Communication: Four secrets anyone must have to have massive impact in the first 5 minutes


  • Be a master of the conversational Sleight-of-Hand
  • Learn how to be an “Emotional Conductor” (and become resistant/unreceptive to insults, criticism and mockery)
  • Adopt a Value-Delivering Mind-set (and let others praise you for it)
  • Become a Master Story Teller


Today is the first of four posts in which I will share tips on how to have massive impact in the first five minutes of walking into a room.


I don’t know about you but I’m absolutely terrified of walking into a room full of people and even more so when I need to get up behind the podium to deliver a talk or when being interviewed for radio or television.


Well, one way to overcome this fear is by being a master of the conversational Sleight-of-Hand.


Be a master of the conversational Sleight-of-Hand

In order to own the first five minutes of any interaction, you need to be proactive instead of reactive. The Conversational Sleight-of-Hand is a technique which helps you do exactly this. The principle is simple:


Always answer the question you wish you’d have been asked


This technique guarantees that no matter what situation you’re in, YOU get to control the dynamic of the conversation. You always get to tell the story or make the point you want to make. When you learn how to do this well, it’s so subtle and indirect, that even the people you are speaking to will feel like they are in charge, when in reality you’re pulling them toward exactly where you want them to go.


The secret of the most influential people is that they know not to wait for opportunities, but instead know how to turn any situation into an opportunity.



  • Politicians do it all the time – some try but fail hopelessly and others are masters at getting their points across no matter what questions are asked, or whoever the audience is.
  • Clever advertisers and marketers do this as well. They are able to slip their message under the radar in a way that makes it look completely cool and spontaneous.


Two easy ways to practice this technique:

  • Always answer the question you wish you have been asked
  • Tell a story that lets you indirectly smuggle in your real message. For example: when an actor tells a funny story about something that happened to them on the set of another movie, which then allows them to seamlessly have a conversation to promote the new movie.

Point number (2) here is also very useful when you are on a date – when you want to show off or display a particular characteristic you have without coming across as bragging or being self-indulgent, for example: telling a story about when you were adventurous, spontaneous, brave, generous, etc.


Did you find this post helpful? Let me know in the comments section below.