Book review: ’27 Powers’ convinces

By Rhett Wilkinson, For the Deseret News

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011 12:08 p.m. MDT

“27 POWERS OF PERSUASION: Simple Strategies to Seduce Audiences and Win Allies,” by Chris St. Hilaire, Penguin, 240 pages

Leaning over someone, using five minutes to make your audience feel safe and staying in the present were just a few of the many, though often obvious, suggestions of persuasion given by Chris St. Hilaire in his book, “27 Powers of Persuasion,” which has recently been released in paperback.

It’s quite amazing to consider the many ways in which one can break down the methods of persuasion. For those who might think that a businessman, lawyer, politician, or reporter can simply walk into a room and cause everyone to agree with his or her points of thinking, St. Hilaire would argue otherwise.

Some readers may read a chapter in the book — each of which focuses on a particular method of persuasion — from the tactics mentioned above to using third-party validation and being your own pundit. Oft times, the suggestions seem of common sense, though others may not strike readers as such.

St. Hilaire uses excellent examples ranging from sports figures to business entrepreneurs to demonstrate his points — showing tact in one of his own suggested methods, “mak(ing) sure everyone’s invested.”

St. Hilaire also uses appealing personal examples, including, among other examples, the time he wore a pink shirt as a part of helping a team of lawyers recognize their reality.

In doing so, St. Hilaire has appealed to readership beyond just law or journalism, but to business owners and even parents striving to guide a family. St. Hilaire’s appeal to a wide demographic through his strength of parallels is found from start to finish.

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