O'Reilly logo

Talk Less, Say More: Three Habits to Influence Others and Make Things Happen by Connie Dieken

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 6. The Eyes Trump the Ears: Use the Dominant Sense

When I was a young TV reporter, one of my first plum assignments was covering the Kentucky Derby for NBC stations. Imagine my excitement, approaching Churchill Downs in search of human-interest stories for the week leading up to the Derby.

One day, my assignment was to feature the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales. There I was, tiny Connie, surrounded by hulking horses. Suddenly, my cheerful chatting was cut short when, with cameras rolling, a two-thousand-pound, plow-pulling, purebred Clydesdale began to eat my hair—on television! Neophyte reporter that I was, out of embarrassment and shock, I carried on with my report as if nothing was happening. (To be fair to the horse, my dry, lacquered locks must have looked like lunch to a creature that consumes fifty pounds of hay each day.)

A Shortcut to Clarity

My ridiculous televised hair scare taught me a valuable lesson beyond the need to lay off the lacquer: The eyes trump the ears. As you can imagine, no one heard a word I was saying—I could have announced the cure for cancer and it wouldn't have sunk in. My audience was too caught up in a visual distraction worthy of the Derby slogan, "The most exciting two minutes in sports."

What does "the eyes trump the ears" mean to you when you're conveying a message in the office or the boardroom?

Brad, a financial fund advisor, learned the power of this strategy in the workplace when he failed to use it. He inadvertently created chaos instead ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required