This is a fantastic book on how to interact, behave and communicate in all sorts of situations, including at work; at networking events; in business; in relationships with spouses, partners, colleagues and friends; and even when dating or on dating sites.
There are chapters on The First Five Minutes, The First Five Hours, and The First Five Days. Some of the useful information includes: starting conversations and making them "sparkle" and memorable for you and the other person; the importance of really listening (I wish there was a section on 'how to cope with people who don't listen and just talk about themselves none stop!); why "birds of a feature stick together"; making "raving introductions"; where to stand at networking events; how to hold your mobile; how to write dating messages; decoding facial expressions and microexpressions; how knowing different personality types can help your friendship and business. There are questionnaires throughout to get you thinking about these.
A quick note - she is American and sometimes uses American Football or other American cultural analogies but only a few. I guess we British are bilingual!
I've known Vanessa's work through her email newsletters for a few years and was looking forward to this book, and was obviously not disappointed - even pleasantly surprised how useful and informative it is. But the one thing that really surprised me was the cover. I know that she really put a lot of effort into designing the cover (with her face on it), but this UK edition has a drab boring cover that doesn't stand out at all - thanks to Penguin. So don't let that put you off it.
This is a great reference book that I'll read again and again for tips and inspiration.
I absolutely consumed this book. As others have said, the UK paperback cover isn't quite as flashy as the hardback on, but the old adage about not judging a book based on this rings true here.
It's a sizable book; what you're getting is a pretty comprehensive guide to boosting your social skills, so although pricier than some other books in the same genre it feels fantastic value. As you might expect from someone selling people skills, Vanessa is an engaging writer – providing detail and insight while maintaining an informal and conversational style. There are lots of cues to help you reflect on your own personality and needs as well as simply understanding other people, which is always worthwhile. As someone who is easily bored by small talk, I feel I have had more high-quality conversations over the past week than I can ever remember having before; if that sounds appealing then I encourage you to go ahead and buy the book.
Vanessa's casual writing style makes this book easy and enjoyable to read. It showcases ideas from Vanessa's online courses/videos/articles, in addition to expanding and adding to them. As the book cover says, it is geared towards helping people navigate the "social world", so it has a lot of practical advice ranging from understanding people's needs/personalities to personal development ideas and even how to become a better boss/employee at work. Even though I personally didn't agree with 100% of the things written in it, I still got a lot of value out of it and learned more than I expected to!
I listened to Vanessa as a guest on a regular podcast I listen to and bought this book as she seemed incredibly talented, lovely and fascinating. It has far exceeded any of my expectations. It's incredibly well written, with a good flow of knowledge, case studies, research and personal experiences. The information I have learnt has been valuable in both my personal and professional life. In fact I re read the book leading up to an important job interview as I thought it would be the perfect preparation, making notes throughout. Turned out the interviewers must also have thought all the content made sense as I got the job into a heavily people oriented role. I'm extremely grateful for what I have learned through this book and couldn't recommend it enough!
This is the first review I have EVER written, but Vanessa I enjoyed this book so so much. I have recommended it to all my friends, in fact they may just be getting it for Christmas this year.
Also, I read this book in preparation for my first major conference. I am an introvert by definition and was feeling anxious about the event, but this book really changed everything for me. I went from "talking to people makes me anxious", to "who can I talk to next?" This book has changed my life. I can now see the value of networking and more importantly, I am now getting the value out of my networking sessions. Thank you thank you thank you Vanessa. I really can't say thank you enough for writing a book for "non-people" persons like me.
P.S. I hope I get to meet you one day, so I can thank you in person.
One of the best books ive aver read!.. I definitely learnt a lot to help me out in my daily life... Vanessa is a great writer it was very easy to relate...Lots of little funny bits and challenges along the way which makes it an amazing read! Just wished she had more books out now!
This book is well worth the money. Vanessa is a great comrade in the battle to overcome social awkwardness. There's also great value additional resources online, and her videos on youtube are good too.
I love any advice that's based in fact and science - and this book is full of it. I've turned down so many pages and written so many notes in the margin you wouldn't believe it was a recent purhcase (it looks dog-eared already. This is definitely a book I'll be referring to again and again.