How To Talk To Anyone

How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks For Big Success In Relationships is a 2003 book by Leil Lowndes. I have had it on my iPad for literally years but never got too far with it. Looking for something to read, I found it again and managed to do a little better this time.

I originally bought it as I wanted something to help me improve my small talk. Lowndes’s advice isn’t too helpful. She suggests using what I would call “big talk”. To me, small talk is inoffensive general filler stuff, like the weather, whereas she suggests diving in with that is currently in the news. I try to avoid reading news so I am not too keen to try that one.

She also recommends avoiding complaining during small talk. I complain a lot, but usually in a jokey or upbeat way. Often involving the phrase ‘middle-class problems’. Maybe I should change this.

A lot of the advice is helpful for improving your communication skills. How often do we forget to smile? Or make eye contact with a waiter? I have noticed I do that a lot. I am looking and pointing at the menu, which I think is what most people do, but when you think about it it is rather impersonal.

The also gives this nugget, which I love:

“That joke was designed to get a silent laugh: I’m glad to see it worked!

I will be using that one next time one of my jokes at Toastmasters falls flat on its face.

She also recommends using visualisation. This means imagining yourself a presentation, or a speech, or even introducing yourself. I do this naturally when I am preparing for a speech and highly recommend it. Act your speech out. Don’t just read through it: make your sofa your audience and deliver it as you will when you actually give it.

I couldn’t find the 2003 book cover, so I have had to use a more recent one. My copy probably didn’t have 92 tricks in it…




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This entry was posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2016 at 10:29 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.