UT professor authors book about interpersonal skills

Omar Gamboa

An award-winning UT professor known for his enthusiasm in the classroom has authored a book he hopes will inspire others to reach their goals through effective communication techniques.

Communication studies and management professor John Daly unveiled his latest book, “Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others,” on Thursday night at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. Daly, who teaches interpersonal communication skills to both College of Communication and McCombs School of Business students, said he’s been a part of UT’s faculty for 34 years now, and has written more than 100 scholarly articles and completed six academic books.

“I want everyone to know about what I’ve taught and included in this book — it’s a zealous goal of mine,” Daly said.

Building on the interpersonal communication lessons Daly teaches, he says the art of persuasion is the message that he wants to present to a much wider public with the book, which pushes aside many of the restrictions he felt his previous academic textbooks contained.

“It’s all about how good you are at selling your arguments that gets you on top, I say — and the best way to learn to do that is to study others who already know how to present themselves,” Daly said. “Networking isn’t ‘who you know,’ but ‘who knows you’ and how you’ve influenced them over time.”

Campus Club administrative coordinator Morgan Jones said she took Daly’s course as a communications student at UT and that she has carried what she learned there along with her in both her career and her relationships.

“I love my job and I think that maybe his communication lessons should very well be thanked for it,” Jones said. “It’s now my job to highlight this facility, and we just wanted to help him sell his work.”

Communication graduate students Nicholas Merola and Nadina Sandlin said they remember going to Daly’s lectures and seeing undergraduate students that were not even enrolled flooding the classroom only to see the professor “do his thing.”

“I just can’t wait to dig in,” Merola said. “This book has pretty much been in the making for four years by Daly, and I’ve been waiting to read his enthusiasm on paper.”

Both Merola and Sandlin said they agreed the charisma and animated gestures of Daly in the classroom would have to be called a “dance” because of its inability to be described.

“It feels really nice having someone close to you being able to do this and get their word out,” Sandlin said. “What Daly teaches is something that everyone can take in and use in any situation — you’ll definitely take it with you.”