Relevant Resources: Books to Kick Off 2012

I help edit SPEAKER Magazine for the National Speakers Association (NSA). Each month I curate the Relevant Resources column – a list of time-saving tools and technologies.

The January/February edition lists books recommended by NSA members as inspiration for the New Year.

Go Ahead and LaughGo Ahead and Laugh: A Serious Guide to Speaking with Humor, by Rich Hopkins

Having trouble finding your funny bone? Go Ahead and Laugh takes a unique approach to understanding how to add humor to any speech and enhance your message. Hopkins provides a step-by-step breakdown of 11 different speeches, along with a few bonuses, to get your audiences laughing. If you want to be funnier, implement techniques to make your speeches more effective, or just see great examples of humor in action, this book is perfect.

Seven PlotsThe Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, by Christopher Booker

People spend a phenomenal amount of time listening to stories, and we respond strongly to well-told stories. This monumental 720-page book reveals the seven basic plots latent in the minds of any audience. Knowing these archetypes and how they operate, allows speakers to craft presentations that spur action.

World wide rave World Wide Rave, by David Meerman Scott

Jam-packed with brilliant insights and practical ways to propel a brand world-wide. Check out this book if you’re looking for the latest approaches to help clients or audiences powerfully position or expand their branding presence in the marketplace. Scott shows you how to use new media/social media to build a “rave” following by applying his six dynamic “Rules of the Rave.”

Millionaire MessengerThe Millionaire Messenger, by Brendon Burchard

Want to uncover the strategies successful people use to position themselves as experts? Burchard’s advice is especially important to professional speakers, as he covers how to package your message, deliver value to your audience, and build a profitable business as an industry expert. His story resonates with new and veteran speakers, and he provides invaluable suggestions to help you get ahead in today’s competitive marketplace.

Back of the NapkinThe Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, by Dan Roam

Can drawing on a humble napkin be just as powerful as or more powerful than using PowerPoint slides to communicate your ideas? This visual thinking is a great tool for working though complex business ideas and brainstorming to help you think outside the box. In his book, Roam demonstrates that everyone is born with a talent for visual thinking, even those who swear they can’t draw.

ResonateResonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, by Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte wrote Slide:ology and became the Queen of PowerPoint. In her latest book, Resonate, she explains how to understand audiences, create persuasive content and structure a talk before firing up PowerPoint. By leveraging techniques typically reserved for cinema and literature, you’ll learn how to transform an ordinary presentation into an engaging journey. Check out her unique analysis of presentations using ‘Sparklines’ and see how you measure up.

On ApologyOn Apology, by Aaron Lazare

Popes, politicians, powerful executives, professional speakers–we all need to be fluent in the most graceful and profound of all human exchanges; a genuine apology. Lazare analyzes apologies—both effective and ineffective—and explores how a sincere apology can heal and serve “not an end but a new beginning.” On Apology includes insightful stories from people around the world, current events, literature and history.

Get Rich ClickGet Rich Click! The Ultimate Guide to Making Money on the Internet, by Marc Ostrofsky

This book will change how people think about the role of the Internet in business and how to make a profit online. Ostrofsky introduces readers to the reality of online business and offers tools to succeed. Some action items are easy as double-checking how your website is structured; others involve big-picture strategy. Get Rich Click! covers everything from saving money to making money with your social media efforts, AdWords, SEO, affiliate marketing, mobile apps and Internet video.

You can subscribe to SPEAKER magazine on the NSA website.

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I appreciate the recommendation! Thanks for including Resonate on your list.

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