Release Date: January 2013
St. Martin’s Griffin: $14.99
Even those of us blessed with the gift of gab sometimes find ourselves backed into an awkward conversation, stuck in the middle of one of those sweat-inducing pregnant pauses or full-out tongue-tied. In a happy departure from books that focus on the why instead of the how, Lisa B. Marshall, a communications strategist and host of a popular podcast called The Public Speaker’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Improving Communication Skills, has written a useful book full of actual language, phrases and comments to use in all kinds of situations.
Her book covers nearly every embarrassing, difficult and emotional situation, offering accessible and implementable advice on how to deal with difficult people and conversations, how to negotiate a big deal, how to deal with a person giving you the cold shoulder, how to handle criticism and how to deliver criticism in a constructive manner.
Marshall peppers the book with quick quizzes, exercises and numerous reminders; take this quiz, "Are You Smart Talk Successful?" on her website. Her The Public Speaker's podcast has been downloaded more than 9 million times since 2008. Marshall stresses that improving communication skills is an ongoing process requiring practice, discipline and fine-tuning. Smart Talk will help you stay in shape.