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Frank Patterson

Book Report by Gary Tomlinson

A Book Report on

Upgrade Your Powers of Presentation

by Frank Patterson


(Book Report by Gary Tomlinson)



Message from Gary Tomlinson:


I meet Frank Patterson in the spring of 1999 when I was attending his two-day seminar on The Effective Use of Language. At the end of the first day, I approached the stage and introduced myself to Mr. Patterson. After some small talk I told him I would be attending Ty Boyd’s Excellence in Speaking Institute in June. He asked me why I was attending Ty’s class. When I finished answering his question, Mr. Patterson handed me a nicely packaged box of six cassette tapes. He said he no longer did this particular presentation, but he thought I’d get a lot of value from it. He was so right!


I found those tapes 11 years later when I was doing some much needed spring cleaning in my office. When I listened to them again they were just as powerful as I remembered. I never got a chance to say thanks to Mr. Paterson for giving me such great wisdom. Because of that I’ve taken the time to take notes from these six cassettes to share with you in hopes you’ll benefit from his knowledge as much as I have.




What You Should Expect from this Course:


  1. Learn how to hold serious attention, inspire belief, and spur others to act by strengthening your grip here:


  1. Five satisfactions all hearers want from all explainers.

  2. Style, the worst and the best.

  3. How to blend four persuasive strategies to reach virtually all social styles and types of personalities in one presentation.

  4. How to tell it cleanly and clearly instead of complicatedly.

  5. How to tell it so you hearers fill their minds with moving pictures.




  1. Get these practical applications:


  1. How to turn the three most frequent mistakes made at the beginning of a presentation into strengths.

  2. How to deliver in a positive way to reach the minds of five kinds of people:

    1. The one who is too busy to listen.

    2. The one who says; “we tried that and it didn’t work.”

    3. The lazy listener.

    4. The largely negative person.

    5. The hesitant, can’t decide, hand wringer.

  3. At the end, how you spur others to action with the ways that click with them.


  1. Preface: Regardless of length, all presentations can be summarized in three minutes or less. Frank's bias is that if you can't get somebody's mind revving within three minutes, then you don't have your presentation prepared. Make sure that in your three minute presentation there is no throw-away language, that every sentence has an assignment. Analyze your presentation to make sure it contains the five satisfactions that all hearers want from all explainers. Make sure you are using the best strategies to reach the social styles of your audience. And that you end your presentation with words that spur others to action. When this is accomplished, then and only then can the presenter get what they want. It takes time to learn how to get really great at creating and delivering presentations that spurs others to actions. Be a student on “The Effective Use of Language.” The results will be worth the time you’ve invested.



How to Tell Something so People Think in Moving Pictures:


 I.  When I Stream the Words into Their Minds, They Think in Pictures:


  1. As I speak, my hearer’s mind is flooded with precisely the right mental pictures. Because that’s when:

    1. My hearer pays close attention to me.

    2. The pictures in my hearer’s mind extend his or her attention span.

    3. People who see the right mental pictures understand more accurately.

    4. They also remember more of what they have heard.


  1. My “how to” for enticing my hearer to think in pictures:

    1. I describe actions.

    2. I describe the time and sequence of them.

    3. I describe the place(s) in which they occur.



  1. An Example of How Powerful Words Can Be:


(Try this story on others. Have them listen to you with their eyes closed and see if they don’t have a physical reaction to just your words.)


“Imagine that you are standing in front of your refrigerator. You open the refrigerator door. Now you are standing in front of the open door and you are looking in. You observe your right hand, leaving the side of your body. It goes into the refrigerator and pulls out a lemon. You have the cold lemon in your hand. Your fingers curl around it. You work your fingers over the surface.  Can you feel that? Can you feel the somewhat pleasantly oily lubricated surface of the lemon? Now you place the lemon on a surface in front of you. With the knife located in front of you, cut the lemon in half. Take one of the lemon halves and squeeze it. Can you feel the cold liquid running down your fingers? Now grab the glass that is located to your left and squeeze the rest of the lemon juice into it. Do you see the juice squirt into the glass? Now, feeling a little whimsical, take the other half of the lemon and put it up to your mouth. Squeeze the lemon until you feel the juice running into your mouth. Isn’t it really tart?”


“Now, at this moment you might have more saliva in your mouth, than you did at the beginning of this story. Isn’t that amazing? You knew the story was fiction. You knew there was no lemon. However, there was enough force in something you knew was fictional, that we were making up together, to alter the state of your consciousness.”


“So it is quite possible that your communication style can have an amazing effect upon the consciousness of people who listen to you.”



The Essence of Effective Communication:


A.  The Three Things that all Presenters Want:


            1.  Serious Attention

            2.  Belief

            3.  Action


B.  The Five Satisfactions that all Hearers Want from all Explainers:


  1. To feel Comfortable with You and Your Ideas

    1. Example; of loud clothing, the ad that states; “For once in your life"

  2. Wants to feel Attracted to the Future

    1. “What's in it for me?” (concept, vision-forecasts are great to use)



  1. Understanding how it's going to Play to Other People

    1. Opinions of ourselves often come from how other people see us. As presenters, we have to let the hearer see how our ideas are going to play to others in his/her world.

  2. Understanding if they do this, it will help Fight Against something that needs to be fought against.

    1. i.e. high prices, poor quality, absenteeism, turnover...

  3. All listeners want to understand that; it’s in Their Power to do it.

    1. Your hearer has to be able to see him/her doing this.  That he/she can actually accomplish this. That it’s in their grasp to do so.



C.  Four Presentation Strategies:


  1. Difficulty Strategy – The feeling on the person’s part that something is wrong.

    1. Unfocused Difficulty – something is wrong, but he doesn’t know what it is. (Boredom, Ho-Hum feeling....)

    2. Focused Difficulty – something is wrong and he knows exactly what it is.

    3. Unknown Difficulty – Didn’t know he had a difficulty until somebody pointed it out. (Example: Finding out there was a solution to his problem that he didn’t know existed)

  2. Barrier (Challenge) Strategy – you issue a challenge.

    1. Example: an automobile ad that says “this car isn’t for everyone. It is only for those who can appreciate the fine....” or “The Marines are looking for a few good men.”

  3. Threat Strategy – If the hearer doesn’t go along with you then life may not be as great, or he will experience a certain loss.

  4. The Identification Strategy – People want to maintain their identity. When you help a person identify, you help motivate them. Example: A young child who put his socks on yesterday but can’t do it today. Use an identification strategy that says to this child, “Weren’t you the same child that put on his socks yesterday?”



D.  Elements of Style: How you say it is as important as what you say. Your style is very important to the success of your message.


  1. If you want to improve any presentation whether to a group or to an individual, increase your eye contact. If you want to maintain control of a conversation, maintain eye contact.

  2. Another style is the revelation, as you speak, of a quick mental process. As opposed to a stumbling style, a stuttering style, an incoherent style, a halting style, a slow style or a disorganized style.


  1. Phraseology –   Saying it clean and clear. Say it right to the point. Be precise. Use verbs more often in a sentence than nouns. Rely on verb phrases over noun phrases. People respond more affirmatively to verb phrases. Unfortunately the characteristics of executive prose, report prose, engineer prose is full of noun phrases. You can vastly improve the structure of your presentation by emphasizing the verb phrases instead of the noun phrases (example: “Initially we constructed an inventory of 1984 emissions...” Instead, say; “First, we inventoried the 1984 emissions…”).

  2. Use positive posturing instead of a negative posturing. (Example” An employee telling a customer that; “We don’t open until ten.” when they could have said; “We open at ten.”) Always say it in a positive manner.



E.   How to Tell Things Cleanly and Clearly Instead of Complicatedly:


Sometimes people are not understood because they speak above the head or understanding of their hearer (ex. Physician explaining to a patient using only medical terms). Always explain things from your listeners’ point of view. A good way to increase your presentation vocabulary is to read magazines that are widely read. Their styles can help you with yours. Below are some techniques you can use to help make your ideas really accessible to the mind of your listener:


1.  Use Visual Aids – Whenever possible, use visual aids when presenting.


  1. Oversimplification – Don’t feel the need to over explain. One reason for oversimplification is the state of the human mind today. Our attention span is short (example: the remote control). Another reason to oversimp1ify is that it puts on your listener’s shoulders the responsibility to adequately complicate it. When you can get the listener to say; “you’ve oversimplified that. Let me tell you how complicated it really is,” then you have their attention.


  1. Myth vs. Reality – This is a great technique to use in your presentation. People respond to and remember “myth vs. reality” statements.

    1. For example, “Most of the people believe that such and such is true, but in fact this over here is true.  The myth is ________.  However, the reality is _______.”


  1. Tell it by the Numbers – Your hearer loves to hear it by the numbers. One reason is that it is finite (“I have five items to go over with you”). Your listener’s energy will go up when you tell it by the numbers. It is also a good technique to use in getting your hearers’ attention back. You may lose some of their attention when you are halfway through the first point. But as soon as you say Number 2, their attention comes back. This technique also gives the impression that you possess a quick mental process. When you’re asked a question that at first you don’t know how you’re going to answer, you can begin by saying; “That’s a good question Phil. I think there are three things we have to look at.” While you telling the first thing, you will usually come up with the other two while you’re talking. This gives the impression that you are organized, intelligent, prepared and informed.


  1. Ask your hearer to Open his Mind. Example: “John, what I have to ask of you is to open your mind to the possibility that such and such is true.”  “Phil, why don’t you take the point of view of a person who is standing over here watching the other one of you run your business? You will see that you over there could follow many scenarios. However, it will be clear that some scenarios are better suited for this situation.” This person can open his mind to new possibilities as he visualizes himself over there running his business. This is a great technique to help someone that is very rigid see your point of view.


  1. This as That. Your hearer is intrigued and stimulated when you can explain the same things a little differently. Use metaphors, similes, analogies...

    1. For example:

      1. “He considers himself a jock, but really he’s just a strap.”

      2. Instead of “Up the creek without a paddle” use “Out of a plane without a parachute.”

      3. “Working at our company is like being between two horny rabbits…no matter which way I turn I’m going to get screwed.”



F.   Three Mistakes Presenters Make at the Beginning of a Presentation:


  1. People do not begin their presentation with dynamite. You want to begin your presentation with vocal dynamite. Say something very quickly in the first five seconds of the presentation that will capture your hearer’s attention.

Example: “Let me see the show of hands of all of the people in this room who have the suspicion that their ability to begin with dynamite just might be somewhat susceptible to improvement.” The phrase “susceptible to improvement” is great vocal dynamite.


Example: “Mr. Purchaser, do you ever feel that the level of service that you are getting from your current supplier is susceptible to improvement?”


Example: In the beginning, ask for a certain amount of time; “Mr. Johnson, I need to see you for ten minutes to go over three items.” Mr. Johnson says that he is really busy and doesn’t have ten minutes. What do you say? You say; “That’s okay Mr. Johnson, I can do it in three minutes without personality.” You will get a positive response.


Example: “You got a lot invested in _____, as a result there is a lot riding upon _____” technique. For example; “You have got a lot invested in R&D, as a result there is a lot riding upon your abilities to discover practical applications for these new products.”


Example: Hit your hearer with headlines. You can say; “Let me hit you with a headline.” Then you can read the headline that you have created just for this presentation. In the age of oversimplification, the headline approach works very well. Think about the newspaper headlines that grab your attention or the magazine headlines you read at the check out counter.


Headline:  “We have come to the age when it is now possible for a flight attendant to get a pilot pregnant.”


  1. People forget to tell it by the numbers. Remember, in telling it cleanly and clearly, you must tell by the numbers. Right at the beginning of your presentation tell your audience the number of things that you’re going to present (i.e. four, five, six).


  1. Fail to gesture towards the end. In the beginning of a presentation you must gesture towards the conclusion. As an example, you can say, “When we are through, I think you will fathom your position on this issue.” You don’t tell him how he is going to feel or that he is going to love this position. Because you don’t know how he is going to feel. You don’t want to push him into disagreeing with you by insisting that he will agree with you. “I don’t know if you are going to feel pro or con Phil, but I think when we are through you are going to know which way you want to proceed.” Always gesture towards his settle mind.


Example of a good beginning: “Phil, you’ve got a lot invested in ____. As a result there is an awful lot riding on _____.  That’s why there are four things we ought to look at. Hey, when we through I don’t think you’ll see much to agonize over.  I’m not sure how you will feel about it, but I think you’ll know how you feel about it. OK Phil? Let’s get started.


            This style of opening will work for groups, large or small, as well as one on one.



G.  Presentation Styles for the Five Types of Hard to Reach Listeners:


  1. The Person who is too busy to Listen:  A good technique on this person is to use the #4 Satisfaction Technique (the one where he wants to fight against something that needs to be fought against). Also the Threat Strategy is a good one to use. If you want to intensely motivate a person that is too busy to listen to you, you probably need to threaten (not blatantly) that person.


Example: “Mr. Johnson, your company is bleeding money. I know where the wound is and I know how to staunch the flow.” For a busy person you must get his attention right off the bat. In regard to style, you want to reveal a quick mental process. You must be quick, with a dynamite beginning, tell it by the numbers and about the numbers and you must gesture towards the end.


Eye contact is very important. Be direct. You should never say to a busy person, “I know you are busy” or “I was just in the neighborhood.” That won’t work. It just reinforces to him that he is busy. Let him know that you’re willing to give up your whole day just to see him or travel across the country just to see him. Why? Because he’s important to you. If this deal goes through, it will mean a lot to your bottom line. With a busy person, you cannot minimalize your importance. Being direct will set you apart from the average person he deals with.


  1. How to reach the person that says; “We tried that and it didn’t work.”   First, we must ask ourselves, “Why didn’t it work?”  Probably because they tried it and it didn’t work. You have to help the person understand that you know it didn’t work and because of the circumstances it couldn’t have worked. However, because of some new data (better product, better service, better support...) it is now possible to have success. If it was important enough for them to try it in the first place, it will be important for them to try it again.


  1. Lazy Listener.  You must assume that all listeners are lazy listeners. You reach lazy listeners best, by being positive. By saying it by the numbers. By having a quick mental process. Keeping it short and direct with straight arrow communications.


  1. Reaching the Negative Listener.  One way to reach the negative listener is to express yourself negatively (this is the one time that it is okay to be negative). Handle the objection up front. Another way to reach this listener is to first tell him what your idea isn’t, before telling him what it is. This style helps your listener suspend his judgment and to keep his mind open. Negative listeners are also very frequently lazy listeners. Another style is to tell the negative listener that the thing you like about him is that he is so positive. It changes his mind set.


  1. How do you reach the person that cannot decide?  You must satisfy the #3 Satisfaction (“how will it play to others”). He must feel comfortable with you. He must see, through your words that he can do it. He has to visualize himself doing it.






H.  How to End Successfully.


  1. You can summarize your entire presentation within the context of the five satisfactions.

    1. Example:  In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, let me summarize:

      1. Are you comfortable with idea of the four things we just went over?

      2. Have I addressed the future adequately enough for you?

      3. You’re going to have to explain this to others in your organization. Do you have all the necessary data to do that?

      4. Do you believe that this is worth fighting for?

      5. Can you see yourself accomplishing these tasks?


  1. Other techniques for ending successfully:

    1. The “Impending Event” method. (Remember the Y2K concern and the panic is caused)

    2. The “Window of Opportunity” method. (Limited time offer, act now…)

    3. The “Standing Still vs. Moving Ahead” method. (Shows your listener the true cost of standing still vs. the cost of moving ahead)



Enjoy the education and feel free to share it with others as Mr. Patterson did with me.


You can engage Gary at To read his other book reports
or book reviews visit his website at

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