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You Are the Message: Getting What You Want By Being Who You Are

Overview

"You are the message." What does that mean, exactly? It means that when you communicate with someone, it's not just the words you choose to send to the other person that make up the message. You're also sending signals about what kind of person you are—by your eyes, your facial expression, your body movement, your vocal pitch, tone, volume, and intensity, your commitment to your message, your sense of humor, and many other factors.

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Overview

"You are the message." What does that mean, exactly? It means that when you communicate with someone, it's not just the words you choose to send to the other person that make up the message. You're also sending signals about what kind of person you are—by your eyes, your facial expression, your body movement, your vocal pitch, tone, volume, and intensity, your commitment to your message, your sense of humor, and many other factors.

The receiving person is bombarded with symbols and signals from you. Everything you do in relation to other people causes them to make judgments about what you stand for and what your message is. "You are the message" comes down to the fact that unless you identify yourself as a walking, talking message, you miss that critical point.

The words themselves are meaningless unless the rest of you is in synchronization. The total you affects how others think of and respond to you.

Roger Ailes, the media advisor to U.S. presidents, America's top executives, and celebrities tells readers how to: hold an audience in the palm of their hands; break through fear and other performance blocks; and get what they want by being who they are.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385427203
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/1995
  • Pages: 223
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"You are the message." What does that mean, exactly? It means that when you communicate with someone, it's not just the words you choose to send to the other person that make up the message. You're also sending signals about what kind of person you are--by your eyes, your facial expression, your body movement, your vocal pitch, tone, volume, and intensity, your commitment to your message, your sense of humor, and many other factors.

The receiving person is bombarded with symbols and signals from you. Everything you do in relation to other people causes them to make judgments about what you stand for and what your message is. "You are the message" comes down to the fact that unless you identify yourself as a walking, talking message, you miss that critical point.

The words themselves are meaningless unless the rest of you is in synchronization. The total you affects how others think of and respond to you.

ARE YOU A WINNER?

What does all this mean to you in terms of getting what you want by being who you are? What it means is that your composite message determines whether you're going to be successful in whatever career you've chosen, whether you're going to move up in the management of your company, whether you're going to be a winner or a loser, whether you're going to succeed in negotiating situations, whether you're going to become a superstar or just another droning voice who eventually gets a wristwatch at retirement. The stakes are that high. It's that important for you to accept that you (the whole you) are the message--and that message determines whether or not you'll get what you want in this life.

Over the pasttwenty-five years, I've worked with literally thousands of business and political leaders, show business personalities, and men and women who just want to be successful. I've helped many of them learn to communicate more effectively, control communication environments, make persuasive presentations, field hostile questions from journalists or irate corporate shareholders, and generally handle the ever-changing communication situations we all find ourselves in every day. The secret of that training has always been "You are the message." If you are uncomfortable with who you are, it will make others uncomfortable, too. But if you can identify and use your good qualities as a person, others will want to be with you and cooperate with you.

A PERSONAL INVENTORY

Take a piece of paper and list personal assets that help you communicate. Consider your physical appearance, energy, rate of speech, pitch and tone of voice, animation and gestures, expressiveness of eyes, and ability to hold the interest of people who listen to you. Perhaps you can add other qualities. These assets form the best part of the composite you. Study the list to see which areas you wish to improve. Those categories you feel less confident of are also part of your total message. In this book, we'll show you, as the old song says, how to "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative."

"You are the message" is a new way of looking at yourself and others. Sometimes we can make mistakes about others if, as we view them, we segment them and only get a partial picture. This person has good-looking hair; that person has no hair. This person should lose weight; that one should gain weight. We look at all these parts of people, but then we quickly perceive the person in totality. You can have the greatest head of hair in the world, or the greatest smile, or the greatest voice, or whatever, but after two minutes you're going to be looked at as a whole person. All of those impressions of your various parts will have been blended into one complete composite picture, and the other person will have a feeling about you based on that total impression. Enough of that image has to be working in your favor for you to be liked, accepted, and given what you want.

THE UNFORGETTABLE BENNETT

Bennett Cerf, former chairman of Random House Publishing, was a man who never gave in to the pressure of growing up completely. He was an incorrigible punster. He would make a joke about anything and always seemed to be in good humor. He had a tremendous interest in other people. This quality alone made him one of the most sought-after friends and hosts in the world. He wasn't great-looking, he didn't have a great voice, he wasn't even a great speaker, and yet he became well known on national television, where publishing house executives usually aren't public figures. The reason? People liked Bennett!

They always had the feeling he cared about them and was interested in what they were doing--and he truly was. He was interested in everyone he met. After meeting Bennett and spending ten minutes with him, you would find yourself engrossed in a deep conversation about yourself. Bennett was probing, interested, caring. He never hesitated to offer advice or ideas. He never held back because he thought he might lose some of himself if he gave it to others.

I had enormous respect for Bennett. I only knew him well for a few months, but I knew him well enough to understand why people were drawn to him. At the most serious moments, the little boy in Bennett would surface, he would say something funny, and everyone would start to giggle. I've seen many other people who careened from crisis to crisis, but I always had the feeling that Bennett Cerf was laughing from crisis to crisis and enjoying the trip. Bennett Cerf built a publishing empire and was a successful businessman, yet he gave the overall impression that life was a lark.

MAKING SENSE OF YOUR SENSES

For the next week, whenever you meet someone, quickly form an overall impression. Do I like this person or not? Am I comfortable or not comfortable? As soon as the overall impression is formed, try to identify as many particulars as you can about the person. Look at eyes, face, attitude, style, and voice. This exercise will sharpen your instincts about people. It will enable you to better "read between the lines" with others. You'll quickly spot if people mean what they're saying. You'll more readily discern nuances from others--for example, if they're tired, depressed, bored, or anxious, or if their interest has suddenly been piqued (reading other people accurately is essential if you want to succeed in any sales or negotiating situation).

Practice by writing down everything your senses tell you about each person you meet. If you cannot list at least twelve impressions or observations, you need some concentrated work in this area. This exercise will sharpen your instincts about people.

The fact is, our senses are always working, although we've trained ourselves to ignore them at times by tuning out. The goal of opening up your senses and practicing this exercise is to expand the sensory radar that all of us have but that only the most astute communicators tap into. Have you ever noticed that some people--maybe a boss, a teacher, or a friend--seem to be able to read your mind at times? The gift some people have is that they have trained their sensory radar better than you have. You can become more like these master communicators by opening up your senses instead of shutting them down.

The fact that most of us only use a small percentage of our sensory potential is demonstrated by the heightened sensing abilities developed by certain handicapped people. For example, the blind often hear, touch, and smell with great perception and subtlety. It's not that their other senses are better or different than those of sighted people--they're just more acutely used.

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Table of Contents

Preface XV
1 The First Seven Seconds 1
First Impressions 3
Easy Money 5
Communicate Or Die 6
Face Value 7
Mirror Image 8
Listen Up 8
The Mask 9
Conversationally Speaking 10
The Ten Most Common Problems 11
Boyhood Lessons 12
From Handkerchiefs To Hollywood Stars 13
2 Television Changed The Rules 15
Quick-Cut Communications 15
See It and Say It 16
Wanted: Alive, Not Dead 17
3 You Are The Message 19
The Reassurance Issue 20
Defining Goals 20
Stockman's Other Book 21
Access To The President 21
Let Reagan Be Reagan 22
The Pepper Drill 22
The Unmentionable Topic 23
One for the Gipper 24
The Composite You 25
Are You A Winner? 26
A Personal Inventory 26
The Unforgettable Bennett 27
Making Sense of Your Senses 28
The Morning Show 29
Test Your Senses 30
Observe or Die 31
"Don't Change Me" 31
Remember Back 32
It's Always A Dialogue 33
The Guest Meter 33
The Good News 34
Hopeless? 35
Happy to Be Here? 37
Speech-Reading Tips 37
4 Instincts and Rules 41
Organic Speech 43
Vocal Variety: the Spice of Speech 44
Words and Music 45
Tape and Ape 46
If You Care, They Care 46
Absorb/Project 47
Launching 48
The Eyes 50
Say What the Audience Thinks 51
Feelings 51
Between the Lines 52
Breaking Through 53
The Nonstop Talker 54
Your Listening Ratio 55
5 Poor Reception 56
A Tally of Losses 56
Try Listening 57
Be Specific 58
Listening Tips 59
The Words Get in the Way 61
Talk Less 62
6 The Four Essentials of A Great Communicator 63
The First Essential: Be Prepared 64
Where to Start 65
Speak the Speech 66
No Cop-Outs 66
A Preparation Checklist 67
Make it Your Own 69
The Second Essential: Make Others Comfortable 70
We're Only Human 71
Getting Comfortable 71
The Light Touch 73
Other Positive Attributes 74
A Hard Case 75
The Third Essential: Be Committed 76
The Fourth Essential: Be Interesting 78
Style Versus Substance 79
The Five-Minute Manager 80
The Best and the Brightest 80
The 30 Percent Solution 82
7 The Magic Bullet 83
A Trick Shot 84
Optimists and Pessimists 85
An All-Time Favorite 86
Christmas 1965 87
It's No Joke 87
The Spokesman 88
Losing the Like Vote 89
I Hate His Guts 90
8 The Double-Edged Sword 91
A Range of Emotions 93
The Personal Touch 94
Pressing Too Hard 95
Qualifications Versus Qualities 96
The Glass Ceiling 97
An Evolution 98
The Hassle Factor 98
Redirection 99
Some Advice 100
"Bilingual" Communications 101
Measure Your Attitude 102
9 Beyond Charisma: Control of the Atmosphere 104
Have You Got it? 105
LBJ 107
The Kennedy Brothers 107
From Here to Eternity 108
Rocky's Punch 109
The Gauntlet 109
Your Charisma Quotient 110
Control of the Atmosphere 111
Mission Control 112
Risk and Reward 113
Bar None 114
Depth Charges 114
Climate Control 115
Unspoken Giveaways 116
Space and Time 116
Playing for Time 117
Social Security 118
Pullback Gestures 118
Hail and Well Meant 119
Test of Strength 120
Control-of-the-Atmosphere Quotient 121
10 An Ounce of Energy is Worth A Pound of Technique 122
Focused Energy 123
A Natural State 123
Positive Energy 124
Jack Benny's Secret 125
Life Force 126
Rx for Energy Crises 127
In the Lion's Cage 128
Commitment 129
11 Lighten Up, You're Wearing Everybody Out 131
The Bottom Line 132
Your Responsibility 132
Ego Questions 133
Heir Apparent 134
Dead Uncertain 134
Part of Your Job 135
A Sense of Humor 136
Your Humor Quotient 137
Outside the Dots 137
The Showman 139
To Be More Humorous 141
Begin With Research 141
Relevance 142
Rhythm 142
Rehearsal 143
Relaxation 143
Risk 143
12 Okay, Ailes, Fix Me: the Ailes Method/Course 145
The First Thirty Seconds 146
An Alternative Approach 147
"Image" 147
Checklist 148
Candor 149
Mirror 150
The Hundred-Year View 150
The Transformation 151
"I'm Not an Actor" 152
Don't Be Afraid to Perform 152
Job Interviewing 153
Checklist 154
Do 155
Don't 156
One That Got Away 156
Eye Dart 157
Can't Hear You 157
A Hot Dog at Fifty-Three 158
What's Going on? 158
Fear 159
13 Even Heroes Get Scared 160
Are You Ready? 160
Temporary Paralysis 161
Perspective 162
Short-Range Versus Long-Range 162
The Best Right Now 163
The Mind 164
The Worst 164
Two Kinds of Anxiety 165
Antidote to Fear 165
The Pill 166
The Big Red Arrow 167
Hey Barney! 167
The Perfection Block 168
Overdrive 168
Vulnerability 169
Hizzoner 170
Energy 171
Rooting for You 171
If You Fumble 172
A Good Trip 172
14 "Making it" in Grandma's Eyes 174
The Miracle 175
Guilty Till Proven Innocent 175
Girding for Battle 176
No Place to Hide 177
The Journalist's Job 178
Two Views 179
Only Kidding 180
On Or Off? 181
Selling Others Out 182
No Lies, No Apologies 183
15 Media Tactics: Scoring on Defense 185
Who Sets the Agenda? 187
Plain Speaking 189
A Search-and-Destroy Mission 189
Golden Rules 191
Repositioning 192
A Rule of Thumb 194
Dress 195
Crowd Control 196
A TV Duel 197
Your Bill of Rights 201
Epilogue 203
Appendix Chapter Highlights 205
Notes 217
Index 219
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