DecYouv 95-6-55



Bert Decker

New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992, 300 pp



On being an effective public speaker.  He coined the term “First Brain,” by which he means “the emotional part of the mind.”

Communicating is a contact sport.  4  To communicate you must make emotional contact. 13

People buy on emotion and justify by fact. 16

1.  The spoken word is almost the polar opposite of the written word. 

2.  In the spoken medium, what you say must be believed to have impact. 

3.  Believability is overwhelmingly determined at a preconscious level.  31

If you want a raise, don’t send a memo:  Get into the office and persuade the boss that you’re worth it.  Show him. 32

No message, regardless of how eloquently stated, brilliantly defended, and painstakingly documented it may be, is able to penetrate a wall of distrust, apprehension, or indifference.  And for your message to be believed, you must be believable.  34

Be natural.  Use energy, enthusiasm, motion, expression - multichannel, nonverbal cues which make emotional contact.  54

Trust and believability are virtually synonymous.  55

The First Brain works at a preconscious, nonverbal level.  It transforms a gesture, a glance, an inflection into instant feelings and emotion.  It sees everything in one glance.  61

Likability is the shortest path to believability and trust.  61

Nine ways to transform your personal impact:  79

The Eye Factor


The Energy Factor



1. Eye communication

2. Posture and Movement

3. Dress and Appearance

4. Gestures and the smile


5. Voice and Vocal Variety

6. Words and Nonwords (The Pause)

7. Listener Involvement

8. Humor



     9. The Natural Self


The visual sense dominates all of the senses.  81

Believability:    Verbal     7%

              Vocal      38%

              Visual      55%    84

When you appear nervous, awkward, or under pressure, your verbal content is blocked by your inconsistent vocal and visual message.  85

Eye communication is your number one skill.  86

Contact eyes, not faces.  Look at people for 4-6 seconds.  91

Dress and groom up, not down.  It is safer to be overdressed than underdressed.  101

When you communicate, are you enthused?  Excited?  Do you speak with conviction and passion?  Your listener’s First Brain wants to know how you really feel about what you are saying.  105

Your voice is the vehicle of your message.  Learn to drive that vehicle like a Lamborghini.  Push it, open it up...”Floor it!”  123

Listen to yourself on audiotape.  124  Once you really hear your voice you can change it.

The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightening and a lightening-bug.  130  (Mark Twain)

Count the non-words you use  (uhhh, well, you know, so, okay, etc.)  135

Exercises in pausing probably have the second biggest and most immediate payoff in your communication effectiveness.  136

Eight techniques to involve your listener:  139-41

1. Use drama. 

2. Maintain eye communication

3. Move

4. Use visuals

5. Ask questions (rhetorical)

6. Use demonstrations.

7. Use samples and gimmicks.

8. Create interest (keep your own interest level high)

Make the formal informal.  145

Think funny, and you will begin to see the humor around you and use it in your communications.  What makes you laugh?  Is it wry wit, personal asides, puns?  Find out, ad use it in your own communications.  146

Re listening:  Real people need real communication, including feedback, interaction, and attention.  They need contact.  It is not enough to listen with one ear.  It’s not enough to listen with both ears.  We need to listen with our eyes.  197

Feedback should consist of three strengths and three distractions.  223  Ask people to take a blank piece of paper and write PRO and CON at the top.  List 3 and only 3 things they liked and list 3 things I could improve.  225

Record your rehearsals and actual presentations on videotape. 228

The most effective communicators are expressive--yet fully in control.  They are alive with energy.  They consciously control the emotion in their own behavior.  To become effective, we must relearn how to be fully expressive.  Rediscover the uninhibited state of the 2-year-old. 239

All a lectern is good for is manufacturing boredom.  246

Make the formal situation informal.  247

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.  266

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