Here are some books, tools, and other gadgets that I have found helpful in my life as both a presenter and a person. These are generally Amazon affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links I do get a portion of that sale.

Public Speaking Related

I talked about this book in Episode 005.

I found a lot of value in this book, and Knaflic has a great way of telling the story. Highly recommended.

This is basically the bible of ROI for corporate training programs.

I like the discussion about the importance of focus and concentration for knowledge workers. The authors are convinced cubicles and open office plans are evil.

I ordered a set of these for my team several years sago. I found it to be a great sound system for supplementing a speaker’s ability to project in a small- to medium-sized room. Sound quality is good for voice and it helps a lot for a long day of speaking. It’s small and light enough to travel easily. I carried it around the country with a set of wireless mics in a Pelican briefcase. At events I usually set it up under a table. It’s good for audiences of 25-50 people. Maybe 75.

This is the set of wireless mics I used with the speakers above. Build quality isn’t great, but they were inexpensive, they got the job done, and customer service from the manufacturer is great. For occasional use, these are a good solution.

For fishing through your bag for cables, hunting for stuff under tables during setup and tear down, hunting for video-in ports on TVs, looking for light switches late night in a hotel room, this little flashlight is surprisingly useful.

Gaffer’s is the choice of AV professionals. It’s great for taping down cables or for wrapping them together. When you do your own setup, it’s good to have a roll to minimize trip hazards and generally keep your projection setup looking neat and clean. It’s strong, but easy to tear off. It leaves minimal to no residue when you remove it. It’s NOT good for taping boxes, but packing tape is cheaper, anyway.

I use this cable organizer in my home office, and it can be useful on the road, too. Consider wrapping your video, power, and audio cables together as part of your setup when you speak on the road in hotel conference rooms.


This is a good book about addressing challenges in personal and business life. It’s also extremely popular on the Microsoft campus.


Stroke Recovery Related

I’m a big fan of this book. I really appreciate Shapiro’s attitude towards her stroke recovery. It’s valuable to me to read about the approach a business professional took towards what she would do now. At the same time it’s also about her emotional journey. Stroke victims and caregivers can both benefit from Shapiro’s perspective. Others will likely find it inspiring, too.

Taylor’s book is another excellent book about stroke recovery. Taylor is actually a brain scientist who was fascinated by the progression of her own stroke. It some parts, it gets a little too “one with the universe” for my taste, but it is still an excellent read. It also has great insight for family and friends of stroke victims.

I have a stationary bike in my apartment (it’s a long story…). It’s a nice part of my own personal rehab efforts, but I couldn’t keep my left foot in the pedals. These platforms were the perfect solution.

This is the same eStim unit my rehab team uses. I use eStim to activate the arm and leg muscles my brain doesn’t talk to yet. It keeps the muscles moving and gives the feedback to the brain.

I wear this sling when I’m out and about. One risk with stroke is that over time, a weak arm can gradually pull itself out of the shoulder due to lack of use. It’s called subluxation. This sling supports the arm without doing long-term damage. It’s a bit complicated to put on in the beginning, but it gets the job done.