Ten Must Read Books for the 21st Century Communicator

Today is a BONUS post for anyone who is in the business of communication. Whether you are a presenter, teacher, trainer, preacher, writer, blogger - COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY. But not just any communication.

Good communication...
Great communication...
Sticky ideas...
Creative, compelling, memorable content...
Visually rich with images...

I believe the work of communication is harder then it has ever been. Fortunately, there is GREAT help available for anyone who wants to put the time and hard work in that is absolutely required to become an effective 21st century communicator.

It is this simple: The old ways of communication are increasingly less effective... and for some audiences, especially the younger ones - the old ways just do not work - period.

We have too many "typewriter communicators" in a "computer world." Too much communication is ponderous, cumbersome, weighted down with outdated styles and method, and completely oblivious to all we have learned about communication styles and techniques. 

Even preaching... The Bible emphasizes the enduring values of biblical preaching... but it DOES NOT mandate a particular style. Studying the great biblical communicators of church history we see one obvious thing - they were Great Communicators who knew how to use the best practices of their day. And as the culture and styles of communication changed, these Great Comunicators changed. It would be a dreary, ponderous task for most of us to listen to even the best communicators of the past - their styles are so outdated for our time. Communication style, stragegy, technique and methodology is in constant change (like everything else)!

Here is an analogy I hope will be helpful (and one I am going to explore in an upcoming blog).
Think of the difference between Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon.
Each was/is in the humor/comedy business.
Each had to communicate.
But styles and delivery were unique and they are different.

Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, comedy, changing communication
The "jump" from Johnny to Jay is not a huge change, although there is indeed change in style. BUT . . . the transition-jump from Leno to Fallon is ENORMOUS. Much more striking than it was form Carson to Leno. Communication has changed. Leno knew it had changed. NBC knew it had changed. Fallon is the change.

You have to be in a continual life long learning mode about creative communication.

There are about a half dozen bloggers I love. I read just about every post they write. They are that good. When it comes to the field of communication, my favorite resource is: Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. Here is the link to his latest blog on great reading. Here is what caught me off guard. I read a lot about communication and look to stay very up-to-date and in practice. But I have only read two of these books! I am going to pick up several of them and work through them in the next few weeks.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International