non fiction book reading recommendation list

9 of the Best Books to Make You More Persuasive

Looking for a business book list to read? Here is our list of some of the best persuasion book recommendations of all-time. 

Whether you use Storytelling or Value Perception, the persuasion principles taught in the books below can help you make massive strides in your success.

Or, have you ever wondered what strings people are pulling around you to serve their own agenda? It never hurts to peek behind the curtains of the primal forces that drive human behavior to better understand yourself and others.

Picking a list of the best books in any category is tough. Selecting the best business and persuasion books is essentially impossible. That is why we carefully curate our reading lists to ensure that any business book on this page is worth your time. Click the links of the title to check out the book on Audible, Kindle, or Amazon.

Business Book Reading List
‘Influence’ by Robert Cialdini

1. Influence

Did you know attractive people often receive lighter prison sentences? Or that seeing other people doing something makes us want to do it too? Master influencer Robert Cialdini will make you aware of all of these human fallacies and more, so you can overcome them (or use them to your advantage).

This book will teach you how to increase your influence (or dodge crafty manipulators) with the 6 Rules of Influence (Reciprocity, Consistency, Social Proof, Likeability, Authority, and Scarcity). Aside from providing useful tips, Cialdini exposes fascinating insights into human nature and our own bias traps.


2. Never Split the Difference

Who better to teach a lesson in persuasion than a master FBI hostage negotiator? Chris Voss learned his techniques by reasoning with criminals in high-stakes situations that were often life or death. This book will teach you everything from how to empathize by labeling emotions, bend reality with your words, and shed light on lies, blacks swans, and so much more. While this book is a game-changer, you may want to instead watch Voss’ Masterclass training to enjoy the added dimension of masterful persuasion through live body language, tone, and dialogue.


3. Made to Stick

Have you ever had an idea you wanted to make stick like velcro in the mind of lots of people? ‘Made to Stick’ shows you how the ‘SUCCES’ model, using concepts of ‘Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story’ have been used in everything from getting Clinton elected, putting a man on the moon, and solving a littering problem in Texas.


4. The Art of Seduction

This highly entertaining history lesson in human behavior is not for the faint of heart. Robert Greene’s scheming and manipulation can be a little over the top, but it’s hard not to be enthralled by his eloquence and Machiavellian deviance. Learning how to seduce, or delight is a practical life skill in everything from politics to sales to the cocktail conversation.


4. Contagious

Inspired by the Tipping Point, Jonah Berger’s research infers that there are 6 main factors that help explain social pandemics: 1. Social Currency; 2. Triggers; 3. Emotion; 4. Public; 5. Practical Value; and 6. Stories (STEPSS). This book combines some marketing 101 principles to the modern viral age.


5. Tribes

This excellent read by Seth Godin makes it clear how social media is the perfect medium to the method of finding customers that will resonate with your mission. Godin will inspire you to lead the change you want to see in the world.


7. The Power of Habit

What are the trigger and reward loop systems that make up your most powerful habits? Whether it is brushing your teeth or a dark gambling addiction Charles Duhigg will teach you how businesses and products from toothpaste to Febreze survive and thrive on the human habit/ reward system.


8. Brain Rules

For a total neuroscience geek, John Medina is an exceptionally eloquent, funny, and conversational writer. It is clear he loves his subject matter, and his enthusiasm is contagious.

This book will show you the amazing brainpower boost of exercise, how sleep can make you smarter, and stress makes you dumber, why boredom is death for attention spans, how to remember with repetition, and more.

If you have ever wondered if there are gender brain differences, or if music really does improve cognitive functioning, Medina will clue you in with his 12 brain rules.


9. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

It has been said that the greatest leaders in their hearts, were showmen. They loved to delight and entertain. Read this book if you believe in ridding the world of brain-deafening PowerPoint presentations and want to distill information in a way that will cause an audience to perk up and listen. Gallo teaches how to use numbers, stories, and analogies to capture attention, delight audiences, and develop an unforgettable stage presence, inspired by the master himself.


10. Hooked

Are apps the cigarettes of the 21st century? Nir Eyal writes a book that is almost as addicting as the digital products of which he analyzes. He applies principles from ‘The Power of Habit’ to our modern addiction, explaining the social and biological triggers for our fixation with technology, and proposing an ethical approach to solving problems with user dependency.


If you want to learn more about human psychology and persuasion, check out our posts on Storytelling or Value Perception.


What is your favorite business or persuasion book recommendation to read? Drop a comment below to let us know.

Written by: Alice
Written by: Alice

Last Updated: December 1, 2016

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