Communication confidence

Fear of public speaking image
Fear of public speaking

You can’t acquire confidence by reading about it. You become confident by doing. Before you succeed you may have to fail for a while. You need a safe place in which to practice and get constructive feedback.

It’s all very well to “say” step out of your comfort zone, but each one of us is unique. A big step for one person might be a small step for someone else. It all depends on where you’re coming from, your history, and your unique personality. If you’re just learning to swim, you wouldn’t want to enter yourself for an Olympic swimming event. If you go too far too soon you’ll become overwhelmed. At that point you just give up. Continue reading “Communication confidence”

The art of persuasion 2: How to argue

Image of man puzzling over jigsaw pieces
Structure of argument, how to argue

What is an argument?

In the Argument Clinic, a sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, an absurdist comedy series, a man pays for a five-minute argument. The customer goes to a room where a man behind a desk hurls abuse at him. The customer interrupts saying he paid for a five-minute argument, and this is not an argument. The abuse hurler apologizes explaining this is Abuse, Argument is next door. Continue reading “The art of persuasion 2: How to argue”

Book review: Payoff by Dan Ariely

Payoff book cover
Payoff: The hidden logic that shapes our motivations, by Dan Ariely

Reviewed by Christopher Richards

Payoff by Dan Ariely is a short book about meaning and motivation. The central thesis is that intrinsic motivators shape long-term beneficial results, whereas extrinsic rewards don’t. Continue reading “Book review: Payoff by Dan Ariely”

Don’t write your business book—plan first

Plan your business book
Don’t let your book get away from you. Plan first, write later

“Any organization that won’t take the trouble to be both clear and personal in its writing will lose friends, customers, and money.”

— William Zinsser, in his 30th anniversary classic, On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Continue reading “Don’t write your business book—plan first”

Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini

Cover of Pre-Suasion
by Robert Cialdini

Reviewed by Christopher Richards

A dangerous book

Which messages cause people to comply? Robert Cialdini’s new book addresses this question. Pre-Suasion is a revolutionary way to influence and persuade. Pre-suasion operates by creating favorable conditions a few moments before trying to influence. This is a powerful book, and not without its ethical concerns. Continue reading “Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini”

The Master Communicator’s Handbook

The Master Communicator’s Handbook by Teresa Erickson and Tim Ward
The Master Communicator’s Handbook by Teresa Erickson and Tim Ward

Reviewed by Christopher Richards

Your message won’t speak for itself

Whether you’re speaking to a child about putting on her shoes, or you’re head of an organization trying to solve a global problem, you need to understand and be understood. Continue reading “The Master Communicator’s Handbook”

Should I write a business book proposal?

Cartoon of editor at desk with piles of papers
And I said, “Just send me the book proposal!”

A traditional publisher is unlikely to read your finished nonfiction manuscript. If you want your business book published through a traditional publisher, then you must write a business book proposal. Continue reading “Should I write a business book proposal?”

Negotiating the Impossible

book cover
Negotiating the Impossible by Deepak Malhotra

Reviewed by Christopher Richards

Conflict is a fact of life

If you’ve ever tried to convince someone of your point of view, (and who hasn’t?) then Negotiating the Impossible: How to Break Deadlocks and Resolve Ugly Conflicts (without money or muscle) by Deepak Malhotra is a must-read. Negotiating the Impossible is a high-value book which offers its readers accessible and practical lessons in the art of negotiation. Continue reading “Negotiating the Impossible”

Business book titles

Why should I read your business book?
Why should I ready your business book?

Why should readers read your book? Every business book has a value proposition.  Writing a one-sentence reply will help clarify your thinking. Most of us form opinions quickly. And this is true when it comes to business book titles and introductions. First impressions count. 

Continue reading “Business book titles”