Excerpted from Talk Your Way to the Top! by Kevin Hogan
This material is copyrighted © 2000 by Kevin Hogan
Why do people often find themselves losing concentration, daydreaming, and drifting off during conversations? Certain words and phrases can cause persons on the receiving end of a conversation to shut down, preventing them from listening carefully to what’s said. The person communicating may be injecting so many negative words and ideas that the listener begins to feel depressed and heavy inside. Or, perhaps the communicator is boring, speaking all about himself or people the listener has never met.
What if that poor communicator is you? How would you know if you’re the one inserting negative associations, bringing up insignificant details, and droning on about you, you, you? How do you know if someone is really interested in what you have to say and is really engaged in the conversation? How do you observe whether the person or group in interested and intrigued or looking for the door?
Top-notch communicators learn from everyone they talk with. Subtle cues reveal whether you’ve established rapport, are speakin in a way the audience understands, and are using words that create desire and interest. Be willing to identify in yourself those things that push others away and prevent them from listening as well as you would like. It’s a potent aspect of self awareness that allows you to stay fascinating to everyone around you.
Following are eight habits that make for highly ineffective communication. As you read these scenarios, decide if you see yourself in them. Take time to be honest about your style of communication and the effect you have on those around you.
Do you enjoy playing the devil’s advocate? Do you constantly offer your opposing opinion when no one askes for it? Do you find yourself saying the word “but” in your conversation with others? If the answer is yes, you may be an argumentative talker. There is an effective way to take an opposing view, 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 him feel wrong, stupid, or uninformed.
Comparison happens when you share a thought or a feeling with a friend. It might be something that is very personal or something for which you’re looking for understanding. The friend will offer a response that tells you she doesn’t really care about what you have to say.
It might go like this: “I have been talking with my boss about how to handle this negotiation with Sally. I tried to get in to see him yesterday, and he acted like he didn’t want to talk to me about it.”
Friend responds: “I know just what you mean! I had a boss once who was always finding time for everyone else, and every time I tried to ask a question, she would brush me off. Once when George was talking to her, he…blah, blah, blah.”
If you find yourself always looking to compare an event in your life with one in your friend’s life, change that nasty habit and develop the skills of great communicators.
The difference between a liar and a communicator is clear. The communicator is making an effort at understanding. A talker rambles endlessly without intending for both people to benefit from the conversation. The Better-Than Talker is similar to the Comparison Maker, but with a more condescending tone. The Better-Than Talker is not comparing for purposes of being compassionate, but for the purpose of creating superiority. He is interested in feeling superior to the person he is speaking to, and that requires the listener become inferior. If the listener feels inferior, the talker is not in rapport, and any hope for a connection is lost.
Some people beg for sympathy. It may come out of a need to be rescued, or it may be a real cry for help. If you recognize this in yourself, take a look at why you need sympathy from others and why it is important for others to feel pity for you. Maybe you’ve led a sad life and really feel you deserve a little sympathy. That certainly isn’t unreasonable. Maybe you’ve gotten the short end of the stick and have been the victim of some terribly unfortunate events. That’s OK, too. People do have these experiences. But take this challenge to a qualified therapist and work through your difficulties with him or her.
With the exception of recent events that demand sharing sympathy (losing a job, or the death of a loved one, for example), old baggage doesn’t belong in conversations. Old baggage places an obligation on your listener to feel something he may not want to feel. It also connects being near you with feelings of sadness, need and despair. The more you dredge up old baggage, the more others associate those feelings with being near you.
If you want to help others feel bad around you, try to get as much pity from them as possible. If you want others to seek you out and feel good around you, then save the truly difficult experiences of your life for your trained therapist. He can listen with a degree of empathy and objectivity that friends and business associates simply cannot.
When Jason says, “Jim is really getting stressed. He must have some difficult clients right now.”, it’s not a judgment. It’s an observation, which is good. When Cathy responds and says, “I know what you mean. He has never handled stress well. When he blew up at Ken the other day, he was so rude. He can’t control himself, and I’m really tired of his attitude,” that is a judgment. Cathy makes a statement of opinion as to what kind of person he is and how he is wrong for being that way.
If you judge others, you may think you’re doing it to gain rapport or take a side. But you may alienate yourself by showing lack of self respect. If you aren’t internally well aligned, you may find you have a need to judge others in order to feel better than they are.
Being judgmental is a dead giveaway that you have issues of incompetence and insecurity. Don’t play in to that trap. Respond in a way that strengthens your position of self respect and self esteem.
In the example, Jason should hve responded with, “Jim has always been helpful to me. I’ve learned alot from him. He has his challenges, like we all do. Maybe he just needs a hand right now.”
The single, most powerful message you can send your listeners is to use the amazingly simple technique of repeatedly interrupting them. When someone interrupts you, you know they believe what they have to say is more important than what you have to say. When someone interrupts you, you know they think they’re better than you.
When you communicate with others, take a breath after your partner has finished before you speak. In that breath, you are saying, “I heard what you said, I am taking it in, and am appreciating your communication. This one technique is golden.
Complainers face the same trouble as the baggage communicators. You feel bad when you’re around the complainers. When you complain, the state that you put your listener in is the state that he will associate with being around you. If you’re a chronic complainer, you create negative feelings in others and push people away, rather than draw them near. Complaining is something best left for customer service and avoided in communication with those you love or with whom you do business.
Gossip is probably the most evil, deadly, miserable way to communicate. Don’t use it, don’t participate in it, and don’t respond to it. You give away so much of who you are when you spread or even listen to gossip. A gossiper is someone who is very insecure, whose self esteem is dependent on finding fault in others, and whose world honors the small, weak, and petty. Anything shared with the gossiper likely will become public knowledge and will be used against the person who shared the information.
If you’re around someone who gossips, share your thoughts on gossip. When you say, “I really don’t want to hear that. It is none of my business. And, anyway, I really like George,” you encourage your listener to stop gossiping.
Excerpted and reprinted with permission from Talk Your Way to the Top: Communication Secrets to Change Your Life by Kevin Hogan, Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, LA.
Please direct your comments or questions to the author at: Kevin AT KevinHogan DOT com.
Insightful comments and questions will be published if space is available and you note in your questions that you would like it published!
Attend an online e-course with Kevin Hogan!
How to Make Money as
a Professional Speaker
See Registration form for Next E-Course Start Date
E-Course you can do at home…that will give you the step by step map everyone wants and needs to succeed!
Can YOU earn an extra $50,000 next year public speaking?
I’ve never met anyone who was responsible for their own income (business people, sales people, therapists) that couldn’t earn (easily) twice as much income when they added Paid Speaking to their Life Tool Box.
Maybe you have done some speaking already. (That’s a big plus by the way!)
Bill Clinton earns $100,000 for a speech. And he’s good. But he was the President. He should be getting paid high buck for the stories he can tell and the experiences he can share.
I’m not Bill Clinton. I don’t earn $100,000 per speech. Not many people do.
But, how does $10,000-$15,000 per speech sound?
I get at least that. What about you?
Who are the highest paid people in the world?
Public speakers, motivational speakers, inspirational speakers, keynote speakers, workshop leaders and seminar presenters are among the highest paid people in the world. And I’m talking about people who for the most part, didn’t go to college…
One article I read recently said that public speakers are the single most overpaid people in the world.
The article was written by a staff journalist. Superb writer. Articulate. Makes a good argument. And he could easily be earning 10 times what his paper pays him…easily. Sorry my friend, that was your choice.
Not only is there no reason that you can’t be “overpaid,” I’d be surprised if anything else was the result.
You don’t have to be a dynamite speaker to earn $100,000 per year speaking. You don’t have to have a college degree and you definitely don’t need a decade of experience.
You need a coach with connections and a detailed plan.
You don’t have to be gorgeous (I can show you photos…), intelligent (I can let you listen….) or even “have money to make money.”
I will outline for you in absolute minute detail how you, too, can:
- Control your income level. (Decide how much you want to get paid!)
- Develop programs, products and written material superior to all competitor’s
- Have your own Boot Camp (which is the fastest way for participants to accelerate their career and their lives!)
- Learn why Boot Camps are the best investment per dollar spent for every participant.
- Have knock ’em dead platform skills…inspire…entertain…inform…change lives
- How to use publicity to build your self and your business
- How to position yourself as THE expert in your field
- Use the internet to add enormous amounts of money to your income.
- Give profitable teleseminars that people desperately need
- Dominate your market
- Where the hottest markets are right now
What are people saying about this course?
“Kevin Hogan lays a path that magnifies your ability as a speaker. Whether you are currently on the speaker’s circuit, or have a burning desire to join, you owe it to yourself to better your abilities with Kevin’s Speakers E-Course. The information you will receive will answer all of your questions and then some. If you are serious about maximizing your potential, get into this E-course!” Matthew Shields, President, Emc2
“Kudos for your Public Speaking Program. And I never even have to leave the house. I actually love doing in-person presentations, but they aren’t the only way to do things. I also do teleseminars, and I have just launched a new joint venture project with some of the big names in Internet Marketing. I am interviewing 7 of Mark Joyner’s Space Monkeys from his 7 Day Business Turnaround Kit, and Mark himself. The participants include Jason Henderson, Michael Morgan, Tom Justin, Reed Floren, and more. Read more about it at www.wealthvirus.com. Thank you for the inspiration, the skills, and giving me the courage to make this dream into reality!” Tania Baildon, Wealth Virus Expert www.wealthvirus.com
“Wow, you really do over-deliver! I have at least 2 months more work to do even after the course is over. I am not complaining…this is GREAT. I have arranged 3 speaking engagements already and I have a blueprint for my future speaking to be successful. Not only have your prepared the soil you have helped water and fertilize it! I previously thought speaking was just speaking, but boy, was I wrong! Thanks for helping me open my eyes – and – giving us tools to manifest what we are learning. All of the add-on information helps us have multiple streams of income as well as better and more effective marketing. What you have delivered is more than what I thought I would receive, and frankly, it is worth more than you charged. I can’t wait to get to the $100K mark…you have already deserved a bonus and the course is not over yet!.” Karl W. Ellerbeck, NCMT, Speaking@KarlEllerbeck.com
“Kevin, with two thirds of the Professional Speakers Course behind me you continue to challenge and push me beyond limits I did not even realize existed. With over 400 pages of unadvertised course manuals, 20+ hours of recorded training material, continual opportunities for active participation and one third of the training still to come, I cannot fathom what you have left to share! I haven’t even read about a course that contains half of the materials that you have covered to this point, and still say there is more! The opportunity to interact with the other participants really pulled it all together. Thanks…so far.” Murray R. Mortlock, CD, Alberta, Canada
I got paid $500 for my first paid public presentation. Now that may not sound like a lot to you, but this was 1987 when $500…was about twice what it is today. I was 25.
Two years before that presentation, I earned $14,140 as a restaurant manager that worked 54.90 hours per week. (Do the math.) I was not a good manager. To my credit, I was a customer-service-junkie manager. I wanted every customer served at light speed and with the best we had. But I didn’t care if the paperwork was up to date…didn’t care if the drawers added up perfectly at the end of the night. They were always close enough. (If they weren’t I put in my own money and found how the cash disappeared later…) Didn’t care if the coupons were all entered into the registers. I just was not a bookkeeping kind of guy.
I didn’t mind paying lazy employees minimum wage and good employees twice that. But the restaurant did. Employees needed to be paid roughly the same amount of money….How stupid was that?! Lose your best employees to the first real job they find…and I’m stuck with what’s left. I shared that with the regional people. They didn’t like my non-conformist attitude. I confess that I never read “the company handbook.”
That got me into more than occasional trouble. I didn’t know you couldn’t help people with their family problems at home, compliment the lady on how nice she looked that day, tell the guy to get his backside in gear, or bet on the Vikings. I managed “by Mom.” I managed the store like my Mom would have. (And by the way…we were substantially profitable that year over and above the previous year even with bad weather at the holidays!)
I didn’t get fired from THIS job. But I should have. I hated the rules…well I would have if I would have read them. The Regional Manager kept reminding me of the rules. I would almost get ill when I would be lectured about “the rules and policies”. Policy always sounded like Police to me….
It just wasn’t for me. I quit before finding more ways to get “fired.” (No one was “downsized” in those days.)
I wanted to do something FUN, EXCITING, and something I LIKED. My two co-managers LOVED their work. The place was a perfect fit for them…but not me. I was a square peg and had no intentions of getting any more shaved off on the sides to “make me fit.”
Napoleon Hill sat by my bed every night. (Think and Grow Rich, that is.) I was going to do him proud….
Moving from the point of being a speaker who wanted to “get good,” to a professional was a pretty big step for me. I was going to ask for $500….
I was REALLY young. Why would anyone PAY ME to talk to them?
And once I decided to actually answer that question…
It was 1987 at Moreland Elementary School. I talked to the 400 kids packed into the gymnasium about drug and alcohol use. The good. The bad. The ugly. I was scared to death (almost literally, as I suffered from severe panic disorder in 1987…I had panic attacks 3-6 times per week…they were random…I never knew when they would come.).
I was 25 years old and my life dream was now officially on day one. I didn’t do it alone. I asked for help and I had help. I had a friend helping me. Someone who was as dedicated not to my dream but the message we wanted to share. In fact, there were 2 or 3 people like that. None of us got rich. We weren’t in that frame of mind. We shared a powerful message to people who wanted to hear it…and a lot that didn’t. Later letters and testimonials would show lives saved, endless appreciation, recommendations to other schools and organizations.
Two years later I spoke to South St. Paul High School. $1000. I had an enormous audience of students, teachers, parents. The place was packed. Same subject. But media covered this one. We came up with a neat angle that tied us into a national campaign. That was a very, very good thing because it was the beginning of the next level…
In fact most of my early presentations were all $500-$1,000 per day (several presentations per day at each school). They were in front of schools…kids…the toughest audiences on the planet…and I survived to tell about it!
I don’t have detailed records (what a surprise)… but I did about 15 schools per year for four years. I made more money in those 15 days than I did the entire year in 1986.
I made the audience members’ adrenaline pump. I was unconventional. I did a lot of things most speakers would never do in front of an audience. I was not politically correct. My lack of judgment in content often got me a few scowls but, by-and-large, they liked the 25 year old…
I worked hard to get the dates…next to no one knows how to go from anonymous to known quickly…and I was no exception. I had to learn the hard way. But I learned.
I learned how to get paid even when they didn’t have ANY MONEY. I learned how to get paid and my audience was children, which meant ZERO back of room. I learned how to get paid when there was literally no budget, no allotment, no nothing. Each month went by and I learned another secret. Another insider idea that would pay off over and over again. The kind of stuff no one on the outside would ever think about…which is why they were on the outside and I was in the jungle on safari!
Today…things have moved along nicely. I have been invited to speak literally from London to Australia. It took me an enormous amount of time to learn how to move from level to level. 500 to 1000. 1000 to 1500. 1500 to 2000. 2000 to 4000. 4000 to 5000. 5000 to 10,000.
But the hardest leaps were the early leaps. Constantly having to justify how I could be worth 1000.00 for one day…
And that’s what I want to help you do.
I want to show you how to move from zero to whatever you want to earn. (There is a cap by the way, in what you get paid for speaking. You can do X dates per year. That’s it. There IS a cap so don’t think you will make 100,000,000 just from speaking. You won’t! You simply get paid more than all of your friends and peers and most everyone else…a lot more.)
What else are people saying about this course?
“Kevin, I have received incredible value and benefit from your Professional Speakers Course. You have left no stone unturned per pro speaking. I highly recommend this program to anyone considering speaking professionally! Thanks!”
Michael Roth, DC
“Kevin, you damn near bring water to my eyes man, I want this so badly, it is truly a “burning desire” something I have to do, not merely want to do. I really appreciate you and how I’ve learned from you, which was mostly what you pulled out of me. The technical “how to’s” are invaluable. You truly delivered as and beyond what you promised. You may or may not believe in God but one thing for SURE, God Believes In YOU. The qualities of character and compassion, the giving and care that you exhibit are clear and identifiable, they have a source. That source has been expressed through YOU.”
YOUR brother, Michael Muhammad
“Kevin, this week I secured a further 12 speaking engagements where I am speaking for free. This is the start of my career and I want to speak wherever I can. However, get this…I am also speaking at two large engagements with 500 and 600 attendees respectively. Both paid. I am just doing everything you told me to do. I am getting myself out there in every shape and form and it all is beginning to happen. I am on the edge of some great things. I owe so much of this to you, Kevin (and that is underplaying it)!”
Adam Eason www.Adam-Eason.com
“This class has made me realize that almost anything is possible. Your class gave me every tool necessary to not only begin my speaking career but catapult it forward. You not only made me realize my commitments – but put me on the road to achieving them. You are an incredibly intelligent, witty, dependable, thoughtful, inspirational, energetic and authentic human being. All of that bundled with the fact that you truly care about others makes you very unique. It was an amazing experience for me to begin this e-course and over a period of eight weeks learn all there was to learn about becoming a professional speaker. You are a genuine giver. I hope others don’t miss the opportunity to spend time learning from you. You have changed my path and I thank you for it. Thank you for helping me get my website up to the #1 position on Google.” Tonya Reiman www.tonyareiman.com
“I signed up for Kevin’s Speaker Course thinking I would learn some better communication skills and improve my presentation style. I received that in the first week and we were just getting started! This course opened my eyes to all aspects of professional speaking, besides just the speaking. I can’t thank you enough for all that I have learned. This course is a must for anyone who is considering professional speaking.”
Todd Bramson www.toddbramson.com
“Your offer for the speaking course in Coffee with Kevin Hogan came at just the right moment in my life. I had just decided to turn my focus from private hypnosis sessions to sales training. After finishing the course, I feel like I have been through a university level course on how to become a successful speaker. My stack of notes and printouts is over 2 inches high. It was just the exact information I needed, from how to set up and drive your web page to the top at google to how to get paid to how to win over your audience with stories. The information was practical and extraordinarily valuable. I now have all the tools I need to succeed as a speaker/trainer. I highly recommend Kevin Hogan’s speaking course to anyone who is contemplating earning money as a speaker. In fact, it is a necessity.” Patrick Dillon, Real Estate Broker/Hypnotist New Paltz, NY
“If you are successful, highly motivated and think you are already at the pinnacle of self-achievement, then this program is definitely the program for you! Not only does Kevin teach you insider secrets on how to jump-start a highly successful professional speaking career, he skillfully elicits potential areas of self-sabotage and procrastination and then firmly guides you to overcome them; patiently ignoring your kicking and screaming and excuses. He then proudly shares your joy as you reach goals that were only vague hopes when starting the program. Kevin’s skill, knowledge and warmth make this the “must have” course not only for those seeking a professional speaking career, but also for any successful person seeking the next pinnacle.” Michelle Drum, Charleston, IL
“Long before I met Kevin Hogan, I heard and read tons of nothing but great comments about him. Now I have a ton of great things to say myself. Kevin is absolutely brilliant. He is a master at his craft and it was inspiring to witness him doing what he does best: Deliver powerful, life-changing information in a humble but extremely confident manner. I have read dozens of books, attended dozens of workshops and dozens of seminars on the professional speaking industry searching for the secret ingredient. But there is no secret ingredient, there’s a secret recipe. Kevin Hogan is the man with that recipe. During this Speaker Course, Kevin covered it all. From creating stories that deliver your message straight to the unconscious mind to how to position yourself on the stage for maximum impact. From killer marketing secrets to fee and contract negotiations. How to become an “expert”…How get YOUR book into the top 10 on Amazon! That secret was worth the cost of the course by itself. And as if all of this wasn’t enough during our one-on-one coaching session, Kevin gave me some advice and guidance that will not only make my career better, but make my entire life better. I don’t know where he keeps his heart, because it’s too big to fit in his body! The bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginning speaker or an advanced one. If you want save thousands of dollars and cut years off of your learning curve then quit playing, and take this course.” Al “The Inspiration” Duncan, TV Personality, Host of The State Of The Mind Address, www.alduncan.net
Here is what you are going to learn in your 8 week course:
- How to get companies to pay you more than you have ever been paid in your life.
- How to Get White Glove Treatment. Get the company to pick you up at the airport in a limo, assign you your assistant, bring you to your world class hotel, drive you to the convention, buy you a gourmet lunch, wine and dine you at night and return you feeling like you never have felt before to your hotel ready to return home in the morning.
- How to get them to pay you *in advance*.
- My contract that I use with companies all over the world…I’m going to give it to you.
- Typical contracts that they respond with! (They don’t tell you this in Speakers 101. You have to learn that their contracts are written by big shots who don’t care about you or your speaking. They are the company attorneys.)
- How to easily negotiate your fee (usually in one minute or less) and the terms of your contract.
- How to get nonprofit organizations to pay you when everyone else is speaking for free.
- How to get THOUSANDS of dollars from nonprofit and charitable organizations that do not have “ONE CENT” to pay your fee… (I lived on this secret for three years!)
- How to develop a wealth of material that is YOUR UNIQUE MATERIAL to use when speaking.
- How to develop stories from YOUR LIFE that you can tell over and over for tens of thousands of dollars. Never will you have to tell someone else’s story again.
- How to build YOUR name so YOU become your own BRAND.
- How to start tomorrow!
- How to get newspapers and TV to come and cover you tomorrow!
- How to get free television time that would cost you tens of thousands of dollars if you could afford to pay for it.
- How to get international gigs. (Read that as get paid to travel first class to the most exotic places on the planet!)
- I’m going to show you EVERYTHING you MUST do from square one to square 100.
- I will fill in every step.
- I will show you every secret.
- I will show you who is getting hired, why and where.
- I will show you how to work as MUCH or LITTLE as you want to.
- I will show you how to get INVITED BACK next year so you don’t have to market to that group ever again!
I will hold nothing back. If you need the answer to ANY question you will be able to ask at any time.
The complete plan is here for you. Nothing is left out. No additional secrets. Everything is here. Everything.
The course works like this.
10 people participate (I’d work with 50 if I had the time, desire and energy…it’s not that “space is limited”…it’s not…it’s an E-Course.)
Each week, you’ll receive your lesson for the week. One week it’s a video tape that will arrive in your mailbox. The next week it’s densely packed information and crucial data you get by email. The next week it’s YOU making a video and sending it to me to FIX. Not only will I show you how to present so they WANT YOU BACK, I’ll show you what to do to become a truly SUPERB speaker so they will be talking about you the next day!
Yes. I’m going to show you how I create and develop presentations so that you can literally talk for DAYS and not cover the same story or material twice…all without a script.
This program not only shows you how to make money but…if you choose… how to become one of the best!
Crucial: In order to get feedback on the week’s assignment you MUST get your homework to me by the end of the week. I won’t play catch up with anyone. It’s your life, not mine….and it’s MY LIFE, not yours. I’m dedicated to you, you dedicate to me. If fixing the planter in the back yard is more important than the rest of your life, then don’t register for the course.
At the end of the course, you will have my attention for quite some time because of how I earn my money…
Each participant pays a grand total of $10,000 per person.
I’ll do 100% of the work to get you where you want to be, if you will put a 30% deposit down. (Or less…!)
You enroll for only $2997 See Application Form for current tuition discount and rates.
Then you give me your word (and a signed note) that after you have earned $100,000 in speaking fees, you will pay the balance of $7,000.
I’m going to write letters of recommendation, take phone calls for you from potential clients, help you in ways that only someone in the field can, and be here for you when you need any holes filled in for you.
If we have corresponded or talked in the past…this is who I prefer to work with. But even if we haven’t as long as you have integrity (total integrity) and a strong desire to succeed, you can participate.
I retain the right to turn down any application for any reason prior to the beginning of the course.
If you want to lead the field, I want to help you. Oh, and if I’m anywhere nearby when you are giving your first speech after you hit the $100,000 mark, I will be there in the audience cheering you on.
Here’s your chance. You’ve always wanted it. You’ve always dreamed it. Whether you are 25 or 75…don’t die with your music still in you…this is the opportunity of your lifetime. Let’s have fun together and make some music!