A CHALK ON A BLACKBOARD VOICE

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I am a woman in my 40s and a forensic accountant with two master’s degrees from top schools. My husband is an attorney who has worked with a major corporation for the past 24 years and specializes in cases dealing with computer technology. He will be leaving his company in about a year and a half and intends to continue to practice in that specialty in private practice. He doesn’t know whether he will go to work for an existing law firm or open his own firm.

 

 

I explained the above because it affected the way I marketed my skills as an accountant. I’ve always made money but accounting was always a part-time job. I advertised myself as a forensic accountant and occasionally landed major contracts but I had turned down others because my husband and I moved regularly. In addition I have had part-time and short-term work with a variety of companies and individuals.

 

I need to go to work in the near future because I have three children in high school. The youngest one is a freshman while the oldest is in his final year. He has been admitted  to an Ivy League school and his sister, a junior, has better grades in every area and I’m sure will be admitted to one as well. I hope my third will do as well but if you look at the tuition charged by the Ivy League schools I have to obtain a position and a good one.

 

The last personal interviewer said I had C+ experience and A+ educational background and skills. But I have a problem, I have a very high-pitched voice.. I was very happy to leave one city because although they did not say it to my face, my nickname at that company was  “Squeaky.”. I want to know how much this will affect  my being hired? I have at least nine months before we move to our final location. Would voice training at this point in my life and my career solve my problem and how important is to change how I sound?

 

K.B

 

 

 

 

Dear KB:

 

There is no question about it, in about six months or less a well-qualified speech teacher can dramatically change the sound of your voice. That is why I am recommending that you hire a speech teacher from your local university. They are invariably well-qualified and if you get one to work with you, you will have an excellent chance of solving your problem. However, you must start immediately but before you start you must ask the teacher if he will work with you in the summer. A substantial percentage of college teachers travel in the summer and since you do not know how long your training will take .you might have a problem.

 

There are several reasons you must start as soon as possible. First the most obvious is some students can change their sound almost instantly. Others can imitate almost anyone without practice. I hope you are in one of these two groups because if you are your problem will almost solve itself. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of students can do this. If you’re not blessed with this talent you are going to have to work diligently to overcome your problem.

 

The second reason you must start early is it will be far more difficult to land the type of  job you are seeking, if you have what I call,  “a chalk on a blackboard voice.” I can only imagine how high-pitched your voice must be. I am assuming, however, that your voice turns people off. That it has such an unpleasant sound that it makes it very hard for you to make friends. The reason I know this is I am about to finish my book on popularity. I’ve been writing it or researching it for over seven years. and I discovered that people with what I call, “ a chalk on a blackboard voice.”  are almost invariably unpopular unless they change their voice. They find it almost impossible to charm the people they meet because the majority of those they meet are turned off the minute they speak. The only well- known version of,  “a chalk on a blackboard voice.” Is Janice on Friends. She is always introduced with her speaking in a very unpleasant high pitchedunpleasant very unpleasant  nasal Brooklyn accent. Of course she’s the character no one likes or wants to be around

 

Don’t believe what you have heard, that  worrying about being popular is only important to teenage girlsThat is nonsense, I have trained over 1000 executives, at least  75% men, not only to charm those they meet but to turn their  charm on and off like a lightbulb. Most executives consider the ability to be charming an essential executive skill

 

 

Another reason you want to start immediately is if you change visually or verbally  just after you start a new job most of those meeting you will think you are affected or a phony.  If they think you are a phony, they will not trust you or like you both of which will kill your career.

 

Finally, the best reason for changing yourour i high pitched annoying voice into a mellifluous likable speech is for the first time in your life you will be able to make a good first impression. I know this because my popular speech today is a presentation I give at lunches, “How to Make a Good First Impression.”   In about a half hour I can teach over 60% of most audiences how to do just that.  Most do not walk out the door ready to charm the world but with a little practice at home they tell me they are doing better at job interviews, social gatherings and life.

 

I hope you get the job you like, working with people you like and you are liked by them.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I am a woman in my 40s and a forensic accountant with two master’s degrees from top schools. My husband is an attorney who has worked with a major corporation for the past 24 years and specializes in cases dealing with computer technology. He will be leaving his company in about a year and a half and intends to continue to practice in that specialty in private practice. He doesn’t know whether he will go to work for an existing law firm or open his own firm.

 

 

I explained the above because it affected the way I marketed my skills as an accountant. I’ve always made money but accounting was always a part-time job. I advertised myself as a forensic accountant and occasionally landed major contracts but I had turned down others because my husband and I moved regularly. In addition I have had part-time and short-term work with a variety of companies and individuals.

 

I need to go to work in the near future because I have three children in high school. The youngest one is a freshman while the oldest is in his final year. He has been admitted  to an Ivy League school and his sister, a junior, has better grades in every area and I’m sure will be admitted to one as well. I hope my third will do as well but if you look at the tuition charged by the Ivy League schools I have to obtain a position and a good one.

 

The last personal interviewer said I had C+ experience and A+ educational background and skills. But I have a problem, I have a very high-pitched voice.. I was very happy to leave one city because although they did not say it to my face, my nickname at that company was  “Squeaky.”. I want to know how much this will affect  my being hired? I have at least nine months before we move to our final location. Would voice training at this point in my life and my career solve my problem and how important is to change how I sound?

 

K.B

 

 

 

 

Dear KB:

 

There is no question about it, in about six months or less a well-qualified speech teacher can dramatically change the sound of your voice. That is why I am recommending that you hire a speech teacher from your local university. They are invariably well-qualified and if you get one to work with you, you will have an excellent chance of solving your problem. However, you must start immediately but before you start you must ask the teacher if he will work with you in the summer. A substantial percentage of college teachers travel in the summer and since you do not know how long your training will take .you might have a problem.

 

There are several reasons you must start as soon as possible. First the most obvious is some students can change their sound almost instantly. Others can imitate almost anyone without practice. I hope you are in one of these two groups because if you are your problem will almost solve itself. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of students can do this. If you’re not blessed with this talent you are going to have to work diligently to overcome your problem.

 

The second reason you must start early is it will be far more difficult to land the type of  job you are seeking, if you have what I call,  “a chalk on a blackboard voice.” I can only imagine how high-pitched your voice must be. I am assuming, however, that your voice turns people off. That it has such an unpleasant sound that it makes it very hard for you to make friends. The reason I know this is I am about to finish my book on popularity. I’ve been writing it or researching it for over seven years. and I discovered that people with what I call, “ a chalk on a blackboard voice.”  are almost invariably unpopular unless they change their voice. They find it almost impossible to charm the people they meet because the majority of those they meet are turned off the minute they speak. The only well- known version of,  “a chalk on a blackboard voice.” Is Janice on Friends. She is always introduced with her speaking in a very unpleasant high pitchedunpleasant very unpleasant  nasal Brooklyn accent. Of course she’s the character no one likes or wants to be around

 

Don’t believe what you have heard, that  worrying about being popular is only important to teenage girlsThat is nonsense, I have trained over 1000 executives, at least  75% men, not only to charm those they meet but to turn their  charm on and off like a lightbulb. Most executives consider the ability to be charming an essential executive skill

 

 

Another reason you want to start immediately is if you change visually or verbally  just after you start a new job most of those meeting you will think you are affected or a phony.  If they think you are a phony, they will not trust you or like you both of which will kill your career.

 

Finally, the best reason for changing yourour i high pitched annoying voice into a mellifluous likable speech is for the first time in your life you will be able to make a good first impression. I know this because my popular speech today is a presentation I give at lunches, “How to Make a Good First Impression.”   In about a half hour I can teach over 60% of most audiences how to do just that.  Most do not walk out the door ready to charm the world but with a little practice at home they tell me they are doing better at job interviews, social gatherings and life.

 

I hope you get the job you like, working with people you like and you are liked by them.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF JACKETS

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I just bought a new suit for $370. I purchased it because the normal price was $570 and I have two suits which are beginning to look a bit shabby. I thought I made a wonderful buy until the next day at work.

 

At lunch one of my coworkers said; “It’s about time you finally came out of the closet.” I treated his comments like a joke but when he added;  ”36 and not married, we were beginning to wonder?” I thought he went too far, so I countered by making fun of his very small hands. Normally, I would have ignored his comments because he’s just a nasty guy but when my boss later told me not to wear the suit when dealing with the executives he caught my attention.  He explained that they are all 50 and over and that my look is just too trendy for them. I decided never to wear the suit I had on to work again.

 

When I told my wife, she said I was crazy. She said it was a beautiful suit and since all the late-night talk show hosts wore similar suits the suit should work everywhere. I would like your input.

 

 

Name and Address Withheld

 

 

Dear Reader;

 

 

Obviously, using undercover informal research described in my last blog we get tons of information on both men’s and women’s suits. As for the suit you purchased, ( I had the reader send me a picture ), it’s a category two short jacket suit and I suggest you leave it home. The rule for short jacket suits and any other garment or outfit is if you’re not sure don’t wear it to work. Since there are several types of short jacket suits we divided them into categories. A category one short jacket suit is very short and nipped at the waist, category two is basically the same suit but just a bit longer, category three is the same length as category two but it is not nipped at the waist. Category four is just a bit longer and straight while category five is straight and long enough to be referred to by my researchers as the almost business suit.

 

The fashion industry has been pushing suits with shorter jackets for well over a year. Their object is of course to make money by forcing men to buy new suits because the ones they have now look dated. The best reason for not buying one of the suits is if you purchase one them are more likely to succeed. However, they spent so much time and money pushing these shorter jackets suits they just might succeed but I don’t think they will. Your best course at present is to not buy a new suit unless it’s absolutely necessary. It would be prudent to wait and see which way the fashion wind blows.

 

I think the reason short suit jackets will not catch on is not because of their association with gays. While it is a factor because the men who run American industry see themselves as a macho group and would not want to wear anything that takes away from their macho image. If you desperately need a suit and you don’t want to buy anything that is going to look dated in a year or two, I suggest you purchase the category five straight cut almost a business suit.

 

The reason I believe, the short jacket suits will fail to catch on, is most of the powerful men in this country are over 50. Once they reach that age most men find it very easy to gain weight and very difficult to lose it. Until I was in my mid-40s I was as skinny as a rail and ate like a horse. Once I reached 50 I started gaining weight easily and today I can put on pounds by driving past the doughnut shop. If you’re slim and in shape you can purchase one of those slim cut almost business suits but if you have a bit of a pouch you will look like 10 pounds of sausage in a 5 pound bag, not at all flattering. The main reason however that these suits will not sell is that men in power usually buy expensive suits. Those suits are designed to last for years and I can assure you they’re not going to throw them out.

 

Finally, the third reason the shorter jacket suits will not sell is they do not identify the wearer as a powerful person. Somebody to be admired and possibly feared is the image that most at the top would like to project.

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UNDERCOVER RESEARCH

 

Dear Reader:

 

I think I should explain how I do my research today. I no longer follow the standard technique of hiring researchers to go out and ask questions unless the nature of the research demands it. It’s a very simple system, I have people most of whom work for client companies fill out forms and send them to me every three months. My company enlists volunteer researchers in a variety of businesses, in different sections of the country. Each researcher is assigned a number of subjects and asked to cover them. For men we asked our volunteers to cover suits, shirts, ties, facial hair and so forth. Because women’s business outfits are so varied we have to research far more items, to name just a few; make up, skirts, dresses, pantsuits, jewelry etc. The reason I simply don’t list every item we are researching is the number would be enormous and we vary them depending on what we are researching. Most often we want to know which garments and which outfits make a man or woman look efficient, professional and in charge in different professions and in different companies.

 

Since we researched women as well as men, we felt obliged to research which garments make a woman looks sexy. It’s important because if a woman looks sexy in a business environment it takes away from her authority and credibility when dealing with men. I can tell you about one third of women in professional and pre-executive positions wear garments that they’re convinced send no sexual signals and therefore are perfectly appropriate in business. However, when we asked their male coworkers about the same women wearing the same outfits, they say that these women are sending very strong sexual signals.

 

We found the most reliable information comes from everyday conversations, which are unplanned and unsolicited. Each researcher is required to keep a little folder for each subject they are researching .When anyone in the office comments about one of those subjects we ask the researcher to make a note of what was said on a sticky pad. After work we asked them to take these notes and put them in the appropriate folders which are delivered to us every three months.

 

If our researchers ask a question or make a comment to solicit information which on occasion they are required to do, they must slip it in to the conversation very subtlety.  Our instruction to the researchers is if they might suspect you’re asking the question or soliciting information, don’t do it. And once that takes place, stop researching for at least a month. This type of research is more easily done by women who talk about dress all the time. Our on-site undercover research is ongoing and long term. We are in no hurry because we have a number of researchers covering the same topic and if one or two drop out that will not affect the validity of the research. Our insiders are also encouraged to report on subjects which are not part of the project but they think might be valuable. We also ask our people to take pictures of garments or outfits they are commenting on, but only if they can do so without being noticed. Of course if they get these pictures we have them send them to us attached to the appropriate note.

 

Some undercover researchers make comments every day on several subjects while others make 10 to 30 comments in three months. I’m not going to tell you how, but I usually can tell if anyone is just filling in the forms and when I think that I discard the information. There is no doubt about it, the very best and most reliable information just comes up in conversation. The reason we adopted this format as our primary research technique is it gives us valid insights into what people are really thinking. Today people are so aware of political correctness unless they are talking to their friends informally

 

That required a new way of researching, especially when doing political research.   The political pros would be surprised to learn what most people think.

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SHORTS AND WOMEN IN FLORIDA

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I live in central Florida and came here to retire about a year and a half ago. I always loved the beach and playing golf and I still enjoy both. I’m an accountant and I was a partner at one of the largest accounting firms in the US. When I left, I arranged my finances so I would never have to work again and I do not wish to go back to work, full time.

 

I am a forensic accountant with a national reputation. I’ve read both versions of “Dress for Success” as well as, “Live for Success.”  I gave my daughter a copy of “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others.”  On her wedding day just before the ceremony, in spite of the fact, she said she never read it,. she thanked me for giving her your book. Although, I am a fan, and I assume you would be against an accountant wearing shorts while working, I intend to do just that.

 

I am writing to you because my wife insisted. She’s a retired accountant and said that I cannot charge the same fees unless I look like a professional. My first client has already agreed to my fee but the second one complained I was charging too much even though my fee was reasonable. Could she be right?

 

Before you answer consider the fact that Florida is so hot that everybody wears shorts most of the time, even to good restaurants.

 

 

J.B.

St. Augustine, Florida

 

 

 

Dear J.B.

 

I live about an hour and 15 minutes away from you in the center of the state which is warmer than it is on the coast. I understand how warm it is in central Florida. In spite of the fact, I knew the answer I would give I felt obliged to survey businessmen in this area. When I showed them your letter many chuckled and some laughed out loud. A majority said; who is he kidding or something similar.

 

He knows the answer, his wife is right.

 

Before I came to Florida I spoke 20 to 30 times a year but once I arrived I decided to cut back on my travel. Now 80% of the time I travel I visit the offices of clients and advise them on upgrading their dress codes which of course are always unofficial and unwritten.

 

Recently I was hired by a large accounting firm. Only I did not visit their offices but the offices of their high-tech clients. They have like many in your field recently found themselves working for people in technical fields who are young and dress very casually. Accountants who visit these high-tech firms feel they are too formally dressed and would like to at least fit in with their clients. After interviewing a many of these high-tech people I concluded they should do exactly that. As I’m sure you know that is a major change in my position but it is based on over 400 interviews with employees of high-tech companies who hired me in the past. Many of them were new at the time and found it difficult to borrow money unless they dressed more conservatively. At the time I agreed but don’t know if I would today. There has been a revolution in the dress of some power figures in corporate America.  Nevertheless the one thing you must keep in mind is the conservative suit, shirt and tie is still the uniform of 90% of the people with real power. So the more things have changed the more they remain the same.

 

Even though I interviewed a dozen of the most influential business people in this area, I felt obliged to show pictures of men wearing shorts and other outfits to business people, and ask them to guess what each person did and how well they did it. Generally the people wearing shorts were thought to be employed in unskilled low-paying jobs and most of those interviewed thought they were average workers. Interestingly, the negative word that came up most often was unreliable.

 

Because you describe yourself as a nationally known forensic accountant, I also asked if someone with your reputation wore shorts what would they think. Believe it or not, it happens so often they have the term for it, they said he’s gone native. When I asked what they meant by that the word that came up most often again was unreliable. Basically they said you work when you felt like working but often not when they needed you. Which means, if you don’t dress like a forensic accountant most of them will not hire you. That’s the bad news, the good news is they will be happy to hire you if you look professional because they found some talented retirees have skills they cannot find locally.

 

 

That should answer your question. I know it’s not the answer you want but it is the answer.

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I am a 62-year-old woman attorney who recently passed the bar exam in Florida. I have 22 years of experience in Michigan, and excellent recommendations from the firms where I worked. I have been going on job interviews now for several months and received offers I didn’t care for. The impression I get is women in business do not do as well down here as they did in Michigan. Is that true? If it is, I am going to open my own firm.

 

 

Name and address withheld,

 

 

 

Dear Attorney:

 

It is true.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WHAT TRUMP AND HILLARY SHOULD DO AND HOW I KNOW

 

WHAT TRUMP AND HILLARY SHOULD DO AND HOW I KNOW 

 

At the end of last week’s blog I promised that I would tell you about my background and how I developed expertise in the political arena. I started working with politicians shortly after I wrote “Dress for Success.”  At first I picked their clothing, shortly after that I was surveying audiences after their speeches and making suggestions on how they could improve. With my help my first candidates developed great stump speeches and most of them won.

 

I got so good at it I approached only underdogs and my argument for hiring me was, what did you have to lose? I handled candidates who were supposed to lose in a landslide and five out of seven won. I always sign nondisclosure agreement with my clients but I thought word would get out. I was wrong, it was the only secret politicians ever kept but I wasn’t disappointed.  While I liked most politicians I couldn’t stand most of the people who surrounded them. However, what really made me give up packaging politicians was they did not pay their bills. I was such a amateur at the time that I didn’t know that everyone including the media insisted that they pay upfront.

 

One of the men I packaged in 1986, when he was running as a Republican for a seat in his state legislature, contacted me about 15 years ago. By then he was in Congress and had a very good friend who was a Democrat.  After a few drinks he and his buddy decided to help each other get elected by sharing information. After working with me he believed in research and thought he could get a real insight into how Democrats thought if his friend did the research. He in turn would help his friend by researching how Republicans thought and reacted to various arguments. While he trusted me his friend did not so he could not even tell me his name and he couldn’t let me run the research since they were going to be using campaign workers as researchers. Of course, I turned him down because I did not want my name connected with any research project I could not validate.

 

Three years later I heard from my friend again. He met me in a restaurant in Orlando and he brought along his buddy who by that time he had convinced I was trustworthy. They wanted me to look at their research and give my opinion. I looked at the questions for five minutes and decided for a number of reasons it was not worth the paper it was written on. They agreed to pay me for my time but once again I refused unless I had the right to use the research findings as a consultant and a writer. We agreed, I would agreedagreed  work free and and never mention either of their names or identified them in any way and wait for three years before using the research.

 

The minute they explained the nature of information they were after I knew in-house undercover research was the only viable method. The best example I can give of in-house undercover research is how we researched attitudes in the black community. The Democrat who had entrée into the community hired neighborhood residents to informally survey their friends. What they were told to do is to ask 4 or 5 questions: Are you going to vote? Is anyone else in your family going to vote? Do you think there’s any argument that might convince your friends to vote for a Republican? If you felt your local candidate was betraying you and your children would you stay home? They were instructed to ask those questions over a period of time in every day conversation so no one would even know they were being questioned.  You’ll notice we never asked them which candidate they were going to vote for or if they would vote for a Republican, because we found even admitting you might vote for a Republican will get you into trouble in many black communities.

 

We found that in both the black and Hispanic areas promising mother’s not good schools but white schools was the key to switching votes. Our surveys also showed the best argument in minority communities was that with tenure no one can fire teachers who can’t teach or won’t teach. Since the Democrats have been sending you the worst teachers for years to keep you, Dumb, Dependent and voting Democratic (a memorable phrase) you must replace those poor teachers with good teachers and the only way to do that is to do away with tenure in poor communities.(This no Democrat can agree to.) The key to the Democratic party’s success is keeping you dumb because if African-Americans start going to college they’ll likely to vote Republican.  

 

If you still think you must vote Democratic, do so. Just insist that your candidate put your and your children’s interest ahead of the demands of teacher’s union. If they do not, find another Democratic candidate.

 

In the proceeding paragraphs I’ve given Trump’s anemic attempt to attract black votes some very useful information but neither he nor his advisers or his spokespeople will even consider it.  They are trapped in the well-educated white ghetto and they exclusively use arguments that make sense to them. For example, Trump recently said that Hillary Clinton want to increase the number potentially dangerous immigrants from Syria by 550%. That is a meaningful number only to those are used to thinking in terms numbers. They were impressed because that is a large number while most voters ignore large numbers because they are meaningless to them. What would make those large numbers meaningful is to give potential voters a mental picture that displays the size of those numbers.. For example if he said that number of potential mass murderers would to fill the Yankee Stadium several times that would make sense to Joe and Jane average. The same type of visual imagery could be used to describe how many undocumented aliens Hillary intends to let into this country. If he said they would fill every major stadium in United States several times over or how they could fill most of the seats in our high schools and so forth that would scare the pants off a lot of voters and he might win.

 

You may think I have given advice only or mainly to Donald Trump. That’s not true, last week I advised Hillary not to debate. Since she’s ahead and the media is on her side, if for any semi-legitimate reason she doesn’t debate, she wins hands-down. The only way Donald Trump can avoid this is to apologize as I suggested in my last blog and promise not to call her crooked Hillary during the debate. But he and his spokespeople live in a different world than the rest of us and I don’t think he could apologize or agreed to refer to Hillary as my worthy opponent or something similar, therefore Hillary is going to win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HILLARY vs TRUMP

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

You cannot compare a Lincoln speech with a modern political speech. If you read the Lincoln Douglas debates, they are not at all geared for short attention spans. Even the Gettysburg address, though short is full of content. Nowadays, political speeches are structured to appeal to low information voters and TV audiences with short attention spans. They consist mostly of applause lines.

 

Also, I suspect Trump will wear an appropriate tie. The idea that he would turn off people with his tie is pretty ludicrous. I fear you are looking too much at superficial things when it comes to politics. Hillary does not come off well, not because of her clothing choices but because one simply cannot put lipstick on a pig. She is not particularly attractive, intelligent or experienced her only advantage is she has a D after her name.

 

 

 

V.C.

 

 

Dear Trump Supporter:

 

You’re making the same mistake Donald Trump makes over and over when he calls Hillary Clinton, “Crooked Hillary.” He is making the same mistake that Mayor Koch made when he ran for Governor of New York State. He was one the best mayors the city ever had. When he took office the city was in financial difficulty and when he left the city was in pretty good shape. His performance as mayor convinced him and his friends that he could become governor of the state,

 

He was defeated not because he was too conservative or too liberal. While he held traditional democratic views he was a pragmatist and if a relatively conservative approach was needed to solve a problem he took that approach. He came as close to middle-of-the-road as a traditional democrat could and as such he should have appealed to a majority of the voters in New York State. However, when he started campaigning he ran like he was running in New York City. I did radio shows in New York City and on national networks. I found out one thing very early in my career, if you have a talk show in New York City your audience expects you to come back hard on anyone who makes an idiotic comment or challenges you without having the facts. A blunt if not a rough answer to an objection was regarded by the New York City electorate as appropriate and by some admirable.  However, the people in upstate New York were shocked and turned off by the same approach.

 

If I were advising Hillary I would tell her the minute Trump called her “Crooked Hillary” to become indignant and walk off the show. Most people particularly in the Midwest and the South would agree with her reaction. The reason I would give her such advice is Trump needs the debates to win, in fact, I’m sure he and his team are counting on them. If Hillary can avoid debating when she has a substantial lead she wins hands down.

 

If on the other hand I were advising Trump I would have him apologize for using such language before the debates started. I would have him say something to the effect it was all right in the primaries but a debate for the presidency should have and will have dignity and decorum and he will refer to his opponent as Mrs. Clinton, Hillary or candidate Clinton. That would force Hillary to debate and give him a shot at the presidency since I believe he is a better debater than Hillary and has all sorts of information about Bill and Hillary that he can use to his advantage.

 

I don’t think Trump will ever find out about my advice or this blog. The reason I say that is the first political candidate I advised never heard of me. The first candidate’s people took me to lunch in a very nice restaurant and pumped me for information. I didn’t mind giving it since I was new in the field and I just wanted publicity. They agreed if my advice was useful and their man won they would give me credit. He won and the team took bows. I know he never heard of it because I had a friend who knew the candidate and when he brought up my name it was obvious the man had never heard it before.

 

I was going for my Masters at City College when the teacher took three other students and yours truly aside and hinted that if we volunteered to work in a nearby storefront church tutoring children, we would do very well in his class. He never said so but implied if we did not we might not do well, All four of us volunteered and worked for the next four weeks tutoring youngsters twice a week. When the class ended I had four parents ask me if I would continue to work with their children, I agreed if they brought them to the library on 179 street on Saturday mornings; I worked with them there for about eight months because their parent showed up with them on time or ahead of time and shamed me. I had been told by many that black parents didn’t care about their children’s education and I believed it. Obviously, I was wrong.

 

After that I had them read books I suggested and write summaries of those books. This went on for two years. This experience taught me several things. First, that black children contrary to the belief held by much of the black community are as bright as white children. Second, black parents want the same thing for their children as white parents. Third they will do almost anything to get their children an education, Forth, very little teachings goes on in the black schools. In these schools the children get marks they don’t deserve which fools the parents into thinking they’re doing well.

 

Knowing that I would advise Trump to promise whether he got the black vote or not, he would work to improve schools in all poor neighborhoods. One of the ways he would do this is to do away with tenure in failing schools. Tenure makes it impossible to fire teachers who do not or cannot teach. Hillary would refuse to make the same promise because it would offend the teachers union which would allow Trump to say she didn’t care about black children. I think that would change the way some black parents voted.

 

As I stated earlier, I think Hillary will win because Trump will never hear about this blog and if he does as a native New Yorker he will question its validity. I know as a New York City boy, at first I couldn’t believe it, even though I was getting feedback from listeners.

 

 

 

I apologize. I have been telling readers for years before they take advice find out where the writer obtained his information. Yet I wrote this blog without telling you about

my background in the political field. I will do so in a future blog, you might find it interesting. I also apologize for not completely answering the question asked by the reader but I wanted to discuss the election. It was that blog that got the biggest response so from here to November, I will occasionally be writing about how our elections really work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FROM BALD TO BARRGAINS

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I have a problem I am 27,  bald and I just got a woman boss. According to you both men and women judge the opposite sex by their own standards. I hate to say this but I am not popular with women and being single that is a problem in my social life but I hate to let it affect my career. Can you tell me if there is any way I can offset this disadvantage without wearing a wig. I looked at them and they all look obviously artificial and I don’t think they would help.

 

A man with a problem

 

Dear Sir:

 

I presume when you say your bald you mean that the center of your head is hairless. If that’s the case you don’t have a disadvantage in business, you have an advantage. Most supervisors judge the people who work for them by how diligently they work and how they affect their careers. If you’re an effective efficient employee your baldness will not stand in the way of your success. Our research showed that women bosses use the same criteria for making judgments as their male counterparts. If they were to meet you in a singles bar they might turn you down but if you work for them they will promote you as quickly as anyone else. In fact your baldness will give you a slight advantage because it makes you look just a bit older than you really are and at 27 that helps.

 

However, if at present or in the future you lose all the hair on your head you’re going to have to buy a hairpiece or undergo a procedure which will restore your hair. Being totally bald creates a very negative impression, for some reason it makes most men look like an oddball and that definitely would stall your career. I suggest you start saving your money now if that transformation is likely because either solution is very expensive. If you buy a hairpiece make sure it is made of human hair and well-made. No matter which route you choose make sure your new hair  is the same color as the hair you had when you were 18 to 20. I assure you if you purchase a good wig it will not look artificial.

 

 

 

Good Luck!

 

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

My granddaughter has been living with my husband and I for the past 10 years. I attended college in the early 70s when looking as anti-establishment as possible was in vogue. Since my husband retired four years ago, where he was required to wear conservative suits to read your column and your books we’ve gone back to our old style of dress. My husband now has a ponytail which makes us stand out in this very conservative upscale community.

 

Our granddaughter is 18 and going to college next year. She tells us we’re trying to relive our youth but without drugs and rock ‘n roll. Luckily she’s very anti-drug because we told her what happened to many of our friends but we are afraid we may have influenced the way she dresses. She wears nothing but ripped distressed jeans but fortunately for our pocketbook, she rips them and distress them herself.

 

To balance her outlook, we insisted she sit down and read several fashion magazines with us. These fashion magazines show young girls wearing dresses. We offered to buy her several dresses and believe it or not, she refused. Even in my heyday as a hippie I would’ve taken free dresses but she insists those people are living in a dream world. Is she right?

 

Two Anti-Establishment Confused Grandparents

 

 

 

Dear Grandparents:

 

She is right. Jeans remain the uniform of the day on most college campuses. If she joins a sorority she may need dresses or other garments because many of them have an official or unofficial dress code at least for certain occasions. Your best course of action is to wait until she is in school a few months and ask her, what she needs.

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

Is there a difference between a factory outlet, a distributors outlet, a manufacturers outlet and a clearance center?

 

L.K. San Diego California

 

 

Dear LK.:

 

At one time there were major differences between the four discount establishments you mentioned. A The terms factory outlet usually refers to an establishment that is next to a factory and offers over runs and seconds at discount prices. If you find an establishment next to a factory you  usually get pretty good deals. Manufacturer’s outlets are trickier but you can get real bargains.

 

However, today there are so many malls, centers, and stores claiming to give special discounts, the main rule when dealing with any of them is “Buyer Beware.” Manufacturers and designers including some very famous ones today have special lines created to be sold at discount prices. In short they mark them up so they can mark them down. If you know quality they can be wonderful places to shop, If you don’t, you’ll probably get exactly what you pay for no more and in some cases quite a bit less.

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POPULARITY ANS POLITICAL SALES

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POPULARITY AND SALES

 

 

The reason I haven’t produced a blog in the last two weeks is I have been teaching a candidate for state office to get his audiences to like him, when he is on the stage, on radio or on TV.  The reason I was asked is my next book is designed to train people to be more popular. Most of the text deals with personal popularity but a certain percentage deals with public popularity. Once word got out that I not only taught salespeople in client companies how to charm their buyers, I also trained executives to charm audiences, I was approached by politicians.

 

You may wonder what one has to do with the other.  When I first approached the subject most executives played down the importance of popularity.  They don’t deny there is a correlation between popularity and success but it is simply not one of the critical factors at least for them as individuals. Their mistake is they think they are already experts since they are elected to office. Not so.

 

 

You would think that it would be easy to train politicians to be popular with their audiences. Most professional politicians, particularly those running for major offices are lawyers. As a group they are smooth, sophisticated and erudite individuals. What is even more surprising is most of them have never had sales training. Seven out of ten politicians think of themselves as salespeople and by the time they hire me are usually pretty good.  In fact, many credit their success to their ability to sell their ideas. Which means salespeople not only run corporate America but the American government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When candidates, liberal or conservative, run for the House, the Senate or the Presidency they are salespeople and most often the best salesperson wins.  You would think that they would know the basic rules for political sales but many are inept and uninformed.  A majority took courses in law school on how to present the case in court but that has little to do with the ability to sell in an uncontrolled environment. Lawyers are taught to object everything the other side does and that limits their ability to sell in court. The real problem is their political advisors are not really experts on communication. They are hired because they’ve worked on a number of campaigns not because they improved their candidates chances of winning.

 

For all those going to run for office I will give you five basic rules for political salespeople.

 

First, when you sell to an individual or an audience of millions, do not surprise your audience either visually or verbally. You should dress not only to suit your audience but to suit the product you are selling. If you’re selling art look like an artist, if you’re selling stocks look like a stock broker, if you are running for the presidency of the United States dress as if you are already the president.

 

I couldn’t improve either Hillary Clinton’s or Donald Trump’s image. The public has almost an indelible mental picture of both of them and if they dramatically changed it would announce to the public that they were not trustworthy. If you want an audience to trust and believe you, give them what they expect.

 

Second, do not hesitate either visually or verbally. They are both professional politicians and they never hesitate when coming before the public or when speaking to the public. Here Hillary has a slight advantage because she’s carefully scripted but Donald is a better speaker. Nevertheless Hillary scores more points.

 

 

 

 

Third, using catchy and memorable phrases helps. “Make America Great Again” is wonderful and may get Donald elected president. However, “Crooked Hillary,” gives her an edge. Personally insulting an opponent hurts the person doing the insulting. Trump would have scored more points if he had said I hate to bring this up but Hillary has collected millions of dollars from enemies of America and I don’t understand it. The voting public deserves an explanation.

 

Fourth, don’t quote statistics when talking to the general public. And stay clear of statistics that don’t make sense to everyone. This is Donald Trump’s and the Republican Party’s real weakness. Telling the general public that we have the lowest participation in the workforce since 1977, I don’t think switches one vote. The Democrats keep their statements and statistics simple. They make statements like, “Things are great,”  “We saved America from a Great Depression,” Barack Obama has created millions of jobs,” is a much more effective communication technique.

 

For over 30 years I have spoken to audiences about my very sophisticated research. At first, I dazzled them with my statistics but I soon realized that the audience didn’t listen when I mentioned statistics.  I had to mention research to justify my advice but I learned to keep it short, sweet and simple and to skip over many of the details. Once I started doing that I mesmerized audiences, if you’d like to mesmerize your audiences obey the KISS rule. Keep it simple stupid.

 

Fifth, stay on message. The Democrats obviously do this better than the Republicans at least than Donald Trump. Hitler referred to as the big lie. His contention was, if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes truth in the public’s mind. It is also true, if you repeat two truths the one that is repeated most often will be the truth that everyone remembers.

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UNUSUAL UNIFORMS & POPULARITY AND TEXTING

 

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

Two years ago I opened a small retail establishment specializing in tools used in woodworking. While I’m not competing with the large box stores I do sell many of the same tools and accessories to many of the same customers as the large box stores. Our staff is more specialized and many of our tools are only used by experts and as a result are more expensive .

 

The majority of my clients are contractors, those who make custom furniture, artists who work in wood and serious woodworking hobbyists. We run classes for many of our clients and as a result, we have moved from a small out-of-the-way retail establishment to a larger more centrally located area.

 

I’m happy to report that we’re doing rather well. The reason I’m writing to you is we are considering putting our salespeople in uniforms. Our object is to make them look professional. What type of uniform would you suggest?

Name and Address Withheld

 

Dear Retailer:

 

Your store is so specialized that you might try a non-uniform uniform. An obvious example would be a uniform of off the rack clothing, for example; jeans worn with matching plaid or solid colored shirts with a company logo. If all the clerks wear the same jeans and the same shirt they would be easily identified particularly if their shirts were easily spotted.

 

You might also consider letting your employees choose their uniform at a meeting, while guarding against anything tasteless, inappropriate or too costly. The best way to accomplish this is to limit their input by letting them choose from several uniforms that you’ve already selected. I also strongly suggest that you choose a uniform of traditional colors and color combinations. Research shows that a majority of the general public trusts people wearing things they expect them to wear. For example, they would not trust an artist wearing a  traditional business suit but they would trust an artist who looked like an artist.

 

Before you commit to a uniform, take pictures of several of your employees wearing it and ask your customers if they think these clerks would be helpful. Although you will probably receive a positive answer, if over 20% of them say no, choose another uniform.

 

Remember the primary object when putting your people in uniforms is to make them easily identifiable which will allow customers to recognize them and ask for help.

 

If you decide to choose a non-uniform uniform avoid any nontraditional colors, I would avoid green, orange, purple and even some shades of red because next year or next week that shade can change and the one your people are wearing may be unavailable. I would stick with traditional colors which are always available e.g. blue, beige, white etc.

 

One final word on uniforms, if you have enough people it’s safer to purchase your uniforms from a traditional uniform manufacturer who will guarantee to keep that uniform in stock for an extended period of time. In addition they may have chosen uniforms for someone in your business before and have feedback on those uniforms.

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I have a 15-year-old son who is driving me crazy. He and his friends are constantly texting each other even when they’re in the same room. I’m convinced that they are losing out on personal relationships. Since you are an expert on nonverbal communications you should be able to help me prove to him and his friends that they are making a mistake.

 

A Worried Mother

 

Dear Mom:

 

For the last year I have been speaking on popularity. The reason I’m doing this is I am introducing my new book,  “Becoming Popular.” It will be out in several months. I’ve been researching the subject of popularity almost 23 years. I started when I was researching sales and discovered that buyers are much more likely to listen to and buy from salespeople they like. I immediately started researching how to make salespeople likable when interacting with a buyer and went from there to making salespeople who worked with clients all the time, likable all the time.

 

Once the executives in companies knew I could do that they wanted me to teach popularity skills to them. They think it’s an essential business skill. I went almost without effort from teaching primarily executives to teaching everyone. Our research uncovered the fact that people who could read others are much more likely to be popular and that’s a skill that comes from personal one-on-one interactions. If you don’t have that you’re not going to be popular. Even though I tell teenagers as soon as they come in the room where I’m speaking that in high school and junior high popularity depends on looks more than anything else but as adults it doesn’t. They fill one audience after another. It seems that all teenagers want to be popular, so you have a wonderful case.

 

Good luck!

 

To My Readers.

I have to start by telling you I only accept a limited number of speaking engagements. I have two versions of my most popular presentation, “Popularity and Sales” a 30 minute to one hour version often given as an after dinner speech and a longer version which I generally advise against.

 

I also teach audiences to make a good first impression when they are selling themselves or any other important product in business and in most social settings. This is my audience’s favorite speech because I guarantee if they do as I instruct at least 85% of them will be able to make a good first impression when interacting with the general public, a member of the opposite sex, important people in their lives and so forth. In fact, they will be able to charm almost everyone they meet neighbors, friends, coworkers and in some cases the people who once intimidated them.

 

If you wish to engage me as a speaker, please email your request to; success.molloy@gmail .com. Do not send your request to this blog.  On the other hand if you want me to answer your questions, send them to the blog not to the email address. I personally read the questions for the blog, while an aide forwards emails he thinks I should read.

 

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LOOKING AT ACCENTS

Looking at accent

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I am in charge of sales training for a large multinational corporation that has its headquarters in Chicago. Officers from around the country send individuals or groups here for training. I of course recognize the fact that people coming from different sections of the country have regional accents and some with very strong accents are very good sales people.  I’ve just returned from a national conference and I was astounded by how some of the salespeople sounded. In a few cases their voices reminded me of chalk on a blackboard.

 

Before hiring a speech coach I thought it might be prudent to write to you. I heard you speak in New Orleans many years ago and although you have a discernible New York accent you are the most effective salesperson from the stage I’ve ever met.. Do you have any information on the effect of accents on sales?

A Fan of Your Research.

 

Dear Fan:

 

Your question occurred to me many years ago so l researched the subject .The popular successful salespeople we recorded, as part of this research, spoke with a number of accents and a wide variety of speech patterns. The only thing our researchers agreed on was these top salespeople were easy to listen to.  They did not have particularly mellifluous voices, their voices were more average than outstanding.

 

For almost 12 years we recorded successful  average and poor salespeople in a variety of social and business situations. When we listened to the recordings of successful  with average and poor salespeople in most cases they sounded like everyone else. There was one exception, about 4% to 6% of the poor salespeople because their voices sounded like chalk on a blackboard never sold to a substantial part of potential buyers..  90% of these unfortunate people are women whose voices are so unpleasant they turn off almost everyone they meet. The best example of this is a character from the TV show “Friends.’” Every time she showed up she started the conversation with: ” Oh my God “in a winey, high-pitched, low class Brooklyn accent. She is the girl that no one wants to date on a show where everyone wants to date and viewers from Maine to California know why..

 

Since almost everyone recognizes that there are unpleasant voices that turns off most people ,you would think those was with same problem would recognize it themselves. Not so.  One of the  stumbling blocks our trainers ran across is most of us have 20/20 eyesight when we look at others shortcomings but we are myopic when we look at our own.

 

Most of the people whose voices turn off the world cannot bring themselves to believe that the sound of their voice has a negative impact on those they meet. That is why I suggest that you have your students make a recording of their voice in a variety of social situations. Play it for them and ask one question.. What do you think of the person who made the tape?

 

Handling regional accents is not too difficult. First, if the salesman is successful ignore it. Second, if the salesman is not doing well, check to see if they are selling in the same area where they spent their youth. If so, they have too strong a regional accent. That can easily be taken care of by a speech teacher at a local college. Third ,if they come from another area that may be the problem. For example, if you have a strong New York accent and try to sell in other areas of the country you will probably not do well. A slightly different problem that can be cured by a competent speech teacher but it may take longer and be more expensive.

 

In our classless society sales people with lower class accents or speech patterns  will be seen as incompetent or uneducated. When they speak on any subject they will not be listened to or taken seriously. Standard English speech patterns should be taught in every school starting in the first grade.

 

As I mentioned in an earlier blog most women would be more successful if they slowed down this speech.

 

Having said that, I believe I should explain to you and all the readers that although I have an acceptable New York accent I would do away with it if I could. I’ve had hearing problems all my life. In grade school if the teacher placed her desk so that I could hear her, I usually got A’s. and if she didn’t B’s and C’s

I have the same problems today. When you can’t hear subtle differences it is difficult if not impossible to eliminate an accent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I am in charge of sales training for a large multinational corporation that has its headquarters in Chicago. Officers from around the country send individuals or groups here for training. I of course recognize the fact that people come from different sections of the country have regional accents and some with very strong accents are very good sales people.  I’ve just returned from a national conference and I was astounded by how some of the salespeople sounded. In a few cases their voices reminded me of chalk on a blackboard.

 

Before hiring a speech coach I thought it might be prudent to write to you. I heard you speak in New Orleans many years ago and although you have a discernible New York accent you are the most effective salesperson from the stage I’ve ever met.. Do you have any information on the effect of accents on sales?

A Fan of Your Research.

 

Dear Fan:

 

Your question occurred to me many years ago so I l researched the subject .The popular successful salespeople we recorded, as part of this research, spoke with a number of accents and a wide variety of speech patterns. The only thing our researchers agreed on was these top salespeople were easy to listen to.  They did not have particularly mellifluous voices, their voices were more average than outstanding.

 

For almost 12 years we successful  average and poor salespeople in a variety of social and business situations. When we compared the recordings of successful  with average and poor salespeople in most cases they sounded like everyone else.. There was one exception. About 4% to 6% of the salespeople underperform because their voices have sound like chalk on a blackboard to a substantial part of potential buyers.  90% of these unfortunate people are women whose voices are so unpleasant they turn off almost everyone they meet. The best example of this is from friends. Every time she showed up she starts the conversation I saying: ” Oh my God “in a winey, high-pitched, low class Brooklyn accent. She is the girl that no one wants to date on a show where everyone wants to date and viewers from Maine to California know why..

 

Since almost everyone recognizes that there are unpleasant voices that turns off most people ,you would think those was with same problem would recognize it themselves. Not so  One of the  stumbling blocks our trainers ran across is most of us have 20/20 eyesight when we look at others shortcomings but we are myopic when we look at our own.

 

Most of people whose voices turned off the world cannot bring themselves to believe that the sound of their voice has a negative impact of those they meet. That is why I suggest that you have your students make a recording of their voice in a variety of social situations. Play it for them and ask one question.. What do you think of the person who made the tape?.

 

Handling regional accents is not too difficult. First, if the salesman is successful ignore it. Second, if the salesman is not doing well, check to see if they are selling in the same area where they spent their youth. If it is the same area they have too strong regional accent that can easily be taken care of by a speech teacher at a local college. Third ,if they come from another area that may be the problem. For example, if you have a strong New York accent and try to sell in other areas of the country you will probably not do well. A slightly different problem but it can be cured by a competent speech teacher but it may take longer and be more expensive.

 

In our classless society accents or speech patterns or does not use standard English when speaking will be seen as lower-class or uneducated. When they speak on any subject they will not be listened to what taken seriously. Standard English speech patterns should be taught in every school starting in the first grade.

 

As I mentioned in an earlier blog posts women would be more successful if they slowed down this speech.

 

Having said that, I believe I should explain to you and all the readers that although I have a acceptable New York accent I would do away with it if I could. I’ve been hearing problems all my life. In grade school if the teacher placed her desk so that I could hear her, I usually had A’s. if she didn’t B’s and C’s

I have the same problems today. When you can’t hear subtle differences it is difficult if not impossible to eliminate an accent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

s

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