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About Leil Lowndes
Leil Lowndes is an internationally recognized communications expert. She has conducted communication seminars for major US corporations, foreign governments, and the US Peace Corps. Lowndes has appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs. She has authored ten bestselling books on communications. These books have been published in over 26 foreign languages
How to Talk to Anyone is a psychology-backed book that offers guidance on effective communication. Lowndes covers a wide range of communication types, broken down into verbal and nonverbal, across almost every possible context. Your approach should adapt depending on whom you are talking to and the specific context. Therefore, How to Talk to Anyone offers guidance on how you can become a master communicator. As a master communicator, you can connect with others irrespective of the environment.
Part One – How to Intrigue Everyone Without Saying a Word: You Only Have Ten Seconds to Show You’re a Somebody
80% of first impressions is the way you look and move. In fact, studies suggest that emotional reactions occur in our brains before we even have time to register a reaction to somebody. So, try to utilize Leil Lowndes’ tips to intrigue everyone through your first impressions.
Chapter 1 – How to Make Your Smile Magically Different
“Don’t flash an immediate smile when you greet someone, as though anyone who walked into your line of sight would be the beneficiary. Instead, look at the other person’s face for a second. Pause. Soak in their persona. Then let a big, warm, responsive smile flood over your face and overflow into your eyes. It will engulf the recipient like a warm wave. The split-second delay convinces people your flooding smile is genuine and only for them.”– Leil Lowndes
Lowndes advises against quick smiles. If you interact with somebody, you should start by looking at their face for a second and pausing. This pause will let you soak in their persona. You should then let out a big warm smile that floods across your face. Allow this flood to overflow into smiling with your eyes. While engaging with the flooding smile, you should also try to maintain eye contact. Others will respect you more if you maintain strong eye contact. Specifically, this ability is associated with intelligence and abstract thinking.
Chapter 2 – How to Strike Everyone as Intelligent and Insightful by Using Your Eyes
Lowndes’ second technique builds on the importance of maintaining eye contact. She describes how you should adopt sticky eyes. This means you should not break eye contact even after they have finished speaking. Once you have decided to break eye contact, you should do so slowly and reluctantly. Lowndes believes this approach will send a message to others to comprehend their conversation and respect them as an individual.
Chapter 3 – How to Use Your Eyes to Make Someone Fall in Love with You
When you are seeking romance, you should utilize what Lowndes describes as epoxy eyes. If you are romantically interested in someone, maintain deep eye contact with them even when they are not the person talking. If they are interested in you, keeping eye contact while they are a listener can be an effective aphrodisiac.
Chapter 4 – How to Look Like a Big Winner Wherever You Go
Lowndes suggests you pretend you are hanging by your teeth on a trapeze bar to improve your posture.
Chapter 5 – How to Win Their Heart by Responding to Their “Inner Infant”
Lowndes recommends utilizing the big baby pivot when you meet a new acquaintance. Once you have been introduced, produce a warm smile, total body turn and offer them undivided attention. This is how people respond when they are introduced to a baby.
Chapter 6 – How to Make Someone Feel Like an Old Friend at Once
One of the best approaches when reacting to meeting a new acquaintance is pretending they are an old friend.
Chapter 7 – How to Come Across as 100 Percent Credible to Everyone
You should always avoid fidgeting, wiggling, twitching, squirming, or scratching when engaging with a meaningful conversation. You should also keep your hands away from your face.
Chapter 8 – How to Read People Like You Have ESP
When talking, you should allow yourself to express feelings and emotions. That said, while doing this, you should also be focusing on your listener’s reactions. After identifying your listener’s reactions, you should respond accordingly.
Chapter 9 – How to Make Sure You Don’t Miss a Single Beat
Visualizing a better version of yourself will allow you to successfully engage with people in real life.
Part Two – How to Know What to Say After You Say “Hi”
Chapter 10 – How to Start Great Small Talk
Try not to worry too much about what you are saying, but attempt to match the mood of the audience. The easiest broad approach to take is simply ensuring your words will put people at ease. Doing this will help make you sound passionate.
Chapter 11 – How to Sound Like You’ve Got a Super Personality (No Matter What You’re Saying!)
As long as your words are putting the audience at ease, you can focus more on the tone of what you are saying. 80% of your communication has nothing to do with your choice of words.
Chapter 12 – How to Make People Want to Start a Conversation with You
Lowndes suggests always wearing or carrying something slightly unusual. Possessing these objects will immediately draw other people’s attention towards you. Try to also make small talk by commenting on other people’s attire.
Chapter 13 – How to Meet the People You Want to Meet
Asking people you know to make introductions with other people can immediately provide an icebreaker.
Chapter 14 – How to Break into a Tight Crowd
Eavesdropping in group contexts is not rude. It shows curiosity. So, don’t be scared to eavesdrop on other conversations and say something like ‘excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear…’
Chapter 15 – How to Make “Where Are You From?” Sound Exciting
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If somebody asks you where you are from, you should always avoid giving them a one-word answer. Use this as an opportunity to describe interesting parts of your life.
Chapter 16 – How to Come Out a Winner Every Time They Ask, “And What Do You Do?”
As with the last tip, you should always avoid one-word answers when somebody asks what you do for work. Embellish your answer with fascinating facts about your role, company, or job history.
Chapter 17 – How to Introduce People Like the Host(ess) with the Most(est)
When introducing people, you should always offer an exciting point for the conversation to flow from. Offering an unbaited hook when starting a conversation will only lead to awkwardness.
Chapter 18 – How to Resuscitate a Dying Conversation
A word detective can identify their conversation partner’s preferred topic by listening to every word said.
Chapter 19 – How to Enthrall ’Em with Your Choice of Topic—Them!
You will become more appealing in others’ minds if you learn how to keep the spotlight shining on them.
Chapter 20 – How to Never Need to Wonder, “What Do I Say Next?”
Like a parrot, simply repeat the last few words your conversation partner says.
Chapter 21 – How to Get ’Em Happily Chatting (So You Can Slip Away if You Want To!)
People love telling interesting stories, so be the person who encourages others to tell their amusing stories to others.
Chapter 22 – How to Come Across as a Positive Person
Some people offer the advice of always being yourself. But, Lowndes states you should always emphasize your positives and leave your skeletons in the closet.
Chapter 23 – How to Always Have Something Interesting to Say
Try to keep up to date with the latest news so that you can star during the conversation.
Part 3 – How to Talk Like a VIP
Chapter 24 – How to Find Out What They Do (Without Even Asking!)
Lowndes believes you should never be asking the question, ‘What do you do?’ You should be asking others how they spend most of their time instead.
Chapter 25 – How to Know What to Say When They Ask, “What Do You Do?”
Try to avoid using the same stories about your personal life across conversations. Build up a bank of true stories that roll off your tongue.
Chapter 26 – How to Sound Even Smarter Than You Are
Avoid using the same words over and over. Having a broad vocabulary is impressive, and you can even choose to replace certain words with other more appealing words.
Chapter 27 – How to Not Sound Anxious (Let Them Discover Your Similarity)
A common mistake is immediately agreeing with another person. Instead of jumping in with ‘me too,’ you should wait and listen. So, the other person will be influenced more if you wait to agree.
Chapter 28 – How to Be a “You-Firstie” to Gain Their Respect and Affection
Wherever possible, start sentences with the word ‘you.’ Starting conversations with this word will immediately grab your listeners’ attention.
Chapter 29 – How to Make Them Feel You “Don’t Smile at Just Anybody”
If you are meeting a group of people, you should greet each person with a distinct smile rather than smiling at a group.
Chapter 30 – How to Avoid Sounding Like a Jerk
Mouthing a common cliché around uncommonly successful people brands you as uncommonly common.
Chapter 31 – How to Use Motivational Speakers’ Techniques to Enhance Your Conversation
Read speakers’ books to find quotations. Pull pearls of wisdom from these quotes. You should then develop your own crazy quotes.
Chapter 32 – How to Banter Like the Big Shots Do (Big Winners Tell It Like It Is)
Don’t hide behind euphemisms. Call a spade a spade.
Chapter 33 – How to Avoid the World’s Worst Conversational Habit
Never, ever, make a joke at anyone else’s expense. You may get some cheap laughs in the short term. But, you will pay for this joke in the long run.
Chapter 34 – How to Give Them the Bad News (and Have Them Like You All the More)
You should always consider the receiver of your news before throwing it out there. Ensure you deliver any news with appropriate emotions.
Chapter 35 – How to Respond When You Don’t Want to Answer (and Wish They’d Shut the Heck Up)
Whenever someone persists in questioning you on an unwelcome subject, simply repeat your original response. Use precisely the same words in precisely the same tone of voice. Hearing it again usually quiets them down.
Chapter 36 – How to Talk to a Celebrity
When chatting with a celebrity you should never compliment their work and instead say that you have gained insight from their work. You should also avoid singling out any accomplishments that are well in the past for the celebrity. Choose one of their recent accomplishments to show you are not starstruck.
Chapter 37 – How to Make Them Want to Thank You
You should never offer a standalone thank you. You must describe what you are thankful for.
Part 4 – How to Be an Insider in Any Crowd: What Are They All Talking About?
Chapter 38 – How to Be a Modern-Day Renaissance Man or Woman
Once a month, scramble your life. Do something you’d never dream of doing. Scramble therapy is scrambling up your life and participating in an activity you’d never think of indulging in.
Chapter 39 – How to Sound Like You Know All About Their Job or Hobby
Lowndes describes gobbledygook as the language of other professions. Learn the minimal amount of information about a wide range of topics so you can sound like an insider. The most effective way of doing this is finding an insider to teach you some lingo.
Chapter 40 – How to Bare Their Hot Button (Elementary Doc-Talk)
As well as learning some of the language within a profession, you must also identify the hot issues within a field. Every industry has burning concerns that only specialist people will know about. Learn these hot issues, and you become infinitely more interesting.
Chapter 41 – How to Secretly Learn About Their Lives
Read magazines pertaining to the industry you will be encountering to learn insider news.
Chapter 42 – How to Talk When You’re in Other Countries
Always buy a book that describes the culture and customs of the country you are visiting. A wrong handshake, gift or gesture can have a significantly negative impact.
Chapter 43 – How to Talk Them into Getting the “Insider’s Price” (on Practically Anything You Buy)
The haggling skills used in ancient Arab markets are alive and well in contemporary America. You can demand a much lower price if you already have a deal with another vendor. Learn from a few vendors and then you can buy from one vendor.
Part 5 – How to Sound Like You’re Peas in a Pod “Why, We’re Just Alike!”
Chapter 44 – How to Make Them Feel You’re of the Same “Class”
Try to copy the movement styles of people you are engaging with. Doing so will make them feel more comfortable and receptive. Match your personality to your product.
Chapter 45 – How to Make Them Feel That You’re Like “Family”
Echoing is a simple and powerful linguistic technique that can make you feel like family. Hearing their words come out of your mouth creates subliminal rapport.
Chapter 46 – How to Really Make It Clear to Them
Use visual, auditory, or kinesthetic empathizers depending on your conversation partners. This is what the author calls potent imaging.
Chapter 47 – How to Make Them Feel You Empathize (Without Just Saying “Yep, Uh Huh, Yeah”)
Lowndes believes you can create a sensation of intimacy with someone even moments after having met them. The most effective way of doing this is skipping conversation levels 1 and 2 and going straight to the more intimate conversations.
Chapter 48 – How to Make Them Think You See/Hear/Feel It Just the Way They Do
If you want to make a stranger less of a stranger, try to identify a remarkable moment you shared during your first encounter.
Chapter 49 – How to Make ’Em Think We (Instead of You vs. Me)
There are four levels to move from being strangers to making them think ‘we’:
- Cliches – Strangers will generally throw cliches at each other to make small talk.
- Facts – People who are acquaintances rather than friends will often bring up interesting facts to make conversation.
- Feelings and Personal Questions – When people become friends they start offering their feelings regarding all topics, even those that are boring.
- We Statements – Using ‘we’ prematurely will push your relationship closer.
Chapter 50 – How to Create a Friendly “Private Joke” with Them
When you meet a stranger you’d like to make less of a stranger, search for some special moment you shared during your first encounter. The author calls this instant history.
Part 6 – How to Differentiate the Power of Praise from the Folly of Flattery
Chapter 51 – How to Compliment Someone (Without Sounding Like You’re Brown-nosing)
Offer praise to people when they are not even within a conversation. If they find out you have been complimenting them behind their back, this means a lot more than flattery to someone’s face.
Chapter 52 – How to Be a “Carrier Pigeon” of Good Feelings
Become somebody who carries good news. So, if somebody compliments another person, you should try to be the person who lets the complimented person know.
Chapter 53 – How to Make ’Em Feel Your Admiration “Just Slipped Out”
Throw a few comments into your conversation that presupposes something positive about the person you’re talking with.
Chapter 54 – How to Win Their Hearts by Being an “Undercover Complimenter”
Try to become a stealthy praiser. Do not make all your compliments obvious by hiding them in the middle of sentences. These types of praise are often perceived as more genuine.
Chapter 55 – How to Make ’Em Never Forget You with a “Killer Compliment”
The alternative to accidental adulation is the killer compliment. Use these sparingly as they can be intense. Identify one specific quality and look them in the eye, say their name, and deliver the compliment. The author also provides several killer compliment rules:
- Deliver it in private.
- Make your killer compliment credible.
- Confer only one killer compliment per 6 months.
Chapter 56 – How to Make ’Em Smile with “Itty-Bitty Boosters”
To keep your loved ones on side, you should utilize minor verbal strokes. These strokes will help them better understand they are appreciated.
Chapter 57 – How to Praise with Perfect Timing
Let compliments boomerang straight back to the giver. You do not necessarily have to give a big compliment, but you can say something like ‘that is very kind of you.’
Chapter 58 – How to Make ’Em Want to Compliment You
Whenever someone shines a little sunshine on your life in the form of a compliment or concerned question, reflect it back on the shiner.
Chapter 59 – How to Make a Loved One Feel You Are THE Partner for Life
You take people’s breath away when you feed their deepest self-image to them in a compliment.
Part 7 – How to Direct Dial Their Hearts
Chapter 60 – How to Sound More Exciting on the Phone
To sound exciting on the phone you have to replace your usual gestures into sounds. Your smiles, nods and hand movements have to be articulated through your voice. Think of yourself as the star of a radio drama.
Chapter 61 – How to Sound Close (Even if You’re Hundreds of Miles Away)
People perk up when they hear their own name. Use it more often on the phone than you would in person to keep their attention.
Chapter 62 – How to Make ’Em Happy They Called You
The best way to show genuine happiness that somebody has called you is by answering with a professional tone. Once you know who it is, you can then let happiness spread through your voice. This shows you are genuinely glad it is them who called.
Chapter 63 – How to Sneak Past the Gatekeeper
Instead of offering advice on how to sneak past the gatekeeper, this chapter talks about how the sneaky screen makes this difficult. The sneaky screen is when an assistant asks for your name. Based on your prestige, they decide to either dial you through to the person you want to talk to or make up an excuse for why they aren’t available. This fake screening will always leave the caller happy despite it being a lie.
Chapter 64 – How to Get What You Want on the Phone from Big Shots
You should always greet the person who answers when you call someone’s home. Do not simply ask for the person you have called and instead get to know the person who answered. This same idea applies when you call someone’s office. Make friends with the secretary and you will have greater access to the big shots.
Chapter 65 – How to Get What You Want—by Timing!
Some salespeople ask whether it is a good time for the potential client. If the client answers ‘Not really, but tell me anyway’ you should never proceed. This is what the author calls a yellow light. Only try to sell your idea to someone when they are giving you the green light.
Chapter 66 – How to Impress Everyone with Your Outgoing Voicemail Message
The best way to impress others with your outgoing voicemail message is to change it daily. Create a daily voicemail message that is reliable, short, professional and friendly. Any imperfections are fine as they show you are down to earth.
Chapter 67 – How to Get Them to Call You Back
Pretend the tone at the start of a voicemail is your call to step on stage for an audition. A voicemail gives you roughly ten seconds to win the other person over.
Chapter 68 – How to Make the Gatekeeper Think You’re Buddy-Buddy with the VIP
When calling the gatekeeper of a VIP you should cut out using the VIP’s name. Instead, use gender pronouns. Asking the gatekeeper ‘Is she in?’ will suggest you are closer with the VIP than you actually are.
Chapter 69 – How to Make Them Say You Have Super Sensitivity
When on a call, you should be aware of the noises in their background. For example, if you hear that their door bell has been rung you should stop mid-sentence. Point out you have noticed this noise and ask if they need to go and attend to it.
Chapter 70 – How to “Listen Between the Lines” on the Phone
Record all your business conversations and listen to them again. This will allow you to notice subtleties.
Part 8 – How to Work a Party Like a Politician Works a Room: The Politician’s Six-Point Party Checklist
Chapter 71 – How to Avoid the Most Common Party Blooper
It is impossible to be fully engaged with a conversation if you are eating at the same time. Similarly, your audience will pay less attention to you if you distract them by eating.
Chapter 72 – How to Make an Unforgettable Entrance
Survey the situation at gatherings so you can better understand how to create positive conversations.
Chapter 73 – How to Meet the People YOU Want to Meet
Make every social interaction a rehearsal for the moment that you meet people who could potentially change your life.
Chapter 74 – How to Subliminally Lure People to You at a Gathering
You can arrange your body in a way that is open, focusing on your arms and hands.
Chapter 75 – How to Make ’Em Feel Like a Movie Star
Check every tiny detail of your conversation partner’s life. Then, refer to these details in your conversation. This should create a powerful sense of intimacy.
Chapter 76 – How to Amaze Them with What You Remember About Them
To ensure you remember details about new acquaintances, you should write down notes to remind yourself of the details you learned.
Chapter 77 – How to Make the Sale with Your Eyeballs
Plan your pitch and pace according to the other person’s body signals.
Part 8 – How to Break the Most Treacherous Glass Ceiling of All: Sometimes People Are Tigers
Chapter 78 – How to Win Their Affection by Overlooking Their Bloopers
Effective communicators understand it is better to overlook all of their friends’ bloopers.
Chapter 79 – How to Win Their Heart When Their Tongue Is Faltering
Whenever someone’s story is aborted, bring attention back to the story after the interruption.
Chapter 80 – How to Let ’Em Know “What’s In It” for Them
Whenever you suggest a meeting or ask a favor, highlight the benefits. Reveal what’s in it for you and what’s in it for the other person.
Chapter 81 – How to Make Them Want to Do Favors for You
If a friend agrees to do a favor, then let them bask in the glory of being a good person.
Chapter 82 – How to Ask for Favors (and Get Them!)
When you do someone a favor, wait a suitable amount of time before asking for them to pay.
Chapter 83 – How to Know What Not to Say at Parties
You should avoid any form of confrontation at parties. Even if you are standing next to your biggest enemy, save your argument for another environment.
Chapter 84 – How to Know What Not to Say at Dinner
When brainstorming at the dinner table you should stay focused on positive matters. Avoid talking about the tough side of business and use the dinner as an opportunity to be imaginative.
Chapter 85 – How to Know What Not to Say in a Chance Meeting
Chance encounters should be kept light and joyful. Do not use a chance meeting as an opportunity to sell something.
Chapter 86 – How to Prepare Them to Listen to You
The best preparation for listening is having spoken for a long period. So, encourage others to offer their ideas until their last drop of information has fallen. Once this has happened they will be ready to listen.
Chapter 87 – How to Turn Their Anger Around
The best way to turn people’s anger around is to pay close attention to their emotions. You can listen to their facts but empathizing with their emotions is the key.
Chapter 88 – How to Make ’Em Like You (Even When You’ve Messed Up)
If you have made a mistake you should use this as an opportunity for others to benefit. They will like you if you allow them to benefit from your silliness.
Chapter 89 – How to Trap a Rat with Class
If you catch someone lying or exaggerating you should avoid confronting them directly. If the lie has little impact on others, you can just turn a blind eye.
Chapter 90 – How to Get Whatever You Want from Service Personnel
Service personnel are the key to success. To get them on your side you can write a note to their boss explaining how fantastic the service personnel are.
Chapter 91 – How to Be a Leader in a Crowd, Not a Follower
Lead the crowd by being the first to offer positive feedback to the leader.
Chapter 92 – How to Make All the Right Moves
Any two people have a scorecard between the two of them. The player with the lower score is expected to pay more to make up the difference between their scores. For example, if you let the other person down you have to make amends by going above and beyond.
How to Talk to Anyone provides dozens of concise tips for improving your ability to talk to others. The lesson to learn from this book is that there are universal skills that can be applied to almost any situation. These skills should become part of your skill set to be applied to all situations. That said, there are also special tricks for seducing, engaging a potential customer and making yourself stand out in a group. By learning these tricks, you can excel in all conversations.
Comment below and let others know what you have learned or if you have any other thoughts.
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