No doubt there are dozens of books in public speaking and presentations, probably hundreds. However, if we narrow down to the tech industry, which of those books would you recommend to a tech professional? The vast majority are general or focused on other areas such as business or leadership. In this article I compiled a list of 6 books that belong to the tech world and had been created with techies in mind. Let’s dive into.
My first book. Most people equal demo with a sales demo. But if you recall Steve Jobs, Panos Panay and other less famous demo wizards, it’s clear that there is a wider fascinating universe of demos, and that is what this book unveils. Among all the possible tools that a speaker can use to shine onstage, product demos are the ultimate skill.
To master product demos, this book emphasizes the importance of achieving a WOW moment, those few seconds that everybody will remember. But as you might have seen in failed demos, preparation for the worst-case scenario is an underrated element of this art. That is why preparation is deeply covered in the book.
This book also emphasizes the importance of a structure for a successful demo. What would happen with a building without a structure? It would collapse. The same applies to demos. This book delves into these topics backed up with the analysis of dozens of famous demos delivered in public events.
Nancy Duarte is a renowned communication expert and author who has worked all her life with high technology companies. This book delves into the art of transforming raw data into compelling narratives. Duarte provides a comprehensive guide on how to craft data-driven stories that make sense out of the ludicrous amount of data that companies amass these days.
This book covers data visualization but goes beyond that and focuses on using storytelling to transform data insight into messages that help decision-making and inspire action.
In this book Carmine Gallo shows a comprehensive guide inspired by the communication and presentation techniques employed by Apple co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, who has been probably the best presenter ever in the technology industry. The book presents Jobs’ captivating presentation style into a set of actionable principles that can be applied by anyone.
Gallo introduces the “Rule of Three,” a principle applied by Jobs to structure his presentations. Jobs believed that information presented in threes is more memorable and engaging for the audience. The book is also heavily focused on storytelling and is full of concrete examples taken from Jobs’ best performances onstage.
We who work in tech, often need to explain a new idea, product or concept to a new or wider audience. Lee LeFever is an expert in creating explainer videos, co-founder of Common Craft, and the Explainer Academy. On “The Art of Explanation” LeFever created a guidebook that focuses on the essential skill of building explanations. He shares his insights on effective communication by breaking down the process of crafting clear and compelling explanations. This book is excellent of you want to create your own explainer video, but its teachings can help you in crafting your talks too.
LeFever encourages readers to embrace the mindset of a teacher, guiding them in breaking down information into digestible parts and delivering it in a way that resonates with the intended audience.
Presentation slides are not a must in every talk, but they are so ubiquitous that you’d better learn how to use them. No matter how much Artificial Intelligence and the newest tech tools can help us to create presentation slides quicker than ever, if you don’t learn well the essentials of presentation design, your slides will stink. Presentation Zen is all about learning the most basic principles of presentation design, like “planning analog” which is the opposite of the common practice of starting the preparation for a next talk with a blank presentation software slide. Garr Reynolds brilliantly tells the importance of simplicity in presentations: choosing the right type, using empty space, using visuals, and more.
If you have never read a book about presentation design, this is the first you should take.
My second book. What are the secrets that the best public speakers in the technology industry use to give inspiring talks and make their brands? What makes them stand out of thousands of other presenters in the noisy tech world? Rock the Tech Stage shares their top 10 secrets: story, demo, metaphor, data visualization, passion, props, presentation hacks, interaction, staging, and memory.
The book delves into the ten secrets, one chapter per secret. Every chapter is filled with fascinating stories and tactical advice that you can put into practice immediately. The book also includes a chapter about virtual conferences and virtual presentations, and a final chapter with actionable advice on how to get started speaking in tech events.
Were these books familiar to you? If not, it’s time to read them! Reading book is one of the best investments you can make if you want to achieve mastery in public speaking, and in anything in life.