First impression is the best impression is the good old saying. The modern age research into behaviour and success has just about confirmed it. According to Leil Lowndes in ‘How To Talk To Anyone,’ you have only ten seconds to show you are a somebody. And you can do a lot in these 10 seconds, he says.
The eye greeting, the way of smile and the body language speak a lot before the words are spoken. If you have ever wanted an answer to the question how any one with less caliber than you walks off a winner in a situation while you struggle on, the answer is in the book.
The author says that what Dale Carnegie said in 1936 in ‘How to win friends and influence people’ is as true today as it was then. But Carnegie showed us only the path and did not give the tools, which is what Lowndes has done in this book. Based on his interviews with hundreds of people and his experience of meeting and observing thousands, he has given 92 simple tips that would go a long way in helping one make a mark.
The tips begin with how to smile, how much to smile, when to smile, then the eyes, to look straight into other’s eyes, keep watching the person you target across room space, how to greet, why not to fidget, ‘watch the scene before you make the scene’ and try and always wear or carry something that will make strangers ask ‘whatzit?’
After this comes the time for small talks. How to engage in a conversation that is both exploratory and revealing. Lowndes says when you meet a person, turn the spotlight on the other person. Let him or her be the one to speak about themselves. The longer you keep the spotlight shining away from you, the more interesting others find you, he says.
“Remember, only fifty words makes the difference between a rich, creative vocabulary and an average, middle-of-the-road one. Substitute a word a day for two months and you’ll be in the verbally elite” advises Lowndes, suggesting that we practice new words to replace the common words we use in normal conversation. Being up to date on news and current affairs is also a must according to him.
Another secret revealed in the book is comm.-YOU-nication. According to therapists of mental institutions, the inmates used ‘I’ and, ‘me’ 12 times more than the people of the outside world. As the therapy becomes successful, the I’s and me’s come down. This is to point out that the element of ‘you’ in a conversation should be much more than the ‘I.’
If you want to appeal to someone, go more on emotion rather than facts. Let that person emote and “empty the tanks” says another suggestion from the book. It also offers many tips for party goers, those avid circulating ones on how to make an appearance and remain in sufficient limelight.
“Nobody goes to the top alone. Over the years, the smooth moves of the Big Winners have captured the hearts and conquered the minds of hundreds of people who helped boost them rung by rung to the top of whatever ladder they chose” the book concludes. And to do that one needs to practice. According to Lowndes excellence is not a single and solitary action. It is the outcome of many years of making small smooth moves. These 92 steps elaborated by him helps one do that.
By repeating these steps, making them our habit and character, we can shape our destiny, the book assures.
The strength of the books is in breaking down things to short, crisp tips. Not only the chapters are only a couple of pages each, they all have a box that gives in a capsule the essence. So for those who loathe going through the entire text, the capsules are easy to swallow. Written in chirpy and upbeat tone, the book makes an interesting, if not compelling, reading. Recommended for those who want to ‘shape’ their success.
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