• David de Souza

'How to Talk to Anyone' Summary



This book showed me the power of the word "you". Adding "you" to a sentence can trigger a person's pride response, it can be used to persuade and to amplify a compliment.

Want to dig deeper than the core principles? Check out my notes in Roam Research and see how the principles from this book connect with other books I've read.




Core Principles:


I have summarized 'How to Talk to Anyone', distilling the book into 12 core principles:

  1. The way you look and the way you move will impact 80% of a person's first impression of you. Have: 1. Good posture 2. A confident smile 3. A direct gaze 4. Eye contact

  2. When you introduce someone add some hooks (such as a hobby or something interesting the person has done).

  3. When you act as if you like someone you start to really like them.

  4. The way to get someone to like you is to show them you like them.

  5. 'Just as the first glimpse should please their eyes, your first utterance should delight their ears'.

  6. Scan a news website before going out to ensure that you have something interesting to talk about.

  7. Listen for the subtle words, references, or phrases that people mention, it is likely they want to talk about those things.

  8. It is guaranteed that someone will ask you: "Where are you from?" or "What do you do?". Prepare your response; add some hooks or a story to give the person something to work with.

  9. Put people at ease by: Showing them you are similar and that you think they are OK.

  10. Wear something different or remarkable to make it easier for people to start a conversation with you.

  11. You only need to know 50 words to have a respected vocabulary. Look up common words that you often use and find a more captivating word to use instead.

  12. "You" is a powerful word and has many benefits including: 1. It is cognitively easier for a person to process as they do not need to translate it from your perspective into theirs. They do not need to translate "Can I take Monday off" into "Can I do without this employee on Monday? 2. Including "you" in a sentence triggers a person's pride response. 3. Adding "you" to a compliment will amplify it. "I like your suit" doesn't sound as good as "I think you look good in that suit" 4. Use "You" to persuade: 4.1 Instead of saying: "It is important that...." persuade them by saying: "You'll see the importance of 4.2 Instead of saying: "The results will be..." tell them: "You'll see the results when you....." 4.2 Instead of saying: "I can't find the train station' ask them: "Do you know the way to the train station?"


Let me know how these summaries can be improved? Contact me via Email (david@thisdomain.co) or on Twitter.



The 80/20 of Worldly Wisdom: