How To Sell Yourself

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Introduction 9

takes place in the office, over a meal, on the golf course, or at a
gathering, “hands on” is the final arbiter in a lot of situations. And
don’t forget, candidates for public office are still pounding the
pavement, knocking on doors, and pressing the flesh. No question
about it: Television commercials are still considered the key to
getting elected, but the candidates have never stopped going door-
to-door, to the factory gate, the bus or subway stop, the diner,
and every place else people congregate.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bad-mouthing technology. It’s
certainly taking the world by storm, and it has only just begun.

As the early pioneers of the automobile couldn’t conceive of
jet travel in the air, we’re ignorant of what’s ahead 20 years from
now. Ideas that took thousands of years to become reality are
achievable in seconds.

The danger is that, as we become more sophisticated at the
keyboard, we’re becoming almost helpless communicating by

I’m not unaware of the success of shop-at-home programs,
interactive television, and those jobs that eliminate the chore of
commuting and allow people to work out of their own homes. But
pretty soon all of us feel a need to make contact with another real
live adult human being. Companionship is an idea that will never
go out of style.

That brings me to the substance of this book. The more de-
pendent we become on the new age of technology, the higher the
speed limit goes on the information superhighway, the more bytes
it takes to digest a feast of facts, figures, and statistics, the more
pressing will be our need to speak well.

After all, every time you open your mouth to speak you’re
doing the equivalent of selling yourself, whether the communica-
tion is:

  • Exchanging a greeting.

  • Talking on the phone.

  • Chatting with family, friends, colleagues, strangers, or

  • Speaking up at a meeting.

  • Delivering a presentation.

  • Interviewing for a job.

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