Tag Archive for: Ted Talk

Quarterly Newsletter

It’s hard to believe 2019 is over and we’re into 2020. I hope 2019 was great for you on a professional and personal level. It was for me and I look forward to an even better 2020. I hope you do too. As always, I appreciate you giving me a few moments of your time to catch you up on what’s happening with Influence PEOPLE and to share resources that can help you become a more persuasive person.



What’s Influence PEOPLE all about?

Why – Help you enjoy more professional success and personal happiness.
How – Teach you the science of ethical influence.
What – Speak, write, train, coach and consult.
Who – We work primarily with sales-people, business leaders, coaches and attorneys.

The move to Influence PEOPLE full time was tougher than I expected in some respects but much more satisfying than I ever would have imagined! The autonomy, and opp-ortunity to focus on what I deem most important every day,  is wonderful.

It’s very different working for yourself with no one to be accountable to except you. Several things stand out when I think about it vs. my time in corporate America.

First, removing the distractions and meetings that come with a big company increases your ability to accomplish meaningful work. If I spend three or four hours at Starbucks I easily accomplish more than what I would have done in eight hours at the office.

Second, having to do everything yourself is hard but highlights how much waste there is when you work for a big company. Work has a very different feel when it’s your time, money and effort on the line. It’s the difference between thinking like an owner versus being an employee.

Third, time feels different. This was highlighted around the holidays. I used to get excited about extended breaks for the holidays. Not having an office to go to, and not “taking time off” were strange feelings.

Here’s to a great 2020. I hope it’s your best year so far and that each one only gets better and better.

Here’s What’s New

TED Talk in March!

I’m thrilled to tell you I’ve been selected to present at the TEDx New Albany event on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Giving a TED Talk is something I’ve aspired to for more than a decade so I’m beyond excited! My talk will be about how to set the stage for more success and happiness using pre-suasion. If you’d like to attend in person click here for details on time, location and tickets.

Audio Book will be available this month!

Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical came out in paperback and eBook in August. My goal in writing the book was to give you tangible ideas you can use immediately to enjoy more professional success and personal happiness. I was thrilled when it made the top 10 in Amazon’s Casualty Insurance and Insurance categories. It also cracked the top 50 in Sales & Selling. Now I’m excited to let you know the audio version should be available by the end of January. In the meantime, if you prefer paperback of eBook click here to order your copy.

New Podcasts

I was a guest on a dozen podcasts in the fourth quarter and nearly three dozen during the year. I’ve learned getting on podcasts is like compound interest – the more you’re on, the more you get on because podcasters listen to other podcasts. If you want to catch any episodes from 2019, there are links to each on my website. Click here to find the ones you’d like to listen to.

New LinkedIn Courses

In 2019 I had three new LinkedIn Learning courses go live:

  • Persuasive Coaching
  • Building a Coaching Culture
  • Advanced Persuasive Selling

I cannot say enough great things about the folks at LinkedIn. They’re awesome people to work with! Click here to check out short previews for each course.

Best of…

Do you enjoy learning but find it difficult to locate good content? Time is your most valuable commodoty so don’t spin your wheels searching. To help you save some of that precious resource below are some great books to read, podcasts to listen to and TED Talks to watch.


Messengers: Who We Listen to, Who We Don’t and Why by Steve Martin and Joseph Marks. Two people can say the very same thing and get very different results. Coming from the mouth of one person a message may fall on deaf ears but from another that same message changes the world! Why? This book helps you understand that it’s more than what’s communicated, it’s who is communicating. The authors don’t just leave you with an understanding of why; they give you the how. They tell you how you can become a messenger more people listen to. The book is good for anyone who wants to be more influential but it’s critically important for salespeople, coaches and leaders in every field.

Entrepreneurial You by Dorie Clark. Here’s what I wrote in my Amazon review: Stepping out on your own is scary and exciting, energizing and draining, and so many other polar opposites so it’s good to have a resource to come back to for grounding and to realize you’re normal with these feelings. I just finished this book and I’m working through the 80+ page workbook Dorie provides for free. Don’t short change yourself – read the book then complete the workbook because both have immense value. I had a very good general idea of how I wanted to approach my business but Dorie’s book and the actual exercises in the workbook have opened my eyes to even more possibilities. The book has many ideas I had not considered and writing in the workbook stimulated lots of new ideas. My initial challenge will be to narrow my focus as opposed to trying to do too much. Both activities will be worth your while IF you make time to do them. I’m glad I did and I bet you will be too.


Applied Curiosity Lab Radio is cohosted by sisters Becki Saltzman and Jennifer Felberg. I’ve known Becki for many years and have been a guest on the show a couple of times. She is also a LinkedIn Learning instructor. Becki and Jennifer apply their curiosity muscles to a variety of topics. I guarantee two things: you will laugh and learn. Hard to beat that so why not check them out?

Brainfluence is hosted by Roger Dooley. Roger is the author of Brainfluence, The Persuasion Slide and Friction. If you want to get to the neuroscience of sales, marketing and customer experience then this is the podcast for you. Roger has hundreds of episodes to choose from and has some of the biggest names in social psychology and behavior economics on the show including Robert Cialdini and Dan Ariely.

TED Talks

How Great Leaders Inspire Action from Simon Sinek. There’s a reason this talk from 2009 has nearly 48 million views; it’s inspirational and the message is timeless. Bottom line; people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. This talk helped spur on the concept of “Why?” and skyrocketed Simon Sinek to fame as a business thought leader. Even if you’ve seen it, it’s worth watching again as you start the new year.

The Power of Vulnerability from Brene Brown. With 45 million views Brene Brown’s message obviously hit home for lots of people. A humorous talk based on research, she defies the notion “never let them see you sweat.” Being vulnerable is what people want because it’s the basis for connection. You may have been one of the 45 million who’ve already watched it but take a moment to do so again.

Brian Ahearn

Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE, LLC. An author, international trainer, coach and consultant, he’s one of only 20 people in the world personally trained by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the planet on the science of ethical influence and persuasion.

Brian’s book, Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical, was a top 10 selling Amazon book in several insurance categories and top 50 in sales & selling. His LinkedIn Learning courses on sales and coaching have been viewed by more than 85,000 people around the world!


What’s Your Why?

Why? That’s a deep, powerful question that can apply to almost anything. Kids ask why the sky is blue. Sports fans ask why the coach called a certain play. Citizens ask why politicians make the choices they do. You get the point. I’d like to focus the question on you. What’s your why? Or put another way, why do you do what you do?

I’m intrigued by the question of why having reread Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why. I encourage you to take a look at Simon sharing some thoughts on this in one of his Ted talk presentations.

Sinek builds a case that most companies lose sight of this important concept but great companies know their why and it becomes their culture. Apple, Costco, Southwest Air and Harley Davidson are a few of the great companies he refers to in the book. His perspective reminded me of Steven Covey’s idea of a personal mission statement. Covey’s idea applies to individuals because too often people go through life not knowing why they do what they do. This post isn’t about the value of a personal mission statement but if you’d like to learn more about that, read this article.

With Influence PEOPLE, my why is to help people achieve professional success and personal happiness. When it comes to professional success much of that depends on getting others to say yes to you.

That yes could be tied to a new product, procedure, strategy or any number of other initiatives in which people need to be onboard. Whatever it may be, business leaders, managers and salespeople need to get people doing what they need them to do.

On a personal level, I’m a firm believer that your home life will be much more peaceful and happy if family members willingly do what you want. Wouldn’t it be nice if your kids did their homework or chores with less resistance? Wouldn’t it be great if your spouse more willingly did what you asked? Both could lead to less stress and more happiness.

I believe professional success and personal happiness can be achieved with a lot less effort than you might imagine. If you understand how people typically think and behave and you’re willing to adjust your communication accordingly you’ll move more people to voluntarily do what you want. A big part of that communication change comes by ethically and correctly using the principles of influence.

The principles of influence are psychological triggers that are scientifically proven to move more people to a yes response. Think of it this way, if you knew the best way to hear “Yes” more consistently, wouldn’t you communicate that way more often? It would be foolish not to.

When I speak on this topic the word audience members use most often to describe me is passionate. They can tell I passionately believe what I’m saying. And I do because I’ve seen it work firsthand at home and the office. I’ve also heard from others. Here are a couple of examples:

“Brian Ahearn’s communication and teaching of Dr. Cialdini’s principles of persuasion into business applications specifically for our industry were extremely relevant and applicable in both of my work and personal life.”
– Greg Wilkerson, Sr. Vice President, Frost Insurance

“The class was so powerful for me personally, that it has extended past any particular work situation or sales situation. It has influenced almost every aspect of my life.”
– Christian Fanetti, Sr., Vice President, Consumers First Insurance

So let’s circle back to you. What is your why when you head to work each day? If it’s just a paycheck you’ll never put as much time and effort into your work as you would if you passionately believed what you do makes a difference.

Even if you don’t love the daily grind, can you see how the end results of your efforts and your organization make a difference for others?

I can’t answer your why for you. Nobody can. But taking time to really reflect might make the difference for you. Wouldn’t it be great to go to work each day with a little more energy, excitement and passion? It’s possible if you know your why and believe in it.