What better way to get across an example of how we can win buy-in to our ideas . . . than to share this blog post from EO-London President Jennifer Jansen who wrote about her response to my recent presentation for them.

Thanks Jen ( http://www.sixdegreespr.com ) for giving permission to share this.

It was grand fun seeing those cerebral sparks flying, and I’m glad to know you and your fellow EO members found our program intriguing and useful.

“OK, I’ll admit it. When, as the learning chair of the UK’s Entrepreneurs’ Organization, I agreed to host a speaker who professed to be able to teach us how to sell anything to anyone in 60 seconds or less, I was skeptical. But Sam Horn didn’t disappoint.

Imagine a group of 20 highly-strung entrepreneurs and members of their teams – Blackberries and iPhones buzzing, minds racing, faces blank.

Sam Horn – a refreshingly unconventional American in a trademark black hat takes to the floor. The skeptics agree to give her her 60 seconds.

Fast-forward four hours. The room is alive with energy, people wondering where the time has gone. New ideas hatched, new friendships formed, and traditional ways of thinking changed forever.

Sam Horn is full of inspirational stories, thought-provoking quotes, and frameworks for putting her theory in to practice. And she shares these with the generosity and confidence of someone who’s built a career out of helping people succeed.

Have you ever wondered how on earth you can differentiate your own brand when competitors are all doing broadly the same thing, in the same way?

Ever felt like the last thing you wanted to do in a meeting was a standard PowerPoint presentation, but couldn’t come up with an alternative? Or, how to make a ‘boring’ product interesting to absolutely anyone?

Well, I have. And what I learned will help me not only in the continuous improvement of Six Degrees, but in the way I and the team think about client challenges and how best to approach them.

Here’s an example. At Six Degrees we’re pretty proud of our elevator pitch: ‘We make clients famous’. Simple to understand, and hopefully compelling.

But it’s a statement. It is a one-way communication. Sam’s view is that people should aim to create an ‘elevator conversation’ rather than an ‘elevator speech’.

So in the context of the story above, we’ve tweaked ours. “Have you ever heard of Skype?” To which most people these days will say “Of course!” “Well, we helped make it a household name.”

Brilliant. Now we have the start of a conversation. And where there’s conversation, there’s opportunity.

Interestingly, Sam’s philosophy simply replicates what we advocate in the online world — creating conversations — in our offline lives. It just makes sense.

I could write a full article about what we learned yesterday, but that’s not the point. I suspect a lot of what Sam says is in her latest book, POP! And I suspect that the best way to learn from Sam Horn is to see her in action (no, I won’t be getting a commission for this!).

Let’s just say that for many years to come, I and the team who were with me yesterday won’t soon forget Sam, in the black hat.”

Thanks again Jen.

Would you like specific ways to win buy-in to your priority project?

Contact us at info@SamHorn.com for details about our upcoming tele-seminar on WIN BUY-IN: GET ANYONE INTRIGUED IN ANYTHING IN 60 SECONDS.

Like Jen, are you a little skeptical?

All I can say is that this program has been a hit at the British Airways Face2Face Competition in NYC and has received perfect 10’s from discerning corporate audiences around the world.

Be sure to have a priority project or upcoming communication in mind when you register for our tele-seminar so you can instantly apply these innovative techniques to capture the favorable interest of your decision-makers. Go to samhorn.com/speaking/calendar for dates and times on Sam’s events.

Sam hits the ground running, and within minutes of hearing her one-of-a-kind techniques, you’ll quickly understand why Sam’s unique approach has helped clients land multi-million dollar deals, command the attention and respect of their target customers, and win buy-in to what they care most about.
Check out Sam’s Store at samhorn.com/shop

“I learned at an early age that when I made people laugh, they liked me.” – Art Buchwald

This is a continuation of a series of how to capture attention online and in person with intriguing communication.

Tip #3 in the series is to Make ’em Laugh.

It’s based on the premise that we’ve got 30 seconds MAX to capture busy people’s attention. One of the best ways to do that? Get people to smile, chuckle or laugh out loud.

I told that to one client who had flown in for the weekend to consult with me on how to scale her business to the next level. She is aleady a highly successful keynote speaker and consultant in the healthcare industry, but knows she’s leaving money on the table. She is also really, really serious.

She said, “Sam, I’m not funny.”

I said, “Want good news? You don’t have to be. Other people are funny and you can hook and hinge their one-liners (with attribution) to your topic so you preface ‘aha’s’ with ‘haha’s.'”

She said, “But I’m not good at telling jokes.”

I told her, “Good, because that’s NOT what I’m talking about. Jokes come across as ‘canned’ and they often backfire. What I’m talking about is taking a one-liner that’s relevant to your topic and starting off with it to get a SMILE that favorably predisposes people to like you and what you say next.”

For example, if you’re talking about procrastination, you could quote Judy Tenuta, “My parents always told me I wouldn’t amount to anything because I procrastinated so much. I told ’em, ‘Just you wait.'”

Then, segue into your subject, “Are you waiting to schedule that physical exam? Are you procrastinating on seeing your doctor because you hope that ache will go away? Well, in today’s program . . . ”

I also told her, “When something funny happens to you, write it down, and figure out how you can include it in your work.”

For example, I was in the San Francisco airport, riding one of those ‘lazy sidewalks’ on the long walkway to the gates. I noticed a very tall man walking toward me. I couldn’t believe it. People in front of me were pointing at him and laughing. I thought, ‘How rude!’

As he got closer, I could see why they were laughing. He had on a t-shirt that said in very large letters, “No, I’m NOT a basketball player.”

I turned to say something to him and laughed out loud as soon as I saw the back of his t-shirt. It said, “Are you a jockey?”

I had to meet this Fun Fu! black belt. I got off the lazy sidewalk and raced back to catch up with him. I complimented him on his great sense of humor and asked, “Where’d you get your shirt?”

He smiled and said, “I grew a foot between the ages of 13 and 16. I didn’t even want to go out of the house because I was so self-conscious and everyone had to make a smart aleck remark.

My mom finally said, ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.’ She’s the one who made this shirt for me. This is nothing. I’ve got a whole drawer-full of these at home. My favorite says, “I’m 6’13 and the weather up here’s fine.”

The point?

I use this story in my Tongue Fu! presentations to illustrate the power of having a clever, noncombative comeback for sensitive issues. If you’re tall, short, fat, skinny, bald or have acne; you’re going to hear about it. You might as well develop a repertoire of Fun Fu! remarkes so you can have fun with that issue instead of being frustrated by it.

As Erma Bombeck said, “If you can laugh at it; you can live with it.”

Next time, you’re communicating about a serious or sensitive issue, preface it with humor. People will be a lot more likely to like and listen to what you have to say.

Edward de Bono said, “It has always surprised me how little attention people pay to the power of humor since it is a more persuasive process of mind than reason. Reason can only sort out perecptions, humor changes them.”

Agreed. Would you like to learn how to use Fun Fu! to capture and keep attention for your work? Check out my books Tongue Fu!® and POP!
Both have chapters on how to use humor to get people’s favorable attention. Read ’em and reap.