The World’s Greatest Pitchman
Picture this scenario in a packed auditorium:
- A presenter carrying a laptop walks to the podium and begins to fiddle.
- A long pause occurs as the big screen goes blank.
- Then on-screen is the giant boot-up pattern of the speaker's laptop.
- After fussing with the cursor, the speaker clicks on an icon.
- What follows: a series of slides, bulleted points, charts and graphs—all in mouse-type.
- Not even those seated in the first row are able to read what's on-screen.
- The speaker—with eyes glued to the screen—reads the mouse-type in a halting monotone with zero audience eye contact and zero enthusiasm.
- "Power corrupts," said professor Edward Tufte. "PowerPoint corrupts absolutely."
TV's Greatest Pitchman
I vote for Kevin Trudeau.
Working from a home office, I frequently take a break and head for the kitchen—coffee or a bite of lunch. For company, I turn on the TV and channel surf.
Years ago an infomercial starring Kevin Trudeau would invariably come on screen.
Trudeau was selling books with titles like:
- "The Weight Loss Cure (They Don't Want You to Know About)"
- "Debt Cures (They Don't Want You to Know About)"
- "Natural Cures (They Don't Want You to Know About)"
- "Free Money (They Don't Want You to Know About)"
As a salesman, Kevin Trudeau was mesmerizing
- He did not use PowerPoint.
- He was natural. I could not tell if he used a teleprompter.
- He talked to a live audience, but his manner was so intimate I felt he was talking to me through the TV set.
- Trudeau did not have a little microphone pinned to the top of his shirt. Nor was he wired-up with one of those weird ear attachments from which a distracting microphone hung next to his mouth.
- Instead, a hand-held microphone was his one prop. It was the same model as those used by pop singers. However, musical performers frequently hold the mic right up to the mouth and scream into it. Not only loud, but their faces are mostly half-covered.
- Trudeau kept his microphone at bay, always showing full face with many endearing expressions and never shouting.
- Above all, he was enthusiastic, believable and radiated honesty.
- Kevin Trudeau made millions. His weight loss book alone sold 850,000 copies and generated $39 million in revenue.
Takeaways to Consider
- My advice to all public speakers is to go around the dials and study the highest rated religious preachers past and present. Among them:
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen — the young Billy Graham— Jimmy Swaggart — Mike Murdock — Bishop T.D. Jakes — Joyce Meyer — Joel Osteen
It matters not whether you agree or disagree with the content of their messages. What's important is to home in on their performances-how they connect with the audience, drawing listeners and viewers into their worlds.
To me, these are the most fascinating people on television. —Denny Hatch,"Write Everything Right!"
- Look up Kevin Trudeau on YouTube and watch a consummate professional in action.
- In 2004, the Federal Trade Commission fined Kevin Trudeau $2 million and banned him from appearing in infomercials.
- On March 17, 2014 Kevin Trudeau was sentenced to 10 years in prison "for bilking consumers through ubiquitous infomercials for his book, "The Weight Loss Cure (They Don't Want You to Know About.)" What a waste of a great talent.
Denny Hatch’s new book is Write Everything Right!
"I was just dropping you a line to let you know that I totally 'dig' your new book. I haven't gotten through it all. But what I have read, I love. In particular, I really enjoy your style. You call a spade a spade. And what's cool is nine times out of 10 you're dead on the money. Keep up the great work!" —Wes [Wesley Murph, The Marketing Maniac]
Click here to download and read the first three chapters FREE. (Opens as a PDF)
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.