28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2010
Oh, well, once again, it seems I am curiously out of step. Perhaps it is because I hear the sounds of a different drummer. The major advantage of this comic-book-like-object is that it is short and snappy. The major disadvantage is that it is simple and simplistic. I suppose, in this age of the dumb-downed public with a TV-induced really short attention span, there are out there people who will feel good about themselves for having looked over this skinny. But not me. For me it was a waste of time; for here I see an enormously complex art form compressed into a sound bite sized pellet of information with little or no nutritional value. Junk food for the mind, if you will. You will need 10,000 hours of hard work to master the art of persuasion. The chance of mastering the art in one hour is zero. Jim Randel does deserve credit for his emphasis on being true. His point number 15: Persuasion is about integrity. Also good is his emphasis on preparation. But he should have given ball-park figures on how much preparation is really needed. To play Fur Elise from memory took me 786 minutes of memorization. To prepare a three minute pitch, I might work several hours practicing and reviewing style, tone, pace, body language, diction, and so forth, trying to simulate play-back conditions as close as possible. I will also film my pitch looking at style, body posture, and over-all effect. If you don't know what's wrong, how can you hope to correct what's wrong. Do you want some advice? Instead of the skinny, take a look at Robert Cialdini's book: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (HarperCollins, 1984). It is the classic that has sold over 500,000 copies. The best way to read Cialdini is to assume he is teaching you how to resist the madison avenue ad men who are trying day and night with unstinted effort to persuade you to buy stuff you don't need.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2010
Want to learn the art of persuasion? Want to get people to agree with you more and win the various "Persuasive Encounters" we all have in life? Want to get your way more often? You can if you get this book and apply the information it presents!
You'll find it a fun, fact filled and fast to read book that will provide you with solid information on how to persuade others more easily to your way of thinking. You'll also learn how the tools of persuasion and influence are being used on you.
I really enjoyed this book. The format, the content and way the information was presented was different than any other book I've read, and I read a lot of them. Written in a cartoon format, with two cartoons to a page, it was easy to read through the pages at a fast clip - I was able to read it cover to cover in about an hour, which is the length of time in which the book is designed to be read. The format and delivery style made it easy to absorb the lessons being taught. Best of all, the content is solid and based on scientific research and facts.
There is a small, but concise bibliography in the back, in my book a necessary part of any book claiming to be based on scientific principles and research. Having read most of the books in the bibliography I can attest that anyone wishing to delve more deeply into the subject of persuasion will be more than happy with the references provided here.
The best thing about this book is that it has distilled much weightier tomes on the subject into an easily read and digested format. Let's face it, today's generation, brought up on video games, MTV and sound bytes simply doesn't read as much as older generations do. They are used to getting their information in a much different, more condensed manner that translates well to computers, and mobile devices like the iPhone, the PSP and iPad. This series of books addresses the need for informative books formatted in this style. The entire "Skinny on" series is formatted the same way.
If you find yourself taken aback somewhat by the style in which this book is written I suggest giving it a chance. You will find the information credible, well written and easy to understand. For the person with little to no knowledge of persuasion, you will learn plenty that will make you a more effective communicator, especially when trying to persuade others. For those people with some knowledge of the subject, you'll find this to be a great refresher on the basics. If you want to learn the art of persuasion, I highly recommend getting this book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
To begin with, the author has found an astounding way to write a book that can hold the attention of even the most hard to reach readers. This is not read line by line, text intense book. It actually reads more like a comic book does, but don't let that comparison make you think it's message is any less effective. If anything, the format makes understanding the points in each chapter even easier. The way it is written makes reading fun for even those who don't usually get past the first chapters of other books.
The information it offers is exceptional. Breaking down simple conversations, it points out what should and shouldn't be said. The book covers so many areas, yet gets right to the point and doesn't spend too much time on any one subject, keeping the readers attention.
While giving you some serious tools in understanding how to be persuasive, the author also reminds us the importance of not being deceptive, lying or taking advantage of people. The information is intended to help you understand situations and how to work with them, not to give you the tools to cause people harm. I appreciate the author addressing this and everything he has included is really good information.
This was my first book from "The Skinny On..." series and I enjoyed it so much I plan to read a few more! Very highly recommended to everyone.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2011
This is a delight to read ..... there are stick thin illustrations (as on the cover) and has lots of real life examples of how different people tried different approaches to try to persuade someone to buy their product or to listen to what they have to say. It doesn't take itself too seriously, but you realise after you've finished just how much you've learned.
Each chapter deals with the different ways people can be persuaded to do what you want them to do ..... for example one tells us we should learn to listen and watch as good listeners make good persuaders. In another we learn the difference between being persuasive and being manipulative.
Some of the chapters seem obvious, e.g. people want what they can't have and others that I'd never even considered but which, when explained so clearly and easily, are obvious to me now.
The blurb claims that it will only take an hour to read this book ........... I read it in about 1 3/4 hours but I did keep stopping to jot notes down or to think about what I'd read or just to impart some of the information to my husband ......... so I think around an hour without any distractions would be right.
This is the sort of book to keep and just dip into to jog your memory, I think it's a brilliant idea, it's so simple and effective with lots of graphics and is so clear to understand. Nowadays we get bombarded with so much information that it's sometimes too much to take in, this little book will give you just enough without overloading your brain!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is a fantastic book on persuasion that does not go too far into the research but does gives great examples of many of the most common forms of persuasion and a few ways to use them.
The book is half written and half illustrated which by the way is a genius way to use a story that is easy to remember. That is a lesson in effective persuasion all by itself and a single reason alone to own this book.
If you just want to learn about effective persuasion or need a brush up this is a well written book that most people could read in about an hour but it is packed with great examples on ways to persuade people. If you are in sales it would also be a great book to read while in a sales slump because it goes over many of the common reasons people are not persuaded.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"The Skinny On" is a fun series of books that distill information from many sources on mostly financial and motivational topics to present the best and essential ideas in a manner that makes it easy to learn. This volume on "The Art of Persuasion" is successful in achieving that aim by utilizing the humorous comic-book format, providing a bookmark with helpful information, giving numerous examples, and by summarizing the important points.
Billy and Betty are back in "The Skinny On The Art of Persuasion" but there is a wider cast of characters and the stick figure representing the author has more solo scenes of slightly greater complexity than usual. A broad range of important points on how to persuade is covered, from being likable to the way people use shortcuts when making decisions. Even ethics is given some attention in the sections discussing manipulation vs. persuasion and integrity.
I do have some confusion over frame 174 of this volume. It presents an optical illusion with two tables drawn with odd perspective and at different angles. It is claimed that the two tables are the same width and length but the surface of the table that is supposed to merely appear to be narrower and longer is indeed very slightly narrower and several millimeters longer no matter how I measure it so the conclusion is that it is not an optical illusion after all. I expected the stick figure Jim Randell to pop in to explain that he had persuaded the reader that it is an optical illusion when it really isn't one but that never happened.
"The Skinny On The Art of Persuasion" is highly recommended and makes a great gift. It would be particularly well-suited for a young person starting out in sales or as a missionary.
A copy of this book was provided for review by the publisher.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
QUICK SUMMARY: The Skinny On series of books continues to expand, and this time Jim Randel tackles persuasion. The book concisely pinpoints the general strategies you need to increase your persuasiveness. Highly recommended!
What I LIKED:
- My teenaged son sniped this book to read it before I could. That's a powerful testimony to how broad-based an audience is attracted to The Skinny On series.
- In about an hour's time, Jim Randel touches on 15 important points about becoming a good persuader. Many of them are rather common sense (but it's worthwhile to emphasize them in the book), others are familiar to those in business (especially marketing), but the collection is almost surely helpful to even savvy persuaders because there's always some area one can improve upon.
- Reading this is helpful to the person who is BEING persuaded. You realize the tactics that others may use to persuade you, and if you recognize those tactics, you know how to offset or diminish their strength. Reading this book can help one become more self-aware of their own decision-making process.
- There is a GREAT list of further reading material at the back of the book, so you can dig deeper into any of the resources that Randel used in creating this book.
- I liked that Randel advocated *integrity* during negotiations. Specifically, he suggests that it is unethical to take advantage of another person using your persuasive powers. I'm glad Randel included this point.
What could be BETTER:
- Randel misses a golden opportunity to include The Golden Rule ("Do to others as you would have them do to you") when he talks about integrity. Randel says that he can't define what a "significant imbalance" or "cause serious harm" mean for the reader/persuader, but what Randel could have suggested at this point is to be driven by The Golden Rule. Don't persuade others to act or do in ways that you wouldn't want to be persuaded to act or do. Following this rule would fulfill the Integrity rule.
Conclusion: My teenaged son and I both like The Skinny On series of books. The complimentary copy I received is one I'll refer to in the future as a reminder of the ways one can be more persuasive, but also for the reading list at the back of the book. Have I persuaded you to buy this book yet? Better hurry up and order now, because book supplies are limited! :-)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Persuasion is truly an art form. I have to learn to more subtle and less pushy to become a better at it. The information I learned in this book will come in handy on my job. I help adults sharpen their speaking skills to find employment. I teach people what to say and what not to say on job interviews. Jim Randel stresses the importance of being prepared when a person is involved in something that involves persuasion. I will apply his advice by teaching my students how to do research before going on a job interview. Another useful persuasion tip is to listen well and to watch for clues. I need to listen to the needs of my students to help place them in the appropriate job setting. Another very helpful tip is to strive for integrity when trying to persuade someone. This is something I will try to do in my work. I try to honest with everyone I work with. Randel refers to some fascinating books about different subjects to show persuasion works. There are books about the art of selling, body language and psychology that should expand my knowledge about persuasion. All of these Skinny On books have an excellent bibliography. This book is filled with fun stick drawings that accompany the text on each page.
The things I learned in this book should also help me to make new friends. The easiest persuasion tip Jim Randel offers is to strive to be a likeable person. I do this already just by being myself, but this tip is a good reminder to keep doing that. I enjoyed reading this book. I can't wait to try some of these these principles on my job and in my personal life.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2011
The Skinny On is a new series of publications that use a progression of drawings, dialogue and text intended to convey information in a concise and entertaining fashion. The Skinny On team has done all the homework and research for us, mixed in their experiences and distilled all that useful information into their books for our benefit.
The Art of Persuasion Book is a very good. It's unbelievably simple and easy to follow. It's Unique, different, fun and entertaining to read, and most important of all, it delivers.
Although I'm sure many will think to themselves that there is nothing here that they don't already know, I found this information very useful and very applicable in my daily business dealings and every day life. In this book you'll learn that Persuasion is a Skill that can be learned, the importance of making a connection, the importance of preparation, when to talk, when listen and when to shut up. You'll also learn about the principle of scarcity, how to be subtle, consistent and honest. Jim Randel gives many every day examples with a few of his own experiences, including a very Embarrassing Real Estate personal anecdote. He is concise, funny and entertaining.
And as always, for those that are interested in more detailed information, the Skinny On will let you know where to find it.
I personally loved this book and have found myself quoting from it frequently. I will recommend this book to any and everyone I can. Awesome reading, Awesome information.
Now go out there and sell a Cat to a Mouse.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2010
In "The Skinny On The Art of Persuasion: How To Move Minds" Jim Randel delivers another fine "skinny on" book. The stated and achieved aim of the "skinny" books is to offer practical information in a concise and easy to understand manner; the author usually fulfills such.
Mr. Randel provides the reader powerful key principles on the art of persuasion. It's fun, attention-getting, and simple to apply.
This amusing book is for you if you desire to be a better:
- Pubic speaker
- Communicator within your marriage
- Phone salesperson
- Social media magnet
- Or even an evangelist.
This is a one or two sitting study, quick and loaded with sound advice on the art of persuasion.
I'm persuaded, you will be too.
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