Best books and podcasts of 2024


This week in the world’s #1 newsletter on leadership communication:

  • Best Books and Podcasts of 2024
  • How to Win Your Audience’s Trust

Best Books and Podcasts of 2024

Wow, the last six months flew by. We launched the Speak Like a CEO Academy, I went to India for the first time and … got married!

I also listened to (and recorded) hundreds of podcasts and read around 50 books, so I thought I share the best of what I discovered so far in 2024.

My Top 7 Books

Supercommunicators by Charles Duhigg

“Supercommunicator” sounds hard to achieve, but there is nothing magical about it.

“Anyone can learn to be a supercommunicator.”

It is a skill set acquired by those who think deeper about how conversations unfold, according to Charles Duhigg’s outstanding new book 'Supercommunicators'. Duhigg recognizes that “the most important goal of any conversation is to connect.”

Charles Duhigg draws on cutting-edge research and real-world examples to decode the art of influential communication. This insightful book provides a framework for honing critical skills like storytelling, rapport-building, and message framing. You learn how to overcome psychological barriers, craft compelling narratives, and deliver messages that stick. No matter your audience, "Supercommunicators" equips you with the tools to connect, persuade, and leave a lasting impact.

Check out my in-depth post on my lessons from the book here.

“Simply Put: Why Clear Messages Win―and How to Design Them” by Ben Guttmann

In our increasingly complex and noise-filled world, clear communication is becoming both rarer and more essential. In "Simply Put: Why Clear Messages Win―and How to Design Them", marketing thought leader Ben Guttmann shows how to distill any message down to its purest, most persuasive form.

Drawing from psychology, neuroscience, and design thinking principles, Guttmann provides actionable strategies to break through the clutter.

You'll learn to:

  • simplify dense language
  • uncover your audience's true needs
  • apply the 5 principles of messages that win big.

If you want to follow Einstein’s advice and keep everything "as simple as possible, but not simpler,” Ben’s short and sharp book comes highly recommended. (spoiler: Ben will be on the podcast in June).

Check out my post on the book and the 5 principles of sticky messages here.

Story 10X by Michael Margolis

When telling the story of disruption and innovation, traditional methods of storytelling just don’t cut it. Because classical storytelling is a morality tale. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Disruption generates a defensive immune response. When people’s fundamental beliefs are challenged, they reflexively go into a state of resistance.

In his book "Story 10x," Michael Margolis lays out a roadmap for turning seemingly impossible goals into inevitable successes through storytelling.

Margolis introduces the "Story 10x" philosophy - a framework for rewriting the stories we tell ourselves about what is possible, in a simple 3-step framework build on context, emotion, and evidence.

This book provides a framework to rewrite your stories and craft compelling narratives that can inspire people to pursue the impossible.

Internal Communication in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Monique Zytnik

Transformational leaders need to be exceptional communicators.

Bombarded by new technology and unsure where artificial intelligence will take us? Asking yourself how this will impact communication at scale in your organization? How can you best harness this power for business success?

This book reveals a modern, multilayered approach to internal communication. It’s a practical guide for business leaders to become transformational leaders.

Order out Of Chaos by Scott Walker

That’s what The New York Times calls Scott Walker’s bestseller Order out of Chaos.

When pirates have hijacked a ship, when a criminal gang has kidnapped someone, when an entire company's future is being held to ransom from a cyber-attack, Scott is the person who gets called in. He has successfully negotiated more than 300 such incidents using the principles in his best-selling book Order Out of Chaos.

I am stoked that Scott will be my guest on Speak Like a CEO in a few weeks to talk about how to negotiate better deals.

My three top take-aways from the book:

1) While successful negotiations start with managing your own emotions, negotiators must remember one golden rule: It’s not about you.

2) Practice level five listening to better understand and interpret your counterpart’s self-perception and perspective. That allows you to convey to the speaker that we are seeing things from his point of view.

3) Rapport to request: In a negotiation, only once you built rapport, move to a request.

Radical Respect by Kim Scott

"Radical Respect: How to Work Together Better" by Kim Scott builds on the principles she introduced in her best-selling book, "Radical Candor."

Radical Respect starts from a simple point of departure: organizations that optimize for collaboration and honor everyone’s individuality are more successful, joyful places to work.

While written from a US-American perspective, it tackles some of the most salient universal questions of the modern workplace. Scott shows how to combine respect with candor through clear communication, empathy and compassion, constructive feedback, collaboration and teamwork.

Magic Words by Jonah Berger

Almost everything we do involves words. Words are how we persuade

, communicate, and connect. They’re how leaders lead, salespeople sell, and parents parent. But certain words are more impactful than others. They’re better at changing minds, engaging audiences, and driving action. What are these magic words, and how can we take advantage of their power?

In his latest book, Magic Words, author Jonah Berger reveals how six types of words can increase your impact in every area of life: from persuading others and building stronger relationships, to boosting creativity and motivating teams.

My Top 5 Podcast Episodes

“When Words Aren’t Enough: How to Excel at Nonverbal Communication”

Think Fast, Talk Smart with Matt Abrahams

Episode 137 of Matt Abrahams’ “Think Fast, Talk Smart” podcast with Berkeley professor Dana Carney explains how we can become fluent in the “language” of non-verbal communication.

The Money Making Expert with Daniel Priestly

Diary of a CEO

On The Diary of a CEO, Episode of 22 February, Steven Bartlett interviews the award-winning serial entrepreneur and 5 x author Daniel Priestley.

Priestley is a master of personal branding, marketing and selling online and shares his secrets to scaling businesses and brands.

"Storytelling is Everything"

Career Blast in a Half with Loren Greiff

My recent podcast guest Loren Greiff dissects storytelling with Michael Margolis, author of Story 10X, who explains what most businesses get wrong about storytelling and what to do instead.

"How the man be hind the LinkedIn Algorithm Report uses LinkedIn"

Creator Science

Richard van der Blom collects more data on the LinkedIn algorithm than anyone else. He shares the insight track in episode 188 of Creator Science.

"Speak so people want to listen with Julian Treasure"

Speak Like a CEO with Oliver Aust

The most popular episode of Speak Like a CEO this year. Julian Treasure shares the secrets of a viral TED speaker, the four foundations of powerful speaking, and The Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking.


PODCAST

How to Win Your Audience’s Trust

I do a podcast to help you become a top 1% communicator. Please subscribe on Apple or Spotify.

My guest this week is one of the world’s leading experts on how to use brain science to attract attention and persuade others.

Dr. Carmen Simon is a cognitive neuroscientist specializing in how the brain processes and retains information. She advises the likes of HP, Google, and JP Morgan, and teaches at Stanford. I recommended her excellent new book, "Made You Look”, a few weeks ago.

In this episode, Dr. Simon shares her insights on the science behind effective communication. Carmen also debunks the myth of short attention spans, asserting that if the content is engaging and relevant, audiences can maintain focus for extended periods. She encourages communicators to "control your 10%" by ensuring the main message is clear, repeated, and supported by the rest of the content.

This episode is for you if you want to create better presentations, sales pitches and marketing messages.

Listen on Spotify and Apple:

Have an inspired weekend!

Best,

Oliver

PS: Share this newsletter with your friends & colleagues here.

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