Reading, in general, makes us well-spoken. But there are some books that are really made to teach us how to be “great” communicators.
In this guide, I’ll give you more details about each read and what makes them a gem when it comes to assisting people to speak effectively.
7 Must-Read Books To Be Well-Spoken and a Great Communicator
Author: Dale Carnegie
Quote from the book: “about 15 percent of one’s financial success is due to one’s technical knowledge, and about 85 percent is due to skill in human engineering—to personality and the ability to lead people.”
Why read: This is one of the most highly rated books when it comes to personality development and communication skills improvement because it doesn’t only focus on articulation. It also touches on how to handle people, make them think the way we do, become better leaders through communicating well, and a lot more.
When we practice our communication skills, we often forget that we aren’t the only ones involved in the conversation— we are, in fact, talking to someone.
Dale Carnegie thinks that when we shift our focus to the receiver instead of ourselves, we become not only great speakers but also influential people.
Author: Dr. Frank Lutz
Quote from the book: “These, then, are the ten rules of effective communication, all summarized in single words: simplicity, brevity, credibility, consistency, novelty, sound, aspiration, visualization, questing, and context.”
Why read: While many people dislike Dr. Frank Lutz, his book Words that Work is still a bestseller because it offers a no-nonsense breakdown of the infrastructural elements of a good speech.
This book is recommended for leaders, politicians, and marketers as most of the case studies and anecdotes used by the author are related to them.
If you aren’t involved in business or politics, you would still enjoy this book. You’ll mainly learn how the impreciseness of language can be used to your advantage, especially if you want to persuade people to believe and respect your opinions.
Author: Kerry Patterson
Quote from the book: “It’s the most talented, not the least talented, who are continually trying to improve their dialogue skills. As is often the case, the rich get richer.”
Why read: This book focuses on impact situations or those conversations where a lot is at stake. Patterson not only shares techniques on how to deal with these circumstances but also on how to turn them into “actions and results” that the reader would want to achieve.
If you often get emotional when in a tough conversation, you would definitely love this book. It will help you recognize that you are, indeed, being emotional and then teach you ways to deal with your emotions so you can handle conversations better.
Another great thing about this book is that it uses simple language and lots of examples and repetition to make low-level readers understand the point better. If you want an easy read, then this is definitely for you.
Author: Leil Lowndes
Quote from the book: “I always try to turn the spotlight on the other person. Truly confident people often do this. They know they grow more by listening than talking.”
Why read: This gem will first help you assess your social behavior, then offer you 92 tips to improve how you communicate with people. Yes, you’ve read it right! 92 tips.
If you want more specifics, this book contains:
- 9 tips to make an excellent first impression
- 14 ways to be an expert in body language, small talk, and big talk
- 14 tips for talking like a VIP
- 6 ways to talk like you belong to a crowd
- 7 tips for establishing rapport with people
- 9 tips for feeding someone’s ego
- 11 tips to make use of your phone in communicating
- 15 ways to deal with people at a party
- 7 tips for talking with intimidating people
It’s easy to remember the techniques Lowndes shares because he uses catchy names such as 'Bare Their Hot Button' and 'Be a Copyclass'.
Author: Debra Fine
Quote from the book: “Small talk is the verbal equivalent of that first domino: It starts a chain reaction with all kinds of implications for your life.”
Why read: This book is highly recommended for people who are afraid of small talk! It practically teaches how to start a conversation effortlessly, be a better listener, and be confident to converse during social functions, meetings, and job interviews.
Debra Fine is quite a notable speaker, and in this book, she made sure to detail her journey from being a poor conversationalist to a speaking dynamo.
Most of the tips she shares in this book are very easy to follow, like making small talk with the quietest person in the room, asking open-ended questions, and more.
The tips may not be that earth-shattering, but they work well with improving communication, especially in the age where we’re better conversationalists online.
Author: Carmine Gallo
Quote from the book: “Great conversations or presentations take you to ideas you’d never considered.”
Why read: There is no doubt that Ted Talks has become the standard for public speaking and presentations. This led Carmine Gallo to examine the elements that make Ted Talks highly effective and share her observations in her book (saves us a lot of time from watching each Ted Talk and taking notes ourselves!).
This book is perfect for people who give presentations all the time – teachers, managers, team leaders, CEOs, etc. The tips were very practical, and even though some may only reinforce things that you already know, the examples given will give you a new perspective on applying them.
Author: Mortimer J. Adler
Quote from the book: “The communion that can be achieved by human conversation is of great significance for our private lives... It is the spiritual parallel of the physical union by which lovers try to become one.”
Why read: Most people who have read this book say that it is really transformative! In this masterpiece, Adler shares the different types of conversation we embark on, when to do well with conversations (or when not to), and the importance of listening.
He also shares very entertaining personal anecdotes in each chapter, making the tips more doable.
Note, though, that Adler references to ancient Greeks in some parts of the book. If you’re unfamiliar with what he’s saying, just skip those parts so you won’t get bored.
Also, if you are already an expert in speaking and are looking for more secret tips, this isn’t for you. This book is mainly for beginners and those who have the patience for repetitive writing.
Does Reading Make You Well-Spoken?
Yes, reading can definitely make you well-spoken. Aside from learning new vocabulary, you also gain oratorical confidence from knowing that you have read something that others aren’t probably aware of.
It also helps that books are written logically, which trains your brain to organize your thoughts before expressing them aloud.
You also get to learn about other people’s opinions, especially about complex topics or issues, when you read. Thus, you will be able to converse with clarity and form educated views that will make you more articulate.
What Books Should I Read To Be Well-Spoken: Final Thought
Being great at speaking doesn’t happen overnight (except, of course, for those who "think" they were born with the skill). If you want to be well-spoken but don’t know where to start, pick up any of these books, and you’ll be very articulate in no time:
In the process of becoming a great speaker or communicator, you should not only stick to the advice and tips of self-help books like the ones I listed above. You should also practice reading other forms of literature for at least half an hour a day for optimal results.
For more resources to develop your speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, please check the articles Online Resources for Public Speaking and Where Can I Learn Public Speaking. If you would like to leverage the best presentation software for your next big speaking engagement, please read the article 'Best Presentation Technology tools'.
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