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Introduction to Book V

The purpose of Book V is to show you how to talk in some of the trying, and unusual, conditions that arise from time to time in every life.

You are now to apply the principles of the first four books very definitely.

You will, of course, use all the speech principles given in Book I, the psychology given in Book HI, and the methods explained in Books II and IV.

Full mastery of the principles given in this book will make you not only self-controlled, but an actual master of menand all by talking properly.



How to Make Excuses


"Why didn't you tell me?"

"Why haven't you done it?"

"Why did you leave this out?"

"Why didn't you write?"

"Why didn't you say so?"

Have you ever heard these words?

You have, and you may comfort yourself with the fact that everyone else has also.

Is there a psychological way in which to give an excuse?

Think out the purpose of an excuse.

You should have done something. You did not do it. You believe that you were prevented by reasons beyond your control.

What should you say . to overbalance your embarrassment and to prevent anger?

Here is the answer: Put the other person in your position. Disarm him. Take his place, and his weapons, and fight for him. You will certainly modify whatever he may say.

Follow this example. You are a salesman. You should have made an entry in your sales book, but you did not. A complaint has arisen, and you are faced by the big "WHY?"

Immediately take the questioner's part.

"Mr. Jackson, that entry was not made. It should have been made. It is almost inexcusable. If I were you I should certainly be annoyed. It interferes with everything. The only reason I know of is that, just as I was about to make the entry, Mr. Gordon said, Tut your book down and come here. I'm in a hurry.' So I forgot it. I don't blame you for being irritated."

There is very little that the man can say except what you have said, and your having said it has robbed that of force.

Give an excuse as follows:

1. Immediately assume the questioner's point of view.

2. Speak of the results of your error.

3. Then, as if incidental, give, very briefly, your best reason for not having done the work.

4. End your speech by again assuming the questioner's point of view.

Do all this openly and frankly, honestly, in a manly way, without cringing, begging, or supplicating, and it will prove successful. Be absolutely hone3t, and quick, to see the other's point of view.

You will succeed because you enter the other person's mind and take his words before he speaks them.


You agreed to meet a friend at four o'clock. You^ forgot it. Think over the wording of the excuse youi will give him.

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