Book Review: Stop Talking, Start Influencing by Jared Cooney Horvath

Stop talking, Start Influencing, by Jared Cooney Horvath, breaks down 12 key ideas from brain science and looks at how they can be implemented in the classroom. I first came across this book when Horvath was a guest on Jake Miller’s Educational Duct Tape podcast.

After listening to the interview, I knew that I needed to read this book. It blew my mind, and I’m incredibly glad that I bought this book.

Stop Talking, Start Influencing by Jared Cooney Horvath

The book takes some of the deep, complex ideas of brain science and learning, but puts it into very easy to understand explanations. While Horvath does get into a lot of the technical scientific language of brain learning, he focuses a lot of the book into useful explanations. The use of analogies and metaphors not only helped me understand these concepts but also applied the content of the book to help the reader see how these ideas work in a teaching setting.

Although we can listen to multiple people speaking at the same time, we can only truly understand one person speaking at a time.

Jared Cooney Horvath, Stop Talking, Start Influencing

He then takes these underlying foundational truths and shows on a practical level how they can be implemented in a classroom. This pattern of theory followed by application makes it easy to see how these scientific ideas can work in your individual classroom.

In all honesty, there were several ideas mentioned in the book but I remember being told in professional learning sessions before, but they never really stuck. One of the things that this book did to make these ideas stick is to get into the why.

We’ve all been told about things like summarizers and revisiting information periodically, but stopped talking really emphasizes why these practices are important as well as how they help students learn information. It explains how the brain processes these activities and how that aids in memory and retention.

In fact, memory can increase up to 20 per cent when images and speech are combined.

Jared Cooney Horvath, Stop Talking, Start Influencing

Overall, the book was a great read and was super engaging. It was not overly scientific and difficult to understand, and it connects to a lot of practical application. I plan on going back through it sometime in the next couple months to really get all the information and take it to heart before school starts back. Implementing these principles into my classroom next year something that I think will help me become a better teacher.

If you’re looking for something that will help improve your students’ retention and help your lessons stick more, this book is definitely a must read.

Published by Lee Tucker

Lee Tucker is a high school English teacher who not only teaches literature and writing but also creates it himself. Lee is a huge fan of fantasy and science fiction, video games, comic books, and all things nerdy.

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