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Carlos A. Alvarenga

communications researcher, writer, and coach


"All of my work — research, writing, coaching — has one thing in common: I help people access ideas and information often located in specialized, scholarly, or technical sources. My mission is to simplify and summarize complex information and make it accessible to anyone who reads what I write or works with me on a coaching project." — Carlos Alvarenga

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Have you ever wondered what makes someone convincing or why some messages persuade when others do not? Have you ever struggled with how to create a persuasive message, story, or presentation? Do you want to understand how persuasion can be used to corrupt or to achieve dangerous ends?

My new book, The Rules of Persuasion: How the World’s Greatest Communicators Convince, Inspire, Lead—and, Sometimes, Deceive (Post Hill Press, 2023) not only explains exactly how persuasion works in all forms of human communication, it also presents a clear and effective model you can use to put the elements and chemistry of persuasion to work for you in your personal and professional lives.

Using insights and examples from art to history to literature to hip-hop, author Carlos Alvarenga updates and expands ideas first presented in Aristotle’s Rhetoric, adding original observations regarding the role of the audience in persuasion, persuasion in social media, as well as what happens when the rules of persuasion are used to deceive and corrupt audiences—even entire nations.



I am an independent communications researcher, writer, and coach.


Prior to my current roles, I was the Executive Director of World 50 Labs, the member-innovation team at World 50, Inc. Before World 50, I was a Principal in Ernst & Young’s Advisory Practice and, earlier, a Managing Director at Accenture. I also served as an adjunct professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

I am currently a Ph.D. student in English at the University of Maryland, where my research focuses on the rhetoric of trauma.

I reside in Bethesda, MD, with my wife, a physician/researcher at the National Institutes of Health, and am the father of two sons.


A classically trained pianist, I am a lifelong student of the music of the great

Bill Evans.




I am currently a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Communications and English. My research focuses on communications and rhetoric.


Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classics


B.A., Humanities and Classics

Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa

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