Umbrex has developed this list of the best books on business presentations based on input from the management consultants in our community, our clients, and other professionals.
This recommended reading list includes books that detail how to create professional business presentations for a consulting practice.
This list of books is a work in progress, not a final answer, and we invite you to submit your recommendations on our Contact page.
Janine Kurnoff and Lee Lazarus
A practical, easy-to-use guide to transform business communications into memorable narratives that drive conversations—and your career—forward.
In Everyday Business Storytelling: Create, Simplify, and Adapt A Visual Narrative for Any Audience, visual communication and storytelling experts Janine Kurnoff and Lee Lazarus leverage decades of experience helping executives at the world’s top brands—including Facebook, Nestle, Accenture, and Marriot—bring clarity and meaning to their business communications. Whether you’re building a presentation, crafting a high-stakes email, or need to influence decisions in your next meeting with an executive, Everyday Business Storytelling offers an insightful exploration of how to develop compelling business narratives.
You’ll discover how to use a simple, repeatable framework to choreograph your ideas, data, and insights into an authentic, persuasive story. Within this business book, you’ll also find clever data visualization and visual display techniques to help humanize your stories and build an emotional connection with your audience, leading to improved presentation skills and effective data storytelling.
Just a few of the things you’ll learn from this business book include:
Everyday Business Storytelling is an indispensable guide to making your communications stick in the minds of your audience and drive change. If you’re a busy, talented businessperson responsible for executive presentations, one-pagers, emails, or virtual meetings, this communication book is for you.Read moreRead less
TAKE THE PAIN OUT OF PRESENTATIONS.
Terrified of speaking in front of a group? Or simply looking to polish your skills? No matter where you are on the spectrum, this guide will give you the confidence and the tools you need to get results.
Written by presentation expert Nancy Duarte, the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations will help you:
Considered “One of the Best Marketing & Sales Books of 2020” by the prestigious Porchlight Business Book Awards, this is the essential guide to harnessing the power of visual communication.
Visual communication has changed.
Because 91% of today’s audiences prefer visual content as their first form of information delivery.
And a staggering 94% of first impressions of a brand or product will be based entirely on the design of that visual content.
That’s why we need to use visual storytelling to help us establish and strengthen relationships, engage distracted audiences, and bring clarity to complexity.
Killer Visual Strategies examines how visual communication has transformed how brands connect with their customers and colleagues alike.
It looks at the growing audience demand for quality visual content and how organizations must meet this demand or risk being left behind.
In addition to providing actionable rules to follow for creating high-impact visual content, Killer Visual Strategies also explores the latest trends, including visual search, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), as well as what lies ahead in this dynamic field!
Applicable to a wide range of professions where visual content is now vital to sharing a message, you can expect Killer Visual Strategies to deliver:
Killer Visual Strategies is the evolution of visual communication as a fundamental part of how a story is told.
“… I can think of no book right now that’s more relevant to marketers, designers, and brand leaders!” ―Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist of Canva, Renowned Author, and SpeakerRead moreRead less
Bestselling author of Million Dollar Consulting shares the secrets of writing winning proposals.
Intended for consultants, speakers, and other professional services providers, Million Dollar Consulting® Proposals ends forever the time-consuming and often frustrating process of writing a consulting proposal. It begins with the basics―defining these proposals and why they are necessary―and coaches you through the entire proposal process. In this book, you’ll learn how to establish outcome-based business objectives and maximize your success and commensurate fees.
From bestselling author Alan Weiss, Million Dollar Consulting Proposals delivers step-by-step guidance on the essential element in creating a million dollar consultancy.
Alan Weiss’s expert guidance can lead your consulting business to unprecedented success, and it all starts with a million dollar proposal.Read moreRead less
Step-by-step guide to creating compelling, memorable presentations.
A chart that once took ten hours to prepare can now be produced by anyone with ten minutes and a computer keyboard. What hasn’t changed, however, are the basics behind creating a powerful visual – what to say, why to say it, and how to say it for the most impact. In Say It With Charts, Fourth Edition –the latest, cutting-edge edition of his best-selling presentation guide — Gene Zelazny reveals time-tested tips for preparing effective presentations. Then, this presentation guru shows you how to combine those tips with today’s hottest technologies for sharper, stronger visuals. Look to this comprehensive presentation encyclopedia for information on:
For over 45 years, McKinsey & Company’s Gene Zelazny has been showing McKinsey consultants and professionals around the world how to plan, design, and deliver effective business presentations_and how to improve and expand their repertoire of presentation skills.
Now in this revised and expanded edition of Say It With Presentations, Mr. Zelazny brings together his years of valuable communication experience to show managers_even those with little or no presentation experience_how to prepare winning presentations using his proven methodology and the full range of PowerPoint techniques.
Written in a clear, highly engaging style, this essential business tool covers everything from defining the situation…to developing the right mix of visual aids to interest your audience without overpowering them. Say It With Presentations features a wealth of practical information on:
Filled with scores of helpful illustrations, this wide-ranging sourcebook also explains how to take humor seriously and incorporate it into a presentation…and how to use the “Audience Bill of Rights” to focus clearly on the needs of the audience.
Comprehensive and completely up to date, the new edition of Say It With Presentations contains all the skills-building information, methods, tips, and pointers that business professionals need to win over clients and reap greater financial rewards.Read moreRead less
“We’re sorry but your recommendation wasn’t approved.”
We’ve all heard those words; it’s a sentence that swallows your hopes and crushes your confidence.
Getting ideas or projects approved and securing the resources needed to implement them is one of the greatest challenges business leaders face. With multiple stakeholders, constrained budgets, and competing agendas, it’s difficult to cut through the clutter and garner the required support.
The Elegant Pitch provides a simple, proven process to go from idea to approval more quickly and effectively than ever before. This is the same method used by elite strategy consulting firms such as McKinsey & Co. and Bain Consulting. But you don’t have to be a high-priced consultant to master a process that promises:
Do less work, hold fewer and shorter meetings, and get ideas approved on the first pass? Sign me up!
By using the methods in The Elegant Pitch, you can get to “yes” more quickly and drive the results that set you apart from the crowd.Read moreRead less
Unleash the Power of Data Visualization with a Logical Approach and Craft Compelling Stories to Drive Fast Results.
This comprehensive guide, written by senior strategy consultant Sam Schreim, is your go-to resource for conquering data visualization and crafting powerful and insightful stories from your data to drive fast results.
With decades of experience and insights, senior strategy consultant Sam Schreim has developed a proven, logic-based approach that makes it easy to turn hard data into a compelling narrative.
This is essential in today’s world where turning data into a compelling story is no longer a luxury, but a NECESSITY.
Whether you’re a consultant, executive, entrepreneur, business developer, professional, researcher, or anyone working on presentations, you don’t need years of expertise, you simply need this book.
StoryTelling with Charts – The Full Story is the most comprehensive resource in the market for learning how to harness the power of high-impact narratives and psychological techniques to create captivating data stories.
In this guide, you will find the secrets to telling compelling stories with charts using horizontal and vertical logic, all the tools you need to get started, and a simple yet high-impact system based on a proven 5-step framework to create WOW-worthy presentations in no time.
Here’s what you’ll find:
Novice or expert, this book provides you with the necessary resources to craft professional-level presentations, pitch decks, and reports effortlessly!
Are you ready to transform dull text and data into captivating and actionable chart-based stories that inspire your audience to act in under 7 hours?Read moreRead less
Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
Don’t simply show your data—tell a story with it! Storytelling with Data teaches you the fundamentals of data visualization and how to communicate effectively with data. You’ll discover the power of storytelling and the way to make data a pivotal point in your story. The lessons in this illuminative text are grounded in theory, but made accessible through numerous real-world examples—ready for immediate application to your next graph or presentation.
Storytelling is not an inherent skill, especially when it comes to data visualization, and the tools at our disposal don’t make it any easier. This book demonstrates how to go beyond conventional tools to reach the root of your data, and how to use your data to create an engaging, informative, compelling story. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
Together, the lessons in this book will help you turn your data into high impact visual stories that stick with your audience. Rid your world of ineffective graphs, one exploding 3D pie chart at a time. There is a story in your data—Storytelling with Data will give you the skills and power to tell it.Read moreRead less
GET THE MAXIMUM IMPACT WITH THE MINIMUM EFFORT.
The Pyramid Principle is the international best-seller on how to think creatively, reason lucidly and produce crisp, clear, compelling business writing.
Join the tens of thousands of people worldwide who have benefited from Barbara Minto’s technique, to present your thinking so clearly that the ideas jump off the page and into the mind of the reader.
Can your writing do without it?Read moreRead less