Public Speaking Starter Kit
8 mins read

Public Speaking Starter Kit

Prepare for your next big presentation or event with materials, resources and programming from Plano Public Library.

Plano Public Library offers everything you need to learn a new skill, develop a new hobby, and pursue a new career. This month’s Starter Kit is all about public speaking and presentation skills! If you, like 15-30% of the United States population, have anxiety surrounding public speaking [source], improving those skills may be as daunting as it is important. Advocating for yourself in your professional and personal life can only improve your circumstances!

Upcoming Events

Join us during the upcoming programming season for the following event!

SNAP Organizing Your Thoughts to Express Yourself (Teens and Adults)

SNAP programs are sensory-friendly and targeted toward the needs of neurodivergent children, teens, adults and their families/caregivers. Neurodivergent includes autism spectrum disorder, ADD/ADHD, Tourette’s and other developmental and learning disabilities.

Join us in a sensory-friendly environment to practice organizing your thoughts in order to best express yourself. Learn the basics of public speaking, and then practice writing and presenting a short speech.

Parr Library on Thursdays at 6:30pm: Dec 1 | Dec 8 | Dec 15 | Dec 22


Public Speaking for Dummies by Alyson Connolly: Many of you face the idea of speaking in public with stark terror, right? Rejoice! This book will help you banish your fears for good. Whether you need to make a business pitch, give a presentation, address a conference, ace a job interview, or offer a rousing wedding toast, you’ll discover how to identify and fix the problems that are stealing your confidence. You’ll learn to put the right words together and deliver them in a way that makes your listeners pay attention–and feel glad they did. | Print |

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson: Since taking over TED in the early 2000s, Chris Anderson has shown how carefully crafted short talks can be the key to unlocking empathy, stirring excitement, spreading knowledge, and promoting a shared dream. Done right, a talk can electrify a room and transform an audience’s worldview. Done right, a talk is more powerful than anything in written form. This book explains how the miracle of powerful public speaking is achieved, and equips you to give it your best shot. There is no set formula; no two talks should be the same. The goal is for you to give the talk that only you can give. But don’t be intimidated. You may find it more natural than you think. | Print | Playaway | Chinese | eBook |

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo: Public speaking coach and bestselling author Gallo has broken down hundreds of TED talks and interviewed the most popular TED (technology, entertainment, design) presenters as well as the top researchers in the fields of psychology, communications, and neuroscience to get their cutting-edge insights and to reveal the nine secrets of all successful TED presentations. | Print | Chinese | eBook | eAudio |

Tips of the Tongue: The Nonnative English Speaker’s Guide to Mastering Public Speaking by Deborah Grayson Riegel: A practical, tactical, and supportive how-to book aimed at addressing the unique problems that nonnative English speakers experience when they deliver a presentation. Presenting in any language is daunting. But this book aims to reduce anxiety while raising proficiency in public speaking whether English is your second, third, fourth-or first-language. | Print |

Junior & Young Adult

Speak Up! Giving an Oral Presentation by Jeff McHugh: Offers tips and techniques for giving an oral presentation, from planning to practicing. | Print |

Thank You For Coming to my TED Talk by Chris Anderson: A teen edition of the New York Times best-selling TED TALKS: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, chock-full of tips and techniques to help teens become confident, capable speakers. | Print | eBook |

The Teen’s Guide to Debating and Public Speaking by Claire Duffy: Welcome to the world of school debating and public speaking, the best training ground for speaking, reasoning, arguing, and looking critically at big issues. No matter what the topic, a great deal is at stake. Speaking skills can open up a world of opportunities, from education to career development, activism, and political engagement. In an increasingly competitive world, being able to speak with confidence, passion, and persuasiveness has become essential to standing out from the crowd. Claire Duffy not only demystifies the process but makes it fun. Learn all about the best ways to prepare, the persuasive power of reason, the art of argument and rebuttal and, when worst comes to worst, how to “lose” graciously. | Print |

Fearless Public Speaking: A Guide for Beginners by Joy Jones: Offers advice on how to overcome stage fright, including how to write a speech, how to deliver it, and how to deal with problems that may occur. | Print |

Online Materials
The Great Courses via Kanopy

The Art of Public Speaking – Improve and enhance your public-speaking skills with time-tested techniques and strategies used by Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and other great orators. Delivered by frequent lecturer and distinguished historian Professor John R. Hale, these 12 engaging and accessible lectures offer you helpful insights no matter who your audience is.

The Art of Debate – THE ART OF DEBATE offers you the ultimate how-to guide for hashing out differences of opinion and making stronger arguments based on reason and compromise. In 24 stimulating lectures, Professor Jarrod Atchison of Wake Forest University helps you develop your command of logic, construct clear arguments, recognize the fallacies in others’ reasoning, and sharpen your own strategic thinking skills.

Mastering Stage Presence – Any time you present yourself before others, your way of interacting with your listeners is equally as important as what you say. In 24 dynamic sessions, you’ll learn how to present yourself successfully, practice exercises to develop physical and vocal freedom, and grasp how to keep your audience’s attention. With the skills you’ll develop, you can confidently offer your best self to the world.

Building a Better Vocabulary – For anyone who has ever grasped for the perfect word, this course provides a research-based and enjoyable method for improving your vocabulary. Your professor understands the cognitive science behind language acquisition and presents each new word in a way that makes it memorable. But more importantly, he teaches you these tips and strategies so you can apply them whenever you learn a new word.

LinkedIn Learning

Develop Your Presentation Skills Learning Path – Presentation skills are critical to success in nearly every occupation. Learn how to design presentations that will hold people’s attention, present your ideas with confidence, and engage an audience by presenting well‐organized material in an understandable format.

Create and Deliver Engaging Presentations Learning Path – You’ve landed a meeting with a dream client, investor, or partner. Next, wow them with your presentation. Presenting your ideas in a clear and visually engaging way is a critical step toward the outcome you want. This learning path can help you prepare, design, and deliver a compelling presentation.

We hope this resource list is beneficial to your personal and professional goals. View other Starter Kit blog posts to explore more ways to enrich your life. You can find all of this and more at your local Plano Public Library

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