Lara Hogan’s Demystifying Public Speaking, available through A Book Apart, is a gem of a guide for beginners. Full of practical tips, it had me nodding hard in agreement at every piece of reassuring advice.
Chapters include choosing a topic, finding a venue, writing the presentation, and practicing your talk. Some of the most valuable advice involves how to ask others for specific, actionable feedback when rehearsing — rather than general (and much less useful) reactions like “Your talk was great,” or “I found it boring.”
While clearly aiming to inspire new speakers, the book is also realistic, featuring good sections on dealing with tricky Q & A periods and how to handle harassment.
There’s tons in Demystifying Public Speaking that I know I’ll refer back to multiple times — both as reminders for myself, and to pass along to my workshop participants.
Not sure the book’s right for you? Check out the first chapter and decide for yourself.