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  • Writer's pictureDavid de Souza

'How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere' Summary

Updated: Jan 19, 2022


Mental Models from the book:

'How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere' can be summarised into 11 mental models:

1. Activation Energy

  • To start a conversation, look for things such as furnishings, mementos or photographs to ask about.

  • 'What if' Questions - A fail-safe way to start a conversation or to pick one up during a lull. E.g "What if COVID continues, do you think the stock market will take a hit"? or "What if you had just built your dream home and you were told that scientists had discovered a fault line, would you move?"

  • Interest Gauging Questions - These questions help to determine if you will connect with the person. It will show if they follow current events and their level of interest in the subject. E.g: "Everybody seems to have an opinion on 'abc'. What's yours? or "I just heard 'xyz', do you think we are headed for....?

2. Comparative Advantage

  • We speak 18,000 words a day, so it makes sense to become the best speaker that we can be.

  • Everyone has something interesting to say: Everybody is an expert at something. Ask yourself: What can I learn from them?

3. Ego

  • Look for opportunities to allow people to talk about themselves and their life accomplishments.

4. Emotions: Nervousness

  • Tell your audience that you are nervous if you are nervous. This will reduce your nerves and make you more relaxed and help you to connect with the audience.

5. First Principle Thinking

  • The greatest question ever is: "Why?"

6. Lateral Thinking

  • The best conversationalist look at things from a new or unique angle, taking an unusual perspective on a common subject.

7. Mise-En-Place

  • When public speaking use this structure:

    1. Tell the audience what you are going to tell them.

    2. Tell them.

    3. Summarize what you've told them

8. Pareto Principle

  • Improve your:

    1. Voice

    2. Delivery

    3. Appearance

9. Seizing the Middle

  • A good question is one that resonates with everyone, one that can cut through generations, education, and sociological and economic lines.

10. Supply and Demand

  • When selling: Sell the advantages, not the features.

11. Trust

  • The most important thing in conversation is to put the person at ease.

  • Combine being persistent in asking a question with discretion, asking in a way that makes the person feel at ease.

  • When you want feedback: "I have a feeling I could be doing my job more effectively. Can you help me understand what areas I should concentrate on?"


Mental Model Mind Maps

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