Best Audiobooks on Communication

Whether you're looking to speak with confidence, become a better listener, make a great impression, or strengthen your relationships, these audiobooks are full of tips to help you improve your communication. skills.

Communication is essential to getting along and getting ahead—but for most of us, it's a skill we're expected to simply pick up as we move through life. Not surprisingly, there may be a lot you don't know about communicating with others.

Luckily, communication is a widely studied and well-researched field. Many experts and authors have gathered their best advice and techniques to help you improve your communication skills and, by extension, improve your relationships. Here are some of the best audiobooks on communication to help you get better at listening, speaking, and connecting. 

Talking to Strangers

Talking to Strangers

From Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author and host of the podcast Revisionist History, Talking to Strangers is a fascinating account of how we constantly misunderstand people we don’t know. Misunderstandings occur at alarming rates, leading to conflict and tragedy, the author argues, because the tools and strategies we routinely rely on to make sense of strangers are flawed. Gladwell offers a fascinating and well-researched listen about how terrible communication failures have occurred throughout history, how they continue to occur in everyday life, and what we can do to become better at listening to and interacting with all kinds of people. This immersive audiobook features lively reenactments and the actual voices of people Gladwell interviewed—scientists, criminologists, military psychologists, and players in real-life tragedies and disasters. (It even has its own theme song!) Talking to Strangers is a gem that was made to be heard.

How to Build Meaningful Relationships Through Conversation

How to Build Meaningful Relationships Through Conversation

In How to Build Meaninful Relationships Through Conversation, author, narrator, and professor Carol Ann Lloyd teaches listeners how to have more effective conversations to solve problems, create opportunities, build relationships, and enrich everyday life. Broken down into 10 easy-to-digest lessons, her curriculum covers the various components of successful conversations, comparing each to the piece of a puzzle, and shows how to make every conversation "R.E.A.L." — Relevant, Effective, Affirming, and Legitimate. Lloyd also tackles the topic of tough conversations, with tips on avoiding the three most common pitfalls. If you’re looking for an accessible listen on how to talk to others with confidence and impact, this is a definite winner.  

Words That Work

Words That Work

"It's not what you say, it's what people hear." Summed up in that tagline, communications expert Dr. Frank Luntz reveals how seemingly simple words often have a startling and significant impact on our thoughts and actions. In this Audie Award-winning listen, the author and narrator discusses how companies, politicians, and assorted influencers use certain words or phrases to get their audience to believe and do certain things. Words That Work will open your eyes and ears to the nuances of persuasive communication and help you think more critically about the language being used to sell a product or an idea before you buy. Plus, this listen just might help you land your next job or talk your way out of a traffic ticket.

Small Talk

Small Talk

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to improve interpersonal communication in social settings, then pick up this short audiobook. Clocking in at just over an hour, it’s a great guide to help you come out of your shell, learn about conversation openers, and quickly master essential listening skills. You’ll also get some conversation tips, tricks, and topics to keep the small talk flowing. Written by self-help author Aston Sanderson and engagingly narrated by Corinne Phillips, Small Talk will help you boost confidence, improve social skills, network with others, and become more outgoing.

The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

If you're longing to improve your communication and strengthen your bond with a loved one—whether your spouse, your mother, or your teenage son—this Audie Award-winning guide is definitely worth a listen. Drawing on his experience as a marriage counselor and pastor, Dr. Gary Chapman has crafted an illuminating guide to how people in close, loving relationships express caring and affection without talking—through acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, and quality time. Rich in insights and examples, The Five Love Languages shows that meaningful communication with loved ones begins by understanding and embracing the different ways to say I love you.

The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style is a classic guide to communicating clearly and effectively and has been used for decades because it values directness and clarity above all. In this listen, coauthors William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White advise all writers to omit needless words and always use active voice as well as use concrete examples whenever it is possible. Narrated by Frank McCourt (the beloved author of Angela's Ashes), this is a must-listen audiobook to help you write better emails, memos, or whatever else you might find yourself typing up.

Say What You Mean

Say What You Mean

This audiobook combines the concept of mindfulness with essential communication skills so that listeners can learn how to have better conversations and clearly speak their mind without raising their voice. Author and activist for nonviolent communication, Oren Jay Sofer offers guidance on how to reduce anxiety before and during conversations, how to listen to the subtext of a conversation, and how to stay focused on what really matters when you're talking with someone else. Say What You Mean goes a bit more in depth than Sanderson's Small Talk, and will hopefully give you the confidence to have more meaningful and respectful conversations—without getting defensive or going on the attack.  

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

Enthusiastically praised by parents and family counselors alike, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk is a great resource for anyone looking to improve communication at home with their kids.  Coauthors Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish cover a wide array of topics, including how to praise your child in a helpful way, how to tackle tough subjects, and how to resolve conflict without resorting to yelling or having your child wind up in tears. This down-to-earth guide also includes strategies and tips on dealing with your child’s feelings of frustration, disappointment, and anger, and expressing your own strong thoughts without being hurtful.

Never Eat Alone

Never Eat Alone

Richard Harries narrates this expanded and updated edition of networking expert Keith Ferrazzi’s popular guide to maximizing the power of relationships for building success. In Never Eat Alone, you’ll learn how reaching out, talking to other people, and fostering genuine relationships can help you in business—and how to invest in those relationships in new and thoughtful ways. If you've ever felt nervous about talking to strangers or conversing with colleagues or your boss, this listen provides you with the practical tools and confidence to shift your mindset and make the first move.


Tirzah Price is a writer and contributing editor at Book Riot.

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