Booktalking Tips and Techniques
Strategies for Success!
When using this presentation please add
slides for at least one booktalk to
demonstrate each of the four approaches
discussed in this PowerPoint and a final
booktalk that includes props and music. A
slide for a booktalk may include an image of
the cover of the book, the author’s name, and
the title.
Content of this PowerPoint:
Text and ideas were taken from
• Jones, Patrick. Connecting Young
Adults and Libraries. NealSchuman:New York, 1998.
What is a booktalk?
• It is like a commercial. It is an attention
grabbing presentation created to catch
the audience’s attention and make them
want to read the book being presented!
When you do a booktalk you are:
• A performer
• And
• A salesperson
Four Styles of Booktalks:
• 1. Plot Summary: Create a cliffhanger ending
by summarizing the plot to a particular point
and then stopping. This is the easiest and
most common approach.
Four Styles of Booktalks:
• 2. Character Based: Describe a
character or pretend to be a character
in the book.
Four Styles of Booktalks:
• 3. Mood Based: Create a mood by
voice, words you choose, and emphasis.
You may want to include the actual
words the author has written by reading
a passage from the book.
Four Styles of Booktalks:
• 4. Scene Based: Focus on
one particularly gripping
scene in the book. Tell only
what happens in that one
You can also combine
elements of different styles
in one booktalk.
How will you generate interest?
• A hook is something
that catches people’s
attention. Most songs
have a catchy beat,
chorus, or sing along
part. Think about
•How will you hook your
What are possible hooks?
• Change your voice and pattern of
speech! Is there an accent used by a
character that you could use? Can you
pretend to be the character?
• Pretend the events of the story really
happened to you!
• Present the booktalk as an interview or
as a news story.
What are possible hooks?
• Tell the story from the viewpoint of
different characters.
• Make it funny…..
• Build it around several cliffhangers that
leave your audience wanting to know
what happens next!
• Find a phrase that fits to repeat
throughout the booktalk.
You can also create interest by:
• Adding props
or wearing a
• Having an
concluding, or
piece of music
that sets a
The First Sentence
Make it count! Grab the audiences attention by:
• Using a quotation or description of a
• Focus on a strong feeling
• Act out an attention-grabbing behavior
• Focus on a shocking event
• Relate to something the audience shares ex.
Remember the first day of school….
The Last Sentence
Make it memorable!
• If it fits, try to end with the title.
• Use the same strategies for the opening
sentence by creating some strong
emotion, or include something
In General:
• Keep it simple by focusing on only a few
characters and using short descriptive
• Maintain eye contact with the audience.
Memorize the talk. Even if you are reading
a section from the book practice it so you
know exactly how you want to read it.
• Keep it short!! Four minutes should be
about the maximum amount of time.
• Less is more!!
• Remember to be responsible and keep
your behavior and language appropriate!
• Never give the ending away!!!
Resources Used
Like 7th Guest-Dollroom. [Online Sound] Available, July 29, 2002.
Jones, Patrick. Connecting Young Adults and Libraries. Neal
Schuman: New York, 1998.
Actor. [Online Image] Available, July 27, 2002.
Booktalk . [Online Image] Available, July
27, 2002.
Resources Used
Chinese costume. [Online Image] Available,%20Tracy,%
20and%20Henley%20in%20Costume.jpg, July 27,2002.
Cliffhanger. [Online Image] Available,
July 28, 2002.
Disaster/Fire. [Online Image] Available, July 27, 2002.
Harry Potter book jacket. [Online Image] Available, July 26, 2002.
Haunted House. [Online Image] Available, July 27, 2002.
Resources Used
Hook. [Online Image] Available, July 28, 2002.
Trumpet player. [Online Image] Available,
July 28, 2002.
The End
The PowerPoint was created by
Ms. Kate Kelley

Booktalking Tips