Thursday, September 16, 2010

5 Book Recommendations for Better Speaking, Listening, and Communication

Last year’s post on Resources for Better Public Speaking deserves to be highlighted once again, but this time with some book recommendations for better communication. The titles listed below are obviously just a few of the many out there (go ahead and recommend your favorites in the comments) – but these represent a number of elements that, together, may help to round out your overall communication skills.

How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest CommunicatorHow to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator (Joe Carter & John Coleman) is a great introduction to the rhetorical elements of logos, pathos, and ethos. This book examines how Jesus communicated and what made him persuasive.

101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers, 3rd Edition: Controlling Fear, Commanding Attention101 Secrets of Highly Effective Speakers, 3rd Edition: Controlling Fear, Commanding Attention (Caryl R Krannich) is just a great book on public speaking. Very practical, easy to read, and immediately applicable. This is one you can keep coming back to in order to sharpen your speaking skills.

In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions...When It CountsIn the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions…When It Counts (Jerry Weissman). Now this book is interesting, as it is a fascinating manual for dealing with tough questions as a public speaker. With a lot of illustrations from political debates, PR debacles, and hot-seat sort of situations, this is useful for navigating tough encounters.

How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or LessHow to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less (Milo O. Frank) is an annoying little book that you can’t ignore. It’s goal: to equip you to make your point simply and concisely in a short period of time. Why is it annoying? Listen to the audiobook version to find out. But the content is extremely useful for being a concise and clear communicator. It is also helpful for script-writers or anyone involved in media.

How to Speak How to ListenHow to Speak How to Listen (Mortimer J. Adler ) is an oldy but goody. While a bit slow in parts, the content is a gold mine in certain places and worth reading. For those familiar with Adler’s How to Read a Book, this is in the same sort of vein. With this book you will get a good strong foundation on communication principles that will be put to good use with the other tools mentioned above.

What books or resources have you found most helpful for sharpening your speaking, listening, and communication skills?

Be sure to check out last year’s post for more resources for better public speaking.


  1. Av8torBob September 16, 2010

    Brian — you never cease to amaze me with the great, practical stuff you put out time and time again. Thanks!

  2. Brian September 16, 2010

    No, thank you!

    As for this stuff, I really think that the communication element is essential and although there are a lot of good books out there, these seemed to give a good combination of theory and practice for those who want to communicate the Gospel better.

    One day I will also need to put up some writing resources too!

  3. Barrett September 17, 2010

    Secrets of Dynamic Communication.

    The Workshop that Certified Apologetic Instructors are required to take is based on this book.

    Google Certified Apologetic Instructor for more information.

  4. Skylar January 21, 2012

    John C. Maxwell's "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect" has helped me greatly. I hope you consider it!

  5. Anonymous June 13, 2012

    This book was recommended by my Pastor, it is a short read and has a lot of practical advice, especially for sermons: