Here is a selection of books on speeches and speechwriting that can help speechwriters, speakers, and speech-fans and –friends.


Published by Sceptre
Published in 2018

Speakers often ask for numbers and statistic in speeches to support their message, but is quantifiable data the best idea in a speech? In a speech, ie not to be read with the eyes, on a screen or on paper, with the possibility to pause, analyze, and reflect, but heard by the ear, in a flow of words and sentences, with hardly any time or tool to put them into perspective. If you wonder on what grounds numbers and statistics delivered to an audience land, Hans Rosling’s book is an eye-opener. Professor and TED-speaker Rosling explains why most audiences, even advanced or expert audiences, often perform extremely poorly when asked on their worldview (worse than random, worse than chimpanzees, as he shows). And if the worldview is wrong, so is the thinking. Rosling’s expertise is international health but the relevance of this book goes far beyond, as he presents and explains ten instincts that distort dramatically our understanding of the world. This book provides speechwriters with understanding of the ten instincts that alter our thinking, arguments to introduce only with great care numbers and statistics in a speech, and advice on how to put factfulness in practice for politicians, media and citizens.


In three words: Brilliant - Eye-opener - a Must. In much more than three words: After reading this book I can understand why Hans Rosling was known as "the man who made numbers sing"... This is exactly what he does, he makes numbers (statistics) talk and sing and tell you a story, the story of our world. Rosling gives the reader valuable tools to understand and critically analyze numbers, statistics and news. He also shares advices on how to present numbers and statistics in order to convey a message in an effective way, but always based on real facts. Rosling does not deny any of the urgencies, tragedies or threats of the times we are living, but the world, told by the music of his numbers, seems less overwhelming, The book has an even deeper meaning since it was his opera postuma, written when he knew he had not much time left and published after his premature death. I believe his views regarding the pandemic (and the associated info-demic) would have been very enlightening. Thank you Isabelle for recommending this book to me.
2021-05-18 12:50:10