Why You Should Read “Talk Less, Say More”

imageIn a world of ubiquitous communication, I thought it might be fun to see what was available at the other end of the communication spectrum.  And this is where I found “Talk Less, Say More: 3 Habits to Influence Others and Make Things Happen” by Connie Dieken.   This book was on my list of must-reads for 2009 and I hope that it will get on your list as well.

The first thing I thought of a couple of pages into this book was “This is a book about LISTENING!”  But I don’t think that “Learn How to Listen” has as much sizzle as “Talk Less, Say More” do you?   Who really wants a nagging re-hash of all the reasons why it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let other people talk?  No one!  What we all want is to get our way and make things happen.  And this is what Connie Dieken delivers.

Why We Should Listen to Connie Dieken

Connie Dieken has built a career around structuring information in a way that gets people to listen.  She is an award-winning former television news anchor, and an inductee of the Radio/Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  She is also the founder and President of onPoint Communication, where she has guided thousands of leaders from organizations like Apple, Olympus and McDonald’s to be more influential.  In other words, Connie knows how to inform and influence and audience.

It’s Easy to Read and Easy to Understand

This book consists of 160 pages of short, useful and applicable trade secrets about developing powerful content.  It’s so easy to read and use that I’ll bet you could read a chapter over coffee, apply what you’ve learned by noon and give a presentation that afternoon that will have them throwing budget money at your next project.

Connie practices what she preaches in the way the book is structured.  She frontloads as much of the concepts as she can, and then layers on the detail.  For example; there are three major sections of the book that are her “Connect – Convey – Convince” model.   So you already know how to become more influential and make things happen, just “Connect, Convey and Convince.”  Then there are four chapters under each section that tell you exactly how to connect, convey and convince.  By the time you’ve read the table of contents – you’re already half-way there.

This book is entertaining because it reads like a magazine.  Each section begins with “10 Signs You May Be a Weak…Connector, Convincer or Conveyor.”  This is a little quiz section that asks “Do You Do This?”  Where you get to go down the chapter lists and spot your weaknesses.  This way, you can target specific areas to read or you can simply do what I did and read the whole thing from start to finish.  There are also tips and exercises throughout the book to help you focus your message for maximum impact.

Each chapter is an excellent example of how to structure a message that’s short, sweet and effective.  The good news for you, as the reader, is that you could actually breeze through this book in one sitting.

Is this book for you?

This book is written for anyone who has to communicate with another person to get something done.  Well, I suppose that’s all of us.  More specifically, if you find yourself in meetings where you have to inform people and then get them to approve projects.   Perhaps you’re a sales person who is at the end of your rope and looking for new ways to increase sales.  Or you are a business owner who has to motivate a team to do less with more.  Maybe you are a parent, spouse or friend who is simply trying to be heard and understood by those around you.  All of these situations can be improved by having “Talk Less, Say More” at your side.

About the Author: Ivana Taylor is CEO of Third Force, a strategic firm that helps small businesses get and keep their ideal customer. She’s the co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers” and proprietor of DIYMarketers, a site for in-house marketers. Her blog is Strategy Stew.   You can reach her directly at Ivana@thirdforce.net.