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Make 'Em Laugh & Take Their Money

By Dan S. Kennedy

*A Book Review*

by Michael C. Gray

© 2010 by Michael C. Gray

Dan Kennedy is one of America’s most accomplished platform salespeople. The reason is, he is more clear than anyone else about his purpose – to get money from your bank account to his by providing extremely valuable information and build a "herd" of customers that he can continue to sell products and services to.

For ten years, Dan made presentations at Peter Lowe’s Success seminars to audiences of tens of thousands on the same bill as celebrities like Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell, George Bush, Sr., Barbara Bush, Bill Cosby, Joe Montana, and many more.

According to Dan, the money was great, but platform selling is brutal work. The presentation is not "extemporaneous," but a carefully crafted performance. A key element of the presentation is incorporating humor for delivering your sales message.

When you are successful in making someone laugh, that person relaxes and his or her mind and heart becomes more receptive to your sales message.

Now Dan Kennedy shares some of his insights into using humor for persuasion in Make ’Em Laugh & Take Their Money. Dan says he wrote the book for himself, and that he is willing to share his secrets now that he has scaled back his platform selling to a handful of presentations each year.

Many trainers in public speaking, notably Dale Carnegie, caution against using humor in speaking – it’s too risky. But experienced platform salespersons know, "Only use humor if you want to be invited back." Audiences don’t want to be just be sold or persuaded, they want to be entertained.

For Kennedy, learning to use humor is not a hit and miss proposition. It is the serious study of a craft, observing the phraseology, gestures, and timing of masters like Bob Newhart, Jack Benny, Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, George Carlin and others.

There is a special chapter for those who just are looking for some quick ideas for an occasional speech --- "How To Cheat At Comedy – And Get Away With It".

Kennedy gives many other sources of humor: The Funniest Thing On Earth Is In The Mirror, Stories That Say "If I Can Do It…", "Funny Testimonials", "Toasts and Roasts", "Introducing A Speaker, Being Introduced As A Speaker", "Angry Rant Comedy", and more.

There is a great reading list of resources at the back of the book, including "ALL MY (Kennedy’s) BOOKS. All of them. Every single one."

I found this book to be delightful reading. But, if you are offended by profane language, this book is not for you. If you are interested in humor, speaking or selling, it’s a must-read.

Buy it on Amazon: Make 'Em Laugh & Take Their Money: A Few Thoughts On Using Humor As A Speaker or Writer or Sales Professional For Purposes of Persuasion.

For our new reviews of business and self-improvement books, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA's Tax & Business Insight!

This book will teach you how to use humor for persuasion. If you have to do sales presentations, it's a must-have, but anyone who needs to do speeches could benefit.

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Michael Gray, CPA
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