You've Got 8 Seconds

Communication Secrets for a Distracted World

 You've Got 8 Seconds

Author: Paul Hellman
Pub Date: April 2017
Print Edition: $17.95
Print ISBN: 9780814438305
Page Count: 208
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814438312

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Back Cover Copy

In the next 24 hours, everyone in your organization—in every organization—will do one of three things:

1) Talk

2) Listen

3) Pretend to listen

When you present your ideas, do others pay attention? You could be speaking to a large group, meeting one-on-one, talking on the phone, sending an email . . . The average attention span, experts tell us, is now 8 seconds. After that, your audience will lose interest—unless you know how to stand out. You’ve Got 8 Seconds will show you how to get heard, get remembered, and get results.

You’ll learn how to employ three vital strategies, illustrated with fast, actionable tips, amusing stories, and examples of good and bad messages.

FOCUS doesn’t just mean to say less, but also to design a compelling message. You’ll discover several methods, including fast-focus™, a proven technique that helps executives and leadership teams make their essential points stick.

VARIETY means to be slightly different. With variety, you’ll make routine info come alive, you’ll engage others with smart, thought-provoking questions, and, if you’re giving a presentation, you’ll have new techniques to instantly capture everyone’s attention.

PRESENCE matters because there are certain people you listen to just because of their presence, and others you ignore. But what is presence? You’ll learn the 10 actions you can take right away to boost yours.

The next time you speak, others will either tune in or tune out. You’ve got 8 seconds—make them count.

Advance Praise for You've Got 8 Seconds:

“After reading the first few pages, I could not put it down. An insightful and refreshing book that is a treasure trove of useful techniques on how to communicate more effectively and to the point, with amusing real life anecdotes that keep the reader engaged until the last page. A must-read for the corporate world—and the real world!”—Jean Pierre Lacombe, Chief Global Markets, Head of IFC Research, The World Bank

“I loved the book and will recommend it to colleagues. Whether you're a grizzled CEO or a new associate, you'll benefit from Paul's practical ideas and strategies. I've read a number of communication books over the years, but this one exceeded my expectations. Thoroughly enjoyable.”—Bill Adams, Chief Investment Officer, Global Fixed Income, MFS Financial Management

“Great insight and advice to hone your communication skills for every situation. Invaluable for anyone with an important message to deliver.”—Steven Marshall, President, U.S. Tower Division, American Tower

“This book provides fresh, actionable advice on how to make your point quickly, succinctly, and memorably, so your ideas get through the deluge of non-stop information. On the flip side, since you, too, are probably inundated with emails, meetings, and presentations that just seem endless: Do yourself a favor. Give everyone you know a copy of this very practical (and funny) book. I know I will.”—Erin Deemer, Vice President, People Development, Biogen

You’ve Got 8 Seconds teaches you to find the core of your message and make it memorable. Filled with powerful insights and humor, this is a must-read for anyone who wants to sell their ideas or themselves. I started using Paul's tools immediately, and urge you to do the same.”—Jon Peters, CEO, AthenaOnline

“Superb blend of practical tips, humor and storytelling. Paul provides real insights and memorable tactics on how to excel at communication in today's frenetic world. All presenters (and writers) should read this book.”—Marissa Poole, Head of Global Scientific Communication, Sanofi Genzyme

“I loved this book! Humorous and insightful—it's a great read and the advice is spot on. A must-read for leaders or anyone who wishes to inspire, motivate, or persuade.”—Kelly Courtney, Advocacy Strategy Advisor, United Nations

“Paul's book answers the question that should haunt all of us: 'In a noisy world, how do I ensure my message is heard?' For those fortunate enough to know Paul personally, his voice and years of experience echo throughout this book. The result is a practitioner’s dream—a useful, step-by-step guide on how to beat the noise and ensure people take notice.”—Michael Glass, Vice President, Talent Management and Development, Thermo Fisher Scientific

“Getting your message across in our information-saturated age is a real challenge. Paul Hellman's book is packed with great advice for leaders, and it's fun to read, too.”—Marshall Goldsmith, executive coach and New York Times-bestselling author of Triggers

“If you want to become an exceptional communicator, this is your how-to guide. It should be mandatory reading!”—Mark Jesty, Chairperson, IMS/Toronto

You’ve Got 8 Seconds tackles everyday communication dilemmas in a straightforward, relatable and humorous manner. You'll find the strategies you need—and we all need this book more than we realize!”—Alison Quirk, Executive Vice President, State Street (retired)

“An easy, high-impact read that provides every executive with the tips and tools to effectively communicate up, down, across organizations, and with customers. With this book you'll maximize your impression on every audience.”—Dusty Tenney, President, Brooks Life Sciences

“Do you want to be remembered and get results? Paul's witty approach and insightful tips give you the communication strategies to get heard in a world of constant distraction. If you want to succeed in your business encounters, this is a must-read.”—Maureen Clang, Vice President, Leadership Development, Travelers

“There’s no time to waste when it comes to improving the effectiveness of your communications skills. You’ve Got 8 Seconds is a vital addition to your tool belt that I heartily recommend.”—Bill McGowan, author, Pitch Perfect

“You need to manage your professional brand. Use the tactics in this book. They work.”—Charles Miller, Senior Vice President, Leadership Development, Citi

“Paul provides a fast, easy-to-use approach to ensure that others get your message. His method helps you make your point quickly—and with greater impact.”— Sandy Rezendes, Chief Learning Officer, Citizens Financial Group

“Both practical and funny, it's a great read for anyone who wants to have more impact at work. Hellman has mastered the art of communication, and he lets you in on the secrets. Highly recommended.” —Tim Saeger, Senior Vice President, Engineering, iRobot

“The tips are invaluable and it’s a quick, fun read, with humor and personal anecdotes sprinkled throughout. This is a resource you'll turn to again and again for advice on the best communication techniques. Highly recommended!” —Stephanie Laguna, Executive Director, Strategic Market Planning, Kaiser Permanente

Paul Hellman consults and speaks internationally on how to excel at work in high-stakes communications. His columns and advice have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post,, The Boston Globe’s online Job Doc column, and on public radio’s Marketplace and CNN’s Business Unusual.

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