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Three books to add to your reading list if you want to improve your presenting skills

Kelly Handley

Kelly Handley

Kelly is Head of Client Services at Evolve. Kelly loves innovation and finding creative solutions to communications challenges.

It’s no surprise that that public speaking & presenting regularly finds itself on lists of life’s most stressful things!

But good preparation – along with practice – can very quickly turn this fear into a feat.

In my role I give – and see – many presentations each week.

I’m also responsible for helping the Evolve team develop presentations, so the topic of what makes a great presenter is a special interest of mine.

My favourite saying is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when you’ve got a perfectly good one that rolls in front of you!

So here’s a collection of books I refer to – and recommend – when it comes to exploring ways to become a better presenter.

Confessions of a Public Speaker

by Scott Berkun

A great book and a fun read too!  Like a good presentation delivered well, this book will leaving you feel like you’ve learnt something amazing with very little effort.

Its advice is on point- practical and relatable – giving you strategies for dealing with everything from surviving an attack of nerves to managing tough audiences. Worth reading just for the very funny stories about the best and worst real-life presentations ever.

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences

by Nancy Duarte

This book is especially good for anyone wanting to improve their presentation skills in the area of inspiring and driving action.  Duarte is definitely a master in this space, credited with creating the powerful content slides in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.  This book’s strengths for me are its sound methods for developing your presentation content, along with a new approach on how to think about your audience.

Presenting for Geeks

by Dirk Haun

At Evolve we’re often presenting very complex data and insights so this book especially resonates. When you’re presenting data there is very much a tendency to focus on the facts in front of you and what you know. While this leads to highly accurate presentations it can also leave audiences overwhelmed. Haun’s books presents strategies to for getting to know and engage your audience and present data in a way that is guaranteed to resonate.

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