There were 10 men in the room. All of us were stunned.

It was the last night of childbirth class. Up till then, we’d discussed childbirth rather extensively. Still, we had no idea, really, what to expect.

Childbirth, for the men, was an intriguing, faraway concept, sort of like New Zealand.

Then, last class, we watched a video. It showed a woman giving birth.

I wouldn’t have minded some editing, here and there. But this video was determined to show everything, even if it took several days.

“That was unbelievable,” one man said during the break.

“I’m not feeling well,” said another.

No one, of course, had learned any new information. But something had changed.

Sometimes, we assume that all it takes is the right information, or the right argument, to make a compelling case.


You can know something in different ways. You can know, theoretically, that you’re going to die. But that’s different than knowing your death is imminent.

Imagine three centers of intelligence: head, heart, hands.  Each requires something different (for more examples, please see the p.s. at the end).

1) Head: What do you want others to think?

2) Heart: What do you want others to feel?

3) Hands: What do you want others to do?

I remember working with a jet engine company. If you make jet engines and you hear about a plane crash, the first thing you wonder, Was that one of ours?

Well, one day the answer was “yes.” Fortunately, everyone on board survived, but the company seized the event as a teachable moment.

They invited the pilot into the plant.

He showed pictures of his wife and children, described how he felt as the plane was going down.

Everyone at the plant had always known about quality. But that pilot changed their commitment.

Tip:  The next time you communicate, consider head, heart, hands. And when your message is important, speak to all three.

P.S. More about head, heart hands:

Head: To influence thinking, provide facts and data. Challenge assumptions. Ask thought-provoking questions.

Heart: To influence feeling, tell compelling stories. Ask others to imagine a vivid scene. Disclose how you feel.

Hands: To influence doing, model the desired behavior, or show what not to do. Encourage practice. Call for action.

For an extraordinary example: President Zelensky addresses the U.S. Congress.

P.P.S. 3 ways I can help you & your team.

1) Virtual workshop—I’ve been leading Dynamic Speaking, a four-session course for small teams. We practice how to get heard, get remembered, and get results.

2) Webinars—e.g. The Power of Presence; Resilience @ Work; Stories that Work . . . Click here for all 12 programs.

3)1-1Coaching—Got an important, upcoming communication? I’ll help you with design (what to say) and/or delivery (how to say it with presence). Click here for details

PAUL HELLMAN consults & speaks internationally on how to make your point—fast, focused, powerful.

Latest book: You’ve Got 8 Seconds: Communication Secrets for a Distracted World Selected by a Fortune 50 company for their book club, translated into five languages, available in print, kindle, audio.

Please email or call 508-879-0934 for more info.

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