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Public Speaking Resources

Useful Books, Websites and Blogs

If you live in the Solihull, Coventry, Redditch, Birmingham or West Midlands area, then we hope that you will come along to Sans Souci Speakers Club (Solihull) to discover all that you need to know about the “black art” of public speaking and presentation skills.
If geography won’t allow you to visit us in Solihull, then please feel free to use any and all of the resources listed below…. enjoy.


Public Speaking Books

public speaking bookIf you’re like me, you probably like to sit and read, looking for those pearls of wisdom and underlining them with a yellow marker…it’s the geek in me… so lets have a look what might be worthy of your yellow marker.

You could explore the vast caverns ofAmazon’s public speaking section, but I’ve done all that for you and these are the ones that I like:


First of all you need a good general book, a book that covers all aspects of public speaking and presentation skills from openings to closings from nuances to nerves. Try this one:

“Public Speaking and Presentations for Dummies” by Malcolm Kushner

Malcolm Kushner describes himself as a “humour consultant” but despite that, this is a great book, which also has a great section on dealing with nerves. If you can only afford one book, buy this one.


max atkinson - public speaking lecturerThen you need to know something about how words are used to affect our emotions and get maximum impact. This is just the book:

“Lend Me Your Ears” by Professor Max Atkinson

There are lots of books on the subject of “rhetorical tricks” but they get very heavy with references to hyperbole, allusion, antithesis; all very confusing. But Prof Atkinson has simplified it and put it together in a very readable book.

It also contains a short section on dealing with nervous tension. A small book that punches way above its price tag. A must for any public speaker.

Hot news… just found out that the learned professor has a blog, and it’s really good. Up to date material on Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Barack Obama plus lots of videos, speech analysis and all sorts of goodies – take a look at Max Atkinson’s public speaking blog.


And we all need a bit of humour to hold the audience and keep them listening. Even if you can’t tell a joke to save your life, this book will show you how to bring humour into a speech.

“Wake em up Business Presentations” by Tom Antion

A book full of ideas on how to liven up your speeches and presentations. It’s packed with suggestions on how to inject humour into any presentation. A great resource.

Public Speaking Tip:
Your #1 speaking tool: Books.
“ You are the same today as you will be in five years except for two things, the people you meet and the books you read.”
Charles Jones CPAE

“On Writing Well” by William Zinsser

“The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction” and that just about sums up this book. This is not a book on writing speeches, it is a book on writing well, which applies to any form of writing…..including speeches.

“Verbs are the most important of all your tools. They push the sentence forward and give it momentum. Active verbs push hard; passive verbs tug fitfully.”


“What to Say When…..You’re Dying on the Platform” by Lilly Walters

A book that tells you how to avoid things going wrong…..and what to do when they do. Just about anything you can imagine going wrong is covered, from your jokes bombing to a fire breaking out and each situation is covered with “saver lines.”

For instance what do you say when…..The Audience Starts Walking Out Before You Are Done… about “Honest to God sir, I get better.”


If you feel that you need a book that deals specifically with the fear of public speaking and public speaking anxiety…..and who doesn’t?….. try this one:

“Never be Nervous Again” by Dorothy Sarnoff.

A small volume with big ideas on tackling those public speaking nerves. Give it a try.

Public Speaking Tip:
Use the web to your advantage.
“ Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other. ”
Bill Gates

Public Speaking Websites

Blackboard graphic indicating Public speaking websitesPerhaps reading’s not for you and you like to find your information on the web? That’s okay because there is no shortage of public speaking websites. Some of the sites have free newsletters and the like…… and they are worth reading for tips…… but like most things in life, the best information is not free!:

patricia fripp - public speaking presenterPatricia Fripp – lots of public speaking resources plus free newsletters.

Patricia Fripp is a British girl made good. She went to America as a hairdresser and now struts her stuff in front of huge audiences.

You can sign up for a couple of free newsletters, both full of useful hints and tips, well worth subscribing.

There are also a few free video clips of Patricia in action – take a look, and if you like what you see, you can buy the videos.

Wikipedia – various pieces about public speaking.

According to Wikipedia – “Public speaking is the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence or entertain the listeners.” – sounds good to me.

There are also interesting articles on this free encyclopaedia site. Worth a browse.

Public Speaking Tip:
Use pauses and silence to create drama.
“ Using pauses and silence to punctuate your material will draw in your audience. Eye contact has impact, but you’ll find that if, after making a point or delivering a punch line, you accentuate it by standing still and shifting only your eyes, the impact is much greater. ”
Patricia Fripp

Public Speaking Blogs

Blog graphic indicating Public speaking blogsI use blogs all the time, for all sorts of things, problem is you have to find the right ones. When it comes to Public Speaking and Presentation, there are lots. Fortunately for us someone has done all the hard work, and we can reap the benefits.

106 Public Speaking Blogs: The Public Speaking Blogosphere is the definitive collection of blogs related to public speaking and presentation skills.The blogs are broken down into types…..

  1. General Public Speaking Blogs: 2-5 posts/week
  2. General Public Speaking Blogs: 1-2 posts/week
  3. General Public Speaking Blogs: Under 1 post/week
  4. Speech Humour Blogs
  5. Speechwriting Blogs
  6. Visual Presentation Blogs
  7. Professional Speaker Blogs
  8. Toastmasters Blogs
  9. Part-time Public Speaking Blogs


Public Speaking Tools

Tools graphic indicating Public speaking toolsThere are lots of tools on the web, which will make writing your speeches and presentations much easier. From the initial research to choosing the right words, adding a few quotations and even finding a few one liners.

Researching Your Speech

There was a time when the only place that you could do all the research for your speech was the local library, searching through volume after volume. But now…..all you have to do is Google it.

If you’re looking for facts, Google it. If you’re looking for ideas, Google it. If you’re looking for humour, Google it. If you’re looking for anything else that you need for your speeches and presentations, Google it…..nuf said.
Hit the graphical link below… and search your socks off.

google search icon


Every good speaker needs a thesaurus, try this site.


And you’ll need a few quotations too, try these.


Your Suggestions

Those are my best public speaking resources, but if you find something related to public speaking or presentation skills that I’ve missed or you provide public speaking resources and would like to be included, send me an email and I’ll put it on our website.