Paul Hellman consults and speaks internationally on how to make your point fast–so you get heard & get results. His clients include BIC, Biogen, Boeing, MIT/Sloan, and NASA. He is the author of Naked At Work: How to Stay Sane When Your Job Drives You Crazy. His columns and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and on public radio and TV. CNBC.com has published over 100 of his fast tips.
In this conversation, Paul talks about his new book, You’ve Got 8 Seconds: Communication Secrets for a Distracted World.
Geetesh: Paul, can you tell us more about your new book, You’ve Got 8 Seconds? Also, what motivated you to write this book?
Paul: The average attention span is now 8 seconds. After that, your audience will lose interest—unless you know how to stand out.
You’ve Got 8 Seconds teaches 3 critical skills:
- Focus doesn’t just mean to say less, but also to design a compelling message that makes your essential points stick.
- Variety means to be slightly different. With variety, you’ll make routine info come alive.
- Presence matters because there are certain people you listen to just because of their presence. But what is it? Discover 10 actions to boost your reputation.
The next time you speak, others will either tune in or tune out. You’ve got 8 seconds—make them count.
Geetesh: If there’s one takeaway for presenters and communicators in your book that you were asked to highlight, what would that takeaway be?
Paul: It’s not what you say, it’s what others hear. But in a noisy world, you need skill to get heard.