Thursday, October 25, 2007

Book Review: The Science of Influence: How to Get Anyone to Say "Yes" in 8 Minutes or Less! by Kevin Hogan

Kevin Hogan is probably a great public speaker and his fees are justified. He is at best, however, a mediocre writer. This book appears to have a lot of useful information that could probably help someone become excellent at influencing others. The problem is that the writing is very choppy and somewhat unstructured. As you read there is no sense of flow or how one section ties in with another. An influence tip is often given without a good example on how to apply it, with the burden of extrapolating the idea left to the reader with a series of questions. The influence "gems" are lost in a writing style that makes it hard to get the point of each bit of advice. This leaves the reader with a sense of needing to go back and put the pieces together on their own, which is ironic because Hogan, in addition to being a teacher of influencing techniques is also supposed to be an expert communicator. One glaring gap is the promise in the books subtitle about influencing someone in 8 minutes or less: nowhere is it spelled out exactly how this is accomplished.

Hogan makes no bones about marketing his online products, particularly tapes which cover the same subject. Is his style meant to leave you hanging and wanting to purchase a DVD set?

Some of his material is taken, and duly credited in the bibliography, from Nobel Lauretes Kahneman and Taversky, as well as the influence expert Robert Cialdini. I would recommend reading these original sources as well.

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