Review By Buck Lawrimore
“Stop Talking, Start Influencing” is a very stimulating new book just published (2019) by Jared Cooney Horvath, Ph.D., M.Ed., providing fascinating insights from brain science to help leaders, teachers, coaches and just about anyone communicate better and enjoy life more.
Horvath teaches 12 important brain management insights by using them throughout his book, so you don’t just read about them, you experience them. Abundant illustrations and diagrams simplify the brain science insights so you learn them quickly. The book is so enjoyable to read it’s hard to put down and easy to absorb in a few hours.
Horvath is an expert in the growing field of Educational Neuroscience. He has conducted research and lectured at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, the University of Melbourne, and over 100 schools across four continents.
His chapter on Stress alone was the best explanation I have ever read about how stress impacts our brains both negatively and positively. Every chapter has “implications” about how you can use this information in your work and life.
Other valuable contents include:
- “It’s impossible to simultaneously read words while listening to someone speak,” but “listening to speech while looking at images can improve learning and memory.” No more boring PowerPoint shows please – have relevant pictures and talk about the topic for best results.
- Predictable spatial layouts whether it’s a website or an office can “free up mental resources and boost learning and memory.”
- “Where people practice and how they feel during practice form an integral aspect of what they learn.” He told the story of a person who lost their keys while drunk and could not find them while sober. So they got drunk again and quickly found them. Many other fascinating stories are not what you expect – and thus help drive home his points.
- “Human beings cannot multitask. Trying to do so impairs learning and memory.” Sorry kids but turn off the headphones or TV while studying if you want to learn and remember.
- “Embracing errors can lead to improve memory, learning and predictions.” Don’t get upset if you make a mistake – analyze the cause(s) of any errors you make so you’ll perform better next time as well as predict how b follows a.
- Frequent review of educational material, and especially cramming, do not help learning and memory nearly as much as recall (pulling the information out of memory) and practicing repeatedly over time.
- “Use stories to guide understanding, memory formation and thinking.” The brain loves stories.
- “Moderate stress can boost memories and general learning, though high and no stress can be detrimental.” Stress can be as simple as encountering different situations or presentations so the mind doesn’t get lulled into the same stuff over and over.
While I appreciate that Horvath is an expert in helping teachers and coaches be more successful, I also believe that he would be well served to come up with another book aimed at the general public and a title that would invite them to dive in. Whatever your position in life, you can benefit from and greatly enjoy reading “Stop Talking, Start Influencing.”
Published by Exile Publishing Pty Ltd of Australia. Available on amazon.com.
Reviewer Buck Lawrimore is editor and publisher of Advanews.com.