Spiegel, Jill. How to Talk to Anyone About Anything!: The Secrets to Connecting.
While I didn't take to the cheerleading approach Spiegel uses, I found the book quite helpful in in providing tips to feeling more comfortable in social situations and in connecting with people confidently.
Much of it is common sense, but for those of us who are often at a loss of words or sometimes uncomfortable in social situations, repetition is often a good thing.
Perhaps the most important advice that Spiegel gives before getting into specifics is that our attitudes are crucial. If our attitude is positive, people tend to receive us in a positive manner.
Spiegel talks about the mind-messages we often send ourselves that can be self-defeating...or on the other hand, confident and cheerful. Instinctively, I think we know this, but being reminded can ease our anxiety about certain gatherings or events we must attend.
There are certainly some good hints about how to enter conversations, how to respond to certain situations, how to deflect unwanted advice without giving offense, how to handle rejection and still keep the lines open, etc.
The book is very, very short, but the brevity is an asset. I get tired of books that put in a bunch of filler and say the same thing over and over in a variety of ways just to gain pages. If you highlight the important points, you can usually distill those bloated books into a few pages.
The format of the book is a bit odd (the chapters spill into each other without separation other than the textual clues), and I wonder if that is the fault of the publisher.
I received this book from the author and believe it is more or less the text from one of her seminars, which might explain both the brevity and the format.
The book is concise and helpful for people who are shy or who would like to be more comfortable in a crowd. There are times when I can socialize easily, but there are other times when I can not, for the life of me, think of anything to say (I know that is difficult to believe given the way I run on in my posts!)--so this book has already been helpful.
Nonfiction. Self-help. 2008. 110 pages.