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Littler Books cover of How to Talk to Anyone Summary

How to Talk to Anyone Book Summary, Notes, and Quotes

Leil Lowndes

5.6 minutes to read
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What it's about in a one sentence summary:

“92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships”

Bullet Point Summary, Notes, and Quotes

  1. Techniques to make a good impression without speaking:
    1. #1 Don't immediately smile at someone. Instead, look at them for a moment. Then let a warm smile spread across your face. The brief pause makes your smile more genuine.
    2. #2 Always maintain eye contact.
    3. #3 Maintain eye contact with the individual you want to influence, even when someone else is speaking.
    4. #4 Remind yourself to fix your posture everytime you walk through a door.
    5. #5 When meeting someone new, give them your full attention like you would a smiling child -- turn your body fully toward them and make eye contact.
    6. #6 When meeting someone new, imagine they are an old friend you haven't seen in ages. This will subconsciously soften your expression and body language.
    7. #7 Do not fidget -- it can make you seem dishonest.
    8. #8 While talking, be perceptive of how the other person is reacting. Then adapt what you say based on their response.
    9. #9 Visualize yourself being your best self -- standing tall, smiling warmly, making eye contact, and conversing comfortably. It'll help you automatically act that way.
  2. Techniques to know what to do and say after introduction:
    1. #10 Observe your listener's mood and voice, then match them.
    2. #11 Focus on a positive demeanor rather than what you say. 80% of impressions are non-verbal.
    3. #12 Wear or bring something unique. It gives people an excuse to approach you and start a conversation
    4. #13 Ask others to introduce you.
    5. #14 To join a group, stand near and listen for a relevant opening.
    6. #15 When asked where you're from, give an interesting detail that the listener can comment on, not just the name.
    7. # 16 When asked about your job, don't just state your title. Add intriguing details that anyone can relate to or comment on.
    8. #17 When introducing people, provide a conversational hook or a common ground so they have something to talk about.
    9. #18 Listen closely for clues to your conversation partner's interests. Make deductions to discover their preferred subject.
    10. #19 Envision a spotlight over whoever is talking and keep it on your conversation partner by asking them questions. The longer you avoid shining the spotlight on yourself, the more intriguing they'll find you.
    11. #20 Repeat the last few key words your partner says to keep them talking.
    12. #21 Ask others to tell stories you know they love telling.
    13. #22 When first meeting someone, focus on positive aspects of yourself. Keep problems and complaints locked away until you know them better.
    14. #23 Check the news. Knowing current events provides good conversational fodder.
  3. Techniques to talk like a VIP:
    1. #24 Don't ask “What do you do?”, ask “How do you spend most of your time?”
    2. #25 Craft unique responses for each person based on their background when answering "What do you do?"
    3. #26 Expand your vocabulary by swapping everyday words with more interesting synonyms. Just 50 words can elevate your vocabulary.
    4. #27 Delay the reveal of shared interests to make a stronger impression and showcase confidence, but avoid appearing deceptive by waiting too long.
    5. #28 Begin sentences with "you" for instant engagement. It elicits a positive response as it's about them.
    6. #29 Avoid devaluing your smile by giving everyone the same one. If someone is more significant, offer them an especially warm and personal smile.
    7. #30 Avoid clichés when conversing with successful individuals.
    8. #31 Collect or craft memorable and relevant quotes that are clever or funny for a notable impact.
    9. #32 Speak plainly and avoid euphemisms. Impress people with rich language, not tasteless words.
    10. #33 Don't make jokes at others' expense.
    11. #34 Consider your audience before sharing news. Deliver it with an expression or tone that suits their potential reaction, not based on your feelings about the news.
    12. #35 When someone repeatedly asks the same unwelcomed question, repeat your previous answer verbatim with the same tone.
    13. #36 When speaking to VIPs, express the pleasure or insight they've provided. If you mention their accomplishments, focus on recent ones. Involve any accompanying individuals in the conversation to maintain inclusivity.
    14. #37 When thanking someone, say what you're thankful for.
  4. Techniques to be an insider:
    1. #38 Engage in unfamiliar activities. A single exposure provides 80% of the lingo and insider knowledge.
    2. #39 Ask others to teach you the jargon of their professions.
    3. #40 Learn about the relevant industry's current issues.
    4. #41 Read magazines of interests relevant to your audience.
    5. #42 Learn about your audiences' customs and etiquette.
    6. #43 Speak to multiple vendors before making a large purchase to get the best deal.
  5. Techniques to be relatable:
    1. #44 Mirror your audience's movements and demeanor. This subtle imitation helps establish rapport and comfort.
    2. #45 Echoing is a potent linguistic technique. Repeating the speaker's words forges a connection.
    3. #46 Connect with your audience by using tailored analogies relevant to their interests. E.g. talking to a pilot -- “I hope your idea takes off.”
    4. #47 Use complete sentences to express understanding. E.g., “I see what you mean.” “That's a wonderful thing to hear.”
    5. #48 Identify how your audience best receives communication -- through seeing, hearing, or feeling. Tailor your approach to match their style.
    6. #49 Establish instant intimacy by using words like "we," "us," and "our".
    7. #50 To bond with someone, recall a shared positive moment from a previous encounter.
  6. Techniques to praise genuinely:
    1. #51 Share indirect praise often. Overheard compliments hold more charm and are less sycophantic than direct ones.
    2. #52 Be a bearer of good news and compliments. When you hear something positive about someone, deliver the compliment to them directly. People appreciate those who share kind thoughts.
    3. #53 Incorporate positive assumptions about your conversation partner.
    4. #54 Sneak in subtle compliments when conversing.
    5. #55 When conversing with a potential connection, identify one specific and unique quality they have. Deliver the killer compliment based on this quality at the conversation's end. Make sure the compliment is genuine and shared privately. Use killer compliments sparingly.
    6. #56 Express small affirmations often (“Good job!” “Nice!”).
    7. #57 Immediately praise people as soon as they complete a feat (“Wow!” “Amazing!”).
    8. #58 Praise the praises you receive (“That's very kind of you.”)
    9. #59 Ask people what's important in their lives and remember it, then later express appreciation incorporating their response.
  7. Techniques to talk on the phone:
    1. #60 Consider yourself the star of a personal radio show. Convert your smiles, nods, and gestures into audible cues.
    2. #61 People like the sound of their own names. Say their names often.
    3. #62 Answer the phone professionally, then let happiness engulf your face and voice when you learn who's calling.
    4. #63 If you have an assistant screen calls for you, instruct them to say “Ok I'll put you right through.” If you can't or don't want to take the call, then the assistant will inform the caller of your unavailability. This way the caller doesn't feel like they've been screened.
    5. #64 Greet and build rapport with the person who answers, even if they're not the person who you need to reach.
    6. #65 Always start by asking about the person's availability. Ask "Is this a good time to talk?"
    7. #66 Have a brief, professional, and friendly outgoing voicemail greeting. Change it often and embrace imperfections as they show authenticity.
    8. #67 Clear your throat while dialing. If an answering machine answers, treat the beep as your cue for an audition.
    9. #68 Instead of saying, "May I speak to Ms. Bigshot?" simply say, "Hi, John Smith here, is she in?" This implies a friendly connection.
    10. #69 If you hear background interruptions, ask if they need to attend to it.
    11. #70 Record and review your business conversations. You might find room for improvement.
  8. Techniques to use at gatherings:
    1. #71 Don't hold food or drinks to put up a wall between you and others.
    2. #72 When arriving at the gathering, pause in the doorway to slowly survey the scene.
    3. #73 Treat every party as a rehearsal for meeting someone potentially important. Take initiative and talk to everyone at the event.
    4. #74 Position your body openly to convey openness and acceptance.
    5. #75 Remember details of your conversations and later refer to them with a sense of importance.
    6. #76 Write down notes about people you've met after the event. Refer to them when you meet again.
    7. #77 The human body constantly broadcasts feelings like excitement or boredom. Be vigilant of these signals and respond accordingly.
  9. Techniques to be sensitive to social etiquettes:
    1. #78 Overlook others' gaffes. Allow the pleasant illusion of infallibility.
    2. #79 When an interruption occurs, allow it to resolve naturally, and then encourage the person to continue their story.
    3. #80 When requesting something, always disclose the mutual benefits, even if there are none. This transparent approach prevents being labeled as deceitful.
    4. #81 After someone agrees to do you a favor, give them at least 24 hours to savor the joy of their generosity before they have to complete the favor.
    5. #82 After doing someone a favor, wait a while before asking for reciprocation.
    6. #83 Maintain pleasantries and avoid confrontations at parties.
    7. #84 Maintain pleasantries and avoid confrontations at dinners.
    8. #85 Don't try to sell or negotiate at a chance meeting. Keep the encounter light and pleasant.
    9. #86 When seeking information, let people express themselves fully, wait until they've said everything they want to say, then they'll be more receptive to your ideas.
    10. #87 When you require facts from people in an emotional context, let them express their emotions, acknowledge them, and empathize with them.
    11. #88 When you make a mistake, ensure that the person affected benefits from it. Ask yourself how you can delight the person impacted by your mistake.
    12. #89 When you catch someone engaging in deceptive behavior, avoid confronting them directly unless it's your responsibility or necessary to protect others. Let them escape with their dignity intact, and then choose not to engage with them again.
    13. #90 To receive exceptional service from professionals, send a gift or praise to their superiors. This ensures they care enough to provide their best service in the future.
    14. #91 Be the first to publicly praise those you agree with and want to build rapport with.
    15. #92 We all keep score of the good and bad people do to us. Make sure your score with everyone is always high in the good.

How to Talk to Anyone: Resources