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The 50 Best Social Psychology Books on Persuasion, Influence and Understanding Your Brain

See on Scoop.itPersuasion and influence

Have you ever wanted to be more persuasive, convincing, or if nothing else, understand how others try to influence you? …Of course! Who hasn’t?


Understanding how storytelling works in persuasion, influence, and change, and the research/neuroscience that informs it all is critical if anyone is going to work with stories effectively.


And hooray — Gregory Ciotti has put together his list of favorite books that help us understand persuasion, influence, change, and stories more deeply. We’ll all become more articulate and better at our craft — whether you are a consultant, storyteller, entrepreneur or CEO.


Some of these I’ve read, some I haven’t — so I can’t wait to dig into this list myself.


I hope we all learn lots and gain lots of useable insights for our work. Enjoy!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at ;

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How Leading Edge Firms Measure Influencer Marketing (And How You Can, Too)

See on Scoop.itPersuasion and influence

Social media marketing metrics are notoriously hard to pin down, especially for influencer marketing – working with influential people within a niche or sub-topic that is relevant to your brand.

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The secret psychology of effective social media relationships

See on Scoop.itPersuasion and influence

The psychology of social media marketing 

SUMMARY: Social media marketing works because people are most invested in the relationships they’ve taken an active role in nurturing, Fausto Mendez writes. “This social media-based relationship between a brand and a customer isn’t as strong as the connection between two real people, but it is much stronger than the relationship a customer forms with a brand through TV, print or Web ads,” Mendez writes. 

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How Leading Edge Firms Measure Influencer Marketing (And How You Can, Too)

See on Scoop.itPersuasion and influence

Social media marketing metrics are notoriously hard to pin down, especially for influencer marketing – working with influential people within a niche or sub-topic that is relevant to your brand.

See on


Writing my book

Hello world.

I’ve started writing again.

It’s exhilerating. But it’s long.

I had written a book, when I was still a highschooler. It was a big sci-fi manuscript. Never got published.

I can tell you I’ve tried.

This time, it’s sci-fi again. I’ve taken much more time to make my text legible. My marketing mind thinks about litterature positioning. I try to go to the point. I put everything in 3 parts, I want to bold letters to make it easier and faster to read. I want to put bullet points.

If I was to listen to myself, the book would only have 7 slides. (with big nice pictures).

Most of it would be with progressive disclosure. (you have to click “learn more” to unroll a descriptive paragraph).

Every page should be self sufficient.

Sentences would be no longer than 10 words.

And there would be a call to action at the end… “Recommend this book to your friends”.

The name of the hero would be “insert your name here”, so as to customize the book.

The more I try to write this sci-fi  book, the more it looks like an infomercial.

Anyway, see you next , “insert your name here”.


It’s the same, but it’s different.


That single word is supposed to bring sustainable competitive advantage to your company.

Investors start to drool when they hear this word… And they start packing when they hear that it is unproven and that it is risky. That is true.

So let’s put the équation down: Something that looks new + Something that is proven = remarketing an old concept. I enclosed a picture of what I have on my desk.

That reminds me that I work in a very competitive industry where we dont see the world in black and white, where we dont just copy one another.

Created with ...

Sorry, it’s a work thing… or a family thing

When you are completely focused on your job every day of the work week, you start to develop certain processes that might even follow in other areas of your life.

For me, those areas are marketing and customer service. Marketing and customer service are everywhere.

What happened to me, during Patrick and Severine wedding.
During their wedding, a photograph was walking around and taking pictures of everyone.
Up to now, nothing surprizing. That’s what he was paid for…
Then he started to hand out business cards which also had passwords and logins to connect to his website to get the pictures. Nice functionality. Never seen that before.
We started dicussing about why he put so much much information on the business card and how we could improve the design.
He started sharing tips on giving the business cards to get recurring revenue… He used to leave business cards on the table but nobody would take it. Then he gave it to everyone personally, but only the women kept it…
I said ”
- Hey! Do you custom print your business cards?
- Yes.
- How many do you distribute per wedding?
- more than 100, or so…
- … What if you put the pictures of the groom and the bride on the business card? Makes for an extra service, a bit of personalization, a lot of differentiation and in the end a nice souvenir of the wedding for everyone. Nobody will dare putting it with the trash, and your contact is on it. BAM!!”
He thoroughly agreed and said it was a great idea. Of course, I am great. It’s a work thing.
He now does custom business cards, and I feel I contributed.

But it’s not always to be pleasant.
I think it’s a work thing to deliver on the promises, but it is also a family thing to have expectations for the services we have paid for with our hard earned money.

What happens when Sanh, my brother, plays the mystery guest .
I was at the Pullman hotel in Bercy and I had the luck to be in a Junior executive suit.
The view was superb and the service was top-notch. And a free minibar.
It was so great that I had to invite Sanh to come around, have a look at the hotel, and show how I was living the life.

He came around and was really impressed, took out his iphone and started filming.
“And you even have a Nespresso machine!!!”
He jumped up and down and asked for a coffee.
I said “of course”. But I could not find the capsules…
Sanh immediately called the room service and politely said
“I don’t find the capsules for the nespresso machine, is that normal?
-They’ll be coming immediately, sir”.
We waited 20 minutes and had to leave for the restaurant.
“That’s outrageous, said my brother.
- Well, Sanh, I don’t really pay for that service, so I don’t feel I have the right to complain
- Your company paid for that service expecting you have a certain standards. It’s not there. You have every right to complain.”
BAM! Spot on.

He said he was quite surprised I did not reacted, as he was remembering us being a lot younger and me sending drinks back to where they came from because the cans were dented.
I had no recollection of that, but Sanh told me he thought I was trying to show him the example.
Could be.

But to understand how this is a family thing, you have to go one step up.

What happens when my mother and I play doll
The story I am about to relate has not been approved by my mom, and she always denied it ever happened.
But I can see the scene bright as day, and this actually matches so much her character, that I chose to tell that story.

I was a young boy playing “restaurant” with my mom. I think I as quite young, 6 or 7.
So I took the playmobil and pretended to sit at the miniature table. So my mom was animating the other playmobil. So I chose from the menu, and – oh, what fun times! – it was a great opportunity to train for adding numbers. After correctly adding the numbers – phew- I chose to pay in advance before the meal, so that I’d be done with the calculation.
Mom said “ok” and animated the playmobil back to the kitchen. So the waiter/playmobil/mom came back pretending to have a dish in the hands.
“Here is your dish, and by the way, we took the liberty of spitting in it”.

What does that mean? Never pay in advance.
Mom has always been here to tell us to be careful about big bad wolves. They are everywhere.
And once again, mom, that DID happen.
And YES, we know, it’s for our own good and we (Sanh and I) thank you for that.

What happens hen Dad goes to the supermarket
Dad has always been looking for deals to make or save some euros. Not because he wants money. But because he likes the fact he has found loopholes in the system.
Just one example:
In Auchan and Leclerc, there was a machine that was automatically making bread slices from the whole piece.
But one company was making people pay 10 cents and the other was not. Just can’t remember which one otherise I would have said.
Immediately, my father sent a mail to the customer service.
It wasn’t the money, it was the fact that a service as free in one company and chargeable in another one.

The day after, the said company reacted and gave that service for free and asked my father to go collect a small present for his dedication. He did not want that. He just did not want people to think he was stupid and that he would pay for a service that is free in another company.

That’s how we are.
As a family, the possible nightmare of generations of customer services.
I will devote myself to get more and more challenging.
Just today, at Air France Airport lounge, I complained about the 15cL coke cans that were to small, create too much work for me to have the equivalent of one normal can, and generate so much waste.

Complaining is caring.


Entrepreneurship in a big company

Since I came back from my leap year creating my company 2 years ago, I still have some nostalgia about the good ol’ time when I was entrepreneur. The world was a blank notepad with a story to be written on.

I had million of ideas to create revenue streams, new advertizing ideas and even small changes on how to improve my computer desktop for increased productivity.

Am I still an entrepreneur now?
The honest answer is no.

Am I doing marketing?
Hell yes. Marketing in a big company is a great thing. I can do marketing all day long without having to closely follow all the details of the product development. I can stay close to the market and I deal with products which unit costs are hundreds of millions.
The budgets we get to play with have nothing to do with what I had for my startup.
When I have a question, all the experts are around, and having right working conditions is a given.
Not to mention that failure does not mean bankrupcy and not be able to feed your family.

With the right management help in your company, you can push for new projects and gain responsibility, and as long as you deliver, your actions will gain momentum. There is indeed some entrepreneurship in big companies.
Some people even came up with a name: “intrapreneurship”.

Is “intrapreneurship” real entrepreneurship?
The most soothing thing for my conscience would be to say “yes”. But “no”.
No employee is an entrepreneur.
The employee does not have a full interest of developing projects. The monetary perspective is a payraise that is subject to Human Resources policy and management fit. The employee will not be able to get a real full picture, or will only inherit it from someone who has built the business.
Every employee is important, but not irreplaceable.

The entrepreneur might be a big fish in a small pond, but the entrepreneur has created a long-standing asset. Being a shareholder in the company, the entrepreneur will see the startup grow and generate value without his direct work being needed.

The employee, when leaving the company, will only have the passive revenue stream of a unemployment pension that only lasts 2 years.

So it’s not the same.

As a closing cliche, I would say that between entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, none of them are better, they’re different.
Aren’t you glad you read until the end?


Magic – Start and finish with a bang!!

Just allow me to start talking about presentations first, then about magic

Yes I will tell you about one of my most devouring hobby: Street magic and how I’ve been using my marketing skills to enhance all my effects.


I’ve been doing marketing presentations for some time, now…

People’s attention span is fluctuating.

The attention span peaks at several moments, and you can create those moments.


- Pause before a message. It gives more perspective to your message.

- Change your tone, speak louder when you want to create a moment.

- Do something unexpected. It could be something like a funny picture, a personal anecdote or just a little dance.

But the best moments are the beginning and the end.

At this point, I’ve seen more than a hundred presentations, and I can tell you that people will make their minds in the first minute of the presentation, and people wake up at the end to listen your conclusion.



I’ve been learning and experimenting with some magic tricks for some time now, and like most things practice makes perfect.

There are many categories in magic:

Coin magic:

Magic with coins. Make them disappear reappear or multiply them.

Ponta the smith is THE recognized master of coin magic. Notice the graceful moves and the simplicity.

That’s how magic should be.

Card magic:

Magic with card.

Card magic is one of the most common type of magic, and everyone starts with it.

The cards are common as props, as most people have played with them.

A good magician gives the impression that he can change the identity of any card he holds.

Notice how the charisma and the storyline makes the whole stuff work.


This is a very specific type of magic.

This one works best with adults. Many people will actually believe that the mentalist has superpowers.

By using a subtle mix of tricks and soft skills, the successful mentalist will create a bizarre atmosphere.

Like most mentalism tricks, it is a bit verbose, but it IS definitely worth it.

World famous Derren Brown has made a name by using a mix of NLP (Neuro Language Programming) and mentalism tricks. I highly recomment his latest show: Enigma.

Back to the original subject…

I have some good tricks. Definitely, some of them do create a WOW.

At first, I wanted to create a really good attention grabber.

That’s why I used my best trick.

Ultimate card revelation

Basically, I walk to the audience, introduce myself.

I say “think of a card” while holding a card face down.

One of them says “5 of spades”, for example. I turn it up, it is the 5 spades.

Jaw-dropping. Eyebrows-lifting.

I got the audience where I wanted.

But I quickly realized that any other trick went downhill from there.

Starting so high got the expectations so high that anything looked dull.

Learning from that,

I now START WITH A BANG, I do some small lesser impressive tricks, and then


Videos available soon…


It’s not bullshit. It’s improvisation.

I recently did an improv show. The poster above was the one advertising for our show.

Improvisation is one of my passions. It’s like living on the edge of reason.

What is improv?

Improv is the constant challenge of coming up with a show inspired from a random word given by the audience within 30 seconds. With the other comedians the word-inspired story can last from 3 to 10 minutes. It’s a total blast.

How do you do it?

  • Accept.

Accept what the others propose. If they want the story to be a space love story, play along. Their inputs will blend with yours. Say YES. Say YES. In doubt, just say YES.

Only this way can a story be built. Only when a knight accepts a quest, can a dragon be defeated and a damzelle be rescued.

Only when someone accepts to die, can his son avenge him.

  • Spice it up.

Accepting is not enough. YES opens the door. YES does not pushes you through.

YES, AND is the magic formula. (YES, BUT is like a NO).

- Go get me some food.

- Yes, and I think I’ll get a huge heart shaped pizza for you. It’s Valentine’s day, and I love you.

Compared to a short YES, or a NO, just notice how this brings along a new twist to the story and gives your teammate something to play with.

  • Trust.

Trust your teammates to help you.

Some situations will make you feel very lonely on the stage. That happens in theatrical improvisation. That’s life.

Until someone helps you by bringing a new element, you will suffer.

This might even inhibit you from going onstage or taking the lead.

But YOU need to TRUST. You will trust your teammates to help you.

You might not understand what storyline they have in mind when they bring in an awkward character, but TRUST them, accept, spice it up and enjoy the ride.

Conversely, trust your teammates that they will find a way out of a harsh situation that you created.

You will have to put them on the spot. They will be in the stress zone.


You: I heard you needed to confess something to me?

Them: Hrmm… Yes… It was… You know… (startled eyes)

And then you can help them. But they will learn from it. The team will learn from it.

Trust each other enough to play in the danger zone as a team.

  • Think. Reuse. Recycle.

Do those stories remind you of something?

- A spaceship is lost in space. But an unexpected passenger seems to be around and members of the crew disappear one by one…

- A giant boat is at sea. A love story begins to take shape, when a big iceberg appears from nowhere…

-A young couple is madly in love, but their families have an ancestral hatred that will keep them apart…

Every story has been told. At least once.

“Alien” is “Jaws” in space. “Avatar” is “Dances with wolves” in a sci fi context.

Rocky 2 is rocky 1, but this time Rocky wins.

Rocky 3 is rocky 2, but this time he fights Mr T.

Rocky 4 is Rocky 3, but this time he fights a russian guy.

Rocky 5 is Rocky 4, but this time he fights a newbie he trained.

Rocky 6 is Rocky 5, but this time he fights the current champion.

What about Rocky in space versus an alien?

Your mind is full of pop culture.

When you are watching a movie, ask yourselves how it should finish.

Make your own endings and notice how every storyline has been worn to death.

Cross the different movies and create new ones. Think about great plots that you can reuse.

Think. Reuse. Recycle.

  • Let your character live

That’s when it becomes tough.

Imagine your character’s life. Let’s suppose it is a man.

Where is he from? Name? What is he doing here?

How would he behave in that situation?

What is his posture, his voice or accent? What physical traits should you play on stage to convey all that?

With thick characters, your improv will become realistic and deep in emotions.

The audience will feel involved and will not only perceive them as puppets for a plot, but as beings living extraordinary events.

- And what if the character had to say NO to remain true to himself?

Then you have to say NO. The character’s integrity is the most important thing. Without autonomy, no credibility.


- Jump off the cliff!

-No… hrmmm… Yes, and…hrmmm

If the character does not want to say YES, make him propose something else. He can jump, and then use a secret parachute, or just say no and propose something like giving money.

I know. It’s complicated. At this point, you’ve probably given up reading this post.

But Autonomy and Acceptance are antagonistic forces that fuel the improvisation.

  • Allow yourself to be average

You can’t always perform at 100% of your capability.

If you set your expectations too high, you will freeze on stage, trying to find the perfect thing to do.

That can not happen all the time. Allow yourself to have some poor performance displays and enjoy them… every mistake makes you better for the next time.

That will free your mind from pressure and will give you confidence to go on stage.

So as a conclusion

  1. Accept
  2. Spice it up.
  3. Trust.
  4. Think. Reuse. Recycle.
  5. Let your character live.
  6. Allow yourself to be average.