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51 Reviews
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tremendously interesting and pretty instructive book!
This is a practical, readable and most of all tremendously interesting book from the field of communication skills and inter-personal relationships. Though it is written for general public and intended to facilitate our professional and personal face-to-face relationships, it can be extremely helpful for `business people' and all those dealing with other individuals or...
Published on 27 Dec. 2004 by Branislav Rabotic

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Common sense?
I found the book to be easy to read and comprehend. There appeared to be a lot of common sense points, yet I recognise common sense is not always common practice.

The chapters tend to flow quite well and are informative, however, I would say that some of the example dialogues provided in them are a little contrived.

I would draw the authors attention...
Published on 4 Sept. 2009 by Rob Cameron


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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tremendously interesting and pretty instructive book!, 27 Dec. 2004
By 
This is a practical, readable and most of all tremendously interesting book from the field of communication skills and inter-personal relationships. Though it is written for general public and intended to facilitate our professional and personal face-to-face relationships, it can be extremely helpful for `business people' and all those dealing with other individuals or groups, such as tourist guides and interpreters. In the latter case, they will find the book instructive on how to carry out presentations and manage their groups more effectively.
The book describes various skills of controlling the audience's attention, among other topics. You can learn how to recognize (in)visible signs of a breakdown of attention of your audience, to `read' the body language of people in your tour groups, and to generally win more attention while guiding. You'll find here how to pick up signals as to how you are coming across, retrieve the situation if somebody is resistant, choose the right words to get results in any situation, and more.
The text of this book is written in a charming way with a lot of examples from everyday life, given in special 'boxes'. Each chapter is followed by a small test, so the reader can check out his understanding of the subject. Even though you might think of yourself as a persuasive professional, there is always enough space for further improvements. James Borg's book is here to help you in that direction, and not only in your professional milieu.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 19 Feb. 2008
By 
Peter G. Bennett "PB" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I found Persuasion an easy and an extremely useful read. I especially liked the how-to style of the book and its specific Dos and Don'ts rather than merely presenting the concepts or ideas behind the approach. I thought most chapters were well written and genuinely useful, but while some contained real nuggets, I felt that a couple of chapters that provided little more than padding.

I do however strongly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to be a smooth operator, 1 Nov. 2009
Persuasion is a great book for getting tips on which approach to use in which situation. James Borg gives you a thorough guide to what should and shouldn't be said at certain times. It is often more about what you don't say than what you do.
This book outlines the hazards of getting it wrong, while encouraging you to ask more pertinent questions.
Some of the material is common knowledge but the way the author takes our information to another level makes this book worthwhile.
You will learn new tricks when attempting to persuade any person you come across, whether you are trying to sell them something or just getting them to believe you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Common sense?, 4 Sept. 2009
By 
Rob Cameron (Warwickshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I found the book to be easy to read and comprehend. There appeared to be a lot of common sense points, yet I recognise common sense is not always common practice.

The chapters tend to flow quite well and are informative, however, I would say that some of the example dialogues provided in them are a little contrived.

I would draw the authors attention to the table on p98, showing first Mondays in a month. This shows the first Monday of August 2005 as the 8th, this cannot be and is not correct. As there are only seven days in a week, for the 8th to be a Monday so would the 1st have to be; which in fact it was in August 2005.

At the Amazon selling price I would suggest it is worth buying as it will provide a useful reference.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's no magic formula, 17 Jan. 2011
By 
Mr. L. Adams "Giddeo" (England) - See all my reviews
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I think people on reading this expected to get some magic formula or insight into the human mind.
This is common sense business etiquette and for all of the criticism I've read the fact is that its stuff people should know but get wrong regardless.
Its very noddy and holds your hand all of the way so that there's no confusion but its very clear and gives tips that you can actually apply.

You won't read this and be able to persuade anyone

You will see a lot of cliche marketing terms in there that you may be familiar with

This is a book that's great for learning how to handle a conversation, difficult people, confrontation and different personality types.

Although you can say its obvious I found myself wanting to go back over chapters at later points so I will be coming back to it.

Perhaps the two big criticisms are that the title suggests you will be able to persuade someone, which you won't (these are people skills not magic tricks) and that it is written in a very clear, back to basics way. If it had used more academic wording it might have been considered more highly, as it stands its extremely easy to read and in my opinion a lot easier to use a a reference tool then say a book filled with academic gibberish.

My opinion
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and useful, 2 Aug. 2008
I wanted a book that would help me to twist people around my little finger. That's probably not the most realistic objective in the world, but if you're looking for a book that will help you to influence and use the art of PERSUASION on people, you could do worse than buy this book.
The author explains how to use different skills and techniques first of all to gain the attention of people and then pick the right words and actions to get them to see your point of view and change their behaviour accordingly.
I fold the corners of pages in books to note pages that I find particularly interesting or useful and I can tell you that I've folded down quite a few pages (more than the average book).
The author has an amusing take on life and makes the topic very accessible. I really enjoy books that are broken up into sub-sections and with exercises and techniques split out from the main text so that you can jump to them, and this book delivers in that respect.
There are some illustrations which I thought were a little childish, but that's just about my only criticism of the book. Don't let the illustrations put you off from a thoroughly well-written book by the author, James Borg.
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63 of 71 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland and full of incredibly obvious tips, 19 Sept. 2008
Reading the latest review of this book, I literally had to leave my desk, walk over to the book shelf and check the title of the book I thought I'd read, because there was such a mismatch. But no mistake. It's just that I'm not able to associate the glowing praise of the reviews with what I have in front of me.

I bought it from Amazon with an open mind and was actually looking forward to it arriving in the post. It came and with great excitement I read the cracking testimonials from John Harvey-Jones, "Management Today" and others, and was thrilled by the way it described itself as "The world's bestselling book on persuasion".

But... it's full of hot air.

A lot of the content is stuff you will have seen before (like the stats on non-verbal messages). It also gives you cliched stereotypes of a number of different personality types. And every chapter is full of examples of "how to" and "how not to" communicate. The example conversations it gives are just, for want of a better word, lame. Here's one:

Harriet (to John): "Every time I look in the mirror all I can see is wrinkles. I look in the mirror and I see flabby arms. I see big hips. I see big thighs. I see cellulite everywhere. Oh, John - say something positive to give me hope."

John: "Err... At least there's nothing wrong with your eyesight."

Boom-boom! That's not Persuasion; that's Terry And June. If you *want* dodgy 1970's sitcomesque dialogue, this is going to be a book you'll enjoy. If you want real-life examples of how actual people communicate with each other, however, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Hugely disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There are some good ideas in here, 16 Dec. 2008
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I would agree with some of the other reviewers that some of the tips in here are obvious and can be found elsewhere. However, what James Borg does is bring them all together in one place. I knew about many of the tactics he writes about, but they made me think again about whether I was actually using them. For example he talks about active listening and how important it is to actually listen to the other person, not interupt and respond in a more effective way to what they are saying. Which in fact is a very difficult skill to master.

I would agree with another reviewer B. Rabotic that said "Even though you might think of yourself as a persuasive professional, there is always enough space for further improvements. James Borg's book is here to help you in that direction".

On balance this is a good book and will give you plenty of hints and tips about how to be a more effective person either in business or in your social life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Persuasive but not definitely!, 2 Jan. 2009
By 
Tariq Mahmood (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Borrow from library but don't buy it. The book does not flow and it is more like an instruction manual and "do this and do that".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 2 Dec. 2009
By 
Charles Pardoe (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book was a huge disappointment. Firstly, the subtitle is very misleading, as it is a book devoted almost entirely to influencing people within specific business interactions, which I found, and I imagine many others would find, completely unapplicable to their own lives. Even if the skills given in the examples are transferable, I see no reason why there shouldn't have been a broader range of circumstances cited as opportunities for persuasion. The title: 'The art of influencing people' gives an air of all-encompasing grandeur, however, the 'wisdom' on offer in this book is extremely limited, not just in applicability but also in quality. The number of scenerios which demonstrate blindingly obvious 'interpersonal' errors followed by stellar alternative approaches would, if combined, be very amusing in the context of guiding sitcom-writers-to-be. However, given its intended audience it is almost offensive. The opening page of chapter one in fact contains one of the most worthwhile, and frustratingly ironic, nuggets of wisedom, not from Borg but, from an 'unknown author': 'An ounce of intuition is worth a pound of tuition'. This is very fitting given that the tuition given here is intuitively used by most people, rendering the book pointless: all fat and no meat.
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