Thursday, April 24, 2008

Flubbing The Story: 10 Communication Mistakes We All Make (part 1)

Most conversations include at least one story. Some longer conversations include two dozen or more stories! When you tell someone a story, it's really important to you that the person you are talking to listens. It makes you feel good when they "oooooh" and "ahhhhhh." When people gloss over your stories you feel let down and sometimes hurt. Our stories are important to us and we want them to be important to others.

Everything you have become today is part of your life story, the sum of all of your stories about your life. It means the world to you when people are fascinated by your stories.

Remember when the little Texas girl, Jessica McClure fell in the well and got trapped? It took three days to get her out. The nation watched. Would she live or die? Could the rescuers get her in time? That happened in 1987, you don't even know Jessica but you probably remember it to this day! Each year millions of people die and experience incredible events. The story of Jessica was a great story and it unfolded right before our eyes. The media calls these kinds of stories, "human interest" stories. They sell news shows because people are engaged by the drama. Each of us has at least one human interest story to tell about ourselves. A time when you survived something dramatic. You overcame an illness. You persisted until you succeeded. You helped someone in great need and someone found out about it and told someone else who told the news and then you made the news. All of these are great stories.

Telling stories well and listening to them with fascination are two important factors in maintaining good communication. You'd think it would be easy to tell and listen to stories but this isn't the case and "flubbing the story" is the first of the mistakes we make when communicating.

There are 10 ways to flub a story.

  1. Be boring.
  2. Talk too long.
  3. Speak too slowly.
  4. Speak in a garbled way so that people can't understand you.
  5. Exaggerate when telling your story.
  6. Ignore feedback during your story telling.
  7. Respond to other people's stories with a story of your own.
  8. Poke holes in other people's special stories.
  9. Overtly brag about yourself just a little too much.
  10. Not telling your stories with intention.
Let's look at each of these 10 ways to flub a story and then let's talk about how to tell a story so people will listen, be fascinated and be asking for more!

To Be Continued...

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Masting The Art Of Communication (Part 5)


The ability to politely and effectively close a cycle of communication is a skill that more people need to become adept at. Closure is the ability to acknowledge the other person, say "thank you" to the other person or confirm that what was said was understood. Closure is the final step in any segment or cycle of communication. You have experienced communication that did not "end." Someone walked out of a room, hung up the phone, switched subjects in mid-conversation without explaining why, etc.

When complete cycles of communication are not accomplished, it leaves the person with tremendous frustration and often anger. You can always be certain to have closure in communication by acknowledging that you have heard and understood what a person has said to you. It is not necessary to agree with someone if you are not prepared to. It is necessary to close each cycle of communication.

Tape record the following Image-Creation to experience a presentation or speech you will make, in advance. Listen to the Image-Creation before making your presentation.

Image-Creation # 6 An Award Winning Speech

Find a quiet and calm environment. Sit or lay down in a comfortable position.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath and release it.
Go out into the future and imagine a time when someone asks you to come and give a speech on the secrets of success as you know them and have applied them in your life to get where you are at this future stage of your life.
As you give this speech, listen to the applause. Notice the smiling faces in the audience. Carefully observe what the members of your audience are wearing. What does the room smell like? What is the temperature like in the room?
Listen to the sound of your voice as you speak.
Be certain that you are looking through your eyes as the speaker as you give this speech.
As you close your speech, observe the audience give you a standing ovation. Meet the people in the front row. Shake their hands and thank them for caring so much about you and what you had to say.
Confirm for the people you talk to after the speech that they too can be successful if they will simply design their own life. As you feel the most enthusiastic and exhilarated you may return to now.
Take a few deep breaths and open your eyes when you are ready.
Once your eyes are open, remember the most exciting and exhilarating moment of the speech and squeeze your middle finger. You are anchoring these feelings and this accomplishment to your middle finger.


Most people seem to try to be interesting when they should be interested. The truly successful communicator is a curious person. He wants to know more about other people. She is truly fascinated by what other people can share with them. You may sincerely wonder how you could be interested in some people. If what interests them doesn't interest you, then discover how they became interested in what they are interested in. In other words, if you don't like fishing and someone you're communicating with does, find out how they became so excited about fishing. What experiences do they have that started this fascination.

By making others feel special, they will feel that you are special.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Communication: Mastering The Art Of Communication (part 4)


"What is most important thing to you about X?" (Buying a house, choosing a restaurant to eat at, your job, etc.)
How do you know when you have gotten X? (How do you know when you are happy? How do you know that you have the right house? How do you know that you have gotten a good deal on buying a car? etc.)
What's the next most important thing to you about X?
What else is important to you about X?
Until then, here are a few more distinctions that can make a difference for you now!
It is probably fair to say that most people enjoy talking about themselves. This is one reason the values determination model is so effective. You are asking people about their most highly valued feelings and thoughts. This is an excellent way to augment the development of rapport in communication. Rapport is the perceived affinity between two or more people.
Rapport is the perceived affinity between two or more people.
The ability to build and maintain rapport in communication is one of the key skills of a master communicator. One of the greatest examples of rapport building is found in the New Testament. Notice how the apostle Paul uses rapport to prepare his listeners for what he wants to communicate to them.
The setting is this: Paul is in Athens, Greece. Athens has a largely pagan culture. The city is filled with idols and temples to mythological gods. As a Jew, this is repugnant to Paul. Some of the local philosophers have challenged Paul to a debate. They bring him to the infamous Mars Hill. It is here that we pick up Paul's communication mastery...
"Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious." (This immediately breaks their skeptical pattern of thinking and creates an instant bridge for Paul to metaphorically walk on.)
"...for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you."
(Paul uses his persuasive communication skills brilliantly. The altar is one of THEIR objects of worship. The God he wants to discuss is one of THEIR gods. He is not going to talk about some new god!)
"God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands." (God MADE the world, he tells them. He's OBVIOUSLY much too BIG to live in a human temple!)
Paul continues his discourse, explaining that God gives us life, our breath, and a place to live. He explain that God needs nothing from us.
"...for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of YOUR OWN POETS HAVE SAID, 'For we are also his offspring."
"Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising."
Paul once again maintains rapport by returning to citing the Greeks authorities. Building rapport is one step. Maintaining rapport and bridging into the message you wish to tell is another.
"Truly, these times of IGNORANCE God overlooked, but NOW commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man he has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."
Paul has reached the crux of his message and has held the attention of his audience. It was the rapport that Paul built with the antagonistic philosophers that is the key to his successful communication here.
Rapport is much more than verbal compliments of course. It is the non-verbal behavior that is involved as well. Non-verbal behavior that enhances the building of rapport can be found in my book, Psychology of Persuasion.
To Be Continued...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Communication: Mastering The Art Of Communication (part 3)


When effectively participating in interpersonal communication, a key element on your part is that of outcome based thinking. Outcome based thinking entails knowing what your objective is before entering into a task, communication or project. It is not always necessary to consciously use outcome based thinking in interpersonal communication. There are many times that it is simply nice to 'be' with someone. In these cases it is often far more enjoyable to remain non-directive.

When do you use outcome based thinking (OBT)? You will use OBT when you are negotiating anything. You will normally use OBT when you are in problem solving and/or task oriented communication. Whenever you want or need something you will use OBT. You will almost always use OBT when you are at work or in your business setting.

How do you use OBT for effective thinking and effective communicating? By providing yourself with a road map that allows you to know where you are going is the first step. I've often said that, "once you know where you are and where you are going, it's relatively easy to get there."


It is difficult to effectively communicate if you do not know what you want in the communication. Living life by design means that you are empowering your life with true purpose and mission.

OBT starts at the macro level, then works its way to the micro level. As you live a designer's life, you begin to notice how most of what you do is within the larger context of your mission and purpose in life. The process of OBT is detailed below. Think of an upcoming event, appointment or situation where you will hope to effectively communicate with someone. Once you have something specific in mind, integrate that situation into the model below.


  1. What precisely do I want out of the process?
  2. What does the other person want? If I don't know, what are they likely to want?
  3. What is the least I will accept out of the process?
  4. What problems could come up in the process?
  5. How will I deal with each one, and if possible, use the problem as a BENEFIT for the other person?
  6. How will I bring the process to a conclusion?

You can use this model when you are negotiating the purchase of a new home. It's also simple enough to integrate into daily life communications with your life partner, children and friends. Excellence in communication often follows the discovery of your fellow communicator's values. This model allows you to more thoughtfully structure whatever message you are preparing to "give." By actually taking the time to think through this process in a step by step fashion, you become more comfortable in expressing your feelings, thoughts, and emotions with others. Similarly, it makes you very aware of what others needs and wants, or more simply, values are.

Everyone has values but values differ from person to person. Even when people have the same values, they can differ greatly in their hierarchy. Two people may each have health and love as extremely important values. One of the people may have love as the most important value, the other could have health. This seemingly small differentiation can in and of itself mold different personalities. Learning the key values of other people is therefore tantamount to being an effective communicator.

Discovering the values of others can be accomplished by using the values determination model below. A few simple questions of your fellow communicator will help you learn what is truly important to them. It is interesting to note that values are context-dependent. In other words, what is important to someone in a love relationship may have a different value in a business relationship. These differences are accounted for in the model below as you will notice.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Communication: Mastering The Art Of Communication (Part 2)



Sit across from your partner at a distance of 18-48 inches. For two minutes you must both sit in silence. You must look at your partner for the entire two minute period. You succeed in this exercise if you are able to keep your eyes on your partner for the entire two minutes. It is not important if your partner maintains eye contact with you. It is only important that you look the entire two minutes at the other person's face or eyes without moving your glance to anything else.

When you have your partner's approval for completing this exercise you may move to the closure exercise below.


Sit across from your partner at a distance of 18-48 inches. You will ask your partner to look at various objects or locations in the room until you have asked your partner to look at a total of 20 objects. After your partner looks at each of these objects, you will say, "thank you." Once your partner has looked at twenty objects, your partner will tell you that you have successfully accomplished this exercise designed to teach you to close cycles of communication.

With your partner's approval you may move to the next exercise.

Instigation Deflection-

Sit across from your partner at a distance of 18-48 inches. In this exercise, you will sit and listen to your partner attempt to harm you emotionally with his words. He has two minutes to go on a verbal rampage against you. He can say anything he wants, using any tone of voice he wants. His objective is to get you to argue or disagree with him. You successfully accomplish this exercise if you remain silent during the entire two minute time period and maintain eye or face contact without looking away. If you laugh or talk, you must start over.

At the end of the two minutes, thank your partner and make sure he knows that this was your exercise and that you know what he said was designed by you, to help you. He meant no harm. You asked him to do this exercise to help you deflect the verbal abuses of others. With your partner's approval you may move on to the final exercise to help you in confrontational communications.

Answer my question-

Sit between 18 and 48 inches across from your partner. Ask them a specific question.

  • "Do dogs meow?"

You are going to say, "thank you," when your partner answers you with "no." However the partner can choose not to respond, change the subject or ask you the question back instead of answering your question with a no. Your partner may do this four times for each of these four questions. He must give you a straight "no" answer on or before the fifth time you ask, "do dogs meow."

You succeed if you only say, "Do dogs meow?" after each non-responsive answer and when you say "thank you" to the correct answer to the question.

The other three questions are these:

  • "Are mailmen all women?"
  • "Do birds eat sharks?"
  • "Can you walk on water?"

The correct answer to all the questions is "no," and you must eventually elicit a no response from your partner. You may only use the words in the original question. This is how you succeed. No time limit is necessary, but each question should take no more than two minutes.

The purpose of this exercise is to teach you to remain focused on the goal of your communication and your ability to ask the same question after it has been ignored or a new direction has been taken by your partner.

When these exercises are completed, have your partner express his or her true feelings about you, to you. If anything he said still has you upset, make certain you discuss this now with your partner.

These exercises teach you to communicate and maintain your composure easily and effectively in difficult situations. Having mastered these difficult exercises you will be ready to move toward the macro level of interpersonal communication.

To Be Continued...

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Communication is your door to financial wealth, loving relationships, and all that is good in life. Communication is the most talked about and least understood area of human behavior. Our ability to communicate in so many ways is unique to humans on earth. People who do not have the ability to speak can be wonderful communicators. The loss of one or two senses certainly can impair communication, but it does not have to stop communication. Effective communication is rarely taught and even more rarely learned in our society. What follows is an outline of a few of the many keys to mastering the art of communication. Superior communication skills are unquestionably vital to living a life by your own design.


Realizing that everything that is said, heard, seen and felt is filtered through at least two people's experiences, biology and genetics is important in understanding...why misunderstandings are more common than understanding.

Today, I'll show you an effective way to work through the muddle of past experiences and negative emotional triggers.

Interpersonal communication includes at least the following elements:

  1. A transmitter. Someone who wants to "send" a message verbally or non-verbally to someone else.
  2. A receiver. Someone who will "receive" a message from another person.
  3. A message. Information in some form.
  4. Noise. Anything that interferes or causes the deletion, distortion or generalization of the exact replication of information being transmitted from the mind of the transmitter to the mind of the receiver.
  5. Feedback. Both the sender and receiver constantly elicit verbal and nonverbal feedback to the other person.
  6. Replication. The duplication of understanding in one person that is in the mind of another person. Replication is an approximate goal and philosophically not perfectly possible, though desired.
  7. Understanding. An approximation of what the message means to the sender by the receiver.

Excellent communication is the ability to transmit a message by the sender to a receiver and have that message replicated in the receiver's mind. Excellent communication is the ability to receive a transmitted message by the sender and have the receiver be able to replicate the form and intent of the message in the receiver's mind. If the receiver is uncertain about some aspect of a communication, it is the responsibility of the receiver to clarify the communication through the artful use of questions. The transmitting communicator also accepts the responsibility for the result of a communication. This means the transmitter must be certain to code a communication so it is received in a manner that is understandable to the receiver.

All of this is of no consequence if a person is uncomfortable in the communication process to begin with.

Do you ever feel uncomfortable communicating with people in "one on one" setting? If so, you will benefit from the following exercises which are designed to help ease discomfort in one on one situations. Please ask a friend to help you.

To Be Continued...

Friday, April 18, 2008

18 Ways To Handle The Argumentive Person

The Argumentative Communicator

Do you enjoy playing the devil's advocate? Are you constantly offering your opposing opinion when it is not asked for? Do you find yourself saying the word "but" often in your conversation with others?

You may be an argumentative "talker." There is an effective way to take an opposing view of others opinions, beliefs and values, but it may destroy rapport. There is a way to give your opinion, but it may be received as unwanted advice. When you continue to oppose the comments of your listener, you run the risk of making them feel wrong, stupid, or uninformed.

Men and women seem to view communication differences in different ways. I often notice that men will say, "we had a debate" or "an intense conversation" and women will indicate that they had "a fight" or an "argument."

The argumentative communicator, whether a man or a woman, should be aware that their communication efforts may immediately be perceived as a "fight" (the worst of the four above labels) regardless of the intent of the communicator.

I have a confession to make. I was in debate in high school and like Jack Welch (former CEO of GE) I find a good debate stimulating and enlightening. Debate generally can be described as a structured discussion where individuals cite evidence about an issue in an attempt to persuade another person. Debate is an intellectual process where it is OK and preferable to be "right." While I do enjoy debating very much, I do not enjoy arguing, which is emotionally based.

Arguing is where two or more people disagree about some subject, they raise their voices and make the discussion personal by bringing in the other person's intentions.

What's the difference then between debate and an argument?

In debate we cite evidence with the intent to persuasively validate our point of view. It is like a chess game.

In arguments we cite evidence, make claims about the negative intention of the other person's behavior, and become very emotional to the point where apologies will be in order after the communication is finished because one or both parties will have their feelings hurt. In an argument the individual feels attacked. When the attack is perceived as hostile, with intention to harm, I call this a "fight."

Perceptions are tricky things. One person may be simply debating or discussing a subject intellectually with no intent to harm. The other person may perceive such communication as intending to harm them and they feel as if they are in a fight with a need to defend themselves instead of their point of view!

Sometimes it takes quite a long time for the person who is debating to finally figure out that the other person is upset and fighting.

There are no easy and clearly defined answers to rapidly determine whether someone thinks YOU are arguing, fighting, debating or discussing. Therefore it is vital to ask if it's "OK to have this conversation" or at least smile. It's also important to keep sarcasm out of discussions and debates if it isn't obvious to the other person that you are having fun with them...instead of poking fun at them.

More Articles coming soon!

Meanwhile Come Visit Kevin Hogan's Website.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

18 Ways to Handle the Argumentative Person ( Part 1)

Genesis: Argument and Hostility From Boredom? How could my boredom lead the way to making me hostile just minutes or seconds letter?

How could my mental drifting bring on contempt and criticism?

And once you are dealing with the Argumentative Person(ality) how do you defuse the contempt, criticism and hostility?

This is a pretty cool article but it takes me a minute to "set it up right." (In fact you can go back later and analyze the structure of this article and use the model for your own writing if you like!)

....Have you ever been in a conversation where you found your mind drifting, dreaming, and struggling to stay focused? Do you remember how it feels to try and listen as someone drones on and on?

When we are faced with a poor communicator there can be many reasons for a "missed connection."

Often there are words and phrases that simply shut us down, and prevent us from listening as well as we would like. Many times the person communicating is injecting so many negative words and ideas that we begin to feel down and heavy inside. It may just be that the person you are communicating with is boring you because the content of the communication is all about them, about stories you don't care to listen to, and people you have never met!

What if that poor communicator who is boring someone to you?


How would you know if you are the one who is inserting negative associations, bringing up insignificant details, droning on about you, you, you? How do you know if someone is really interested in what you have to say... that they are really engaged in the conversation? What is your method of observing whether or not the person or group is interested and intrigued, or tired and looking for the door?

As you move toward communication mastery, you begin to find that you learn from everyone you talk with. You will notice the subtle cues that tell you if you are in good rapport, speaking in a way that your audience understands, and using words that create desire and interest. You will be willing to identify in yourself those things that push others away and prevent them from listening as well as you would like. This is a very potent aspect of self-awareness that allows you to stay fascinating to everyone around you!

Today, I want you to look at the areas of communication where people most often go wrong. You're going to find out how others upset you.

You will discover how you may have been alienating others and helping them to feel negative when they are around you.

As you read these scenarios, notice if you see yourself in them. You might as well take the time to be very honest about your style of communication and the effects you are having on those around you.

To Be Continued... Meanwhile visit Kevin Hogan's Website.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Seven Principles of Persuasive Presentation (part 5)

5. Principle of RECOGNITION

People often buy things because of REPUTATION and/or RECOGNITION. And of course, everyone buys things because of NAME RECOGNITION.

We buy things because of FAMILIARITY.


Because of the scientific principle of priming. It's that simple and it makes companies millions and billions of dollars every year.

Answer these questions without thinking...

What is your favorite soft drink?
What is your favorite brand of jeans?
What kind of pain reliever do you use?

Now, why do you drink the same soft drink over and over? You like the taste, right? Why do you buy the same jeans over and over? You like the fit, right? Why do you buy the same pain reliever over and over? You like the lack of pain, right?

In other words, you buy what you are FAMILIAR with. You buy because of the REPUTATION each of those has with you. You buy because you RECOGNIZE them.

We make many purchases because of that very reason.

KEYPOINT: We buy because of recognition, reputation and familiarity.

6. Principle of NECESSITY

Let's face it, sometimes you and I buy because we NEED to buy. When the tube of toothpaste is depleted, I amble on down to Wal-Mart and buy a new tube. I NEED toothpaste. When my electric bill comes in each month, I pay it. I NEED electricity. Every 3,000 miles (about once annually) I pay to have the oil changed in my car. Why? Because IT needs it! We buy a lot of things because we need to. That's the principle of necessity. You already knew that, I am sure.

But, did you know that you can CREATE need in your offers. And NO, I don't mean, "You need to buy my product now! You need what I've got! Buy from me, buy from me!" That won't get ya a sale EVER.

Let's recap what we've covered so far. We make purchases in large part because of...

...7 Principles of Persuasive Selling Presentations. They are...

  • The Principle of Emotion
  • The Principle of Value
  • The Principle of Expectation
  • The Principle of Referrals
  • The Principle of Recognition
  • The Principle of Necessity
And that brings us to number seven, the Principle of Presentation.

7. Principle of Presentation

People buy because of PRESENTATION.

This is THE MOST IMPORTANT Principle of them all. Master this one and I assure you, you will make more sales than you could ever imagine. You and I buy things because of the way the offer is presented to us.


Why? Because with the proper presentation of your offer, you can conquer all six other principles at the same time. You can: trigger the emotion, provide value, build expectation, use referrals, become familiar and prove there is a need for your product.

All of the other six principles rest on this seventh.

It is the umbrella that covers them all. If you learn to present your offer the RIGHT way, then selling is the easy part.

So, what is the RIGHT way? That's what we are going to do at Influence: Boot Camp 2008. I'm going to walk you through everything you need to know about PRESENTING your offer. You are going to learn how to master each of these principles (and more) in ONE presentation.

Your offer itself (whatever product or service you are selling, for the price you are selling it) must be presented in such a way that it compels people to buy. PRESENTATION is just as important as the substance of your product or service...

In fact, it's probably more important. Why? Because no one will ever see your product or service until you present an offer that they must say "yes" to. As long as they can say "no" to your offer, as long as they can reject what you are "trying to sell them," then your substance doesn't do you a bit of good.

Presentation - that is the key. You've got to make it easier for them to say "Yes" than it is for them to say "No".

More Articles Coming Soon!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Seven Principles Of Persuasive Presentation (part 4)

3. Principle of EXPECTATION

Herein lies a tremendous motivator for purchases. We buy based on what we expect to achieve from use of the purchase. In other words, we buy based on what we perceive will be the end result of that purchase. For example...

People buy exercise equipment because they EXPECT TO SEE THE RESULTS of weight loss, muscle tone and overall better health.

They buy grass seed because they EXPECT TO SEE THE RESULTS of a nicer lawn.

They buy cookbooks because they EXPECT TO SEE THE RESULTS of nice meals and desserts.

They buy movie tickets because they EXPECT TO BE entertained.

We make a great many purchases because we expect to see some kind of desirable outcome as a result of that purchase.

KEYPOINT: Don't attempt to sell the prospect your product, but rather the end result of using your product.

You aren't selling products or services, you are selling results. You are selling weight loss, not weigh loss pills. You are selling an education, not tuition. You are selling a romantic evening for two, not a candlelit dinner.

People buy because they want results. Want to sell more? Start approaching your offer from the end and not the beginning. Ask yourself a simple question... ..."What does the prospect want to achieve with my product?" Focus on the results.

4. Principle of REFERRALS

Many times we purchase based solely on a recommendation from a trusted friend, family member or associate.

Referrals are SO important in business but most people never get them.

We'll talk about this one in much more detail later and in-depth at Influence Boot Camp 2008.

(I'll even show you how to get these referrals for free!) I just want to introduce you to the idea now. People make purchases in a lot of cases simply because someone make a recommendation.

How many times have you bought something because someone suggested it?

I have bought a ton (literally) of books because one of a few trusted friends and colleagues have suggested that I do.

You've made similar purchases yourself.

Part 5 Coming Soon!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Seven Principles of Persuasive Presentation (Part 3)

2. The Principle of VALUE

Another reason why we buy things is because of value. I once heard a friend of mine tell a story about her immigrant grandmother. Her grandmother came home with two pairs of jeans that didn't fit anyone in the entire family. My friend asked her, "Grandma, why did you buy these jeans when no one can use them?"

Her response? "They were such a bargain - I saved more than $40!"

The point is this: we all love a good deal. We buy things because they are valuable to us.

Now, there are two basic ways that we judge value...


Two for the price of one.
Buy one get one free.
Free medium drink with any hamburger order.
Extra value meal.
Free installation with any satellite purchase.
Thirty days free to new members.

These are all ways of providing MORE quantity for the same price. And that, in our estimation, is a determining factor in how valuable something is.

After all - what's more valuable: A large pizza for $14.95 or a large pizza with a free 2-liter coke for $14.95?

Obviously the free 2-liter coke adds more value to the order.

That is a quantity increase.

And it prompts you and I to order, simply because there is more "bang for the buck."

In direct marketing, it was a collection of THOUSANDS of "money making reports." Online, it's a collection of dozens of "ebooks." Unfortunately, neither of these usually has a lot of useful information in them -- but there sure is a lot of them! And many people buy because of the sheer volume they represent. It just sounds like an awful lot for the price tag that is attached.


The other measuring stick of value is quality. Let's stick with pizza as our illustration. I like Godfather's Pizza. Far and away my favorite. I rarely taste anything that good.

Any store could sell pizza at 1/10 of the price of Godfathers and it is not interesting because the quality of Godfather's is supreme.

I am happy to pay a premium because of quality. I would rather pay more to receive something of higher quality.

Quality sells.

We make purchases because we see some kind of value - whether quantity or quality. Give us either and you've most likely got a customer. Give us both and it's a done deal.

Part 4 coming soon!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Seven Principles of Persuasive Selling Presentations (part 2)

KEYPOINT: In reality, you and I buy very few things for rational reasons. Instead, we buy things (especially those "spur of the moment" impulse items!) because of emotions...because of feelings.

Now, since people purchase a LOT of products based on emotions, what can you do to trigger those emotions?

Secrets of Tapping into Emotions
There are two secrets to touching the way we feel about things that work the majority of the time (I'll touch on both of these more later and in-depth in Las Vegas, but let me introduce them now)...

$10,000 KEY: Present problems and offer solutions. Early on in your offer or your presentation is a great place to do this. Outline a problem that your buyer or your target audience is probably facing and then point out how your product provides the solution...


One of the biggest obstacles facing most people doing business online is generating traffic to their websites.

Let me show you how to really get quality people who are interested in YOU and your WORK, product, service, experience, to YOUR website...

I like contrasting my work with others who write about, create products, and courses that are about similar topics to what I'm doing, but there is a significant difference. There's no need to replicate information. So I produce where others are deficient. but have no depth or value (or worse, it's actually destructive to their clients, customers or buyers).

That's a huge competitive advantage...USP...if you will.

Face it. Someone goes to a seminar for $5000 and gets nothing but a sales pitch or a bunch of sales pitches.

It doesn't take rocket science to know people are still angry... to know that they wanted value, and didn't get it. And that's where an opportunity is created for me to create happy and loyal lifetime relationships.

I mean think of the last time you went to a seminar that was really a sales pitch for a bunch of other stuff.

What emotions are triggered here? Anger? Absolutely! Most likely the reader is angry because she herself has been taken and disillusioned by the event, and the like.

The KEY is that there is a problem that they face, (the reason they went to the first event) there is the possibility of a solution for them to take a "chance" on Kevin Hogan.

Emotion has already been triggered and will continue to be fed throughout the remainder of our hypothetical presentation.

(I can feel the emotions of this scenario right now!)

You want to point out what happened with the other event. Let it sting.

Then let the reader/prospect/customer/future client see the existing problems that caused them to want to go to THAT event in the first place, then offer solutions where possible.

Don't exaggerate, lie or hype. Offer realistic, reachable solutions that will come to fruition in the near future.

We all have problems and we all want them eliminated. And, we don't mind paying for those solutions -- if they are real solutions.

KEYPOINT: Be the CLEAR ALTERNATIVE. If you can't be passionate about being the clear alternative....

* Present luxuries and offer opportunities. The flipside to that coin is to present something that triggers our passion and offer us a chance to obtain it. For example, here's one that would get a lot of people now...

"Wouldn't you like to improve your golf game so dramatically that you'll have your buddies scrambling to keep up with you?"

"Let me show you how to take at least 10 strokes off your total by the end of the week. You'll drive the ball farther, hit amazingly accurate chip shots and putt like a pro. Here's how..."

Aaaah. Show me where to sign up!

What emotions are triggered here? Excitement! Joy! Passion! Pride!

KEYPOINT: There is a certain "attraction" between our psyches and an opportunity to fulfill something we are passionate about.

The idea for you is to capitalize on an EXISTING emotional want.

For example, If you get targeted traffic to your website, or the right people in your store, then it is EASY present your work to your visitors because of their existing desires.

They already want something, all you have to do is be credible enough to persuade them that they can have it.

One reason we buy is because the offer or opportunity triggers some feeling inside of us that prompts us to go for it.

Your job is to let them pull the trigger.

To Be Continued!

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Seven Principles of Persuasive Selling Presentations

What's one of the most important things to know before giving a Persuasive Selling Presentation?

Understanding what motivates people to buy and then pushing all the right buttons.

Before I launch into creating and presenting your own offer, whether in person, on the web, or in media, we need to do some research to make sure your offer is accepted.
Now, when I say "research," I'm sure visions of high school term papers come to mind - late nights in the library pouring through book after book.

Don't worry, I wouldn't put ya through that!

I've already done the research for you. All you need to do is LEARN from what I have researched and am sharing with you today.

Core Reasons People BuyI want to show you core reasons that people buy.
Are there other reasons?

A few, and they are profound and I'll talk to you about them in Las Vegas.

But for now, what if I told you that I am going to outline the things that motivate people to make purchases, and I'm going to show YOU how to have control over each of these core factors, AND I am going to give you the training you need to master these motivators to practically cause people to buy from YOU.



What motivates people to buy?As mentioned earlier, this isn't an all-inclusive set.

These are the major causes of why people buy.

There are seven.

1. The Principle of EMOTION

One of the reasons people make purchases is because of emotion.
Emotions like...


Fear of gaining weight. Fear of missing an opportunity. Fear of unemployment. Fear of death. Fear of a future price increase.Fear of what others think about them. Fear of the unknown. Fear of growing old. Fear of being alone. Fear of being cheated.

There are hundreds of different PHOBIAS that DRIVE people to make purchases.
People buy life insurance because they fear dying prematurely and leaving their family financially strapped.

We buy exercise equipment because we fear gaining weight or getting out of shape.
We buy alarm systems because we fear we are going to be violated in some way.

KEY POINT: We make a lot of purchases because of our fears, on things that are supposed to ease our fears.

Passion for food. Passion for money. Passion for our children. Passion for our partner. Passion for our career. Passion for success. Passion for fame.

You and I have those things in our lives that we are passionate about. Whether it is a relationship or a recreation, a possession or a position, we all have those things that we long for.
We all have those things that we "love." And we spend a lot of money in pursuit of those things.
I began reading voraciously as a kid. And everywhere I went, people told me more and more of the different kinds of books I could purchase. I bought thousands of books.


Because my passion for reading triggered an emotional response... I wanted to KNOW as much as a human could...and I was as good as sold long before walking into Barnes and Noble.

(To this day I have and have read everything possible about Biblical Archaeology, Religious Literature, The Historic Jesus, Decision Making, Illusion of Consciousness, Consumer Behavior, Evolutionary Psychology, Strategic and Critical Thinking, Motivation, Rejection, Relationship Research, well...and a few other ...dozen areas of interest....)

You and I make a lot of purchases based upon passion or love.

Things that make us happy, that bring us joy...that increase our pleasure. People buy food in many cases not because they are hungry, but because they love eating.

People buy self-help books not because we need to improve our reading skills, but because we long to improve our lives. People buy roses because they love their spouses.

Passion - it fuels a LOT of buying decisions.

I touched on fear and passion because those are the two biggest emotional buttons that cause people to make purchases.

There are plenty of others:

Sorrow, reverence, hate, sadness, surprise, anger, joy, excitement.

We make purchases for all of these reasons.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How To Be A Professional Public Speaker (Part 8)


And if YOU BELIEVE you can cure cancer and solve all the world's ills, don't get on a platform anywhere.

Instead of doing this, what you must do is focus your speech on the topics that are the most important for your group. Develop your niche, your target area of focus that all other materials you have will point to.

One of the most common and best examples is that of helping people to be leaders. If leadership is your niche, then you can talk to all types of people with the same topic.

Does that mean you can't talk about those other topics? Of course, not! But it means that you are developing a specific field that your speeches will revolve around.

Why does it matter so much if you have a select area in which you will be talking about in all of your speeches? It helps to define you as an expert in the field. People enjoy talking with experts and they are much more likely to believe you if you say that that is what you are.

If you know "everything" people see you as knowing "nothing."

When you have selected your niche, you will develop your speeches and all of your talks about that one topic. The topic is up to you, and it should be something you are passionate about and something that comes directly from your personal experiences.

Choosing a niche is the best way for you to concentrate your efforts and become a known leader in that field. If you are an expert at team building, an expert at sales building or even an expert at being positive, that is the field that people will come to you seeking help from.

Consider the fact. If you were to spend your company's money to bring someone in to talk, do you want an expert in the field to be the one to talk? What is the process you should follow?

The process is fairly straightforward:
Determine what in your past can be used to be your material in your speech. What do you have to offer to those that come to listen?

Determine what you can offer from that material in terms of giving to your listeners? How will you improve their lives with your own experiences?

What niche will it be that you take on to help demonstrate your experiences? What topic will you focus your energies to in order to become an expert in and become known for?

Once you have accomplished these goals, you should have a fairly clear idea of where your speeches are going to be located in terms of content. You will know what you want to say and how you will communicate it based on your experiences. Take the time to work through this process to develop speech content that is wanted and desired by those that will listen to you speak!

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How To Be A Professioanl Public Speaker (Part 7)

Developing Your Niche

For those that know anything about Internet marketing, the key to being successful is finding your niche, or that place where you will share what information and resources you can with those around you.

Success in that field requires that you specialize your marketing so that you are putting as much effort (and money) towards that one goal as possible, thus giving you more resources behind one goal instead of many resources behind many goals spreading it too thin for success.

In the world of public speaking, you too must develop a niche from which you will work with. This is up to you to determine in terms what it is based on your experiences that we have talked about.


Realize that most people that walk in to the building, sit down and wait to hear you speak are more skeptical of you than you are of them. In that comes the fact that they will want to prove you wrong before believing that you are right.

One of the biggest ways to turn someone off from you is to promise them that what you are about to tell them is going to solve all of the problems that they experience in their life. The larger and more all encompassing your promise is, the more unlikely you are to be believed.

For example, let's say that you want to talk to a group of people through a local organization. But, you just want to have an overall motivational speech without a direct topic to speak about. So, you walk in and you see all types of people in your audience.

When your speech begins, you begin to play to all of their needs. "What I have to say will help you to lose weight, cure cancer, live a longer life and to solve all of your financial problems."

This is not believable and from that moment on, they are untrusting (and SHOULD BE) of what you have to say.

What should you NEVER do?... (Coming up in tomorrow's article).

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Monday, April 07, 2008

How To Be A Professional Speaker (Part 6)

What Can Your Presentations Do?

The bottom line is this. Your speeches must do something for the listener. This could be as simple as motivating them or it could be teaching them a lesson. The goal is that you must first connect with the audience then deliver a message to them.

Developing that message is very important, but often times difficult to do. The first step is to analyze your own information in terms of what it has done for you and others you've shared it with.

Here's an example of what you can do. Let's say that your family did get into a tight financial situation as you were aging. At that time in your life, it was up to you, the oldest male, to get out and find a job even though you were only 13 to help support your family. (EH HM....)

This was difficult and trying for you but you were able to be successful and founded your first business by the time that you were just 14.

What did that experience teach you about life? What characteristics did you have to have to excel in that tough time? All of those situations are what define the message that you can provide to those around you listening to your speech.

Many speeches will have one of several goals:

  • They will help to solve the problems of the listener.
  • They will help to listener to set and achieve goals that they set.
  • They will help the listen to improve their lives in some way.
  • They will help to motivate.
  • They will help to teach a lesson.

Sometimes, it will become necessary for you to actually take your speech and morph it into one or more of these above goals. For example, at one organization you may be working with goal-setting where as with another it may be talking about leadership. It is up to you to determine how to make such a change and why to make that the case. This can be challenging to some people that have not taken the time to really define their abilities.

That is something that you can do. You must define what your past experiences have taught you that you can convey to others that will in some way improve their lives on a big or small scale.

Developing your niche...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

How to Be A Professional Speaker (Part 5)

Why Does It Matter?

How can ordinary, boring life events help you to become a public speaker? It may seem like a stretch but the fact is that people love to hear about other people's successes and failures....and as long as the story ultimately ends in success....they love the failure part!!

They use this information to help define their own abilities both positively and negatively.

They need to know that an average person just like them can ultimately accomplish great things.

For example, perhaps tragedy struck your family when your father lost his job. Your family did not have the funds for anything. The way that this situation is handled by you defines who you are and that's what you want to get at later in your speeches.

You could approach the subject about how this taught you humility and defined the person that you are today, for example. Perhaps it helped you to be so frugal in your business that you managed to be more successful than the next guy because of it.

Simply define for yourself what it was like to overcome life and it's most difficult of situations. Things like the loss of a loved one, dealing with fear, dealing with financial ruin and even dealing with rejection are all basic levels of emotions that many people go through in their lifetime.

Not only does this give you a tool by which to work from, but it helps you to gain the necessary resources to truly inspire others with through a connection. If you struggled with fear, they can bond with you on that level because they have done so at some time. This can ultimately be one of the best ways to communicate with those that you are speaking with.

When you are looking back into your past, ask yourself what it means to be a motivational or other type of public speaker. You need to have material that will help you to get your message out there. Some public speakers gather facts and figures from the world to use.


You are ever present with your audience, looking into their hearts, their minds, their pain, their love.

That might sound ...different, but it is what you are there to do.

If you don't get carried away, you can use SNIPPETS from your life to fuel your speeches. They do this because it is one of the most powerful ways to communicate with those you are speaking to. It allows you to show that you have the same experiences as they have had. Now, you can show them the right way to deal with those experiences.

REALLY IMPORTANT: What Can You Offer To The Masses?

Now that you have taken some time to really define who you are, you need to find a way to provide others with something useful from those experiences.

One thing to remember here is this. No matter how successful you think you are, chances are that no one is going to pay you to talk about your past life experiences.

Sure, this can be part of your material to use, but some underlying benefit must come through. It is up to you to determine what that ultimately should be, though.

How can you take your life experiences and make them into something that is wanted and needed by your audience members?

I mentioned the processes of working with connections where you are able to use your own personal experiences to draw a connection to the other person listening to you speak. This is important because you want them to know that you do have some experience and know what you are talking about.

But, moving to the next step is more challenging. Now, you must take your experiences and convey your personal feelings with them.

Remember, although there are many professionals out there looking forward to a career in public speaking, it is also important to note that no one wants to sit and hear your story without some meaning.

How many people have you had to sit through listening to them talk to you about their life? Most people will do this without costing the listener a penny!

Part 6: "What can your presentations do?"

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Friday, April 04, 2008

How to Be A Professional Speaker (Part 4)

What Could You Possibly Have That They Could Want?
The public speaker that is most successful is one that conveys his message from experience. Passion can truly be found in these personal experiences. But, what do you have to offer?

To gauge just what it is that you can present to those looking, start by looking closely at your life. Take stock, if you will, of where you are and where you came from. This will give you the best opportunity to find that perfect niche that you will be able to communicate.

Look Into Your Past
Start by looking into your past. Most people do not have a very simple, non emotional or non tragic past in that they can not find something to share about it. You too may have something there to use.

Here are some ideas to consider in terms of what you may have accomplished or areas of experience that you may have but do not realize that you have them. Take stock of your own experiences using this reference.

  • What goals have you set for yourself in the past? Have you achieved them and if not, why not? Why did you set those goals? What helped you to honor them? What did having those goals do for you in the long run?

    Both failures and successes might make great stories (or they might bore the audience, you'll have to figure that out!)

  • What have you achieved? Did you graduate from college? Perhaps you have honors from military experience. What was it like to get that first job that was successful? Perhaps your achievements lie in the family unit such as getting married and having children. Perhaps you made your first million before the age of 30. What aspects of your life do you consider achievements?
  • What are you passionate about in your past? For example, perhaps you were passionate about your child's education and it paid off. Perhaps your religion is the founding principles you have used in your business. Perhaps your business itself has been your passion for years and taught you something. Looking back over the last ten years, what aspects of your life were you passionate about? Why?
  • What did you learn from your past experiences? For example, what did you learn about raising your children? What did you learn when you failed miserably at your first business plan? What did you learn about yourself over the years? Most often, people do not realize just how powerful their past was in shaping the future. Has this happened for you? How so?
  • What failures did you have? Sometimes the most prominent memories are of those negative aspects in our past. Yet, they are also the most likely to shape your future. What negative or failure type situations were you in? How did that change you? Why did it happen and would you even avoid it if you could today? Where are you today beyond this point?

    Perhaps the very best experiences are those that come from the big things. For example, if you started your first company at the age of 20 and made a million by 25, you definitely did something big and that should be taken stock of. If you do have something big like this in your past, draw from it as this often helps push the success even farther.

    Yet, you do not have to have something amazing behind you in your past or present that is big and glorious. The fact is that even average experiences in your lifetime can give you enough material, information and experience to provide for your speeches. It is not necessarily the actual experience but the way that you perceive it; deal with it as well as overcome it that matters.

Why does it matter? Part 5 Coming Tomorrow!

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

How to Be A Professional Speaker (Part 3)

What fee do you charge and what does it include?

The meeting planner goes to my main web site or my speaking web site at, and then they determine whether I am right for their company.

If they like me and think that I can help their company or at least be entertaining, they send an email and invariably, one question is asked in the mail followed by one other.

  • What is your fee?
  • Are you available July 18?

That's it.

Fee and availability.

You'll need to determine yours.

The bottom line for most professionals in public speaking is that they need to sell themselves to make a living. But, organizations hiring you to do so will question if the value of what you are providing is worth the cost that you are charging. A big, well-known name brings in more money, but so does a creative approach.

Also, most organizations want to be sure that you are providing them with all that you can; which means appearances before and after the event to talk to guests and dignitaries, as well as an overall willingness to go above and beyond.

I try and avail myself the night before for meeting with group leaders. This can be a double-edged sword. After travel, sometimes you are wiped out and need a bed when 10 people want your wit and charm.

What happens?

You guessed it....

You go and pump out all the energy!

Organizations demand quality products and services. They want to be provided with the best of the best. If you can meet this need, the demand for your services is going to be high.

What could you possibly have that they could want?

Part 4 Coming Soon!

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

How to Be A Professional Speaker (Part 2)

There Really A Market For Your Knowledge?

Public speaking has increased in demand all around the world. You do not have to be famous in terms of what your name is, but you have to have something unique or useful to offer. When this is seen by a company, organization or other group as being something worth listening to, the demand for you....rises.

One of the first keys to remember about being successful in the field of public speaking is to know what the buyer of your service is looking for.

And Just What Is The Buyer Looking For?

If you were to be hired to provide a product to a client, you would need to understand what needs that client has so that you can tailor your product to meet those needs and to therefore fulfill the buyer's demand.

In public speaking, you need to understand what the audience is looking for when giving a speech. Before you can do that, you must understand what the person or group that will hire you is looking for. Since they hire you, you have to be able to meet their goals.

In order to do this, you consider what the organization hiring you is looking for. In an interview with the organization, they are likely to want to gather facts about you.

Some of those facts include these qualifications.

  • Do you have a topic that is right for their audience?

The company hiring you is looking for you to accomplish some goal. This could be motivating their employees or it could be an educational goal. Regardless, do you meet that goal for them?

  • Do you have references to back you up?

The company wants to be sure that you have references, some type of qualification to be there doing what you are doing. You may be wondering where this is going to come from. It will be something addressed later in the series. For now, realize that you have to be a proven success to the company hiring you.

Not many meeting planners will put their reputation or job on the line by spending a fortune hiring a screw up.

  • Do you have an effective way to communicate your message?

Here, they want to be sure that you can drive home a winning presentation. Most want to have public speakers that are able to provide audio and visual demonstrations and materials to really bring out their point.

  • Do you offer the ability to customize your message?

If you are speaking to a group of employees, will you be able to customize your message to that company? Doing so can really be an effective way to bring in the information that the company is looking for. Many companies today are hiring professionals to do just that.

In most interviews, I confess I do all the asking. I want to make sure I deliver precisely what the meeting planner, the VP or the sales manager is going to want and need.

I can usually get through my questions in 45 minutes, and I take incredible notes.

Those notes get collated with other research I do about a company. And I rarely mention that I've researched a company. I'll tell you why next week!

  • Are you able to hold the attention of the audience?

In short, you do have to be somewhat of an entertainer in order to be successful. Organizations are looking for people that will stimulate thoughts and goals, but that will do it in a way that is enjoyable.

Few companies are cruel enough to hire you to bore their audience.

I've always enjoyed throwing very disarming or deadpan humor in my presentations. And that humor seems to work just as well if not better in Europe than the U.S.

Two years ago I got hired by an incredible "club" of multimillionaires and BILLIONAIRES to entertain them for 90 minutes. They didn't need education or a lesson in leadership. These were the masters of the world. They wanted me to make them LAUGH.

So I put together a presentation that was incredibly aggressive, as politically incorrect as I could humanly make it and I had about 2/3 of the audience laughing in minutes. Interesting: English was NOT a first language to anyone.

I had not been so nervous and frankly intimidated (yes it happens to me too!) in a decade...

What fee should you charge and what does it include?

Part 3! Coming Soon!

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