The best books for effective communication

The Books I Picked & Why

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

By Chip Heath, Dan Heath

Book cover of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Why this book?

This is the best book I have ever read on crafting messages that will be remembered by your audience. If you’re a school teacher, this book will transform your lessons. If you’re a marketer or advertiser, this book will make your messages more clear, compelling, and impactful. If you’re a parent, this book will aid you immensely with communicating with your children. 

If you have something to say and someone who needs to hear it and retain it, this book is an essential.


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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

By Stephen King

Book cover of On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Why this book?

I was nearly ready to give up on my fiction career when I listened to King’s seminal tome on writing while running on a treadmill one day. Hearing the struggles of a writer as successful as King convinced me to press on and try like hell. Exactly one year later, I sold my first novel. Seven novels and two books of nonfiction later, I still look back on that moment with immense gratitude. Not only is On Writing filled with no-nonsense advice on writing well, but it offers meaningful advice on engaging in the craft and making your efforts matter. 


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Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know

By Adam Grant

Book cover of Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know

Why this book?

Penetrating the established opinions of others can oftentimes feel impossible. Adam Grant reminded me that it may be a hard-fought battle but not an impossible one. Learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, how a black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, and how Yankees fans were convinced to root for the Red Sox.

Being a Yankees fan, this one was especially impressive.

Less art and more science, this is the book that will give you hope that anyone’s mind can be changed with the right strategies.


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27 Essential Principles of Story: Master the Secrets of Great Storytelling, from Shakespeare to South Park

By Daniel Joshua Rubin

Book cover of 27 Essential Principles of Story: Master the Secrets of Great Storytelling, from Shakespeare to South Park

Why this book?

Practicality and simplicity are essential when wanting to learn something, and this book offers both in heaping spoonfuls. Read five pages and you’ll already be a better communicator. But best of all, this book also provides specific examples of each principle from the works of Shakespeare and South Park. Harry Potter and The Godfather. Seeing easily implemented storytelling strategies put to use by the masters makes it far more understandable, accessible, and fun. 


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Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences

By Nancy Duarte

Book cover of Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences

Why this book?

Read all of Duarte’s books, but start with this one. Communication is more than simply words. Visuals are often essential to conveying an effective and memorable message, and Resonate offers practical strategies to do this well. Duarte is viewed as the best of the best, and it’s no hyperbole. As a person who struggles with the visual realm, Duarte’s clear and concise strategies transformed my presentations significantly, Read this then everything else she has written. 


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