• David de Souza

The One Sentence Persuasion Course Summary

Updated: Jul 16


This book taught me things on two levels. The first was the lessons (which at times I had disdain for) from within the book. On a secondary level, it taught me: just because I don't like something it doesn't mean that it isn't true. Just because I don't like a strategy, it doesn't mean that it doesn't work. It's beneficial to be aware of something, even if you don't like it.


Want to dig deeper than the core principles? Check out:



Core Principles


I have taken the lessons from 'The One Sentence Persuasion Course' and distilled them into 13 core principles:


  1. Encourage peoples' dreams.

  2. Justify peoples' failures, give them a scapegoat.

  3. Don't tell the person how to feel, or not be afraid. Instead: Show evidence Offer support Tell stories

  4. Confirm peoples' suspicions. Help them throw rocks at their enemies.

  5. Cults often confirm what perspective members thought about their families: They are out to sabotage them.

  6. We dismiss people who say we are wrong.

  7. People are often drawn to people who treat them badly because they subconsciously feel unworthy, they are drawn to people who confirm this.

  8. Do not correct or convince. It often has the opposite effect.

  9. If you can't validate a person's dream, you can still acknowledge how important having a dream is and then move in a more positive direction.

  10. If we can't justify a failure, we can highlight that there are a number of factors to any situation and, right or wrong, sometimes the best way to get out of a situation is if we are completely responsible for it.

  11. If we can't allay fears, tell the person that it is OK to be afraid. Don't tell someone not to be afraid.

  12. If you don't want to confirm someone's suspicion, we can agree that there is a possibility their suspicion is true and ask how they had come to that conclusion.

  13. If we don't want to help someone get revenge we can acknowledge the desire to seek revenge.



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