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Voice training

An interview on voice training
with Jonathan Altfeld

Jonathan Altfeld este expert in folosirea vocii si tehnici de interpretare a limbajului pentru influentarea si convingerea celorlalti. 

Pentru a surprinde esenta acestei tehnici, i-am solicitat lui Jonathan sa raspunda concret la urmatoarele 3 intrebari:



AS (AS training & consulting)
How important is the voice of the person in the persuasion process?

JA (Jonathan Altfeld)
As an expert in vocal speaking skills, I have a strong bias in this subject. I think voice skills are absolutely essential to effective persuasion in any context.

I cannot recall a single person who had a terribly annoying voice, who I ever let persuade me about anything. I couldn't wait to get away.

By contrast, anyone whose voice had flowing, almost-hypnotic tonality and rhythm... would easily get me to listen to them all day long. It becomes a pleasure to be influenced by someone with a fabulous voice.

I train those skills. My students regularly report to me that when they start speaking, sometimes people's eyes glaze over, and smiles emerge on their listeners faces, almost regardless of what they begin talking about. It's a real pleasure to use a great voice to influence people, both from the influencer's perspective, and from that of an audience (of one, or more).

These skills include both a better-sounding instrument, and also, certain kinds of vocal sound patterns, and persuasive language patterns as well. 


What are some tips and tricks/ examples of what a master persuader does?

First and foremost, master persuaders listen to other people and ask very particular kinds of questions. We listen, very precisely. You may also listen. But we're probably listening for different things than you do.

Secondly, master persuaders take action and adjust their communication dramatically to suit the information they've gathered when they listened to other people. Most other people, if they even listen to other people, gather just enough information to decide whether to blindly start a sales pitch. Master Persuaders will tune every element of their sales pitch to each prospect. 


Tell us something about listening. We have a saying here: God gave you two years and only one mouth so that you listen twice as much as you speak. Is this true for any persuasion process? Is this a good way to think about it?

I could be challenging people's views here, but I think the above presupposes that the listener is not using targeted listening skills while listening. That he is listening... blindly to everything.

In other words, I think if we teach people to become better active listeners, they don't have to listen... twice as much as they speak.

It's critically important to listen to people as part of every persuasion situation. I use what I learn from others to tune what I do and what I say to people.

However, when I'm persuading, I know I speak more than I listen. However I am willing and able to stop and listen to people at any point in a persuasion process. So perhaps I'm doing something more active with what I've heard when I was listening to others.

Another point. I ask very targeted questions, that sometimes, people don't know how to answer. Sometimes their answers are clear and they give me the information I'm looking for. Sometimes their answers are irrelevant and confusing. In the latter case, I will stop them, and ask my targeted questions, differently. 

I will often ask a lot of questions to get very specific kinds of information. Once I get that information, I'm speaking more than listening, and only stopping to listen more thoroughly if I find out later on that I didn't learn all I needed to learn, initially.

Here's an example. If someone tells me they're primarily interested in my product because they "don't want to have to deal with [x] anymore..."

then I'm not going to waste time talking about all the wonderful things that can/will happen when they buy my product. Why? Because I would have learned that my prospect is primarily motivated by fear/avoidance, and I'd be wasting my breath talking about things that could motivate them through pleasure/desire. 

Instead, I'll talk about how not only will my product ensure they don't have to deal with [x] anymore, but also, if they don't buy my product, they wouldn't get [all the things they'd get if they did buy my product]. In other words, I'll use more "not" words in my language to utilize their natural fear/avoidance filters/patterns. By contrast -- if I used a lot of not words in persuading someone motivated primarily by pleasure, they'd probably walk out the door before buying from me. 

The sad thing is most people will never learn what went wrong! And there are hundreds of such examples of specific patterns/filters to understand about how people filter/process their experience.

The above is an example of making communication choices at a process level, rather than a content level. I can tune the above to any sales/persuasion situation. The content/context (specific subject) may change, but I can use the same process in any context.

The difference between me and most of the rest of the world is that most people listen blindly, and I listen actively for certain kinds of things. I teach a more effectiveprocess for persuasion that is based on how each person understands the world around them.




Andy Szekely