Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game Book Review

Kevin Hogan and James Speakman’s book, “Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game,” offers readers an insightful glimpse into the world of persuasion techniques. Having recently read this intriguing book, I’m excited to share my thoughts, opinions, and key takeaways from it.

1 Sentence Summary: “Covert Persuasion” is a captivating guide that explores the art of persuasion, revealing the psychology behind effective communication and providing practical strategies for winning people over in various aspects of life.

Covert Persuasion Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game by Kevin Hogan and James Speakman

TitleCovert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game
AuthorKevin Hogan, James Speakman
GenreSelf Help
Publication DateJanuary 1, 2006
Length240 pages

Where to Purchase

Best Quotes from the Book:

  1. “Persuasion is about creating harmony, not conflict.”This quote underscores the central theme of the book, emphasizing the importance of building rapport and fostering positive relationships when attempting to persuade others. Hogan and Speakman highlight the idea that persuasion should be a collaborative effort rather than a confrontational one. It serves as a reminder that the ultimate goal is to create win-win situations where both parties benefit.
  2. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”This quote underscores the significance of empathy and genuine concern in persuasion. It reminds us that simply bombarding others with facts and information won’t lead to successful persuasion. Instead, showing empathy and understanding toward their needs and concerns is the key to gaining their trust and cooperation.
  3. “The best persuaders are the best listeners.”Listening is a skill often underestimated in the world of persuasion. This quote highlights the importance of active listening and understanding the other person’s perspective. By truly listening, we can identify their desires and objections, allowing us to tailor our approach and arguments more effectively.
  4. “Successful persuasion involves identifying and tapping into people’s core emotional needs.”Hogan and Speakman delve deep into the psychological aspects of persuasion. This quote emphasizes the need to understand the emotional drivers behind people’s decisions. By connecting with these core emotional needs, we can craft persuasive messages that resonate with individuals on a profound level.

Book Summary:

“Covert Persuasion” is a comprehensive exploration of the art and science of persuasion. The book is divided into nine agreements, each covering specific aspects of persuasion, from building rapport and understanding body language to utilizing emotional triggers and handling objections. Throughout the book, Hogan and Speakman provide practical techniques and real-life examples to illustrate their concepts.

Readers can expect to learn how to:

  1. Establish rapport and build trust with others.
  2. Decode body language and nonverbal cues.
  3. Craft persuasive messages that resonate emotionally.
  4. Overcome objections and resistance effectively.
  5. Influence group dynamics and decision-making.
  6. Utilize the power of stories and metaphors in persuasion.
  7. Tap into the psychology of influence and compliance.
  8. Apply persuasion techniques in business and personal relationships.
  9. Ethically use covert persuasion tactics.

The authors emphasize the ethical use of persuasion techniques throughout the book, promoting a responsible and respectful approach to influencing others. They stress the importance of aligning one’s persuasive efforts with the best interests of all parties involved.

Book Review:

“Covert Persuasion” is a well-structured and accessible guide to the world of persuasion. The writing style is clear and engaging, making it easy for readers to grasp the concepts presented. The book is filled with relatable examples and case studies, which help illustrate the principles discussed.

One of the book’s strengths is its practicality. It doesn’t just delve into theory but provides actionable steps and exercises that readers can apply in their daily lives. The authors’ emphasis on ethics is commendable, ensuring that readers understand the responsibility that comes with the power of persuasion.

However, it’s worth noting that some readers may find certain sections of the book more theoretical and dense. While Hogan and Speakman do their best to simplify complex psychological concepts, some parts might require deeper reflection and multiple readings to fully grasp.

Additionally, the book could benefit from more practical examples in certain areas. While the theoretical framework is solid, a few more real-world scenarios and detailed case studies could enhance readers’ understanding and application of the principles.


This book is part of my list of best manipulation books. Check out the list for more books on this subject.

This Book is Recommended for:

  1. Business Professionals: If you’re in sales, marketing, or any field where persuasion is essential, “Covert Persuasion” provides valuable insights to enhance your influence and communication skills.
  2. Leaders and Managers: Understanding how to persuade and influence team members and colleagues is crucial for effective leadership. This book offers tools and techniques for building consensus and driving positive change.
  3. Anyone Seeking Personal Growth: Persuasion is not just about convincing others; it’s also about understanding oneself better. This book can help individuals improve their communication skills, enhance relationships, and navigate social situations more effectively.
  4. Students and Educators: Learning about the psychology of persuasion can be beneficial for students studying psychology, marketing, communication, or any field that involves human interaction. Educators can also find valuable teaching materials within the book.

Small Actionable Steps You Can Do:

  1. Practice Active Listening: Start by actively listening to others without interrupting. Make an effort to understand their point of view before responding. This simple step can improve your communication and empathy.
  2. Develop Empathy: Make a conscious effort to understand the emotions and needs of those around you. Try to see situations from their perspective, and show genuine concern for their well-being.
  3. Study Body Language: Pay attention to nonverbal cues in your conversations. Practice decoding body language to better understand the emotions and intentions of others.
  4. Craft Persuasive Stories: Learn the art of storytelling and how to incorporate it into your persuasive efforts. Develop stories that connect with people emotionally and convey your message effectively.
  5. Handle Objections Gracefully: Instead of immediately countering objections, take the time to explore the underlying concerns. Address these concerns in a way that demonstrates your understanding and willingness to find solutions.

“Covert Persuasion” by Kevin Hogan and James Speakman is a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their persuasion skills. It provides a comprehensive exploration of the psychology behind persuasion and offers practical techniques for ethical and effective influence. While the book could benefit from more practical examples in certain areas, its clear writing style and actionable steps make it a worthwhile read for those seeking to master the art of persuasion in various aspects of life.


  • Michael Corbin

    Michael Corbin stands out as a dynamic content writer which combines his dual passions for self-help and digital marketing literature. A fervent believer in the transformative power of books, Michael delves deep into self-help titles, extracting valuable lessons and insights that he actively integrates into his daily life. Simultaneously, his keen interest in digital marketing books has not only expanded his knowledge but has also played a pivotal role in the success of his business ventures. Always on a quest for self-improvement and growth, Michael's reviews are a testament to his commitment to personal and professional development. His writings offer readers a unique perspective, as they are infused with real-world applications and experiences derived from the books he reviews. For those seeking to elevate their personal lives or enhance their business strategies, Michael Corbin's reviews serve as a trusted guide, pointing them to the most impactful and actionable books in the realms of self-help and digital marketing. His relentless pursuit of knowledge and betterment makes him an invaluable asset to the literary community and an inspiration to readers and entrepreneurs alike.

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