In the second section of the final chapter of Jim Rohn’s “How to Have Your Best Year Ever!” seminar, Jim discusses the importance of communication and how to be a good communicator.

There are four keys to being a good communicator, which Jim goes into detail discussing.

[Full transcript: 03:49:02-04:10:31]

Four Steps To Communication

03:49:02: Okay, here’s the next to the last subject: Communication.

How to affect other people with words—I’ve got a, just four, a little four point program here, for you to consider.

The whole expanded version now, three days, right? Three days of all this is in that package that you’re taking home.

So this is called an abbreviated version of all the rest, this one day, video day.

Four steps to good communication.

Here’s number one, first of all, words can work miracles.

That’s why communication is so important.

Words can work miracles.

Words are powerful.

Words are almost godlike.

In fact, ancient script says, “The Word was God, God was the Word.”

Wow, words and God.

I said to my Israeli audience last year, “In the beginning, the story of creation is unique.”

It says, “In the beginning, Jehovah God spoke and said what?”

Got some students here, I’m sure.

In the beginning Jehovah God spoke and said what?

Let there be light, and what? There was light. Wow. Wow.

It looks like words create light.

Is that possible? I’m telling you, it’s possible, humans can get pretty close.

What if somebody can’t possibly see how they could do well, how they could become successful how they can transform their lives, and their health, their future, their finances, spiritually, and every other way?

They can’t see, and you come along and share your story, and maybe borrow some other stories.

And by the time you get through with a good presentation to this person, they say, “Now I can see, before you got here I was blind. I was in the dark. And while you were talking some things dawned on me.”

Is it possible to create light with human intelligence, with words, and the answer is?

Of course, of course.

Here’s part of the spectacular opportunity as a human being one person talking to another, it’s got so much power, so much potential.

A mother talking to a daughter, a father talking to a son, salesperson talking to a client. Nothing more magical and powerful, awe inspiring, than words, have the ability to dramatically affect people’s lives and futures.

So become a good communicator.

Let me give you some good keys to good communication.

Have Something Good to Say

03:51:40: Here’s number one, have something good to say.

Communication starts with preparation.

Getting ready to speak this year, getting ready to speak next year, attend the classes, read the books. Have something good to say.

Here’s four good words to help you to have something good to say, one is: Interest.

Develop a new interest in people and life, and what’s going on economics, politics, religion, social structure, possibilities, opportunities, develop a new interest.

Here’s the next word: Fascination, goes that step beyond interest.

That’s why kids learn so much at first six years, fascination.

Adults are walking on ants. Kids are saying, “Don’t walk on these ants. I’m studying these ants, I’m looking at these ants.”

Kids are so fascinated, how come an ant can carry something bigger than he is? Wow.

That’s how come they learn so much. They’re fascinated.

And here’s another little clue I’ve learned: Turn frustration into fascination, if you can.

You’ll learn more. I’ve worked on this. I’m pretty good at it.

Out in Los Angeles—I’m on the freeway, my airplane leaves in 45 minutes, the traffic is moving not one inch. I am now fascinated. I’m telling you now. Now, it doesn’t work every time.

That’s true, but every time it does work, I’m telling you you’ll come away with more.

Learn to be fascinated, instead of frustrated if you possibly can. Turn that little scenario on for yourself.

Next is sensitivity. You’ve got to understand we use the phrase: Where people are coming from, where they’ve been, what’s going on.

Sensitivity training is so important, people not like you, people who’ve got challenges, and problems, and difficulties.

You’ve got to do your best to be sensitive to other people, where they find themselves, the pit they might be in currently, what’s going on, be sensitive to that.

Here’s two of the greatest things said about Jesus.

One: It said he was touched. He was touched by where he found some people, he was touched by the misery he found some people in, he was touched, he was touched.

And here’s the other word: He was moved, it said.

He was moved, touched, and moved.

If you really want to communicate well you’ve got to be touched and moved, not just by your own drama of life, but by the drama you know is going on in other people’s lives.


How does an adult, 40, talk to a child who’s twelve? You’ve got to be sensitive.

Not just to your current situation, one of the best ways to identify with a child who’s twelve and you’re 40, is to remember when you were twelve.

Go back, go back, remember this scenario, and let it hit you again, let it touch you again.

I don’t have any problems with twelve year olds. I remember almost every day of being twelve, twelves a unique year. One, you’re not 13 I mean you know.

If I heard once, I heard it 100 times. Of course you can’t go, you’re not a teenager. Wow. I can’t wait for this year to be finished. Remember, that’s part of sensitivity.

Remember. Apostle, one who became an apostle, leader of the Christians, was once Saul from Tarsus, hater and killer of the Christians.

After he was converted—became a leader—became Paul, apostle, revered.

Why was he so effective in his language, in his ability to touch people with his words, and with his presence?

If you read part of the scenario of his history, he gave an account of his own life and said, “Here’s why I think I’m so effective. I remember the pit I came from. Sure they call me apostle, but I used to kill these Christians, and I never forget that. If I want to get in touch with other people’s difficulty, I’ve got to remember my own difficult—let it hurt again.”

That’s what makes a good performance.

A good actor, a good actress, the emotion close to the surface from the remembrance of things past and then well chosen words delivered with emotion, powerful.

The last word is: Knowledge. You’ve just got to go through exercises like this, take the notes, work hard, roll up your sleeves, go to work.

Gather the knowledge in journals, gather the knowledge in notebooks, gather the knowledge in the library, and cassettes, and videos, and every other means. Gather knowledge.

Don’t be lazy in learning.

A major part of communication is preparation.

Say it Well

03:56:39: Now, here’s the next part of good communication: Say it well.

One is having something good to say, and number two is saying it well.

Let me give you a quick list on saying it well.

Number one: Sincerity.

Best place to start, if you want to communicate well, is let your sincerity show.

Next is repetition. The mother of skill.

I’ve been at this 33 years, someone says, “Well, you give a pretty good seminar.”

I should, 33 years, 33 years! Repetition.

Next, brevity. Sometimes you don’t need many words if you’re totally sincere.

I’m telling you, Jesus’ presentation in gathering up his team, called disciples, was fairly short.

He just walked around the countryside took a look at somebody and said, “You follow me.”

That’s brief. I mean, you know, that’s short.

Now, why could he get by with such few words?

And this takes care of a lot that I’ve tried to share with you today called personal development, here’s why I think Jesus could get by with such few words: For all that he was, that he didn’t have to say.

Take that scenario home: For all that I am, that I don’t have to say.

Just a few words could be dynamic and affecting someone else’s life. A child, a business colleague, a sales client.

Next, vocabulary—got to work on your vocabulary.

Some of my friends took a survey among prisoners working on some rehabilitation program, they weren’t particularly looking for this, but here’s what they found. There’s definitely a relationship between vocabulary and behavior.

And here’s what they found out, the more limited the vocabulary, the more tendency to poor behavior.

And when you think about it for a while, it make sense. Words are a way of seeing and if you don’t have a good vocabulary, you can’t see very well.

Can you imagine the mistakes in judgment when you can’t see very well?

Next, words are a way of expressing what’s going on in your head what’s going on in your heart. What if you can’t see well and you can’t express well?

You can imagine the tragic scenario of five years of that, ten years of that, twenty years of that, showing no improvement.

Behavior now becomes a major problem. And that person’s world gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller.


They can’t see, and they can’t express.

And finally they don’t need a much bigger place than a 10′ by 12′ cell, their world is so small anyway—don’t need much bigger place.

I’m asking you to stretch your vocabulary.

I used to put words up on a three by five card. I drove a lot back in those days, by the end of the day I’d mastered two, three words.

My oldest daughter Linda, with my grandkids, starts the day with what’s called the word for the day.

She writes it on a chalkboard, the word for the day.

And the kids memorize that word and the meaning of the word. And every once in a while during the day, she’ll say, “What’s the word for the day?”

The last day I was there the word was “superficial.” Natalie’s four Nathaniel’s five.

Several times during that day, Linda, my daughter would say, “What’s the word for the day?”

Natalie would say, “Superficial.”

She would say, “Nathaniel, what does that mean?”

“On the surface.”

Several times during the day, “What’s the word of the day?”


“What does it mean?”

“On the surface.”

If you were to ask my grandkids, “The last time grandpa was here, what was the word for the day?”

I’ll bet you they’d probably know: Superficial, on the surface. Word for the day.

Why not learn a word a day? Why not add to your vocabulary so you can see more? See better and express better.

Put out in words what’s in your heart, what’s in your soul, what’s in your mind. It’s important.

So, say it well.

Read Your Audience

04:00:58: Here’s number three. Number one was have something good to say. Number two, say it well. Here’s number three.

Read your audience.

These are just simple concepts.

Now, you’ve got to add some of the details, but that’s what I’m mainly good for is concepts.

Read your audience. If you’re talking to a child, you’ve got to study the face of the child, you’ve got to study a little body language, you’ve got to study what’s going on.

So you’ll know whether to shift gears come on a little stronger, ease off a little—might be too strong. Search for another illustration—soft, strong.

A lot of that is dictated by reading your audience.

When I first started lecturing, I had some challenges here. I was so absorbed in my notes lecturing like this, I’m telling you, in those early days the audience could have left, and I’d have kept right on going.

I didn’t know what was going on down here. I didn’t know what was going on over here. I didn’t have any idea what was happening over here. Whether I should come on a little stronger, ease back.

I didn’t know, I couldn’t read my audience.

So read your audience, a prospect. Read.

Now let me give you some ways to read.

Number one, by what you see.

Body language tells us some things. How to shift gears, whether to go on, whether to stop.

If you’re talking to somebody and they’re leaning toward the door, that means you gotta hurry—right? They’re not gonna be here long.

Body language, guys got his arms folded, chin tucked down. You’ve got your work cut out for you. You’re going to have to reach deep in your bag—find some extraordinary stories.

This one’s not going to be easy. What tells you that? Reading what you see.

Here’s the next one, read what you hear.

You’ve got to read a child’s impatience. Kids don’t mind telling you whether they’re bored or impatient.

Kids’ attention span is short, doesn’t last long, you’ve got to get it said.

You start talking to a child, thirty seconds they say, “How long is this gonna take?”

Whoa. Read. Listen, listen for the response. Now you’ll know whether to shift gears, change your language, find a new illustration, soften, stronger.

Read your audience. Read what you see, read what you hear.

And here’s one of the most important: Read what you feel.

Now women are probably better at this than men. When it comes to picking up emotional signals. Men they can see, and men they can hear, but it takes a little training for a man to pick up those emotional signals that are so important.

So you don’t say the wrong stuff, because it’s so easy to make a mistake in language. What if you meant to say to someone you care about, what if you meant to say, “What’s troubling you?” and instead you said, “What’s wrong with you?”


So read the emotional signals, if we could learn from the women on this—women have this uncanny antenna, picking up this stuff. Stuff. Woman says, “Doesn’t feel right.”

I mean, what does that mean? It doesn’t feel right? It doesn’t feel right?

Women have got it though, seems to be built in. Especially danger. Women pick it up quicker than men, it’s built in I think. Way back, right? Man was the provider, mama was the protector at home.

So she picked up the scenario of danger, I think, these signals. But they are good.

In the middle of the night, mama wakes up.The baby cries, mama wakes up, papa sleeps. The faintest cry, mama’s awake.

Or she nudges her husband and says, “Go look! Go look! Something isn’t right.”

“It isn’t right?”

She says, “No, go look.”

He said, “Hey, everything’s okay.”

She says, “Go look!” He says, “Okay!” And he gets out of bed goes downstairs.

The front door is open. How did she know that? We don’t know. I mean she just knows, she just knows.

And I’m telling you, it’s so valuable in communication to be able to pick up the emotional signals as well as what you see, and as well as what you hear—so important. But women are good.

Ancient scenario says this, “There are shepherds, and there are sheep, and there are wolves.”

What a good life scenario, but it doesn’t stop there. The ancient scenarios says also, “Some wolves are so clever, they’ve learned to dress up like sheep.”

Now, you’ve got to have a woman, got to have a woman.

Man says, “Looks like a sheep, talks like a sheep.”

Woman says, “Ain’t no sheep! Take my word for it!”

They know. Read. Pick up the signals. Don’t ignore the signals.

Develop this personal development scenario: Communication, financial independence, and all the rest.


04:06:47: Now here’s the last part: Intensity.

Words mixed with emotion. Words mixed with hate, words mixed with love. Words mixed with faith, words mixed with courage. That’s what’s powerful.

Words have a certain effect, but words loaded with emotion have an incredible effect.

If I had a little straight pin, right, guy buys a shirt, it’s got all these little pins in it.

Take out all these pins. If I took one of those little straight pins and threw it at you, and let’s say it reached you and hit you in the face, or hit you in the hand, you’d feel it—this little straight pin, you’d feel it.

That means I got you with my words.

But what if I took that little straight pin and wired it to the end of an iron bar?

See, I could drive that pin through your heart.

The pin is the words, the iron bar is the emotions.

The emotions, here’s the best I could share with you, put more of you into what you say.

Don’t be casual in language. Don’t be casual in words. Casualness leads to casualties—on the freeway and in communication. Don’t be lazy in learning good communication, and put more of you.

Now, here’s the last thought the emotions must be measured.

It can’t be too much for the occasion if it’s not called for. In leadership we teach: Don’t shoot a cannon at a rabbit.

It’s effective, but you’ve got no more rabbit!

So here’s some of the most powerful scenario in communication—here it is.

Well chosen words mixed with measured emotion.

The basis of affecting people with good communication: Well chosen words mixed with measured emotion.

And one last point on communication: The more you care, the stronger you can be.

The more you care as a mother, the stronger you can be with your children. The more you care as a father, the stronger you can be. The more you care as a leader, the stronger you can be in helping to solve problems, getting on somebody’s case, the more you care.

But you gotta care.

I don’t mind the minister consigning my soul to hellfire for my sinful ways. I don’t mind that. If he believes it. I don’t mind him consigning my soul to hellfire for my sinful ways, as long as, he does it with tears and not with joy.

If you’re going to preach a message on hellfire and consign people to hellfire, you’ve got to cry and sob your way through a sermon on hellfire.

We would all dismiss as a performance a dry-eyed sermon on hellfire. You can’t legitimately preach hellfire, unless your heart breaks.

Otherwise, it’s the performance. Otherwise, we could all dismiss it. Why? The hearts not there.

There are some conversations that don’t make sense, unless they’re accompanied by tears.

It doesn’t mean anything, unless it’s accompanied by a broken heart.

Learn measured emotions.

Remember, draw from well chosen words, expanded vocabulary. Be interested and fascinated. Pull all this together—I’m telling you, your ability to touch other people will grow day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year.

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