Recommended Books on Communication Skills, Influence and Public Speaking

On this page, you will find our recommended communication books, public speaking books, and other great learning resources to improve your presentations, influence, and professional communication skills. (As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.)

See more resources and tools for presenters here.

Communication Books

Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People

Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van Edwards is one of the top experts on communication and interpersonal dynamics. Her book Captivate brings together her original research and discoveries from a variety of scientific disciplines to teach you how to connect with others, read body language, build rapport, make a great first impression, and more.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Robert Cialdini

We’ve recommended this classic book by Robert Cialdini to many clients seeking to improve their professional influence and relationships. Cialdini covers six major principles of persuasion, derived from observations of sales, marketing, charity work and other fields. It’s a dense book but fascinating and extremely informative.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie’s classic and timeless book on positive influence. If you are just starting to become more persuasive and build your professional relationships, the ideas in this book are a strong foundation.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Roger Fisher and William Ury

The ability to negotiate is a critical communication skill. Effective negotiation will help you achieve your business and professional goals. This book gives you a clear framework for understanding how negotiation works, and how to do it right.

Ted Talks + Talk Like TED (2 Book Collection Set)

Carmine Gallo and Chris Anderson

TED is probably the most prominent public speaking stage in the world. In “Talk Like TED” Carmine Gallo studies what makes the best TED talks so powerful.

In “TED Talks” Chris Anderson, the founder of the modern-day TED conference, provides his tips and guidance for impactful and memorable public speaking.

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

This fascinating book explores what it takes to achieve mastery in almost any field or skill. By looking at examples from a wide variety of disciplines (from chess grandmasters to public speakers to the top violinists in the world), the authors drill down on the strategies necessary to not just get better at a skill, but to perform at the highest level. Whereas most people assume that top performers must have some innate “gift” they are born with, “Peak” demonstrates through evidence and anecdotes that mastery is open to almost anyone, if they are willing and motivated to put in the work.

DataStory: Explain Data and Inspire Action Through Story

Nancy Duarte

Most professionals struggle to present data in a compelling and persuasive way. Nancy Duarte and her team of designers, branding experts, and presentation consultants provide effective techniques for data visualization and data storytelling.

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on it

Chris Voss

Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator and current negotiation expert and consultant. His insights on negotiation include concepts like “tactical empathy” and making the other side feel safe and understood. For unique and original insights from someone with real-world negotiation experience, this book is a must.

How to Get a Meeting with Anyone

Stu Heinecke

Stu Heinecke’s insightful and fun book will give you great ideas on how to get the attention of the most hard-to-reach people. These skills are not just relevant for salespeople and business development reps. Entrepreneurs, professional speakers looking to enhance their personal brand, and corporate professionals trying to influence executives, will all benefit from this book. His fascinating stories about connecting with VIPs and his unique strategies for making contact and creating memorable conversations, will get you thinking creatively about your own professional influence.