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Table of Contents


  1. An Introduction to Impression Management
  2. Impression Formation
  3. The Compass Qualities
  4. First and Lasting Impressions
  5. Magic Pills
  6. Toxic Traits
  7. Physical Appearance
  8. Body Language
  9. Voice
  10. Communication Style
  11. Content of Communication
  12. Actions
  13. The Environment
  14. Success

Afterword: Changing from the Outside-In

About the Author

Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, Ph.D., the nation's leading expert on the meaning of appearance and behavior, has been a consultant for more than 600 jury trials, including the Rodney King, John du Pont, and O. J. Simpson cases. She lives in Los Angeles.


Dimitrius, a jury selection consultant in such high profile cases as those of Rodney King and O.J. Simpson, and a familiar guest on the talk show circuit along with her trial lawyer colleague Mazzarella (both coauthors of Reading People), present a self-help book intended to teach readers to "manage" the impression they create through attention to appearance, body language, speech and their personal space. Despite the topic's commercial potential and the utility of some of their findings (they interviewed thousands of people and reviewed the scientific and popular literature), the writing is deadly earnest, dull and often dated. Dimitrius and Mazzarella urge readers to display trustworthiness, caring, humility and capability in order to make a good impression, though their advice is undercut by their often preachy tone. In addition, the discussion of how to cultivate these "compass qualities" implies a certain degree of calculation. Steps to making a successful impression include studying one's behavior on videotape, thorough preparation for each encounter and eliminating traits the authors deem toxic, such as offensive physical acts, insensitive communication and pettiness. Citing research on the impact of physical attractiveness, they offer guidelines for personal grooming and creating a wardrobe that owe more to old-fashioned "Dress for Success" rules than to casual contemporary style (recommendations for professional attire include dark blue suits for men and women). These polished people-readers would do well to add humor and practicality to their portfolio of desirable traits. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Having taught us all about Reading People, the best-selling authors explain how we can influence the way people read us. Dimitrius has consulted on over 600 jury trials, including O.J. Simpson's. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"Kirkus Reviews" A valuable guide...practical, good advice for discerningly "reading" others and becoming more aware of the myriad of nonverbal messages one conveys.
"Publishers Weekly" A wealth of tips and strategies for ferreting out people's real viewpoints, motives, and character traits...Whether interviewing a baby-sitter, meeting a new date, or selecting a jury, this thorough, detailed guide of what to look for could probably improve anyone's ability at seeing and being seen.
Larry King Secret tips from the country's leading jury consultant that will change your life.

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