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



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

David Lewis, G. Riley Mills

ISBN: 978-1-118-31017-5 May 2012 Jossey-Bass 272 Pages


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.

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

“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