PRAISE FOR SMILE & SUCCEED FOR TEENS
142 Glowing Testimonials
"Smile & Succeed for Teens is a fantastic resource to help teens be successful at work."
--TEMPLE GRANDIN, Author, Thinking in Pictures, The Autistic Brain. One of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.
"Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World is a super helpful book on people skills that teens might actually read."
—Cathy Duffy Reviews
“Highly Recommended. I am giving this excellent book to my 16 year old granddaughter who just started her first part-time job while finishing grade 11."
—SPECIAL NEEDS BOOK REVIEW
“Packed from cover to cover a wealth of with indispensable tips… Thoroughly ‘reader friendly’ from beginning to end…Strongly recommended…”
—MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
"This is a book every teenager will enjoy reading as they develop those essential people skills needed for success."
—SAN DIEGO BOOK REVIEW
“It definitely has the potential to be a total life changing book…”
—THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE MAGAZINE
“I cannot tell you what an amazing resource your book Smile & Succeed for Teens, and the Parent’s Guide for Smile & Succeed for Teens is to our individuals.”
—KHADIJAH FARMER, NATIONAL DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
"One of the few books I recommend to families as a clinician specializing in ADHD and related challenges. I am a licensed social worker who specializes in working with kids who present with social learning challenges related to ADHD, Asperger's and higher-verbal autism. There are few books I recommend to parents because this generation of kids prefers watching things on YouTube to reading. Smile & Succeed is one of the very few books I'll recommend. It is easy for kids to ready, easy for parents to understand how to help their child use these important skills. Unlike many books that are designed to help kids improve their social competency Kirt's book is very accessible and user-friendly. I keep a copy of it as well as the workbook in my office for families to see."
—RYAN WEXELBLATT, LSW, CAS, Center for ADHD & Summer Travel Camp Director, Philadelphia, PA
"This multiple award winning book provides teens with a quick, easy, and fun way to improve their skills."
—PARENTING SPECIAL NEEDS MAGAZINE
"I recommend this book."
—THE ART OF AUTISM
"Smile and Succeed for Teens does provide people skills tips and skills for job hunting, customer service, and general success in life. With an entertaining and succinct delivery, Manecke’s book will be helpful to many teenagers attempting to find their way in the real world."
“Share this fabulous book with teens! Recently on PBS (#IMHO 9/8/2017), media star and successful entrepreneur Carlos Watson shared his opinion that if teens could learn just one skill in high school he’d rather that skill be sales than coding. Sales skills are people skills. Across all fields, good people skills top the list of what employers want.
Unlike aptitudes, skills are learnable. Hence the importance of this book: Any teen with the ambition for success can learn better people skills. "Smile & Succeed for Teens" identifies the most important people skills needed in the workplace and life. The book explains each skill and its application with a minimum of words. The book also has sketches that reinforce behaviors or concepts introduced. Most importantly, the author shows how these people skills can be adapted to many real life situations, in sales work (often the field of a teen’s first job), job hunting or volunteering.
Writing a book for teens, one they will actually read and use, isn’t easy, although Mr. Manake makes it appear effortless. Parents, teachers, teen career coaches and others who care about student success will want to add Smile & Succeed for Teens to their libraries.”
—CAROL CHRISTEN, author What Color Is Your Parachute for Teens
“The Whole World Smiles With You. Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, sometimes your smile is the source of your joy" as Thich Nhat Hahn accurately observed. Kirt Manecke nails the critical point for bringing a whole lot of joy to millions with his straightforward and practical Social Skills lessons. Valuable for persons of any age, I rate this a top text for teens especially due to the joy they will give themselves and others over a life time. You have me smiling for certain with this read Kirt Manecke. Excited to share forward.”
—MARLAINE C., Parenting 2.0
“As a former educator, and a mom of a teen, tween and almost ten year old, I absolutely loved the book and I’ll continue to recommend it.”
—JENNIFER COWART, EDUCATION REPORTER, CRANSTON HERALD, JOHNSTON SUN RISE, RI
“What a wonderful read! It is ideal for teens yet tweens and adults can read it and benefit immensely from it too! Easy, practical lessons and tips are sure to catapult your teen into successful work and life relationships! Worth every penny! Buy two & give one to your niece or nephew too!"
—JOEL KATTE, SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, AND FATHER TO TWO TEENAGERS, LEXINGTON, KY
“I love your book! It was a quick and easy read. It is perfect for any teen looking to get that first job and not only succeed in getting the job, but keeping the job. It’s common sense to us, but not to today’s technology connected students. I also liked how they connected activities students are already doing and interested in, into first time job opportunities. The book provides information that a parent may or may not provide to their teen. Even if they did, we know teens don’t always listen to their parents. My own kids, just by seeing the cover, wanted to take a look at it.
The ideas presented could be easily incorporated into the classroom. I think it should be on every Career Development Practitioner/Counselor’s bookshelf!”
—JENNIFER KLUESNER, Oakland Schools (MI), Regional Career Development and Career Cruising Coordinator
“A Valuable Resource for Teens and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder! Smile & Succeed for Teens is an excellent resource for assisting individuals who are on the Autism spectrum! When facilitating social skills groups or working with clients and their family members, one can quickly reference this book and individualize lessons to meet clients' needs. The book contains wonderful visuals and content is broken down in simple, user-friendly steps, which is perfect for individuals with ASD. This is a great resource for parents and professionals!”
—Teri Krakovich, Ph.D., Carmel, IN
“We just started with the book and they students are already remembering to smile more and give more eye contact!!!! “
—KEVIN HUSS, MBA, Instructor, Great Oaks Project SEARCH, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio
“I'm using this for "character" time in my classroom. It is written in simple language for the students to understand. Great resource. Glad I purchased it.”
—MEGHAN T., TEACHER
"I loved it, and so did the teens I shared it with. The best part is that one of my young friends applied for and got his first job!"
“The book is a fun and easy read. The format keeps it interesting and doesn’t have the appearance of being so wordy which is a plus for middle school students. I like having the teacher’s guide, it is a nice compliment to the book. This is a great book for pre-teens and teens to understand the what, how, and why of good communication. I love the format: easy to read, big print, bold titles, wired tips, straight to the point, pictures. The fact that each chapter is short makes it easy as well. I would love to share this with a high school teacher as well so they can use the job finding techniques. This is great for character education and life skills. Definitely recommend!”
—LEARNING MAGAZINE-Teachers’ Choice Award for the Classroom, Teachers’ Evaluation Comments
“For teenagers to read and absorb this book could very well alter the downward direction of interpersonal relationships gnawed by the plethora of social communication over the airwaves. It is an important book on so many levels. Highly recommended.”
—GRADY HARP, online review
“This book should be in the must-read section for middle schools as it teaches basic things that our kids should know.”
—RICK LITE, Marietta, GA
“Perfect for teens on the spectrum. Smile & Succeed for Teens very simply explains all the social skills and etiquette necessary to help prepare for getting a job. The format is fun, well-organized, and provides examples that make it easier to understand and remember. My son has Asperger’s, and proper social communication and good manners do not come naturally or easily for him. He needs to practice them as if learning a new language or script each and every day. As Temple Grandin said, to become “less autistic,” you need to “keep learning how to behave. It’s like being in a play.” This book is a good script to work from.
The steps were very easy for my son to understand. It is also a good review for adults venturing back out into job interviews. We often forget the basics or become complacent after we have been comfortably in the same job for a very long time.I would recommend this as a good read for any teenager beginning a job search, or starting a new job that requires customer service and sales skills. It is a MUST read for any teenager on the spectrum.”
—KELLY K, mother, Muskego. WI
“I have an aspie teenager who is now ready to enter the world of job searching and employment. This book is a perfect starting point for him. We've discussed a good portion of the things suggested in this book but sometimes teens want their information to come from someone besides mom. The book is full of illustrations, with big writing, lots of spaces and makes for easy and engaging reading. There are small sections to explain each idea. I admit I actually flipped through it and read it before handing it over to him as I wanted to actually see what the content was. This is a great starting point for teens and preteens who are curious about people skills and getting ready to enter the job world. I love that it has graphics that make it fun and engaging. And that it is broken up into steps and sections so they don't feel overwhelmed. The first part is a nice reminder to teens who seem to be only plugged into electronics. ”
—JEANETTE G., homeschool mom, Cleveland, TN
“Smile and Succeed for Teens can be considered as a How to Win Friends and Influence People guide for teenagers…Kids who implement the tips in Smile and Succeed for Teens will stand above all the rest…If our schools don’t teach these skills, then it’s imperative we provide our kids with other means to learn them…Teens who practice these winning strategies will form positive, professional habits that will set them apart from many of their peers.”
—DEBBIE GLADE, Journalist, Author, FL
“I am a high school teacher and I’m always on the lookout for something that will actually help teens. I have little interest in books that appeal to teachers but have no appeal to the students. This book has that appeal. What I like about the book is that Kirt Manecke never put in a lot of the padding you see in most books on the subject. Kirt gets right to the point. I can tell you that teenagers want to get to the point quickly and this book does just that. While a teen might not encounter everything in the book, Manecke makes sure that everything is at your fingertips. I can recommend this book to parents of youngsters who are, or who will soon be, teenagers. I can also recommend it to my teaching colleagues who are looking for a perfect structure for a class that will really help teens.”
—MARK ACKLEY, high school teacher, CA
“It has always been a challenge for young people to make the transition from school into the world of paid employment, but in today’s technocentric world, that challenge has become even bigger. Many young people simply do not have the people skills necessary to get and keep a job. This is a must-read book for all teens embarking on their working career. Those with high-functioning autism who struggle with communication skills may find it especially helpful because it offers clear-cut rules for how to behave. Indeed, the advice in Smile & Succeed for Teens is useful and relevant for anyone seeking to navigate the business world.”
—TODAY'S CATHOLIC HOMESCHOOLING
“Before you send your teen out to find a first job, be sure he reads this book! The best thing about this book is that my teenager actually read it. Several things about this book made it “teen readable.” It is not too long (120 pages), the font is not too small and there are clever sketches and drawings every few pages. Have your teen get a job this summer, but before you send him out, have him sit down for a couple of hours and read this book.”
—WILLIAM ALLEN, Father
“A direct, helpful guide without wasted words or time.”
—METRO PARENT MAGAZINE
“My teenage sons have been reading your book and it was their idea!”
—JENNIFER HOLDEN, Mother
"I think your book should be in every school in the country."
—JANUARY JONES, host, January Jones Radio Show, BlogTalkRadio
“This crash course in social skills for teens is packed with helpful hints, proven techniques, and must-do-now strategies. They’ll put down the electronics and feel good about it!”
—TCA (TEACHERS' CHOICE AWARDS) for the Classroom
“I gave your book to my son. He is the rough type, a hunter. I thought he’d either like it or not. He loves your book! He told me that he likes it so much he is going to take it to school to show his teacher! This is a huge compliment to you and your book!”
—CHRISTINA, mother, South Lyon, MI
“Our staff love the books in our Young Adult programs. Thanks again!”
—DR. JENNIFER SCOTT-BURTON, Executive Director , Special Education, Washtenaw ISD
"Many of my teen and young adult clients are preparing for their first job interview, the high school/college application and interview process, or the volunteering/community service experience. Smile & Succeed for Teens by Kirt Mancke is a valuable resource for me as a coach."
—LUNCH BUDDIES PLUS
“Although many teens may be digitally savvy they may lack the personal skills needed to make new friends or land a job, Smile & Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World by Kirt Manecke is an easy-to-read “crash course” in people skills for teens of all abilities. Since people skills is a deficit for many on the autism spectrum, it is especially relevant for autistic teens and young adults. Special educators who are working with students on employment and transition skills will find this book easy to use. I recommend this book.”
—DEBRA MUZIKAR, The Art of Autism
“Confidence builder. Got this for my high school junior. She said that it gave her some good pointers about coming out of her shell. She is feeling more confident about job interviews.”
“Kirt Manecke takes a topic that is so important for success and reduces it down to an extremely easy and understandable concept. Even in this day of technology people still do business with those they know like and trust. This book is easy to read and fun. A book that every teenager and everyone that was ever a teenager should read. Thank you Kirt for another gem.”
—CAROL BRINEY, author, speaker, trainer
“We have come across a wonderful book that can really help teens and young adults who are starting to embark on their journey into adulthood! This is a terrific book to give to your teenage grandchildren.”
“This book is a home run. As a father and businessman I strongly recommend this book. It’s great to watch my 12 year old daughter practice the skills she’s learned from the book, such as having a good handshake and making eye contact. It’s so fun to have conversations about what she notices when we go to different businesses. I know it has helped her to prepare for success by learning skills that she can use in school, and work, when she’s old enough. The book helps to teach skills that might not have sunk in so easily if they were coming straight from me.
The book has also enhanced my employee training and saved me time for those employees with little or no customer service experience. It should be required reading.”
—PETER WOTTOWA, father
"Just finished reading Smile and Succeed for Teens. As a youth serving professional, I am struck at how simple and direct this book is with wonderful tools for teens. It is written in accordance with the concrete nature of teen brain development. Many know that the adolescent brain is developed except for the pre frontal cortex which is not completely developed until the mid twenties. The prefrontal cortex is where executive cognitive functioning and decision making takes place. Young people need these simple skills for making friends, getting a job, succeeding in school, and working toward their hopes and dreams. This book is a must have! Thank you Kirt Manecke for caring enough about young people to give them another tool for their toolbox on the road to success. This book showcases how easy it is to be above average!"
— JONEEN MACKENZIE, President & Founder, The Center for Relationship Education, CO
“Smile & Succeed for Teens is perfect for today’s children and young adults! It is concise, has entertaining characters to convey the message, and gives practical examples to use in today’s world. This book covers basic manners, teaches sales techniques but also skills on how to sell themselves as the best candidate when applying for a job. A suprise bonus is the chapter, Be A Rock Star, which addresses the personal benefits of fundraising and volunteering and looks great on a resume’. In each chapter includes fun-filled facts or tips and websites for more information on a specific topic. Well done, Mr. Manecke, five stars!”
—AMY GRESOCK, Owner, My Busy Butterfly, LLC
“This book is a must-read for teens who need to know the must-know people skills for today’s wired world. Kirt Manecke wrote a fun, easy to read book, filled with valuable tips teen and adults can put into use during those few minutes a day when we put down our technology. Smiling when you greet someone, listening, looking a person in the eyes, shaking hands with a firm grip, seem simplistic to some, but are valuable lessons to be learned and practiced during our teen-age years so they become second nature to us as adults. My only regret is that I wasn’t aware of this book when my kids were teens. Now, it’s going to make a great gift for the teens in my extended family!”
—BRAD FRIEDMAN, father, CO
“This book deserves to ‘hit it big!’”
—SHARON HAMMER, English teacher, Davison, MI
“Excellent advice for today’s wired teen. Face-to-face communication seems to be a lost art amongst today’s technology-wired generation. Yet communications skills are vital for building relationships and landing and keeping a job. Smile & Succeed for Teens is a concise guide that instructs teenagers on what to do and what not to do to be approachable and successful. At 120 pages, it’s just the right length for teens who are used to fast-paced information. The text is broken up with cartoon sketches, bullet points, and quotes to make it visually interesting and teen-friendly. Topics include manners, body language, interview tips, and being a good employee.
Smile & Succeed for Teens is a must read for teens getting ready to enter the work force. The information would also be helpful for adults who could use a brush-up on good communication skills. Highly recommended.”
—SHERRY ELLIS, mother, GA
“Full of information - fun to read! I love this book! I found it enjoyable to read myself, as well as sharing it with my pre-teen grandchildren. I don't think it is necessarily only for teens - many children could benefit from this easy to read "how-to" book on social skills. I am particularly fond of the section discussing when the electronics should be turned off or put away. It is all too easy to let today's electronics keep the children busy - at the cost of social skills. This book turns learning social skills into a fun and easy-to-read format that doesn't sound preachy or over-bearing. Having short chapters on specific subjects makes finding information very easy. The sections on finding a job apply more to teens old enough to look for employment. I can see these sections applying to many situations involving adults and teens - teachers, parents, any adults.”
—DEBBIE M., mother and grandmother, Bloomington, Indiana
“What a fantastic book that teens can really use! As a teacher, I was shocked at how much teens rely solely on technology today and how many teens are severely lacking everyday people skills. Although practicing the chapter “Make Good Eye Contact” was extremely awkward for most students, I noticed a complete change in their confidence as they left my classroom.
Throughout the rest of the year, I caught many of my students mirroring the behaviors found in this book and many of them thanked me for sharing it. A good number of them even asked how they could purchase one for themselves! After our 8th grade graduation, where the students received their “diplomas” after shaking the principal’s hand, the principal came up to me and admitted that she had never seen a group of students who knew how to shake hands so properly and look her in the eye. I smiled to myself and knew that this book had worked!
I would recommend this book to any classroom or teen, whether you are working on behavior, writing a resume, finding jobs in the real world, or even volunteering for a Service Learning Project, this book has it all! Overall, this book is a true handbook for any teenager living in today’s wired world.”
—ALICIA, 6th-8th grade Language Arts Teacher
“Love it!!! Great book for Tweens and Teens! Simple skills that many of our young ones are missing! A must read!”
—TEACHER in southeast Michigan
“It is the execution of common people skills which make a difference in the customer experience. Smile & Succeed for Teens tackles these issues. You got it right!”
—ROBERT LAMEIER, President & CEO, Miami Savings Bank
“Adults should read it periodically also.”
“The book tackles real life examples, how to maintain eye contact, turn off technology, overcome stress, excel in customer service, volunteer effectively to make a difference, and much more! A great book teaching teens how to handle real life experiences, maintain eye contact, turn off technology, overcome stress and MORE!”
—ASHLEY ALTEMAN, Smashley Ashley, leading mommy blogger, San Diego, CA
“Fantastic book! Every teen should have this as mandatory reading in their repertoire of social tools. Too many teens have no idea of social interaction without a keyboard. Technology has left, in its wake, a generation of folks who cannot function without a keypad in their hands. Mr. Manecke brings to the teen level a set of skills and actions that have almost vanished from a teen’s personality. “Look them in the eye”, a “firm handshake, and even the taken for granted “please and thank you” are just a few of the points that seem to be fading away with teenagers. I’ve used this book with my own grandchildren and was frankly shocked at their surprise that all this positive behavior not only exists but can enhance a person’s everyday life. Many of the teachers I work with in the upper elementary level are now using this book as part of their own curriculums and the results are both immediate and noticeable. The illustrations are excellent. It is long enough to be thorough and complete, but not so long that it loses the reader. The people skills are spot on and can be applied to anything from social interaction to job interviews, to the written word. Five stars is not enough to do this book justice!!!! I highly recommend it to parents, educators, even grandparents. Thanks so much Mr. Manecke!”
—PHYLLIS BRANTINGHAM, Media Tech, MI
“Highly Recommended. I LOVE this book! I recommend it to everyone I know! It's easy to read and gives meaningful lessons. Many of the teens I work with have short attention spans, which can make learning harder for them, this book solves that problem. The lessons are short, and to the point. LOVE IT!!!”
—RACHELLE V., mother, special education teacher, Northville, MI
“This book has been so helpful for our family! The tips can be used in the home and the workplace. I have also used this book with the teens I work with. We use this as part of our job skills curriculum. It has made all the difference for them! It is well written and very easy to read. I also love the teacher's guide and use it as a supplement for my teaching. I recommend this book to everyone! You won't regret it!”
—PAM, mother, Michigan
"SMILE & SUCCEED FOR TEENS should be required reading. It's a quick read that give a crash course in social skills. If more children were exposed to these concepts at an early age we would all benefit from it."
"With teens absorbed in their computers, smartphones, and other electronics, many do not know how to communicate properly or professionally. Discussing ten top people skills, readers learn about smiling, eye contact, turning off electronics, using the word please, giving a firm handshake, introducing oneself, paying attention, enthusiasm, asking questions, and having proper body language. The book provides tips on job interviews, six “P”s of preparation, treating others, people skills, and making a difference.
Focusing mainly on a teen getting a job, excelling and keeping it, and giving back to others, this handbook covers the concepts thoroughly. There is much to say about presentation, etiquette, and how to deal with others that young adults need to learn to get further in life. I appreciate the common sense instructions on making others important and volunteering."
—CONNY WITHAY, SALEM, OR
“Have you ever read a book and thought how amazing it would be if everyone read it? This is that type of book. In fact I’d recommend it to anyone twelve or older. It presents the ways to communicate with others in the age of the Internet. This book will help teens navigate school, work and home situations. It will enable them to effectively manage their relationships with friends, teacher, parents and customers. It will also help teens to get their first job. What makes this book super fun is the illustrations. The parts of the book I really loved include the top ten people skills and the section on electronic etiquette. He explains when you should put your electronic devices away so you can focus on your real-life relationships. What this book does is it tells teens how to leave people with a good first impression. Teens who follow the advice in this book will have more friends, better jobs and more success all through life. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I give it my ultimate 100 star rating.”
—THE REBECCA REVIEW, REBECCA J., Kennewick, WA
"Exceptional book full of tips that teens can implement from day one. At first it looked incredibly simplistic, but when I sat down to read it I was very impressed. It IS simplistic-- but that's what is needed in this age when teens have practically no people skills. This book puts all the essentials into simple terms with plenty of examples. It primarily focuses on the skills needed to get and keep a job, but these are the same skills needed in all aspects of life. Skills and personal qualities that were taken for granted as must-haves in my youth are all but lost on today's teenagers. I started looking around me, and rare is the adolescent or teenager who acknowledges an adult with more than a grunt, avoiding eye contact, unsmiling. The mature, friendly, can-do teenager really stands out, as, oddly, underachievement has become cool. There is a sense of entitlement, that teens should be given jobs and opportunities without making the effort to engage with people, to dress appropriately, or to put their best foot forward and earn that job. Self-confidence and entitlement are two different things; the upbeat tone of this book instills self-confidence, not lecturing or talking down to teens, but giving the reader the interpersonal skills needed to start their own business, earn that job, get that donation, or succeed in any other goal. The tips given are so do-able that any teen can understand and begin to incorporate them right away. And the book also directs you to the author's website where many more free tips and articles on people skills are offered. Both of my teenagers will be reading this book!"
—CORDELIA, MOTHER, MA
“Must Read for All Teenagers! If you are looking for a book to pass along to your teenager on ways to improve "people skills and communication" this book is for you. It is to the point, not too long and has fun illustrations and examples that will keep your teenager interested. The bold headlines and large print makes it easy to read. The table of contents and end notes are categorized nicely, so that it can be referenced later with ease. I highly recommend this book for the teenager who needs improvement on communicating effectively with people. In general, it is a great book for those preparing for a job, volunteering, fundraising, or applying to college. I think your book should be a required "read" in all high schools! A must read for every teenager!! To be honest, many adults could benefit from reading this book too!”
—LORRAINE V., MOTHER, MORRIS, IL
"Skills for those wishing to survive the future, and for which school is not preparing its students: Manecke’s second book, Smile & Succeed for Teens presents a condensed version of his earlier volume written for the more mature reader wishing to increase their business success (Smile: Sell more with Amazing Customer Service). Given that so much of what is currently taught in schools and colleges are already proving to be of little transferable use to the employment marketplace (at least in terms of content), it is perhaps of greater importance than ever before that students be provided basic knowledge and practical advice re the power of people skills. Whether buying or selling, providing products or services, working for an employer or embarking upon an entrepreneurial path towards starting one’s own business, this book describes some key personal behaviours which can, and will, lead to early business (and personal) success if consistently observed and put into practice."
—DR. ANTHONY R. DICKINSON
President, Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology, and Research Advisor, Beijing Genomics Institute, China
“A quick and easy read targeted to teens that provides practical and detailed advice to introduce young people to the world of work and how to build a meaningful life. An incredible amount of important and useful information is packed into this concise book. Manecke writes in a clear, straightforward style and avoids preaching or lecturing. Important reading for every teenager.”
—MITCHELL R. ALEGRE, New York
“Concise and great discussion book. This is a great book. It is written concisely which I believe makes it so much easier to retain an to use for reference or memory jogging. I think the young teens, 13-14 can benefit most from it to give them a foundation for later learning. I also think a parent should read it at the same time and discuss it with their own life experiences.”
—READING FOR GRANDKIDS
“This is such a wonderful resource for teens! Whether teens are looking to obtain employment while still in school, preparing for college interviews, or simply gearing up for their future careers, Smile & Succeed for Teens: A Crash Course in Face-to-Face Communication helps them master important skills. Smile & Succeed for Teens is presented in a teen-friendly format, with short chapters, animated drawings, lots of lists and examples, and clear explanations of the concepts for improving people skills, such as communication, selling, customer service, fundraising, and more. With two teens in our homeschool, interviews, jobs, and college applications are close on the horizon, so Smile & Succeed for Teens has become an integral part of our life skills curriculum.
Each of the seven chapters is divided into smaller sections of just a few pages, so my boys read one section per day, and then we sit down together to discuss it and practice the skills. Smile & Succeed for Teens covers so many things that we didn’t think about teaching our teens, like eye contact, shaking hands firmly, and even mastering electronic etiquette. The format of the book makes it easy to use as a handbook, so my boys will reference it as needed when they begin venturing out into the “real” world.”
—ANNE CAMPBELL, Mother, Learning Table blog, SC
"To be honest, there isn’t anything new in this book. It’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” for teens. It’s everything you’re likely to read in any self-help book or what you might have learned in your “business and careers” class in school or what any job training session will teach you. Smile. Be polite. Listen. Work hard. Be nice. The language is simplified for teens, but really even my eight-year-old could read it with ease.
The book starts with the “Top 10 People Skills”, including “Smile”, “Make Eye Contact”, “Turn Off the Electronics” and “Say Please and Thank You”. These are basic skills that any decent parent will try to impart long before their child reaches the teen years. But, admittedly, with our electronics obsession, some of these skills don’t get practiced as much as they should since people (especially teens) tend not to interact face-to-face as much anymore. The rest of the book is basically applying these skills to different situations such as getting a job, interacting with customers, making sales, volunteering and fundraising. Each chapter is a brisk few pages with illustrations, a “Here’s how” section, text boxes with anecdotes, tips and wired tips and other short snippets. If your attention span lacks, this book is for you."
—DIENNE, CICERO, IL
“A handbook teenagers will use almost as much as their phones! I loved how quick and easy it was to read, not to mention the many wonderful and usable tips. Smile and Succeed for Teens is a quick and easy resource for any teen who wants to be a step ahead in the marketplace. It provides tips you will be able to start using immediately, not just at work or school, but in every area of your life. Knowing how to be a great communicator is something many people think is common sense, but even though it's simple, it's not common at all. This book shares all the secrets you need to build strong relationships, get that job, become a star at customer relations and lead a fulfilling life. I do not hesitate to give this book 5 stars. Kudos on a well written book. ”
—DEBBIE POKORNIK, Chief Empowerment Officer, EmpoweringNRG.com, Manitoba, Canada
“Practicle advice for teenagers. My 16 year old daughter was interested in reading this book. As she prepares to head out and look for an opportunity to getting in the working field, she thought a few tips would be helpful. My daughter read it and she liked it. I think she is more confident and looks forward to the opportunity to get a job and begin getting experience in this area. The part that she liked best was how to act in an interview - I think this had her a little nervous. She is a little more confident now after reading the book. Overall it has good and simple advice, something that can be practiced everyday with the people around you. Trying to keep connected in the real world with real people while being genuine.”
—ANA, MOTHER, BRYANT, IN
“I bought this book last week for my special education class and already I see that their attitudes have improved. They are smiling, making eye contact and engaging me in conversation-all things they learned from the book! Smile & Succeed for Teens really makes a positive difference in their lives.”
—TEACHER, Special Education, Southeast MI
“A great education and personal-development manual for teens and post-teens. RECOMMEND HIGHLY. I’m just another parent-grandparent joining many others in recommending this most helpful book. It’s won awards from Mom’s Choice Gold Award for excellence, Teachers’ Choice Award, and the IPPY Gold Award (Independent Publisher Book Awards).
But why do I recommend it personally? (1) The author has the background for this communications and success stuff and shares it concisely and clearly. (2) Knowing how to communicate and present yourself to friends, classmates, business leaders, etc., is the BIGGEST SKILL anyone, youth or adult, can develop. (3) Social and communication skills have become sadly-lacking for the present and the previous generation, ever since the rise of electronic media and ever-present entertainment.
The book says “for teens.” Well, I’m about 55 years past that group – but I benefited greatly and know younger and older folks than I am will too. This seems like a simple book, well-outlined and developed, but it’s really a step-by-step manual that can direct motivated people of all ages for life!”
“This crash course in social skills for teens is packed with helpful hints, proven techniques, and must-do-now strategies.”
—THE MAILBOX, by the Education Center, LLC
“I like the book format and content.”
—Maris A., teacher
"Like a "How to Win Friends and Influence People" for Teens: This is a super book for teens and young adults, too. The content is relevant, impactful and necessary; the approach is suited for teen readers who may not be thrilled about reading it. The contents are well organized into 1-2 page topics dealing with general interpersonal skills, job-oriented skills, and life-enhancing skills. The assortment of topics are presented in an appealing manner with illustrations and a variety of font. The author provides education on skills that teens do not automatically learn or practice; in fact, some of them are counter intuitive for teens. The book also inspires readers to begin thinking about their entrance into the workplace and developing marketable skills that will serve them throughout their career.”
—CRAIG STEPHANS, FATHER OF A 12 YEAR OLD, NC
“This book is easy to read and has cute illustrations. If you have a teen who is wanting to get a job or learn helpful tips in presenting himself or herself, this is a helpful start.”
—KAREN BEST WRIGHT, GRANDPARENTINGBLOG.COM
“And the average teenager needs to read it.”
—ABOUT.COM PARENTING, GRANDPARENTING
"Your book is a great one for teens! I love the simple, straightforward explanations and the graphics in the book!"
“Kirt's series of books on customer service are so accurate with such a simple message...smile, be nice, treat people with respect. These are the skills that will build a connection with your customer base and I use in my business. Our school district has purchased his teen books for courses in both our middle and high schools. If you're a teacher or school administrator I highly recommend these books to teach these skills to our youth.”
—MICHELLE HUTCHINSON, MOTHER, HIGHLAND, MI
“I read the book first and then provided the opportunity for my teen-aged daughters to read this book. The girls liked the format of the book and especially liked the illustrations. It is the kind of book that you don't have to read all at once and they went through it picking out their favorite parts first. They said that Kirt Manecke had some pretty good advice - high compliment from a teen-ager for sure. I liked the format of the book and how easy it was to read it. I would like for counselors and health and wellness teachers to have copies of this book. I believe that would prove useful and helpful for the teachers and the students. Five stars from me.”
—E. ERVIN, TN
"I have several teenage granddaughters and I was thrilled to receive this book to review especially after I read it. First this book is very well written, not boring. It has some really cute pictures to help bring what is being said more in light. What is that? Wisdom! That would be the word that I would use for this book, Great Wisdom. Our author takes the reader through main scenarios that they would encounter while holding down a job. Example, "How should you greet a customer? How should you answer a question if you don't know the answer? How should you answer the phone? And the list goes on. Our author does a great job and leaves very little out. It isn't at all a boring read, but chuck full of wisdom and delivered in a catching way. Reading and applying what is read will definitely give the reader, young or old, a hands up at whatever job, or even in school projects that they are trying to accomplish. I think this book is great and I am very happy to recommend it to you. Very helpful and very well written."
—SHIRLEY PRISCILLA JOHNSON, SENIOR REVIEWER, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
"I loved this book so much!! It is book that ALL parents and their teens need to read! Don't pass this book up! It is a GREAT guide on how to connect with people in this plugged in world! There is so much packed into this book but in a way that will engage all youth! It is not a text book, but a resource and can be read over time! Such a great read! I plan to utilize many of the tips in this book myself! 5 stars."
—EMILY L., Appleton, WI
“Do you have a shy teenager? Is your teen uncomfortable talking with adults or others? Smile & Succeed for Teens provides the words and methods for shy teens to feel self-confident and comfortable talking with others. The perfect teen stocking stuffer, graduation gift, and everyday gift. Smile and Succeed for Teens is a potentially life changing must-read for teens. The book is full of valuable tips and information designed to help today’s youth develop skills imperative for their success in dealing with employers, customers, family, and friends.
The author wastes no time with fluff or padding, which in my opinion can cause readers, especially boys, to quickly loose interest, instead he dives right in with The Top Ten People Skills. If your teen decides to employ any techniques from this book, The Top Ten People Skills should be it. In this short chapter teens are taught how to smile, make good eye contact, shake hands firmly, introduce themselves, ask questions, use proper body language, just to name a few. A host of other topics are covered in the subsequent chapters like dealing with customers, applying for jobs, and the importance of volunteer work.
The priceless information covered is presented in an easy straightforward and concise manner, perfect for today’s busy teens or reluctant readers. In just 144 pages, the author provides readers with a vast amount of advice that is an asset to their future success. I was so impressed with this book that I have already order additional copies for each of my teenagers and have recommended it to friends and family raising teens. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Smile and Succeed for Teens. You and your teen will be thankful you did.”
—STACIE THEIS, mother, BeachBoundBooks, CA
“Smile & Succeed brings teens into the real world of communicating like a pro. Smile & Succeed for Teens: A Crash Course is Kirt Manecke's easy-read guide to basic people skills. Teens in their first job to adults with much experience would do well to read this succinct, plain-English guide to everything from customer service to communicating with teachers’ parents, and friends. It's not patronizing; it's a grown-up, practical way to make those uncomfortable encounters shine! Highly recommended for teens, for scouts, for schoolkids planning a service project. The confidence of knowing what it takes to succeed at work and in social situations is well-worth it.”
—MARY E. LATELA, Missouri
"Every teen should read this (and probably some adults too!) This is a terrific book for preteens and teens alike, especially in the age when kids (and adults!) can't seem to put their phone down long enough to engage in a meaningful conversation. I sometimes run a mentoring group for preteen girls and this would be a great book to go through with them. The chapters are short and lend themselves very well to a group setting. Each chapter has one specific thing to work on, so kids could focus on that for the week and then discuss at the next session. I like that much of the advice is very specific. The advice is straight to the point and easy for teens to understand. I love that it also prepares kids for the future, warning that college admissions officers will indeed look at their social media and to think about the long term implications of the things they post online. In addition to the things in the book, there is also an online resource component that has follow up details (such as "Questions to Ask when you first meet someone"). There is some great material here and this is a book every teen should read!"
—LINDSY W., Mother, Children's Ministry Director at East Lake Road Alliance Church, Erie, PA
"In my teenage daughter’s words, 'Good concept and execution. I really like the step-by-steps. This is important information and a good book. I like the focus on jobs, and the persuasion bit. There were good stress-reducer skills. I LOVE the helping people and animals section [section on volunteering].'
In my words: 'By the time I’d scanned the table of contents, I could already tell that I was going to want my daughter to read it. The book is clear, brief, and specific. It tells teens exactly what to do in many situations, and uses a step-by-step format that almost any teenager can apply and benefit from immediately. No matter how you look at it, the content is very valuable. I strongly endorse this book.'"
—DUANA WELCH, developmental psycologist, Austin, TX
“Manecke’s book presents valuable people skills in a short, simple format that’s customized for teens but works for younger children as well. His book can help boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence in dealing with people, creating successful relationships with friends, family and teachers, and becoming comfortable and confident selling, fundraising and doing volunteer work.”
—DONNE DAVIS, The GaGa Sisterhood
“A book to read before you go to work! As a middle school teacher, I can definitely see a need for etiquette reminders. What seems like common sense to most people is not necessarily the case for all teens. Our digital world has teenagers hiding behind their personal devices. Even in the classroom, I get emails from students that appear to be more like texts, filled with abbreviations, slang, no punctuation, etc. I could foresee classroom teachers using this for career planning and building (required in my state), as well as in a social skills class. I think this book would jigsaw nicely with different groups sharing what they have learned from each section, perhaps in some sort of meaningful project, like creating videos or brochures. I have also had the opportunity to work with virtual school students and I believe this book would be a great text for a career planning course for virtual students, as it is an easy and straight forward read. I would love to see employers hand this book out when they hire teenagers . Someday when my children ask me if they can get a part-time job, I hope to find this book again…and have them read it beforehand.”
—PAM M., middle school teacher, Appleton, WI
“This seems straightforward and helpful. It is basic but important advice for this generation as they enter the world of employment.”
“Smile and Succeed for Teens by Kirt Manecke has one very important yet very simple message: smiling at people leads to success. While it may be obvious to many adults, particularly those with an inborn talent for winning friends and influencing people, it’s something that doesn’t come naturally to everybody. Teenagers in particular have a tendency to want to burrow in their cave and communicate with grunts, so this book should be made mandatory reading to anybody in the 13-21 age group.
Of course, it’s not good enough to say “smile” and expect people to know how. That’s why the author goes through the process of teaching eye contact, posture and body language. He gives an overview of good manners and explains how to be a good listener. The book deals with various aspects of teenage life: how to make people like you, how to land a job, how to prepare a CV, how to apologize and mean it, how to make a difference. I only wish I’d come across it when I was 13.”
—YVONNE EVE WALUS, UK
“Smile & Succeed for Teens helped me realize that the way you put yourself into the world matters. I like how it includes ‘How To’ tips so we enter the subject prepared.”
“Now I know when to have my phone out and when not to.”
“I love Smile & Succeed for Teens! The tips work. This book is amazing!”
“I found the book personally inspiring. I would not have known what to do and what not to do in an interview.”
“This book is very helpful as I often look down when I talk and I also have bad posture.”
“The book is valuable. For instance, I didn’t really know there was a specific way to shake someone’s hand.”
“My big brother and I want to start a dog walking business. Smile & Succeed for Teens will really help us get started.”
“This book helped me with eye contact, shaking hands, greeting people, and knowing what to wear for special occasions. I learned when to not be on my phone.”
“I found this book very helpful in using proper body language. I slouch a lot and now I know it isn’t very respectful.”
“Smile & Succeed for Teens is useful to me because I am shy. I am a babysitter and I learned to smile and make eye contact. I love the pictures!”
“Now I know how to act in an interview.”
“The book is effective as I am not the best with eye contact.”
“I like the tips and directions on smiling and how to shake hands.”
“I use this book to prepare for an interview, get a job, learn how to speak to adults, and more.”
“I learned how not smiling can affect me. I am glad I read it.”
“I loved the book Smile and Succeed for Teens because I found it extremely helpful. Your book could actually change every teen’s life around the world. The book has changed my perception of people skills by teaching me to pay attention and listen whenever someone is telling me something. The parts of the book that were most useful were calling people by name, shake hands firmly, and to apologize and mean it. “
“A way this book changed me is that it taught me how to be a good employee and how to do things the correct way. I’m going to use this so I can show my customers how good of an employee I can be so they want to come back and see me again on my shift. I am going to use this on a daily basis to show the company I can be successful and keep the product I’m selling popular.”
“Smile & Succeed for Teens is the best book for teens trying to get ready to have a job. In this book you will learn all about people skills and everything you need for a job interview. I think this book will eventually help when I’m trying to get a job.”
“Using these everyday skills really helped me and I think it would help a lot of people who read this book. The most useful part of Smile & Succeed for Teens would be practicing proper body language. This book taught me that you should stand and sit up straight. If you have proper body language people respect you more. If you smile at people they will respect you and it is easier to start conversations without it being awkward.”
“The Smile & Succeed for Teens book can really change your life. I want to thank whoever wrote this book.”
“This book inspired me to go after what i want in life. Thank you so much for helping me out in life.”
“Smile and Succeed for Teens is the perfect book for preparing for life and the future. With all the tips and tricks this book has, it is great for learning good people skills. When I grow up, I would love to be a golf caddy. Smile and Succeed & Succeed for Teens is the perfect book for career readiness. I hope you continue to make more books to help educate people like me.
“I have already been using some of the tips, like smiling and greeting people or just saying hello. Smile & Succeed For Teens is a very helpful book. It may be meant for teens but can also help adults because it shows how to be a good person. It also is very educational. It may not be math or the scientific method but it is teaching how to be communicative with people other than on electronic devices and how to prepare for face to face communication with people. This book has opened my eyes a lot and it showed me the right way to act.”
“Overall, the book is fantastic. The book itself is useful to all, but for me, I like the first chapter because the chapter talks about smiling, and smiling is one of the most important skills to become a successful person. I will use this content in my daily life to become more successful in college, work, or any type of work in school. I will use this information on a regular basis during a presentation or during a performance. This information will be useful in the future during a job interview or working in a job.”
“The people skills in this book have definitely benefited me. I like this short read. It gave me a bit of confidence, because I know what I’m doing, and how to present in front of an audience. I have a problem with eye contact, it makes me instantly feel awkward, so I don’t really look people in the eye…. Well that was before I read this book. Whenever I realize I’m looking down or not directly at them, I know I need to suck it up in order to get what I want or need, or even to just be polite! I now try eye contact on a daily basis, and I’m still uneasy but Smile and Succeed for Teens has helped.It’s a good book to read because it tells you the truth about what customers want and how they need to be cared for. It gave me a new perspective on how to help people and be polite. I believe this book was well done.”
“I will use this content in my daily life in the future for different things. One of the things I will use are the parts where they help you with interviews. I will also use the customer tactics if I do get a job where i am selling. I will probably use this content for a lot of things in the future like getting a job and other stuff.”
“I have always looked forward to having a job, but I never knew how and where to get a good job like a salesperson. Now I know where and how to find a job and how to act at an interview. Your book is a really good book and I would definitely read it again once I get my first real job. Your book was 131 pages of fun to read content. The 7 chapters that you made are fun. The people skills I learned from your book are going to help me with everything from a job interview to an awkward situation with parents, family, friends, and. Although the whole book was helpful, I found that the top ten people skills the most helpful. I also found the flyer/poster making portion very helpful. I used these skills with making posters and flyers for musicals, plays, and promoting jobs around the neighborhood. The wired tips like ”small stuff matters a lot” were also a fun component. Your book was very well written and I would read it again.”
“I liked your book because it inspired me to try harder in school. The section that I found to be helpful was making good eye contact. That helped me because I never used to make good eye contact with many people. Now that I’ve read that section it has helped me make better eye contact. It also helped me present better. I could use this in the future because it will help me get a job. Also it will help me get through college. It could also help me when I’m on an interview. One other thing it could help me with is when I greet customers.”
“Your book is filled with useful information for teens around the world. My 21st century class read your book together, and we all found it interesting. Your book taught us to smile at everyone, and not have a dead fish hand shake. I never thought it was important to know people skills, but now I realize how critical it is. I found the section on a proper handshake most useful. I used to have a dead fish handshake but now I know how important a proper handshake is. This will be helpful when I’m meeting new adults. I have a family gathering soon, and there will be some people there that I haven’t met. I’m going to use the people skills I learned from this book at this event. I believe that I will use this information every day that I can. The information in Chapter 2 will be very useful for me when I’m trying to get a job in the future.”
“The most useful parts in Smile and Succeed for Teens are smiling and good manners. Smiling can make someone else smile, and probably make their day. Smiling shows that you are enthusiastic and that you enjoy your work. Good manners, such as “Please” and ”Thank You” never grow old. It shows respect and appreciation. You can use the skills shown in the book for daily life. Introducing yourself and making a new friend is a good example as well as remembering and using names. Having friends keeps you connected with each other and the world around you. Saying someone’s name shows that you remember them and leaves an impression. These are life-long skills. I honestly would not change anything in the book. I don’t think that anything should be added to make it more helpful, because it is helpful enough! I have an upcoming fundraiser for my band class, so the skills in this book will help me sell more. I never fully realized how important eye contact is and knowing someone’s name.”
“This book taught me to be prepared. This book helped me a lot, it improved many things. You need to have a good first impression the first 10 seconds. You need to smile. I am now a much nicer person. I use please and thank you and have better social etiquette. This book helps many people. I have heard really good things about this book from other people. I believe this book could change the way people act and live. This book helped me a lot. I will use this content to help in my daily life. I will use social etiquette and all the other categories in the book. This will help me because it will help me make a lot of new acquaintances. I will also be better at interviews which will help me get the job that I want. I will be more polite by saying please and thank you. I will be more enthusiastic at many more things including community service, helping other people etc. This book has changed my life in many ways. I am now a better person which is what I want for me and everyone else. In conclusion, I am a better person all around. I believe this will help me in the future.
“Your book helped me quite a bit. I learned a few things that can be very helpful in the future, such as learning how to dress properly, or how to even smile and shake hands correctly. One of the most important would be the social media etiquette. Whatever you put on the internet is what you can’t get it back. Some people put an inappropriate picture or message and think its not a big deal, but it can affect you. When a person is sending an email out to their boss or family they should always write in complete sentences. I also think that teaching how to dress and how to be prepare for an interview is very important. These are life-long skills that can be super helpful. I will always keep my phone off, or on silent at all times during school and work. In the future I will most likely use all the skills in the book.”
“Your book is going to help me in the future and prepare me for my first job. It taught me to be polite and have a good handshake. Learning to do stuff correctly as a teen makes a lot of things easier. Smile and Succeed for Teens was a quick learn and read. It made me more confident and able to talk to adults. It gave me a lot of advice for jobs and ways to communicate. After reading this my life was a whole lot easier. Now I’m more polite and I smile at people walking down the road. Your information will help me in the future when I get a job. The most important things in your book are to have a good handshake and always have a smile on your face. It’s polite and gives a good first impression. This book was a great book.”
“I highly recommend Smile and Succeed for Teens to all teen 21st century learners. It covers many basic principles that surprisingly not many teens know. I like this book because it even covers the technology of the 21st century. This book truly covers it all! This book helped me because it explained in detail on how to master people skills. The book lists everything from basic eye contact to turning off electronics during interviews. People skills are very important because they help you get places in life. I think one of the most useful parts of the whole book is the section on getting the job. It explains everything from nailing the interview and getting your resume ready, in detail! I think that is really help full! The best part is that after that chapter, the book explains how to keep your job and get very effective results. Some of the skills are basic manners! An example of how you can use this in your daily life is in presentations. If you go to school, which can be very nerve racking! Another example of real life use is sending business emails. The book shows proper etiquette so you will know how to send a proper email! This book is good for helping to overcome shyness. Last year I had a successful jewelry business. My company earned over 140 dollars from selling bracelets at school. I wish I had this book then! Eventually the company fell apart because I didn’t know how to maintain it. If I had this book, I would know exactly what to do! This book is great book for teens looking in to a job or just teens anywhere! In conclusion, this book was a great help to me and a very helpful tool. I can definitely agree that it made me smile!”
“Smile & Succeed For Teens is an amazing book for everyone looking for a job. Especially for teens. If you’re 11 to 17, you’ll love this book. This book taught me how to become a successful business person. Although I’m only in middle school, and obviously don’t have a full time job, this book motivated me to get ready for the winter. I’m going to start a snowplowing business. Once the first snow falls, I’m going to print out a flyer for my snowplowing business. I’m going to go around the neighborhood and put the flyers into each house’s mailbox. If I happen to run into anyone, I have to make sure to remember my people skills. I will smile, and with a nice clear voice introduce myself and ask what their name is. All of this may not seem important, but in the first 10 seconds, your first impression can mean a lot. Because if they’re giving me their money, why would they give it to someone slouched over and disrespectful. It is by far one of the best books I have read for teens looking for a job. One of my own people skills that I need to work on is eye contact. Eye contact is known to be one of the most difficult people skills. But luckily I know that other people struggle with the same people skill. “ I can present in front of people I know, but not people I’m meeting for the 1st time. I can have a good smile and a loud voice while presenting something. But I can’t look at the crowd. If I do, it just gets awkward and uncomfortable. This book will help you overcome these problems, so I recommend getting it! This book will not only help your people skills get better, but your knowledge on how the world works will be better too. If you get this book, you’re guaranteed to get a job somewhere. I think that every teen in general should get this book. I can’t wait till I’m 16. Honestly, I can’t wait to get a job. I can’t wait to own and manage my own money. This book will help me get to that position, so I recommend you do the same! All in all, this book should be an excellent accessory for all teenagers.”
"Great resource to teach teens how to score a great job! I love that this book helps to teach teens everything from giving a good handshake to how to ace an interview! Frankly, it is a shame that these topics are not taught in schools, and for any parent that wants their teen to have the know-how on how to stand out from the crowd, they should consider buying this book!"