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Posted November 19, 2002
Excellent advice to improve your communication skills
Roger Ailes is a well-known media consultant and television producer. At the time of the publishing of this book, he was president of CNBC, the cable business news network. This has given him lots of experience in communication, which he draws on for this book. His basic thrust is that communications in this modern age have been so influenced by media like television that we need to use those rules in ALL of our communications. You've only got seconds to get and hold someone's attention; you've go to be honest (or at least lie consistently); but, most importantly, you've got to be yourself. People can spot a fake, and you will do your best when you stop trying to be someone you aren't, and just be yourself. Many people think they have to become someone different when speaking in public, but it's not the case. As someone who has never had problems speaking in public, I didn't find this book to be as earth-shattering as some other people may have, but it does contain lots of good advice for people who would like to handle those situations better. I especially found his own personal reminisces about situations he dealt with to be the best parts of the book, and he uses these liberally to enhance his points. The section about dealing with the press is noteably excellent.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 30, 2001
High Energy Focused Positively in the First 7 Seconds!
The world is full of speaking coaches, but probably no one has a better track record for success than Roger Ailes. You may remember that Mr. Ailes helped President Reagan prepare for the critical second debate against former Vice President Walter Mondale in 1984 ('. . . I promise not to hold his youth and inexperience against him'), and was a senior media advisor to Vice President Bush in the successful 1988 election campaign. His advice is to keep it as simple as possible for the speaker by building on the speaker's own natural conversational patterns, while accentuating the positive in communicating, avoiding the negative, and adding lots of directed energy. Mr. Ailes is a great story teller, and he builds his key points with punchy, personal examples. For example, to establish his key principle about making an impression in the first 7 second you are with someone, he tells about meeting Charles Manson in prison and facing him down with steely eye contact. Manson looked away first. Afterwards, Manson was a willing interview subject. A second story builds the point by describing how a subway stick-up gang extorted money from those showing fearful body language by intimidating them. Even if the book's message was not so important, it would be worthwhile reading the book for the many wonderful stories. Mr. Ailes' basic point is to break down the art of face-to-face and televised communication into the most important elements. He encourages you to emphasize the unspoken dialogue . . . by how you use your body and respond to what others say. Listeners pay much more attention to the body language and to the emotion they feel from you than to the intellectual content of the message. This accentuated on television. Hit the mute button on your remote, and watch people talking to see his point. The whole advice could be boiled down to 'keep your conversational style. Increase the energy.' In doing this, it helps to be prepared, make others comfortable, be interesting, be committed, be likeable, and be helpful. Whatever the circumstances, he advises controlling the emotional tone of the communication. The book contains many helpful lists including one on the ten things that most hurt communications, such as not establishing adequate rapport in the beginning, or making stiff body movements. The end of the book contains a helpful user's guide that outlines all of the key points. I thought that the best advice for improving was to practice watching yourself on video tape, and evaluating your effectiveness along the lines of what Mr. Ailes suggests. The book also contains many excellent exercises for becoming better at deciding what to do as well as implementing your desires. When I first began making television appearances 20 years ago, I had the benefit of speech coaching. I can certainly agree that the advice here matches well with the experiences that I have had over the 20 years since then, and vastly simplifies what I learned during that coaching. I highly recommend this advice both for its accuracy, and for the relative ease you will feel in implementing it. After you use this valuable advice to become a much beWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 23, 2011
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