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136 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first 90 pages are worth their weight in gold!
This is the best book, bar none, that I have ever seen on this subject. Adler takes some of the classical Greek writers ideas about persuasive speaking and "updates" them, makes them more understandable, and provides concrete illustrations of how it is done. He helps you to better grasp the process of outlining, and provides an example of a speech he had...
Published on November 25, 1996

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179 of 191 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Teacher
I was hoping that this would be the only book I would need as a guide to developing my knowledge and skill as a public speaker. Rather, the book is about the oral communication process in all contexts. Thus delivering prepared speeches, in particular the lecture, was just one element of it. There is considerable emphasis on the listening component--rightfully so,...
Published on June 17, 2000 by Edward Jenkins


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136 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first 90 pages are worth their weight in gold!, November 25, 1996
By A Customer
This is the best book, bar none, that I have ever seen on this subject. Adler takes some of the classical Greek writers ideas about persuasive speaking and "updates" them, makes them more understandable, and provides concrete illustrations of how it is done. He helps you to better grasp the process of outlining, and provides an example of a speech he had given that employs the "methodology" of the text. Very readable, very insightful
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179 of 191 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Teacher, June 17, 2000
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This review is from: How to Speak How to Listen (Paperback)
I was hoping that this would be the only book I would need as a guide to developing my knowledge and skill as a public speaker. Rather, the book is about the oral communication process in all contexts. Thus delivering prepared speeches, in particular the lecture, was just one element of it. There is considerable emphasis on the listening component--rightfully so, given that Adler argues that listening well is the component of verbal communication that is the most difficult to learn and teach, and hence the most lacking. The book is a companion to Adler's "How to Read a Book", and in fact there are numerous references to it. Although the book turned out to be something different than I had hoped, I nevertheless found it beneficial. It is packed with helpful ideas and guidelines on speaking and listening in various contexts. I also enjoyed reading the book because it helped me to improve my vocabulary, which is one of the side benefits of reading any book by Adler. He is truly a fine teacher.
A few of the key points include: Silent listening vs. active listening, Guidelines for note-taking, Several do's and don'ts of effective conversation, and Instructive speech vs. persuasive speech
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear Points about Speaking and Listening from a Master Communicator, December 19, 2011
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This review is from: How to Speak How to Listen (Paperback)
Mortimer J. Adler's "How to Speak How to Listen" makes several instructive points for the practical person seeking a theoretical framework as well as the novice professional speaker and meeting participant. These suggestions also connect well to writing at work.

Adler suggests an order for introducing into a presentation Aristotle's time-tested tripartite of persuasion as follows: ethos (credibility), pathos (emotion), and logos (logic). In addition, he examines two indispensable considerations of speech preparation, once again borrowing from Greek: taxis (the structure) and lexis (the language).

Some of his observations are memorable:

"Always risk talking over (your audience's) heads."

"Truly great books ... are the few books that are over everybody's head all of the time."

In speeches, "On the one hand, the language employed and the sentences constructed should be clear without being plain. On the other hand, they should have a certain elevation above the ordinary without being obscure."

"The most prevalent mistake that people make about both listening and reading is to regard them as passively receiving rather than actively participating."

"To disagree before you understand is impertinent. To agree is inane."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly "must read" book., July 19, 2014
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Every school teaches reading and writing. Speaking and listening are harder, and not often attempted. For everyone who uses spoken words to persuade, to sell, to inform, to inspire, there is no better text to study.

Truly listening is an art that seems rare, these days. I have known people who really listen and are a delight to be with. They ignore distractions and are not waiting to top or disagree with what you are saying, but hearing you.

Adler has said, "Before you can say 'I agree' or 'I disagree', you must be able to say,'I understand'".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important book, October 28, 2013
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CMC "CMC" (Arizona, USA) - See all my reviews
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This book is valuable for advancing the cause of peace. Adler argues that conversation between two people should be with acceptance of each other as equals. Conversation should aim toward mutual understanding. The participants can disagree, but they should understand each other. He argues that this skill in speaking and listening is vital in escaping war or violence. In the last chapter he puts this concern in a clear perspective. He argues that the skills are vital for the success of western civilization and it's survival. I think he is successful in his writing in making this point. His passion is not so clear until the reader finishes the book. However, a different organization of the book would probably not be quite so good. Only the diligent reader tastes the sweetest fruit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love it, April 7, 2014
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This review is from: How to Speak How to Listen (Paperback)
This book is very helpful for class. Listening is an art. I would recommend this book to everyone . Fast food drive through window associates need to read this book. I would recommend this book to everyone that has to associate with people in all areas of life.
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71 of 105 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Long on commentary, July 28, 2002
By 
Shannon Gaw (Roswell, GA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How to Speak How to Listen (Paperback)
Adler is obviously a very learned man and a very successful teacher. I found his argument that listening and speaking were critical skills left ignored by most educational institutions to be very well structured, and, as confirmed by my own experiences, very accurate.
That said, I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book and found it a long treatise on oral communications in society rather than a practical book on self-improvement.
I did find parts of it valuable, but the aggregate of these parts were only a fraction of the 7+ running hours. I probably would have been more pleased with the paper book version that I could skim, pick and choose.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 7, 2014
By 
John V. Diaz (Little Rock, AR.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How to Speak How to Listen (Paperback)
Incredibly wonderful. Following his advise makes one a superb speaker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, December 29, 2014
this book taught how to listen well and speak,before i read this book i Did not even know there was importance in Speaking and listening, i learned so many important things from things from this book. i think you should try this book,those who are reading my review, It can change your listening skills and speaking skills! IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

WRITTEN IN KINDLE PAPERWHITE.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Ideas, March 16, 2014
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This review is from: How to Speak How to Listen (Paperback)
This book is an good addition to How to Read a Book. There are many good ideas for helping students learn to speak and listen.
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How to Speak How to Listen
How to Speak How to Listen by Mortimer Jerome Adler (Paperback - April 1, 1997)
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