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Cues - Vanessa Van Edwards
This book was great.
It was easy and enjoyable to read, and her theory of charisma is well-defined and so simple to understand that I could explain it to my wife in less than 2 minutes.
I am very impressed that Van Edwards was able to make me enjoy this book, because this is a topic I actually hate. I can’t stand the thought of pretending to be something I’m not - or even worse, someone using “tactics” on me to make me like them or make themselves seem more competent or warm.
This genre has been given an awful reputation in recent decades, stemming all the way back to what is probably the seminal work How to Win Friends and Influence People.
“Neural linguistic programming”, mirroring, identifying if the person you’re talking to is a visual thinker or whatever, adapting your words to their supposed learning style, all of this is gross to me.
Not only that, but I consider myself competent, and I don’t have the energy or capacity to change my language or movements to supposedly make someone more receptive to my ideas.
Fortunately, this book hardly has any of that. The tips she outlines are much more natural and worthy of implementing. And she stresses not to do anything that isn’t “you”.
I have had to change a few simple things about my presentation in order to be more effective and taken more seriously, and this book would be great for anyone who needs this too.
I can easily say that this was the best book in this genre I’ve read so far. And I know now that I can turn up my “warmth” a bit, without being unnatural, or having to think too much about it.
I recommend this for anyone who has to speak publicly, “sell” anything (including ideas), or just generally have an easier time socializing.
I think the book achieves exactly what it intended to, but it was a bit repetitive and could have been a bit better, and for that reason I give it a 9/10.