Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Book Review: '100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings: How to Get By Without Even Trying' by Sarah Cooper

100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings: How to Get By Without Even Trying
By Sarah Cooper

Review by David Wineberg

As western civilization melts into oblivion, someone needs to record the proceedings and report on it. That person is Sarah Cooper, who has written a wonderfully perceptive, dangerously prescriptive and ultimately shameful book on meetings. It has been honed on her website TheCooperReview, and in her appearances, and it shows. The book is tight, direct, on target and all too true. It keeps its pace, never gets tiresome, and delivers knockout punches continuously.

Cooper also illustrates really well, with a cartoon on almost every page. My favorite is the What To Do With Your Face section, where she shows the impact and importance of numerous facial expressions employed at meetings (See below). Her economy of line alone is worth the price of admission. Hirschfeld would not disapprove.

Cooper belabors the obvious to great effect (“Like most women, I’m not a man”), and her sarcasm could get anyone fired. It all makes for a delightful, effortless read that should replace the dreary One Minute Manager on every desk.

Editor's note: This review was has been reposted with permission of David Wineberg. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.