7 Best Books on Communication Skills

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Communication skills are essential for career development and network building. Communicating effectively is not rocket science. It is can be improved through learning, observing and practicing.

There are many books on developing abilities to communicate meaningfully. The seven books listed below are my favorite ones on improving communication skills. All of them are well-written, use practical examples and analysis, and offer helpful methods and techniques.

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People

By Dale Carnegie 

win friends & influence people

best books on communication skills

This classic book uses human behavior and psychology as the basis to explain how to interact with people to win their friendship and respect and how to influence others without being offensive. Although some ideas, such as smiling and being a good listener, may seem simple, we often ignore them when it comes to our own communication behaviors. Therefore, I still strongly recommend you read this book. 

The book is a marvelous distillation of the fundamentals needed for achieving optimal communication results.

2. Crucial Conversations

By Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler 

crucial conversation

best books on communication skills

This book teaches us how to communicate when stakes are high, opinions vary, or emotions run strong. We all hate to deal with stressful situations, but avoiding it or letting our emotions take over does not work well. In this book, the authors offer us useful tools to prepare for high-stakes conversations.

3. The Fine Art of Small Talk

By Debra Fine 

the fine art of small talk

best books on communication skills

Like it or not, small talk is needed for developing relationships and engaging in meaningful interactions. Not everyone is born to be good at small talk; luckily, Debra Fine wrote a book on almost everything you need to know about small talk. There are so many tips and example sentences that you can use right away for your next small talk.

【 Related Reading: Easy Tips on Making Small Talks

4. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die 

By Chip Heath and Dan Heath 

Made to stick

best books on communication skills

Each day, people are overwhelmed with information. How can we make sure the message we conveyed can stick? This book identifies six critical principles that help retain the message longer. The authors use interesting examples to illustrate the keys to effective description and explanation so that people can comprehend and remember the information.

5. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion  

By Robert B. Cialdini 

Influence

best books on communication skills

This is a classic book on persuasion and influence. Dr. Cialdini explains how we are influenced by others and how we can influence others. He unravels the psychological foundation of persuasion and teaches us to apply these understandings to increase our influence.

6. TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking  

By Chris Anderson  

Ted Talks

best books on communication skills

You may have already been familiar with Ted talks, a platform that uses public speaking as a way to disseminate discoveries and thoughts on science, humanities, economics, and other fields. This book, written by Chris Anderson, the curator of TED Talks, focuses on key components of great speeches, including speech preparation, story-telling, speech structure, voice and presence, etc.

7. Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals  

By Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic  

story telling with data

best books on communication skills

Data and graphs have been an indispensable part of information dissemination. In this book, Cole Nussbaumer, an expert in data visualization, teaches us how to present data-oriented information without boring your audience to tears or putting them to sleep.

She shares strategies on choosing effective visual for displaying information, creating clean and explicit design to catch attention, and using story-telling techniques to improve audience understanding and recall.

best books on communication