About the Author
Dr. Steven Hogan, the author of the book teaches Psychology of Persuasion at the University of St Thomas Management Centre in Minneapolis and has taught his unique skills of persuasion to employees of many of America’s Fortune 500 companies. Hogan’s specialised knowledge of hypnosis and neurolinguistics has brought him acclaim as one of America’s leading experts in the field of human influence. He is equally the author of The Psychology of Persuasion: How to Persuade Others to Your Way of Thinking.
According to the author, positive and confident communicators are not born but are made using the techniques and strategies outlined in the book to become successful in everything from business to intimate relationships. The book teaches effective methods of communicating at all levels, including verbal and non-verbal. Whether your goal is to strengthen your relationship with your mate, get a promotion or increase your sales, you can change your life forever by following the communication secrets in the book. The author asserts that you will learn how to overcome the eight tragic communication mistakes that most people make every day, build rapport with virtually anyone, read the body language of others like a book, be at ease in any situation and go straight to the top in love and business.
Structurally speaking, the book is segmented into seventeen chapters.
Chapter One, the title chapter is entitled, Talking Your Way to the Top. Communication is far more than what you say. It’s how you say it. Communication is about listening and talking and the act of mutually disclosing feelings and thoughts to others. As people become better communicators, they become great in everything from love relationships of business selling. Being on the top means overseeing your own life. Being on the top also means being where you want to be and being with whom you want to be with. When you are on your way to the top, you become known for being a great listener. You also know how to develop great friendships and relationships with virtually anyone you wish. You will certainly begin to ascend the corporate ladder while building passionate and long-term interpersonal relationship outside the office. Reaching the top in our life experiences is attainable by anyone who understands and applies the secrets of communication. Being on the top also involves great intrapersonal communication which means understanding yourself and participating in effective self-communication. People on top are happier and often live simpler and more fulfilling lives while earning more income. This happens because truly successful people know how to channel their energy for health, wealth and happiness. The book is about communication and communication is your vehicle to the top!
Chapter Two is entitled Talking Yourself into Success. When you talk to people who have achieved financial success, you will find some of the same themes that mark the lives of people who achieve greatness. Firstly, they tend to be great communicators with themselves. In other words, they constantly are talking and listening to themselves. They trust themselves. They believe in themselves. They rely on themselves. Secondly, they tend to communicate well with other people. Successful individuals from all walks of life normally have mastered the art of interpersonal communication. People who achieve greatness seem to be able to talk people into becoming more than they believed they could be. High achievers seem to have a knack for inspiring and motivating others to greatness. Quite often, the difference between success and failure in any aspect of life is the ability to communicate with empathy, clarity, and positive intention. This chapter discusses the concepts of overcoming your fears of communication, using future imaging to communicate like a pro, how people at the top connect well with others, etc.
In Chapter Three of the book tagged Values: The Key to Connecting with Anyone! Hogan quotes Zig Ziglar, a renowned motivational speaker thus: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” There is a common misunderstanding about what “caring” means, that is asking how you can show people that you care about them. To show people that you care, you have to listen to them talk, learn to see things from their point of view, ask questions about their personal beliefs and ideas to discover how they came to believe what they do, discover their personal values and find out how they know when they have met their values so that you can be not only a better communicator but develop a better relationship and find what those values mean to them. The chapter discusses four types of value.
In Chapters Four to Ten, the book examines concepts such as rapport building as the foundation of successful communication, Communication 101 as skills for success, understanding personality traits, listening to body talk, talking your way to the top in the workplace, communicating in intimate relationships, and making others right even when they are wrong in charismatic communication.
Chapter Eleven is entitled secrets of love and intimacy. Communication with a special person or persons is going to play a large role in the quality of your human existence. It’s possible that the most wonderful experience you can have on this planet is being involved in a romantic relationship. People who are in a good relationship new at one time just what they were looking for in the relationship. It may have been conscious or unconscious.
In Chapters Twelve to Sixteen, the book examines concepts such as talking to well-intentioned dragons, the key to a lifelong success and prosperity, your personal mission statement as the map to the top, how a famous radio talk show host talked his way to the top, and the calibre of people that get to the top.
Chapter Seventeen is entitled, Sell Your Way to the Top in the 21st century. The author recounts his experience of having worked in sales in one capacity or another for twenty-five years and provides some insight into communicating specifically in the sales process for all the salespeople who would read the book. Salespeople really make the world go around. Their job is one of the toughest in the world. There is a reward for the challenges of selling. Sales have more millionaires per capita than any other field! This is an era where hard work and smart work really pay off. The author identifies the keys to sales success in the 21st-century as managing your state of mind in all situations, managing your customers state of mind, gathering, managing and implementing intelligence, networking your way to sales success, being a hunter, building credibility with your customers, developing a sense of fascination, changing the buying frame, uncovering conditions to confirmation, developing logical reasoning for buying your product after an emotional decision to do so, and then having the knowledge of when to close and when to leave.
Stylistically, the book can be said to have achieved a high level of success, both in presentation and language. There is a brilliant combination of short and long sentences that ensure easy understanding. What’s more, the title is short and fascinating. The author employs reflective illustrations as well as by Biblical literary/classical allusions to achieve conceptual amplification and concrete conviction. He also includes boxed messages where he radiates precis and philosophical messages.
However, there is what in stylistics is tagged error of graphological deviation and inconsistencies. For instance, on page 17, Hogan writes the T of the word “Top” in capital letter in the middle of a sentence. One would have excused this deviation on the ground of notional emphasis, but the world is not written like that throughout to show consistency and emphasis. But this does not prevent the book from being accorded the tag of a masterpiece.
Do you aspire to talk your way to the top? If yes, then don’t wait for me to tell you that what you need is a copy of this bestseller. It is a must read.