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The Pin Drop Principle: Captivate, Influence, and Communicate Better Using the Time-Tested Methods of Professional Performers

ISBN: 978-1-118-28919-8
272 pages
June 2012, Jossey-Bass
The Pin Drop Principle: Captivate, Influence, and Communicate Better Using the Time-Tested Methods of Professional Performers (1118289196) cover image
Tap into the powerful techniques of professional actors and great communicators

The Pin Drop Principle is a step-by-step master class for anyone wishing to become a more confident and credible communicator. Lewis and Mills believe all business professionals ought to deliver their message in such an engaging way that one could literally hear a pin drop when they speak. The secret to doing so comes from an unusual world: professional acting. By activating "objective" and "intention"—the main tools of actors (and great communicators)—business people can give their messages meaning and relevance, so the recipients walk away knowing why the message is important and what is in it for them.

  • Empowers business professionals with performance-based delivery techniques—from storytelling to vocal dynamics—essential to becoming a great communicator
  • Written for anyone wishing to engage listeners, establish instant credibility, influence key decision makers, and create a positive lasting impression
  • Based on the Pinnacle Method, one of the most popular and groundbreaking communication skills training methods

The Pin Drop Principle is an accessible resource for anyone who routinely needs to present ideas to large or small groups, convey feedback effectively, conduct difficult conversations, and persuade others.

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Introduction 1

1 Understand the Secrets of Persuasion 13

Communicating with Intention and Objective

2 Tell a Good Story 29

Using Personal Experiences to Inspire and Persuade

3 Craft a Compelling Narrative 47

Building the Framework to Support Your Message

4 Be Prepared 71

Managing Nerves and Controlling Anxiety

5 Project Confidence 91

Expressing Your Intention Nonverbally

6 Say It Like You Mean It 119

Using Your Voice to Influence

7 Listen to Understand 139

Maximizing Comprehension and Retention

8 Think on Your Feet 157

Mastering Impromptu Speaking in Any Situation

9 Stay Focused and On Track 173

Handling Questions and Controlling Your Audience

10 Assert Yourself 195

Gaining Commitment, Providing Feedback, and Delivering Difficult News

Conclusion 219

Notes 221

Glossary of Terms 231

Acknowledgments 239

About the Authors 241

Index 243

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David Lewis and G. Riley Mills are cofounders of Pinnacle Performance Company, a global training firm that teaches the Pinnacle Method to thousands of professionals each year. Lewis is a former Fortune 500 executive, filmproducer, and screen actor. Mills is a regular speaker and award-winning writer with twenty years of professional acting experience.

For more information, please visit www.pinper.com.

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“By bringing communication back to first principles, Lewis and Mills get beyond the tricks and traps and help you understand what really engages an audience.”
—Dylan Taylor, CEO, USA, Colliers International

“Lewis and Mills have beautifully captured their high-energy live performances and workshops in this extraordinary book. Read, enjoy, and allow The Pin Drop Principle to guide you to success!”
—Keith J. Evans, CEO, British Retail Consortium

The Pin Drop Principle is a must-read for anyone who wants to dramatically enhance their ability to communicate.”
—Aarti Gupta, vice president, global head, learning and culture, Capgemini

“In a noisy world, communication with clear intent is critical to drive change. The Pin Drop Principle is a game changer.”
—Tom Schencker, director, sales training, Walgreens

The Pin Drop Principle clearly, concisely, and convincingly shows you how to become a great communicator. A fast, fascinating, fun, and useful read.”
—Rob Nelson, entrepreneur and inventor, Big League Chew

“A great book. At the end of each chapter, I found myself cheering for the concepts and wishing I had been introduced to these ideas years ago!”
—Dan Hebel, former senior vice president, claims, Allstate Insurance Company

“Practical, straightforward, sane advice. Anyone who speaks will benefit from applying the concepts in The Pin Drop Principle to their communication.”
—Eloise Haverland, director, training and development, Fort Dearborn Company

“The techniques presented in The Pin Drop Principle have proven to be the most effective communication tools that I have acquired as a senior executive. I can only imagine how much more valuable they could be if I had been exposed to them twenty years ago.”
—Gregory J. Rizzo, former president and CEO, Spectra Energy Partners

“The Pin Drop Principle is essential for anyone wanting to improve presentation delivery.”
—Roshan Joseph, global head, learning and development, Virtusa Corporation

“This insightful book provides everything you need to know to move from being an average speaker to becoming a great speaker.”
—Brendan Noonan, senior vice president, learning and development, Emirates Airline Group

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May 23, 2012
Become a Great Communicator by Modeling Great Actors

The Pin Drop Principle:

Captivate, Influence, and Communicate Better Using the Time-Tested Methods of Professional Performers
By David Lewis and G. Riley Mills

A full 91% of business professionals admit to daydreaming during the meetings they attend, and a shocking 39% confess to falling asleep. You certainly don’t want your colleagues to be among them when you have the floor. Whether you are presenting ideas, conveying feedback, conducting difficult conversations, or trying to persuade others, it is your responsibility to ensure that you not only hold your audience’s attention, but engage them so completely that you really could hear a pin drop.

Every great speaker has five traits in common, they are: clear, concise, confident, credible, and compelling. But great speakers don’t always start off that way. Through preparation and awareness of the building blocks of effective communication, anyone can become a more confident and engaging communicator.

In their new book, The Pin Drop Principle: Captivate, Influence, and Communicate Better Using the Time-Tested Methods of Professional Performers (Wiley; June 2012; 978-1-118-28919-8; $25.95), David Lewis and G. Riley Mills, founders of one the of the most groundbreaking communication skills training firms in the world, Pinnacle Performance Company, provide a step-by-step master class for anyone wishing to become a more confident, credible and engaging communicator—no matter the audience, no matter the message. Lewis and Mills introduce readers to the same set of performance-based delivery techniques relating to body language, vocal quality and intention that professional actors (and great communicators) have used successfully for centuries, and which Pinnacle teaches to thousands of professionals across the globe every year.  

Lewis and Mills believe all business professionals ought to deliver their message in such an engaging way that one could literally hear a pin drop when they speak. The secret to doing so comes from an unusual world: professional acting. By activating "objective" and "intention"—the main tools of actors —business people can give their messages meaning and relevance so the recipients walk away knowing why the message is important and what is in it for them.

The Pin Drop Principle:

  • Empowers business professionals with performance-based delivery techniques—from storytelling to vocal dynamics—essential to becoming a great communicator
  • Is written for anyone wishing to engage listeners, establish instant credibility, influence key decision makers, and create a positive lasting impression
  • Is based on the Pinnacle Method, one of the most popular and groundbreaking communication skills training methods

Lewis and Mills’ book is an accessible resource for anyone who routinely needs to present ideas to large or small groups, convey feedback effectively, conduct difficult conversations, and persuade others.

See More
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