Six Essential Reads for Young Communicators

It is no secret that communicators not only need to adapt to change, but remain constant in their skill set over the years. With new areas of communications emerging and demographics diversifying, it is important for new and experienced communicators alike to continue educating themselves in the fast adapting field. This diverse reading list will not only educate communicators on new trends, but also emphasize communication values at their core.

1. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Mind 

by Carmine Gallo

This book opened up the world of public speaking for me. Through Gallo’s secrets, I learned how to not only deliver a dynamic presentation, but how to make it memorable. A public delivery is only as powerful as the impact it makes on the audience. Making any communication deliverable and memorable is the key to success in today’s world of highly-saturated media.

2. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less 

by Greg McKeown

Young communicators are challenged with producing a lot of content, but the content must be relevant in order to create engagement. McKeown’s book will help millennials and communication students learn how to parse through to the most important bits of information, with the hopes of producing the highest quality content.

3. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life 

by Twyla Tharp

A mentor and professor of mine, Leora Lanz, recommended this book to me. She has found that in her communications career, creativity has always made her stand out. Going above and beyond expectation is what is expected today. It not only helped me visualize and create through new methods, but also helped me exercise the right side of my brain when it came to my communications practices.

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

by Chris Anderson, Curator of TED Talks

This book was also assigned as a supplemental reading in a class I took at BU. Though I did not read it, I had many classmates that did. Juan Lesmes, a Hospitality Administration Major with a concentration in Hospitality Public Relations, found this book to be “eye-opening.” Juan said this book gave him the skills to deliver powerful public speaking in the presentation setting, but also in the interview setting. It has helped him as he has applied to jobs post-grad and he believes that without it, he would not have received the job that he did.

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

by Chip and Dan Heath

I found this book among my recommended readings on Amazon, and thought I would give it a try. It is incredibly fascinating. The Heath brothers created a number of theories and scales that they base their research off of. Though I have yet to put much of what I learned from this book to practice, my hope is that it will help me later on in my academic and professional career when it comes to choosing the best possible topics, directions, and ideas for content generation.

6. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust 

by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Another book recommended to me by my mentor and professor, Leora Lanz. Owner of a hospitality communications and public relations firm, Professor Lanz is constantly tasked with keeping client brands relevant, respected, and popular. In the new world of digital media, online influencers, and even more importantly Google, are in charge of determining who is important, who we as users can trust. We as communicators are tasked with the effort to build relationships using social media and other web platforms to ensure our brands remain trusted. For those young communicators who are especially interested in brand awareness and management, this is the book for you.


Megan Carmichael is a student at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration (SHA). Her studies and areas of interest include sales and digital marketing, and integrated marketing communications. Megan is currently working with LHL Communications, and serves as a peer mentor for incoming Boston University hospitality students. Beyond her studies in SHA, Megan is pursuing a minor in Communications at BU’s College of Communications.

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