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Publisher's Summary

From iconic actor and best-selling author Alan Alda, an indispensable guide to communicating better - based on his experience with acting, improv, science, and storytelling.

The beloved actor shares fascinating and powerful lessons from the science of communication and teaches listeners to improve the way they relate to others using improv games, storytelling, and their own innate mind-reading abilities. With his trademark humor and frankness, Alan Alda explains what makes the out-of-the-box techniques he developed after his years as the host of Scientific American Frontiers so effective. This book reveals what it means to be a true communicator and how we can communicate better in every aspect of our lives - with our friends, lovers, and families; with our doctors; in business settings; and beyond.

©2017 Alan Alda (P)2017 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Useful and pleasant

Useful and applicable especially in a business or workday life. Deceptively simple, yet valuable.
Alan Alda's narration is pure delight, familiar, funny, and fatherly - in a good way. I can feel his curiosity come through his voice.
Don't be fooled by the simplicity- listen and move forward with these recommendations in your own life.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Best Audio Book Ever

It is amazing listening to Alda. His voice is great. His command of the topic of communications and his insights are fantastic. He's not reading the book. He is sharing knowledge and experience.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Tha last three chapters

I know what my problem was. Since this is Allen Alda I of course expected to be laughing. That is not what this book is for. The last three chapters clarified a great many things for me. These are things I do right, do wrong, and could do better when communicating. Allen helps us better understand the craft of communication. This begins in appreciating that it is an essential craft. Perhaps a professional actor is a better medium to this task than any professor.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Useable ideas for humans sharing & communicating

Alan shared anecdotes of skills he's learned in talking, listening & sharing ideas. He tells of missteps in explaining ideas to others and how the use of improvisation techniques help sometimes. I hope I can learn to better communicate ideas AND listen to others ideas by using some of these skills.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Informative and Calming

Alan Alda does a wonderful job of reading his book. I was able to follow along without having to pause and rewind. It really helped me understand what I can do to help improve my social experiences with the people I interact with on a daily basis or within passing. Would highly recommend this to anyone who is new to a management or sales position.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Useful from start to finish

I am a fan of Alan Alda, so I was ready to like this book anyway. His interest in all things scientific is well known, but tying theater and science together makes so much sense that it was a pleasure to listen to Alda's connections.
As a retired university lecturer in Speech and Business Communication, I found myself smiling and nodding throughout the book. Before I was halfway into it I wrote an email to the chair of my former department urging her to read and share IF I UNDERSTOOD YOU, WOULD I HAVE THIS LOOK ON MY FACE? I
By the way, like with many Audible listeners, seeing that the author is reading his/her own book is very often a red flag. Certainly, that is not an issue in this case.
I recommend this audio book to anyone wanting to improve their communication skills. The discussion on the importance of empathy is worth the price of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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S-mash-ing

Been a fan of Alan Aldas since the 70s. He never disappoints. This is a must have book for Anyone charged with communication with another. Will listen again this summer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Insightful

Where does If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 5

What was one of the most memorable moments of If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face??

There were many, but I hate to put out spoiler alerts.

What does Alan Alda bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A wealth of personal experiences and credibility.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were several moments that were moving...nearly one every chapter.

Any additional comments?

I had hoped to find a "cookbook" formula for how to become better at communicating. While this book did not meet that expectation, it did increase my understanding of both improving my communication skills by understanding what communication IS as well as what it ISN'T. If anything, it provoked more curiosity to examine the Stonybrook University to learn more about the science of communication to see if there IS a cookbook method to improving communication. I truly feel, after reading this book, that most of our issues aren't about right or wrong, but more about understanding and being understood. Highly recommend and hope there is a another one to follow this one!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Really interesting but just too long!

All the reviewers that said this book is repetitive is correct. I bought this after hearing Alan Alda being interviewed for a podcast and of course, speaking of empathy. The interview was about 30 minutes. The book didn't add much to the point.
Use empathy as a tool to connect with others (not as a state of being). Then there are a few examples, but that's it. I have no idea why it is so long. I'm half way through and returning it. Alan Alda's voice is great; love his narrative style and accent. However, the stories are just too darn repetitive. This should have been a lecture or speech and sold for $3.

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Fascinating

A useful discussion of communication - what works and what does not. The role of empathy and improvisation both improve communication and understanding. A must read for anyone who speaks or writes on technical topics. Excellent examples from both medical and scientific fields really illustrate how to improve.