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Famed Actor Alan Alda on the Secrets to Better Communication

In his new book, 'If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?,' the M*A*S*H star examines the science behind why we connect, why we don't and why listening is the best sales strategy.

This story appears in the June 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The fact that he’s a famous actor is probably the least fascinating thing about Alan Alda these days. A likable and inquisitive guy, Alda spent 11 years interviewing scientists for the documentary show Scientific American Frontiers. The experience of trying to understand brilliant minds doing important work inspired him to partner with Stony Brook University to establish the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, which teaches scientists strategies for conveying their ideas to laypeople. It also inspired him to launch a deeper investigation into how people -- scientists, teachers, businesspeople, dentists and so on -- communicate. The fruit of that research is his surprisingly useful new book, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating.

Based on photo courtesy of Alan Alda / Illustration by Luke Wilson
Alan Alda

Related: The 10 Communication Skills Every Entrepreneur Must Master

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