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12 Best Books for Becoming a Great Presenter, Preacher, or Teacher

Bradley Bevers "Author of Texas Farm & Ranch Guide"
The list author says: "It may be used all the time, but that does not make it less true -- the number one fear for people everywhere is public speaking. It's something that most of us have to do at least once in our life, and something we will do everything to get out of. However, presenting well is more important now than ever. Most of our communication has become detached and technological, but face-to-face interaction is still the best way to get your point, or product, across. Personally, I have had to teach, preach, and lecture multiple times in my life, and I wish that I had read all of these books before my first time standing in front of an audience.

Some of the books below are on presentations specifically, some are on how our minds work, and some address the idea of motivation and stickiness. All are valuable tools that you can use for more than just presentations. Whether you are a pastor, teacher, author, or anyone in between, these books will help you become a much better presenter.

(Note: I limited recommendations to one book per author. Some of the authors (particularly the first seven) have multiple books that are outstanding on presentation, but I only included their best)"
The Exceptional Presenter: A Proven Formula to Open Up and Own the Room
The Exceptional Presenter: A Proven Formula to Open Up and Own the Room
"This is THE book to start with. For the beginner, its a goldmine and for the advanced speaker, there are still many tips to pick up. The practical advice on how to improve each day is invaluable."
slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations
slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations
"Powerpoint and Keynote are here to stay . . . use them wisely, use them creatively. This book helps the weekend designer make some great slides."
How to Speak How to Listen
How to Speak How to Listen
"Great book that will help you apply timeless principles to your presentation and teach how to encourage others to listen. A classic that will always be relevant."
The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential
The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential
"This has been one of the best purchases I have made. Mind mapping will help you organize your material creatively and logically in ways that are surprising. It may seem overly simple, but I promise if you use it your presentations will improve."
The Foolishness of Preaching : Proclaiming the Gospel Against the Wisdom of the World
The Foolishness of Preaching : Proclaiming the Gospel Against the Wisdom of the World
"If nothing else, Capon is one of the best communicators there are. This book gives some great tips on crafting sermons and lectures, but the real value is in the notes and manuscripts that are in the book. Learn from the "real work" of a master communicator."
The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides (Voices That Matter)
The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides (Voices That Matter)
"This book is marketed towards more advanced presenters, but there is something here for everyone. It's beautifully laid out and does a wonderful job organizing the material."
The Magic of Thinking Big
The Magic of Thinking Big
"This book will help you overcome the pre-presentation jitters. Its not a book geared towards public speakers, but there is invaluable advice here."
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
"If you are presenting in a more discussion oriented environment, this book has great tips for maximizing group dynamics and brainstorming."
Presentation Skills 201: How to Take It to the Next Level as a Confident, Engaging Presenter
Presentation Skills 201: How to Take It to the Next Level as a Confident, Engaging Presenter
"These are shorter sections than most books on presentation. Helpful advice that is easy to digest quickly."
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
"Once you know what motivates people you will know how to present. Remember that the point of a presentation is to move people from Point A to Point B, or you have failed. Start where the audience is at, not with how much information you have."
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
"Why do some ideas stick when others fail? Make your main point in the presentation "sticky" and the impact will go beyond the people you speak directly to."
Your Memory : How It Works and How to Improve It
Your Memory : How It Works and How to Improve It
"This book will help you craft ideas that are more memorable. Presenters often rely too heavily on text when images are what our brains are really wired to remember. Use this book to learn about how memory really works and use all five senses in your presentations. No one will forget the main points you talk about."