6 Top Books for the Learning Professional

Emily Meade
Posted: July 13, 2018

We’ve shared our favorite learning podcasts and Ted Talks. Now it’s time to share the 6 top books for the learning professional! So often we are on-the-go and reach for our earbuds to multi-task these learning activities. But sitting down with a good book can have its fair share of benefits. If you stand to disagree, you’re in luck! Some of these reads come as a PDF download or audio book. And if you’re an ATD member, you’ll even receive a member price for the titles. Whether you are an instructional designer, training manager, to everything in between, there is a book for you! Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to #UnlockInnovation with these 6 top books for the learning professional. 

Related: What Should You Be Reading This Summer [+Quiz]

1. Ready, Set, Curate by Ben Betts and Allison Anderson

What is it about?
Content is everywhere in our digital world. It’s one thing to recognize the content, but another to collect and communicate it well to an audience waiting to learn. Ready, Set, Curate shares content building secrets, case studies, and relevant examples from 8 learning experts. By the end of these pages, you will learn how to construct a curation strategy to select the best content to serve your audience. Ready, set, go read!

Who should read this?
Learning and Development Coordinator, eLearning Designer, Training Manager, Instructional Designer

2. A Trainer’s Guide to PowerPoint: Best Practices for Master Presenters by Mike Parkinson

What’s it about?
Want to learn the secrets to master PowerPoint for training? This incredible tool can either take your skills to the next level or limit your capability to communicate to your audience (we wouldn’t want that!). Dive into this comprehensive guide to learn how to discover, design, and deliver amazing PowerPoint slides that leave your audience educated. The author, Mike Parkinson, shares his top tips on presentation success, as well as best practices from fellow experts regarding this resource.

Who should read this?
Instructional Designer, Technical Instructional Designer, eLearning Designer

3. Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy, and Understanding at Work by Michael Stallard

What’s it about?
According to Michael Stallard, “Organizations thrive when employees feel valued, the environment is energized, and high productivity and innovation are the norm.” We couldn’t agree more (especially the note about innovation!). This read give managers of all kinds practical tips and tricks to infuse connection within their teams and lead to stronger organizations with vision, voice, and value. Start connecting today!

Who should read it?
CHRO, Chief Talent Development Officer, Training Manager, Project Manager, Training Director

4. Measuring the Success of Employee Engagement By Patti Phillips, Jack Phillips, and Rebecca Ray

What’s it about?
Employee engagement, impact, ROI – if you can’t connect the three, your program’s in trouble. Learn how to keep important factors in mind when building your employee engagement program from start to finish. Engage with case studies that will help you format your initiative without focusing your efforts on behavioral outcomes alone. Whether you are a chief learning officer or an individual team member, this read will help you learn what to look for and ensure your employee engagement program is driving innovation and success.

Who should read it?
Chief Learning Officer, Training Managers, eLearning Designer, Training Consultant

Related: How to Calculate Your Learning and Development ROI With Ease [FREE Template]

5. Unleashing the Intrapreneur by Debbie Wooldridge

What’s it about?
Millennial expert and CEO of ttcInnovations (yes, our leading lady!), Debbie Wooldridge, shares how to make a positive impact on the world beginning with you! Craft a plan to lead a purposeful life in all areas so when you step into your job, you are equipped to unleash the intrapreneur within and bring greater value where you work. If you are a manager within a corporation, you will want to take a look at Debbie’s companion book, A Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur, to better learn how you can equip your team to contribute creativity and innovation on the job.

Who should read it?
Millennial Managers, Human Resources Specialist, Training Manager, Project Manager

6. Play to Learn: Everything You Need to Know About Designing Effective Learning Games by Sharon Boller Karl Kapp

What’s it about?
In our digital world, just about everyone could agree that games are more effective than lectures as they hold a learners’ interest and help them explore new skills. Merge the worlds of instructional design and game design to strategically use gamification for learning success. This book will help you utilize game design for your business needs, refine your design, and use your game to motivate and excite learners.

Who should read it?
Instructional Designer, Training Designer, eLearning Designer

What are some of your favorite learning industry books? Share with us on Twitter!

My favorite learning industry book is: Click To Tweet


About the Author

Emily is a social media marketer with an affinity for bringing an authentic voice to creative words. In the past few years, Emily has primarily assisted both small and large businesses alike craft their brand, grow their audience, and build community through social media platforms. Her own writing can be found on a number of blogs relating to the industry and laced through social media accounts masked as the brand’s identity. She first joined the ttcInnovations’ family as a freelance contractor but has now settled into a part-time role where she oversees all social media initiatives with her expertise flair and intrapreneurial skills. Her love for craft coffee, explorative travel, and watercolor art fuel her inspiration and creativity on the job.