25 Best Public Speaking Books for Exquisite Live Performance

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  • Public speaking can help you deliver a meaningful, memorable, and engaging speech before any kind of live audience.
  • The fundamentals of public speaking are grabbing and maintaining people’s attention, persuading, and educating them on a specific topic.
  • Public speaking books are an effective and time-efficient way to improve your public speaking skills.
  • The all-time 25 best public speaking books comprise techniques for gradual oratory development.
  • Public speaking books teach people how to get confidence, upgrade their vocabulary, use expressions, and build speech fluency.

Public speaking has become a complementary part of our lives. It doesn’t matter if we work in the IT world or as administrative workers in a public agency, the speaking techniques are crucial for building healthy relationships and upward career development. It’s no wonder public speaking has been with us since ancient Greece!

Today, people are searching for tips and tricks for mastering public speaking – the face-to-face speaking skill – in numerous books. Whether it be through hard copies or e-books, people now have all the nitty-gritty of public speaking on a silver platter.

In this article, we’ll learn more about public speaking and list the best public speaking books so far!

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to Public Speaking
  2. List of 25 Best Public Speaking Books
  3. Benefits of Reading Public Speaking Books
  4. Final Words
  5. FAQs

Introduction to Public Speaking

man speaking in front of an audience

Simply put, public speaking is a speaking skill that you demonstrate in front of a live audience. There are numerous public speaking techniques. You can master one, two, or all the public speaking techniques for a better live performance. Good public speakers usually speak using a manuscript, from memory, impromptu, or through the extemporaneous speaking method.

So, can the public speaking skill still be learned and mastered like in the old days? The definite answer is yes! You can learn the public speaking essentials in numerous educational institutions and business organizations or through reading books on public speaking.

In recent years, public speaking books are ever more present in the publishing market. People want to acquire this fundamental skill for different purposes – from personal development to career opportunities. That’s how the best public speaking books gained momentum and are currently all around us.

The popularity of this skill and the books on public speaking constantly increases. The markets are growing and developing – experts say that the digital publishing market will reach 11 billion in revenues by 2025.

Nonetheless, the public speaking fundamentals will always stay the same – grab the listener’s attention, persuade, educate and intervene in their thought process or decision-making.

Today, we can master speaking in front of an audience by reading some of the best books on public speaking.

List of 25 Best Public Speaking Books

woman searching for a book

The publishing market overflows with hundreds of public speaking books that you may find helpful. As we’re speaking, famous digital marketing books are causing a craze among young and talented individuals.

However, not every book will be effective in helping you overcome your fear of speaking publicly or organize your speech to stir the audience. That’s where our list of books for public speaking comes in!

Following is our exhaustive list of the 25 best books on public speaking. Each book has a different approach and method for making you the public speaker you’ve always dreamed of becoming:

  • The Art of Public Speaking – Dale Carnegie 

The Art of Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie is one of the best books on public speaking that explains the art of oratory and its modalities and phases.

The book starts with initial preparations that develop into a learning system and end with an actual presentation. Dale Carnegie has many helpful tricks up his sleeve regarding overcoming fear, mastering speaking techniques, and gradual oratory development. 

  • Ted Talks: The Official Ted Guide to Public Speaking – Chris Anderson

If you’re someone who spends hours watching TED talks on YouTube, you’ll love this one! Chris Anderson, head of TED, includes all his secrets on public speaking in a handy little guide. The book focuses on the unique experience of public speaking – stressing that every speaker should find their specific method for exquisite live performance.

Also, it ranks among our best books to improve public speaking skills publicly because of the tips for avoiding particular techniques! 

  • Speak With No Fear: Go From a Nervous, Nauseated, and Sweaty Speaker to an Excited, Energized, and Passionate Presenter – Mike Acker

In Speaker With No Fear, Mike Acker instantly addresses the fear that comes with public speaking and tries to build an easy learning method for overcoming it and making your performances convincing and pleasant.

Mike Acker’s public speaking strategies differ depending on the type and number of audience as well as the nature of the speech. He provides readers with seven effective strategies for overcoming their fear – imagining the worst possible scenario and channeling and transforming your fear.

  • Confession of a Public Speaker – Scott Berkun

Berkun based this public speaking book on his own experience and highlights that throughout the text. This concept makes the book quite interactive, thought-provoking, and analytical. Confession of a Public Speaker is a book that considers all audience types before devising an efficient public speaking method.

Scott Berkun gives examples of his failures and tactics on how to react in similar situations. The author’s confessions will transform your view of persuasion skills and indirectly teach you how to  grab and maintain people’s attention through various learning techniques.

  • Public Speaking for Authors and Other Introverts – Joanna Penn

This is one of the best public speaking books because it directly addresses the problem many of us have – introvert psychology! Joanna Penn finds the meeting points of an introvert, author, and professional speaker. More precisely, she uses her own writing and speaking experience to let readers in on the best mindset, speaking practicalities, and what she calls “the speaking business.”

Joan Penn stresses the necessity of deciding the approach to your topic and the thorough preparations. She also gives many tips for managing your energy and the people around you while building your confidence and improving your public speaking abilities.

  • The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking – Dale Carnegie

Don’t be surprised if you see Dale Carnegie popping here and there on our list of the best books on public speaking. Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking will teach you some simple techniques and how to implement them in everyday public speaking activities.

Dale provides you with a step-by-step guide to building confidence and enthusiasm for almost any situation. He’ll teach you how to fill your speech with convincing illustrations and examples and highlight the benefits for your audience. 

  • Women Seen and Heard: Lessons Learned From Successful Speakers – Lois Phillips & Anita Perez Ferguson

This is one of the best public speaking books because it’s a highly-practical manual for all women leaders. The book aids women of different professions on the road to overcoming anxiety, implementing a strategic vision about speech outcomes, checking facts, and using anecdotes.

Women Seen and Heard: Lessons Learned for Successful Speakers consists of the vast experience Phillips and Perez Ferguson have about public speaking. This book made it to our list of best oratory books because it provides readers with practical checklists and worksheets for women preparing their remarks. 

  • Talk Like Ted: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds – Carmine Gallo

Carmine Gallo is a public speaking coach that unravels all the public speaking secrets of the best TED talkers in a single book. Gallo has written this book based on interviews with some of the best TED presenters while analyzing their speeches and methods for overcoming stage fright.

The author combines various sciences, such as neuroscience, psychology, and communicational skills, to provide you with valuable public speaking practices. For instance, Gallo will tell you how to deliver an emotional, novel, and memorable speech. He’ll also teach you some basic rules (like the 18-minute speech rule) and points relevant to all presentations.

  • Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery – Garr Reynolds

Presentation Zen is one of the best public speaking textbooks because of its accent on simplicity and storytelling – the two most effective ways to engage your audience. Garr Reynolds wrote the book for almost any professional profile – technology, education, research, business and more.

Presentation Zen will show you how to take a particular topic and polish it till it becomes memorable and interactive. This encompasses techniques for cutting through the noise of our everyday lives and engaging the audience into something meaningful through alluring visuals and structured presentation.

  • Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences – Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte wrote this book on public speaking from the aspect of an experienced PowerPoint presenter and a CEO. The sole principle of Resonate is: even the most meaningful ideas and messages won’t resonate with the public if you don’t articulate them properly. That’s why Nancy Duarte encourages public speeches that inspire inter or intra-personal conflicts and eventual resolutions.

Resonate is one of our favorite public speaking books because of its simple style and the usual paradigm that the listener is the hero, while the public speaker is the moderator. 

  • Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive, and Others Die? – Chip and Dan Heath

Here’s a perfect compilation of success and failure stories from which you can learn and adapt your public speaking approach. It’ll help you understand why some ideas are “stickier” than others. The book will teach you to use exquisite speaking methods like creating a curiosity gap, understanding the human scale principle, and applying the Velcro Theory of Memory.

Made to Stick will give you the six fundamental traits of a sticky idea – simple, concrete, emotional, credible, unexpected, and tells a story!

  • Public Speaking: How to Destroy Social Anxiety, Develop Self-Confidence, Improve Your Persuasion Skills, and Become a Master Presenter – James W. Williams

In this book, James W. Williams provides readers with tips on how to get out of their comfort zone, expand their beliefs, and destroy social conditioning. It’s one of the best books on public speaking because it gives you a fully-developed set of body language, tonality, and pitch modulations for the best public performance.

James W. Williams provides tools and practices for measuring your public speaking skills and development. On top of that, it has a simple and easy-to-learn guide for delivering all kinds of presentations.

  • How Your Story Sets You Free – Heather Box & Julian Mocine-McQueen

Our list of the 25 best books about public speaking wouldn’t be complete without Box and McQueen’s step-by-step storytelling guide. They’ve written a book that treats the nature of words and how they combine in the most provocative and powerful speeches.

The book treats public speaking as a personal storytelling process that stirs the audience through sharing experiences and knowledge.

  1. Public Speaking – Speaking Like a Professional: How to Become a Better Speaker, Present Yourself Convincingly And Increase Your Self-Confidence Through Successful Communication – Julius Lowenstein

The sole aim of this book is to establish healthy, productive, and engaging communication. The book stresses self-confidence and mastering effective communication practices – public speaking comes second.

The author gives you tips for choosing the right words and phrases applicable to various situations. Public Speaking – Speaking Like a Professional also underlines strategies for persuasion, inspiration, and winning arguments. 

  • You Got This: Everything You Need to Master Authentic Public Speaking – Lisa Kleiman

You Got This is one of Lisa Kleiman’s best books on managing one’s public speech stress, mastering message adaptation skills, and using humor effectively. It has all you need about different speech types. From wedding toasts and impromptu speeches to employment interviews – it’s all there!

  • How to Win Friends and Influence – Dale Carnegie

In How to Win Friends and Influence, Dale tries to find creative, engaging, and productive ways to forge new relationships. It’s one of the best public speaking books because of its unique approach to improving communication skills and establishing healthy relations. How to Win Friends and Influence is a must-have for any businessperson.

  • Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln – James C Humes

We arrive at an extraordinary book on public speaking that teaches us about pregnant pauses, carefully timed wit, subtle props, attention-grabbing methods – an arsenal of speaking techniques! Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln illustrates how and why Margaret Thatcher and Napoleon Bonaparte, for example, were such powerful public speakers.

  • The Elements of Eloquence – Mark Forsyth

The Elements of Eloquence is an easy-to-read text of 39 chapters that vividly illustrate the basics of oratory. Here, you’ll find everything – from alliteration and merism to hendiadys, epistrophe and antithesis. Elements of Eloquence is written in a simple language and doesn’t require much memory and effort to remember names, events, or examples.

  • People Watching – Desmond Morris

People Watching is a book combining the best body language and behavioral practices for delivering a meaningful and powerful speech. People Watching will help you understand your and other people’s body language and use it to accentuate a particular point or an idea. It’s quite a practical and simple book!

  • Storynomics – Robert Mckee

Storynomics is one of the best public speaking books on story-driven marketing. It teaches us how to tell a unique story to stand out from our competition. It’s all in the name – “Storynomics” – a blend of economics and storytelling that can increase the visibility and attractiveness of your business ideas. 

  • Do You Talk Funny?: 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better Public Speaker – David Nihil

Do You Talk Funny? is a book on public speaking that derives its methodology from stand-up comedian practices for overcoming stage fright. David Nihill has written a practical manual for using jokes and healthy humor during the speech. The book also talks about the optimal presenting pace and the most effective times of delivery.

  • The Successful Speaker: Five Steps Booking Gigs, Getting Paid, and Building Your Platform – Grant Baldwin

This is one of the public speaking books that focuses on the traits of a professional speaker and how to develop them. The Successful Speaker will guide you through the basics of public speaking with case studies and specific actions.

Once you’ve read the Successful Speaker, you should already be well-equipped with knowledge about establishing your talking platform, booking public talking gigs, and – eventually – getting paid!

  •  Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice – Katherine Preston

It is estimated that more than 1% of the world’s population stutters. Katherine Preston devised her own methodology for overcoming stuttering and turning your voice into a medium and a practical tool. The book primarily focuses on finding your inner voice.

  • Unleash the Power of Storytelling: Win Hearts, Change Minds, Get Results – Rob Biesenbach

In Unleash the Power of Storytelling, Rob Biesenbach underlines the importance of the elements of story-telling in almost any situation. From job interviews to delivering a eulogy – everything in this book is an effective, compelling, and engaging story. There are chapters on the science of story-telling, various roles of our emotions, how and where to find meaningful stories and more.

  • How to Win an Argument: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Persuasion – James May

In How to Win an Argument, James May uses classical oratory methodologies to create his argument-winning speeches. He’s noted the whole process, including passages on Cicero’s rhetorical wisdom and persuasion techniques.

How to Win an Argument is a fun-to-read book that will equip you with persuasive skills effective in political debates, public speeches and even your office.

Benefits of Reading Public Speaking Books

old man doing public speaking

The benefits of reading even one of the 25 best public speaking books we’ve mentioned are innumerable. Following are some of the key benefits of reading a book about public speaking and staying consistent in your practices and training:

  • Overcoming stage fright – Most books focus on stage fright as the first obstacle to becoming a powerful public speaker. The books offer methods and tools to overcome your fear.
  • Time management skills – Public speaking books are often some of the best time management books. Managing your time is crucial in effective speech deliverance and persuasiveness.
  • Improve persuasiveness skills and winning arguments – It doesn’t matter where you deliver your speech – it must be persuasive and win over people’s minds and hearts. Persuasiveness is the cornerstone of all public speaking books.
  • Improve vocabulary and grammatical skills – Once you start reading public speaking books, your language and grammatical skills will naturally improve.
  • Gain Confidence – Most of the books focus on confidence as a first step to becoming a powerful public speaker.
  • Reading these books is also helpful for improving the ability to focus and concentrate, reducing anxiety, and motivating yourself.

Final Words

There are numerous benefits to reading the best books for public speaking. However, if you want to become a powerful and professional speaker, you’ll have to read more than a few books and dedicate yourself to the practices, methods and techniques.

Each book focuses on building confidence and overcoming stage fright by giving examples, citations, and case studies. Nonetheless, the best way to master the art of speaking before a live audience is to combine the various techniques from different books.

Public speaking books are also quite affordable and easy to read – they’re accessible to every demographic. Finally, they can be a real confidence treat for both introverts and extroverts!


1) Where can I buy famous public speaking books?

You can buy famous public speaking books in bookstores or order them online.

2) Who is the greatest public speaker of all time?

There’s no greatest public speaker of all time. However, there are many contenders: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Pericles, Nelson Mandela and more!

3) Does reading books help with public speaking?

Yes, reading books can help you with public speaking. Reading some of the best public speaking books is good for learning to deliver a persuasive, interesting, and engaging speech to different audience types.

4) How can I train myself to speak in public?

You can train to speak publicly by reading a public speaking book while staying consistent in your training and practicing constantly. You can also learn from watching and analyzing professional public speakers and adopting their methodologies.

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