Weekly Insights: Summer Reading List

It’s here – those long, hot (or in some cases, downright scorching) days of summer. So in other words, it’s the perfect time to stay in the air conditioning with a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade and enjoy a good book!

Now for some, that might mean the latest thriller or pop fiction – but in case you’re like me and enjoy reading business or motivational books, here are some suggestions for you.

Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be More Persuasive
by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini

So let’s get this out of the way up front – this book probably isn’t as deeply scientific as it claims, but that also means it’s written more for the average business reader rather than psychology buffs. Each of the 50 points are standalone chapters of less than 10 pages, so it’s a quick read.

Because of this structure, it also lends itself to jumping around to the chapters that interest you most. (Yes, that’s okay to do!) For example, you can discover:

  • When does offering people more make them want less? (chapter 5)
  • Why should restaurants ditch their baskets of mints? (chapter 11; a smart lesson for trade show giveaways too)
  • How can we show off what we know without being labeled a show-off? (chapter 22)
  • Which single word will strengthen your persuasion attempts? (chapter 35)
  • What can a box of crayons teach us about persuasion? (chapter 41)


The Milkshake Moment
by Steven S. Little

The title of this book comes from the opening story of the author’s quest to get a milkshake in his hotel room. (Let’s just say there was some assembly required!) What happened becomes an analogy of what’s wrong in many companies today: getting so caught up in following standard policies and procedures that there’s no room for improvising to fulfill a customer’s needs.

There are more examples throughout the book that teach how to break out of rigid “we always do it this way” thinking and be open to opportunities to wow people with customer service. And yes, that also applies to both exhibitors and show organizers. How can you deliver “milkshake moments” for attendees?


Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

It’s most likely a goal for every exhibitor: to create a message that’s not only memorable, but also actionable for attendees. This book outlines the six key elements of a “sticky” message:

  • Simplicity – a core idea that people can latch onto
  • Unexpectedness – generating curiosity
  • Concreteness – don’t be abstract or ambiguous
  • Credibility – demonstrate why they should trust you
  • Emotional – make them feel something
  • Stories – make it more relatable and sharable

Each of the principles are backed up with stories (imagine that!) and examples to help you create messages that stick.


So … what’s on your summer reading list? Please share your suggested titles in the comments below.

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