Whether you’re a seasoned professional speaker with years of experience to your name or you’re new to the speaking industry, one thing is for sure: expertise is your biggest asset.
And while courses, coaching, and seminars are vital to honing your skills, it’s just as important to continue learning and gaining new insights on a daily basis.
Luckily, there are ample resources at your disposal to help you do that.
Here are 23 podcasts, books, and blogs every public speaker needs.
The 11 Best Professional Speaking Podcasts
Podcasts are an incredibly convenient and impactful way to gain new knowledge and expertise. These podcasts offer a variety of topics that can help you become an even more effective speaker.
- The Toastmasters Podcast — One of those most renowned and top-rated speaker-focused podcasts out there, the Toastmasters Podcast delivers insights regarding communication and leadership through interviews with guest toastmasters from around the globe.
- The Art and Business of Public Speaking with Ken Davis — With a focus on strategies and creative ideas, this podcast provides rich resources empowering public speakers to construct and deliver exceptional presentations that will lead people to action and powerfully impact life.
- Eat the Lens — Hosted by award-winning television new journalist, media trainer, and video producer Noeleen McGrath, this podcast focuses on a skill many professional speakers may not regularly consider: how to become an expert in playing to the camera — a skill that is even more valuable during COVID-19 when speakers are moving to online keynotes (for more, check out our blog post offering 10 tips for how to deliver high-quality Zoom keynotes) in place of in-person events.
- Voices of Experience (The National Speakers Association Podcast) — In this podcast, top achievers share their experiences to offer vital, up-to-date information on every facet of the speaking profession.
- The Speaker Lab with Grant Baldwin – The Speaker Lab has become a go-to resource for all things related to the professional speaking industry, including training, insights, and engaging conversations with the world’s best speakers. This podcast is basically a free weekly Masterclass.
- Brand You with Mike Kim — There’s more to being a successful speaker than just being a great presenter with a great story to tell. You also need to have a brand that people can gravitate towards. This podcast will teach you how to build your personal and professional speaking brand — one of the keys to booking more paid speaking gigs.
- The Business of Story with Park Howell — Every speaker needs to have two ingredients: a great story to tell and an understanding of how best to tell it. In his podcast, Howell explores topics that can help you learn to harness the power of storytelling in marketing your public speaking business through interviews with content creators, ad experts, authors, screenwriters, marketers, and brand raconteurs.
- What the Speak?! Podcast with Bryan Kelly — This podcast caters to entrepreneurs, educators, experts, executives, experts, sales professionals, and marketers who absolutely have to fascinate and intrigue their audiences. But it also offers some great lessons for communicators and speakers on how to market and grow their speaking businesses.
- The Public Speaker Power Podcast: Become A Better Public Speaker with Ryan McLean — This podcast is all about helping you become a better public speaker and presenter. McLean offers tips and tricks that will help you overcome fear and deliver your presentation with power. Note: this podcast is no longer active so you can binge through every single episode without worrying about falling behind.
- The Speaking Show with David Newman — The award-winning podcast The Speaking Show podcast with David Newman is focused on a core audience of speakers, consultants, and experts who want instant-action strategies, advice, and insights to grow your motivational speaking and public speaking business.
- The Public Speaker’s Quick and Dirty Tips — Hosted by Lisa B. Marshall, author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker’s Guide to Success in Every Situation, this podcast helps you to inform, motivate, entertain, and persuade better. And best of all, it comes in the form of short, practical tips that help you to be engaging and memorable every time you speak.
8 Books Every Professional Speaker Should Have
There’s no shortage of outstanding books for professional speakers out there. But if you’re like many speakers, your free time is minimal. That means every book you pick up has to deliver value.
Don’t know where to start looking? Don’t worry. We’ve curated nine books every speaker needs in their library.
- How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World’s Most Inspiring Presentations by Jeremy Donovan — This fascinating book is based in the analysis of thousands of hours of TED talks. The ultimate conclusion is a lesson in how to understand what makes a great talk great as well as the different types, formats, and structures of great talks, and how you can use those principles in your speaking gigs.
- The Art of Presentation Flow by Nancy Duarte — In this book, Duarte goes in-depth with the idea of a Sparkline, a visual representation of the flow and structure of your presentation. This theory allows you to actually design your presentations to be successful. To learn more about this theory, check out this video.
- Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun — If you’re a professional speaker working to get your start in the industry, you’ll love this book which is based on both good and bad stories from Berkun’s time on the road. The most valuable lessons come from his worst moments and will help you prepare for the things that will eventually inevitably go wrong during the course of your career.
- The 10 Stories Great Leaders Tell by Paul Smith — This book not only dives deep into the journey behind the success of great leaders, it also breaks down the importance of your speaking business or brand’s story and how to craft compelling stories of your own.
- The Best Public Speaking Book by Matt Deaton — Usually we’re skeptical of books (or anything, for that matter) that outrightly claim to be the best. But former comedy club host, online philosophy professor, and keynote speaker Dr. Matt Deaton brilliantly adopts a wildly unique approach to this book, covering everything from preparation to posture, microphones to mindset, hand gestures to hecklers in the second edition of his ambitiously-titled The Best Public Speaking Book.
- Speak with No Fear: Go From a Nervous, Nauseated, and Sweaty Speaker to an Excited, Energized, and Passionate Presenter by Mike Acker — If there was ever a book where the name says it all, this would be it. Through this book, you’ll learn seven actionable strategies you can begin today that will give you a new perspective on presenting and speaking and prepare you to become an even better speaker.
- The Key to Being a Highly Successful Woman by Caryn Ross – In this book, you’ll learn to rewire yourself away from a mindset of self-doubt towards one that cultivates positive outcomes and feelings of self-confidence. And by believing in yourself daily, this will be the key to remarkable transformations in your life and enable you to reach peak performance levels in your speaking business and in life.
- Colonels of Wisdom: A Daughter’s Reflection on Significance by Lauren Schieffer — In the second volume of her Colonels of Wisdom series, Schieffer shares heartfelt and engaging stories highlighting the subtle but crucial difference between mere success and true significance.
4 Professional Speaking Blogs to Subscribe To
Blogs are a free and easy way to keep up to speed with bite-sized bits of information, insights, and expertise. We’d recommend subscribing to these ones.
- The Speaker Lab – We mentioned The Speaker Lab under our podcasts section, but it’s here again because it’s not just a podcast. The Speaker Lab has also got an incredible blog as well. Head here to find training, case studies, and the best tips and tricks to help you find and book more paid speaking gigs than ever before.
- Speaker Hub – Each week, Speaker Hub shares speaking tips, training ideas, calls for speakers, and tons of useful updates.
- eSpeakers – A virtual marketplace for speakers, this platform also offers a blog that delivers insightful posts offering tips and tricks for professional speakers to excel.
- Speaker Launcher – Spearheaded by Jane Atkinson, Speaker Launcher offers in-depth coaching to help professional speakers grow their business and gain even more success. The Speaker Launcher blog reinforces that mission with thoughtful and helpful content.
Continually learning and expanding your expertise as a professional speaker can be done easily and effectively.