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How to Speak Human

Book Description

'An instant classic—this book is so utterly relevant and needed. And it is hellishly refreshing to boot. I fucking love it, and heartily recommend it to all.' —Dr Jason Fox, best-selling author of How to Lead a Quest

Take a practical approach to the communication challenges in your workplace. Through 11 strategies, 23 tactics and 15 stories this handy how-to will help curious humans:

  • use the science of connection to create compelling communication
  • translate mind-numbing complexity into captivating simplicity
  • hijack attention, engage and influence others.

Whether you're a leader looking to connect with your workforce; a member of a small team, hungry to make a difference; or at the helm of a global organisation, with an eye on the horizon – this is a how-to for forward thinkers like you.

Table of Contents

  1. About the authors
  2. Hoisting the banner for human
    1. A paddle but no canoe
    2. Same same, but different
    3. Fainting goats and other whimsy
    4. Weary old dinosaurs
    5. Nowhere to hide
    6. Rise of the robots
  3. How to speak human
    1. A love song for engagement
    2. Call the spade a bloody shovel
    3. Human versus goldfish
  4. How to speak whaaat?
  5. Curiosity The insatiable hunger of a curious mind
    1. You won’t believe what happens next …
    2. We can’t help ourselves
    3. We were born curious
    4. We remember the peripherals
    5. Stone-cold killers of curiosity
  6. Anticipation The exquisite agony of anticipation
    1. The thrill of the chase
    2. Managing expectations
  7. Surprise! The unanticipated delight of the unexpected
    1. Mashing the pause button
    2. A catalyst for change
    3. A love/hate relationship
    4. A matter of timing
    5. SHOCK!
    6. A question of anticipation versus surprise
  8. Visual The sensory superiority of visual
    1. In the blink of an eye
    2. Turning data human
    3. Differentiation, and a little defiance
  9. Beware … The insidious fog of habituation
    1. It’s all in our minds
    2. We’re all animals
    3. It’s a matter of exposure
    4. Build a rhythm of unpredictability and delight
    5. Shred the style guide
  10. Narratives The titillations of a well-told tale
    1. Rallying the senses
    2. A meeting of minds
    3. Crafting compelling tales
  11. Emotions The paradoxical logic of getting emotional
    1. The curious relationship between words and feelings
    2. The allure of negative versus the power of positive
  12. Humour The serious business of being funny
    1. The universal appeal of being amusing
    2. The risky business of being funny
  13. Caution ... The complication of complexity
    1. Complexity isn’t the enemy
    2. Simple, not simpler
    3. Begin with understanding
    4. Follow with context
    5. Sift for relevance
    6. Start from scratch
    7. Make it for humans
    8. Reduce our hefty cognitive burden
    9. Establish a ruthless order
    10. Remember: recognition over recall
  14. Words The power of using and choosing words wisely
    1. Active versus passive
    2. Loaded language
    3. Rhetorical versus relational
    4. Abstract versus concrete
    5. Formal versus colloquial
    6. Familiar and inclusive
    7. Inclusion versus exclusion
  15. Names The undeniable sweetness of a well-chosen name
    1. What’s in a name?
    2. The pros and cons of putting things in categories
    3. Change the name, change the perspective
    4. A representation of relationships
  16. Language The power of language to shift perception
    1. Watch your language
    2. The circularity of language, thought and culture
    3. Words
    4. Metaphors
    5. Categories
    6. Focus
    7. The consideration of cultural context versus literal translation
  17. Modes The perks of matching the mode to the message
    1. Spoken language
    2. A brief mention of the unspoken
    3. Formal speeches and spoken performances
    4. Written language
    5. Texting, messaging and asynchronous communication
    6. Visual language
    7. Turn it all two-way
  18. Beware ... The excuses for mediocrity
    1. Legal
    2. Branding
    3. Complexity
    4. Cost
    5. Tradition
    6. Fear
    7. Professionalism
  19. Time, tide and the inevitability of change
  20. So …
  21. Acknowledgements
  22. Index
  23. End User License Agreement