The Single Most Important Ingredient in Becoming Influential

After 12 years of teaching communication skills, I am pretty sure this is the single most important ingredient that you must learn in order to be influential.

So the question is: are you working on this quality?

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think…

  • Looking forward to your comments, questions and reflections! πŸ˜‰

  • Jorge Bestard


    When asked a question or an objection where I have to enter deep thought, I give myself some time by using the “Obama filler” “Well, look” or “Now, listen..”

    I try to refrain from the overused “that’s a really good question”. It is as outdated as a tic or a strategy telling people to envision the audience in their underwear.

    Thanks for the insight Conor!

    • Great – “The Obama Filler” – I love the technical name.

      Once you get the basic “interesting” working, then you can develop your own authentic “time and space creators”. I think we all know the right thing to say, just 3 seconds (or 10 minutes) too late.

  • SinΓ©ad

    Looking forward to trying this out, … probably when I arrive home late this eve πŸ™‚ Thanks Conor!

    • I am wishing a wonderful weekend for you!

  • i am doing this exercise .. and it is helping .. me thanks πŸ™‚

  • Rick Salmon

    Hey Conor: Well done (as usual). OK, one big disappointment though. I watched your talk on that stage and what I kept waiting for was for you to turn around and conduct the orchestra. You are talking about influence! You blew a great opportunity! Have you heard the stories about Ben Zander (the famous conductor)? It is a story I use at many of my workshops. Contact me and I will tell you… But next time you are standing between an orchestra and an audience, seize the moment and CONDUCT AMAZING MUSIC! Cheers, your buddy Rick (from workshop in Doha this week)

    • Very true! A missed opportunity πŸ˜‰ Although the actual conductor was much, much better than I could ever have been. In any case, it was a real privilege to work with the orchestra and conductor in rehearsals to connect the music with the speech.

      I love Ben Zander’s passion and “one cheek playing” πŸ˜‰

  • SivakumarPalaniappan

    Interesting. Thanks for sharing this nice video Conor.

  • Herve Humbert

    Nice one Conor. When you have a video about the “what you want to hear”, let me know, I am curious.

    It also made me think of a framework I find useful: the soften – repeat – reverse. Maybe works more in a sales context than to defuse a possible conflict but prospects more often than not use vague words (that’s interesting, that might be relevant, there is a possible fit, etc…), so the approach works like this: Soften: this is a good point / I hear this a lot / I see where you come from. The repeat: When you say late / By possible fit / When you say relevant / etc… And then the reverse: what do you mean exactly. There are plenty of reverse, from negative reverse, chinese menu, etc… but let’s not get too technical πŸ™‚

    Very grandiose background btw.

    • It was a stunning setting to give a speech! I like your structure – soften – repeat – reverse… nice πŸ˜‰

      • Herve Humbert

        And certainly a lot of ethos derived from this setting and being in the conductor’s position. But I don’t need to tell you this, do I… πŸ˜‰

  • florian mueck

    Thanks for your continuous inspiration, my friend!

    • πŸ˜‰ and to you Mr Demosthenes reborn!

  • Xiaochuan Kelvin Tian

    Thank you for the share! It is very inspiring. The difference between what I want to say and what you need to hear.

  • Silvia Bach

    I specially liked that one! Intersting πŸ™‚

    • nice! thank you. hope all is well πŸ˜‰

  • Naji Khodashenas

    Thank you for the interesting education for interesting situations Conor, you are a great story teller and influential leader πŸ™‚