Audible because it has all the best-sellers and they stay in your digital library forever (even if you end your subscription). You can sign up for a free trial and listen to your first two books for free.
Social Anxiety Masterclass: The Social Anxiety Masterclass is my signature course where I walk you through everything I know about how to manage social anxiety. If you're not ready to enroll in the course, be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter to hear about special deals!