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How to Talk to Absolutely Anyone: Confident Communication in Every Situation Audio Download – Unabridged

4.2 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I suffer from chronic social anxiety. I've tried several things to combat this daily problem (from a course of NHS CBT to attending a NLP seminar, to medication to reading several other books about it). I'm currently re-reading "Overcoming Social Anxiety" (a CBT book, which seemed to help a lot (the only thing that really has) the first time around--though I lapsed after several months work).

I saw this on Amazon Vine, so thought I would give it a go (not really wishing to fill countless CBT forms in again), but, whilst I found it interesting in parts, it wasn't really what I need at present.

The level is somewhat similar to a business course (very similar to the NLP seminar I attended) and the style is likewise friendly and motivational but still serious. There is a reasonable amount of depth, without it getting too psychological (which is probably the problem for me). It is probably just about right for someone who is suffering from a lack of confidence holding conversations (rather than someone with a "condition") or for someone who is reasonably confident in social situations, but wishes to be a bit more extroverted.

Personally, I read the first 50 pages and skimmed the rest (even though it is only 170 pages long!) as I'd read enough to realise that it wasn't really the right book to help me at present. I may well come back to it (as I did find several sections that sounded like they could be useful), but this is probably more useful for people who are ready to make conversations (rather than if--like me--you struggle simply to pay for petrol etc.)
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By tallpete33 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm generally ok with speaking to people, have a good job and have delivered three best man speeches and not died on my feet so far. I picked this up more out of curiosity than dire need, to see if there was room for improvement. My problem is more often not "Can I speak to someone?" but more "Can I be bothered..." and like a lot of peeps often text or mail before calling anyone these day.

The book itself is not too jargon-heavy but although fairly short it does repeat itself quite often. Many of the suggestions are pretty obvious to anyone with a modicum of common sense or feeling for body language e.g. don't talk to somebody if their back is turned or arms folded etc. Some of the terms used such as "hijacking" or "owning" a conversation are slightly sinister. The element of competition is prevalent - for example, the author seemed unfeasibly proud of "owning" a conversation in an apple store. Basically, he began a pretty unexciting conversation with other customers at a table that didn't really lead anywhere. Hardly the Yalta Conference. If this book was aimed more squarely at the sales exec the tone would make more sense.

Whilst this book is certainly of interest, the "Absolutely Anyone" tag is a bit of an exaggeration with most of the scenarios seemingly at the ubiquitous conference or sales meeting where he clearly spends a lot of his time. No clues on asking the girl in the bakers out or how to persuade the chav next door to stop spraying graffiti on your wall. Occasional forays into a coffee shop or bookstore aren't the "great stories" we are led to believe and most of the conversations discussed don't deliver much of a result (if any) which often lead me back to my "Why bother" thought.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Clearly this author has an entrepreneurial flair and he has used his confident entrepreneurship to create a book which is mainly a repackaging of other people's ideas. That is not to say that this it is that bad a book as such, it's just that it is not original, therefore, if you are already familiar with any of a wide range of different publications from the self-help book industry you won't be likely to learn too much here and sticking with books the likes of Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action or How to Win Friends and Influence People may be better options for you.

Furthermore, Rhodes sails dangerously close to plagiarism, in one example, there's a section near the start dedicated to SUD levels (which Rhodes explains are "Subjective Units of Discomfort" although for other people elsewhere the 'D' stands for Distress or Disturbance), a self-rating scale in Behaviour Therapy devised by a noted psychiatrist; Joseph Wolpe, in the 1960's which he further developed and used for the "Systematic Desensitization" treatment of anxiety disorders. Yet Rhodes not only fails to reference the work of Wolpe (or any of his successors or contemporaries) he presents the SUD scale in a more meaningless, dumbed down fashion without giving any real guidance to individuals on how they should create and score their own, i.e. the vital `Subjective' part, which is important as it's how he states you're meant to monitor your progress - which is difficult to do given the vague parameters.
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