Expert Q&A With

Kevin Hogan is a dynamic, internationally renowned public speaker, consultant and corporate trainer. He has trained persuasion, sales and marketing skills to leaders in the government of Poland, employees from Mutual of Omaha, Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, Cargill, Pillsbury, Carlson Companies, Fortis Insurance, Great Clips, the State of Minnesota, 3M, The United States Postal Service and numerous other Fortune 500 companies.

A much sought after media figure, Kevin has worked as the Body Language Expert and Unconscious Influence Expert to ABC, Fox, The BBC, The New York Times, The New York Post and dozens of popular magazines such as Forbes, Investors Business Daily, InTouch, First for Women, Success!, and Cosmopolitan.

Kevin is the author of nineteen books, including the international best seller, The Psychology of Persuasion: How to Persuade Others to Your Way of Thinking

What does your website offer its visitors?

Wiki-Hogan? 2000+ pages of body language, persuasion and influence, and science based personal achievement. What sets it apart from all the rest? It's edgy, rules are broken. It's all real world researched as well as academically verified and quite fun to read.

(You can visit Kevin's website by clicking here).

Tell us more about your home study course – ‘Secrets of Body Language: Decoding, Interpreting & Mastering Nonverbal Communication.’

Reading Body Language - Home Study Program

People are poor at sending the right nonverbal signals at the right time. They tend to be worse at understanding what messages they are receiving and how to respond to them. People need a lot of help in detecting deception and learning the body language of attraction.

This course uses all material from media interviews, live and in print, that I've done over the years. It's what they wanted to know and why. It's rather extensive but something people have no choice but to have or remain in mediocrity. Nonverbal communication is the communication of life. What comes out of our mouths is merely bonus material.

Probably fair to say it's the most comprehensive and reality based way to learn nonverbal communication and body language. See following link for full details.

Body Language: Decoding, Interpreting & Mastering Nonverbal Communication (Complete Home Study Course).

What services does your ‘Inner Circle Membership’ provide?

About 7 years ago it was clear that people wanted to have a real world connection with someone they could trust who would help them in a couple of ways. The first group that was drawn to Inner Circle (IC) is comprised of people who want to grow their business using online approaches, public speaking/personal appearances, and/or writing. The other factors tend to be building wealth and making life better, often getting in and out of relationships,

IC allows people to access our rather well known 2 month e-courses where I do the coaching not someone who hasn't accomplished what is being tackled. We don't advertise IC. It's an intimate and loyal group of people who want more out of and in life, who often like and help each other.

Tell us more about your book – ‘The Secret Language of Business: How to Read Anyone in 3 Seconds or Less’

The Secret Language of Business

If I were to give a brief amazon-esque review I'd give it 3.5/5 stars. Then I'd tell you that it gives people an introduction to reading people as well as some original material about the impact of certain strategies of delivering messages via nonverbal communication.

The material is all quite good but what was lacking was photos. It would have been nice to have had the chance to have visual demonstration of the material that was in text. Great material lacking the visual. See following link for full details.

The Secret Language of Business: How to Read Anyone in 3 Seconds or Less

What is the best way to make a good first impression?

Research, planning and preparation. Impressions need to be made toward the end of a cycle of communication, not at the beginning. Who are you meeting, What do they believe and think about? What matters to them? What are their life rules? What do they want that they can't verbalize for one reason or another?

Next you create a plan matching your desired impression to the person you will be communicating with. The planning stage matters a great deal. How will you dress? What symbols will you wear? Can you control the context and environment of where you will make the impression? Is it a church or a bar? Is it an office or your home? They will behave differently and make different decisions about you in all four environments. Then the context. Why should they want to meet you? You may never need to state anything around this question but you need to have an answer.

Prepare the environment and the context to the degree that the other person is important to you. If I am giving a presentation for a group I go to the ballroom in the middle of the night and analyze everything from how sound will be picked up to where there are good and bad sight lines. I determine where on the stage I might need to make changes to what is currently set there. I'll remove a podium, add a small table, add a couple of high back chairs, have bottled water placed for me. I'll have a cheat sheet on the table that will trigger crucial points if something goes wrong in the presentation with the video feed or power point. I do a sound check with the sound tech if they are available. Otherwise...I do a sound check. I leave nothing to chance.

When the audience enters they will feel 100% comfortable with me because I literally sat in their chair the night before. I checked out the camera angles, made sure the big screen worked. Every nuance I could control was precalculated and tested for as much as an hour or more. I see them walk in the next morning and I am 100% certain no one has ever spent as much time thinking about them and from their point of view to have a great experience with me. The same is true for most other meetings where I can control the context and/or environment.

You make a great first impression by research, planning and brilliant preparation.

Who influenced you to pursue a career in body language?

At the University of Wisconsin I took a class in human behavior which had a great deal attention paid to nonverbals, proxemics, kinesics, haptics. It opened up a world I really only had a clue about. That course encouraged real world experiments and research which made clear the fact that other people see me very different depending on what I wear, how I behave, as well as the context and the environment. I discovered how impotent I was at communication.

It became a passion to discover all elements of what influences behavior of which nonverbal communication was a big piece. Today although I hardly would say I have a "career in body language" there is no question that one of the things I'm best known for is body language and nonverbal communication.

What is the best handshake you can give?

Obama Handshake

(Photo Credit: Pete Souza - United States Government Work)

You'd think there would be an easy answer to that question. There isn't. To cause people to like you, to trust you want to exhibit behaviors that cause liking and trust in that specific person. Research, plan, prepare.

Some broad stroke generalizations:

When meeting a woman, a man should have a firm and restrained grip. Those fingers are precious to her. Treat them as you would carrying crystal. Firm and with great care. If her fingers are forced together to the point of discomfort in your grip you have gone to far.

When meeting a man you should meet the pressure of his hand with one exception. If he has no grip you should treat his hand as the woman's.

Be certain there is a reasonable distance between you and the other person. All things being equal I let people judge the distance they want to be from me and I shake their hand at that specific point. I rarely move into other people's personal space. Thus you don't hold your hand too close to your body. Many people do this and it is a common blunder. President Bush used to do this. Extend a bit. Let the other person set themselves.

In all cases, a handshake is a handshake. You don't need three hands in on the deal. You don't need a bonus hand on his shoulder. There are exceptions if you have great authority over the person you are meeting or if the person you are meeting has authority over you.

What have you got planned for the rest of 2012?

A novel will be released in October. My first. Right now, I'm finishing a new book about persuasion. Writing it with Jimmy Speakman who I have worked with before. This will be my first book about persuasion in 6 years. We've learned a lot in the last 2000 days. It could come out at the end of the year. We'll see how it goes. I keep making additions and it is slowing the process down a bit.

There will be another CD program come out this autumn. And we'll have a 3 day live event in Las Vegas in October which will be open to the public.

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Essential Reading

The Psychology of Persuasion

Book Details

How do you ethically direct others toward your point of view? Understanding precisely what they are thinking is the first step. Using techniques from hypnosis, neurolinguistic programming, the Bible, and the greatest salespeople in history, Kevin Hogan teaches you the skills of persuasion. This knowledge will empower you to improve loving relationships, get the best price on an automobile, save thousands on a home, and increase sales in dramatic fashion!

Share the most powerful tools, strategies, and techniques of persuasion already used by winning political candidates, multimillion dollar television ministers, and some of the world's most powerful people. Begin your journey to understanding why we do things and how to persuade others to our way of thinking.

See following link for full details.

The Psychology of Persuasion: How To Persuade Others To Your Way Of Thinking

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