The former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group, Voss now runs Black Swan Limited, where he brings all the techniques he perfected to the business world.
During Chris’s 24-year tenure in the Bureau, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI but also Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He's taught business negotiation in the MBA program as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Oh and he's also taught business negotiation at a little school called Harvard.
But we barely got into any of that. That's because this conversation focused on his book Never Split the Difference, which has sold over a million copies, changed how countless businesses operated and made Voss into a media darling with the media hits and Masterclass to prove it.
In this episode, we talked about his top tips for a successful launch—be prepared to outwork everyone else, answer questions on Quora, do every interview, no matter how small and study the great Ted talkers, comedians and media personalities to see how they deliver information in a compelling way. We also talked about how no one wanted this book that went on to change the way business is done. And then we got into the matter of a Facebook friend request. How did this negotiation go? You're going to have to listen to the episode to find out.
Anna David: 00:01 We're doing it. So as I said, Chris, I'm so grateful to you for doing this. What, what those listening don't know is that I gave you such a guilt trip about my Facebook friend request that really this was strategic of you to just say yes. Is that true?
Chris Voss: 00:19 Was it you charmed me? I didn't realize that you gave me a guilt trip. I thought you were charming.
Anna David: 00:24 Well this is why you're so good at what you do. The backstory is I heard you speak at Genius Network Annual event last fall and I like everyone else, there was like, this guy is incredible. I started applying everything you said to every negotiation I had, read the book, sent you a Facebook friend request and you wrote me back, and do you always do this? You said, why did you send me a request?
Chris Voss: 00:49 Only for the most charming. Why? What did I owe this honor? Is what I needed to know.
Anna David: 00:55 So he meant it like, why am I so lucky? Not like, why do you think I would say yes.
Chris Voss: 01:02 That's exactly right. That's it. Exactly.
Anna David: 01:05 Anyway. And so then.
Chris Voss: 01:07 Having fortune smile upon me.
Anna David: 01:10 So then of course I see you again and I need to give you a hard time about this. And you, and you take it like, like the pro that you are.
Chris Voss: 01:19 Thank you very much.
Anna David: 01:20 So, like I said, this is going to be different than your other interviews because we're really talking specifically about the book, which has 5,000 reviews on Amazon. Did you even know that? That's insane.
Chris Voss: 01:35 People love it? It helps them and it makes an impact in their life.
Anna David: 01:39 It has made a huge impact in my life and I want to, there are things that, the things that you have taught that I use all the time are I'm about to ask you something and it may ruin your day. Like really setup for a very small favor.
Chris Voss: 01:57 Yeah. Very nice. Very nice.
Anna David: 01:59 And have you given up on, have you given up on?
Chris Voss: 02:03 Exactly.
Anna David: 02:06 So, so let's talk about your decision to do a book. I'm assuming publishers came to you and asked you to do it. No.
Chris Voss: 02:15 Not only did they not come to me, I mean significant amount of negative thinking encountered in the process. I should've kept the guy's name. One agency wouldn't even represent me. And because he, you know, and this is unfortunately typical of a lot of people quote in the entertainment industry, the only reason I talked to you is to tell you why what you want to do is a bad idea. And then for some reason it's so stupid. They think they're earning a living by shooting people down. You don't get anything done by shooting somebody down. This guy spent a lot of time on the phone with us explaining why no one would want, want The Volcker. Why wouldn't sell.
Anna David: 02:53 So, have you heard from him? You don't remember who he is?
Chris Voss: 02:57 You know, I tend to put people like that in my rearview mirror. So you know, I'm not, I'm not going to, it's not my style to memorize the dude's name other than, actually interestingly enough I am grateful for people like that. And if somebody comes back up from my head, first thing that I'd do, a gratitude exercise that I came upon because of our training, one of our mutual context is Strategic Coach and through the training and their teaching. My exercise is I forgive you and then I'm grateful for you. And with people that have negative impact in my life. I forgive him and I'm actually grateful for them.
Anna David: 03:41 Cause they lead you to the person who will be the conduit.
Chris Voss: 03:44 Yeah. Well they taught you a great lesson or you know, probably they taught you a great lesson and you know, and this bozo from previously, you know, taught me about perseverance and who doesn't need that.
Anna David: 03:57 So this is how we're opposite. I still remember the name of the person who did that to me 15 years ago and I still wish him badly. I mean, I'm sort of joking, I'm sort of joking, but I'm sort of not, I do remember him and I do think, you know, so-called gatekeepers in the same way that we were talking before we started recording about how no one knows what's going to happen. An agent who's shutting you down does not know what's going to happen, but certainly talks like they do.
Chris Voss: 04:25 Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, and it's just you know, and they inadvertently, they add to your life. And you know, I just, I got to, I got to maximize that. I got to do everything I could possibly do to stay in a positive frame of mind. So that's why I run that exercise. It's not for them. Oh, I know what I was going to say. I went to one of those, I can't remember what the training special was in Los Angeles, but you know, people are, you know, everybody in LA is doing, you know, touchy feely stuff and a lot of it is really good. So I met this touchy feely two, three day thing. And there's an exercise where you talk about people who mark us and then you got to go out, recontact them and forget. So this one young ladies talking about this you know, these girls, mean girls picked on her when she was a kid. She'd been carrying it for 30 years. On being encouraged to go forgive the person. The person was like, wow, I have no memory of that. So the other thing that's insane is you're carrying this resentment with someone who doesn't even remember it happened. How stupid is that? You know, not only are you drinking poison hoping they die, they're completely oblivious that ever happened, which is another stupid reason why it's working against you.
Anna David: 05:47 I know, I know. It's just that tiny ego that lives inside all of us that thinks exacting revenge is the way to even the score. And it's just lying. It's just a lie.
Chris Voss: 05:57 It's in your head. We're wired to think like that. And so yeah, like you said, everybody's got it.
Anna David: 06:04 So, okay, so you already had your coauthor when you went to this agent and got this negative feedback cause you said we?
Chris Voss: 06:11 No. My first step was of course to try to find a coauthor. And my son, Brandon is the uncredited coauthor. I mean, the book is really written by three people. My son, Brandon, me, and Paul Roz. Now we went through a total of four writers. Everybody fired everybody on along the way before we ended up with Tahl Roz. You know, I mean, you want to go fast, go alone, you want to go far, go as a team, you pull your team together carefully to get it right. And you know, I did bring someone on board initially as a writer and actually it was on the second possible writer. So I thought I had a partner when we went shopping for agents. And what I'm really grateful for the second guy that I fired was he got me to the right agent. Steve Ross was agent. My book at the time was with Abrams artists agency. He's now got his own agency and Steve was perfect and Steve first guy gave me any encouraging feedback. He said, look, there are a lot of negotiation books out there. I don't know how this one's going to do. I've got no idea, but I can tell you that it'll sell like crazy overseas. I also agent Joan Navarro. Joe Navarro wrote a book called what everybody's telling you. He's a former FBI profiler. He's written a number of great books on body language. He's written with one with a couple of poker people. He's done, he's done Poketell. And Steve repped him and he said, Joe's books sold like hotcakes overseas. Overseas they love FBI books. So I don't know how it'll do domestically, but I guarantee you will do well internationally. And because of Steve, the book is in over 30 countries and in over 27 languages. So Steve was a critical agenting piece of the team that the other guys who didn't work out, but they brought me to Steve.
Anna David: 08:04 And so Steve sold the book and.
Chris Voss: 08:08 Selling the book ended up being a little bit nuts too. If I get interrupted.
Anna David: 08:11 Please tell.
Chris Voss: 08:13 So he's, you know, we, we pulled together finally with yet another writer that didn't last, but the next guy two guys later wrote the book proposal and did a phenomenal job on a proposal was not Tahl. Steve is like, all right, so let me, let me throw this out in the environment, see what happens. He didn't expect much of a response. Publishers went bananas. He's now got over 30 publishers, knock on his door. He's in a little bit of a panic. He's like, cause I'm in DC, he's in New York. He says, you got to come up to New York, spend a week talking to the publishers. And I said, no. And he's like, no, what do you mean no? I'm like, I got obligations and what I believe in as a person and what the Black Swan group believes in is we keep our obligations. Now, the vast majority of the places that I agreed to be were for little or no pay because we were building our brand at the time, we were establishing a presence and you do a lot of stuff for free, if you get visibility out of it. I said, over the coming month, I got one free day, period. And he's like, you know, then you got to move your calendar. I said, no, these are obligations, we do not back out of obligations. So he goes, all right, this is what we're going to do. We're going to do an auction. We did the auction right before Halloween. He's like, this is going to be a problem because everyone's going to be having Halloween office parties, but we did a 24-hour auction. The thing took off like wildfire and you know, bang. We ended up with Harper Collins. We, we, we scheduled a day of interview after interview after interview, threw half the publishers out. We took the top half.
09:58 We had a day of hour-long interviews, talk to nine publishers, open up the auction. Hollis Heinbach with the Harper Collins. Harper business came in. We were on the same sheet of music with Hollis. They came in, they came in with a top bid. We loved Harper. Harper loved us. That whole lot of love going around. Tahl Roz wrote a magnificent book and in the prop prep for the getting it out, Tahl, who's an experienced dude, you know, he's got everything he touches is a New York Times bestseller. He looks me in the eyes and says, "You're going to have to hustle this for no less than a year. Probably at least two. Be prepared to put the hammer down and put the pedal to the metal." And I'm the kind of guy, I'm like, okay, cool. Listen to somebody who knows what they're talking about. Never take advice from somebody you wouldn't trade places with, Tahl is a New York Times bestseller. I would trade places with Tahl any day of the week. He says, "Go out, put the hammer down for two years," I'm going to put it down for four. I'm going to put it down for five. I'm put it down for six. I'm going to outwork. You tell me what to do on the outwork. Everybody else on the planet. And now the book is been on a top 20 most read, most sold on Amazon for over 80 weeks.
Anna David: 11:20 And what year was this? Well, when did it, was it acquired and when did it come out exactly? What was the time difference?
Chris Voss: 11:27 Book dropped 2016, May of 2016. Harper bought it about a year and a half before that. It was about a year and a half to get it out once, once we got all the pieces in place.
Anna David: 11:39 And what did Harper say that the other ones didn't? What made you go with them?
Chris Voss: 11:44 No, the bottom line was, that's what I asked Steve. I said, what's going to make the difference here? He says, you know what their advance indicates a level of commitment. So you know their advance, they like their book. Publishers are like VCs, you know, they're buying a startup. You got to have a plan, you got to have a product, you got to, you got to give them reason to believe that you will execute. A good idea is never enough. We got Tahl on board, Tahl knows how to execute. We get Steve on board, Steve knows the game. We put a, you know, a book proposal in front of him, which is a business plan. That's all it is. That's all a book proposal is a business plan. You want investors given an idea that you can pull together a plan and that you could be adaptable because the investor's going to spend a rolling a dice on you, can you plan? Can you adapt? That's what they're really looking for. And so Harper was like, you know, we kind of like this, you know, we'll bet on this. We're willing to bet more on this than anybody else will.
Anna David: 12:51 And when you say you put the pedal to the metal, what specifically does that mean?
Chris Voss: 12:56 Yeah, great question. So I'd always heard, you know, the legend is the Chicken Soup for the Soul folks in our first book said, I am not going to bed unless I talk to somebody every single day about this book. And so the goal was to talk to somebody. I don't care if it was a homeless guy. And I also remember hearing about Tony Robbins, his early days when he would schedule up to three talks a day. And my son and I, you know, we're hard workers from the Midwest. You know, tell us how hard to work. And we're going to try it out and do it. So our goal was we got to start talking to people. It doesn't matter who it is, don't rely on the publishers, don't rely. We had marketing people, we'd hired a PR firm, don't rely on now outwork them. So we started reaching out to a podcast. You know Tim Ferris, I knew his example from his example in his first book, The Four Hour Work Week was he hunted down all the top bloggers in existence at the time. Sat down with each of them, had dinner with them. So my goal was, who are the influencers? I'm going to hunt them down and I don't care. You again start small.
14:18 And one of the first podcasts I went on, I, you know, I don't know what the view was, but I'm like, you know, get out there and get out to everybody. And then the game, get real game changing move opening day was good. You know, I got on Fox Business, I got on a couple of Fox shows. That was, that had a massive impact, which went away quickly. But we hit the Amazon top 10 day one. Top 10, not just nonfiction, everything. And then it started to tail away, started tail away badly after that. I get turned on to Ryan Holiday with Black Brass check, best money I ever spent in my life. Ryan Holiday sauce, solid dude on so many reasons and he's like, you know, we will get you into the top podcast and then it'll take off. After that, Ryan got me on Lewis Howes. Lewis and Lewis Howes is huge and it hit hard. He did a great interview. Then the other podcast jumped on because they saw Lewis. And the other thing that I dug about Ryan Holiday was, you know, most many advisers, they want it, they want it, they want to become a dependent, you know, they want to go on a monthly retainer. I don't do monthly retainers. We don't like dependence, monthly retainers to me are a sign up being lazy. You don't, you don't want to go out there and hit it every day. And now, now we just don't tolerate it at all. I won't give anybody a retainer contract, just don't do it.
15:49 And Ryan didn't want to go to be a dependent. He said, "This is what we're going to charge you for a month, a month, period." He hit hard and he says, "All right, we're done." I'm like, "Alright, cool. I'm going to listen to this guy. He's supposed to know what he, he's got New York Times bestsellers himself." So then I actually came back to Ryan a year later, I go like, "Man, you hit it. You hit us one of the best months ever last year. Let's do it again." He's like, "No, we did our thing for you. And what we would do would be simply a duplicate of what we already did. You were already there. I'm not going to do you any good by taking more of your money." And I was like astonished. Like who turns you down? And that's why, I'm a huge Ryan Holiday fan. I got all his books, I read them all. But besides being a great writer and being great at so many other things, he's an ethical dude. And if he can't help you, he will not take your money. And they're not people, not very many people out there that are like that. I'm a huge Ryan Holiday fan.
Anna David: 16:58 Echoing that I have read everything he does and I admire him as a marketer as much as I do an author. And he's got this thing in the Perennial Bestseller, which he says, and I'm always quoting it, it's basically when he wrote, Trust Me, I'm Lying. When he wrote the book proposal, he said he was targeting people who work in social media, very, small segment of the population. And his point was you conquer a niche and you conquer the world. And in a way, do you think you did that this was a book that was geared towards entrepreneurs. Would you say, who is your target audience?
Chris Voss: 17:31 You know, it has gotten the most traction with entrepreneurs and then follow along with salespeople that are kind of entrepreneurs because you know, they eat what they kill. And if they don't kill something pretty soon, they ain't eaten at the door. So yeah, very entrepreneurial mindset.
Anna David: 17:48 And, okay. And so you've got Ryan on board, you're doing Lewis Howes. Did you do a book tour? What were, besides podcasts, what were some of your biggest game changers?
Chris Voss: 18:00 Book tours in and of themselves, the biggest waste of time you can possibly do, did a couple early on just cause they said I should and, and I'd heard they were wasted time book signing, you know the, the only time you should go out on the book in and of itself is opening day, day one and get on TV. You're a news story, get on the right TV show, which ain't that hard. Cause if your book is right for the TV show they want you on cause they need the news. But no book tours. I, we really went after podcasts and then constantly giving content, you know, as much content as possible. And I think the podcast made the biggest difference. And then, you know, we've always had the newsletter as a supplement to the book as a supplement to all our training. So always wanted to make sure no matter where we went, we scored additional value. You know, make sure you get paid. It doesn't have to be dollars, just understanding, what value you in fact are going to walk away no matter what. If it's a miserable failure, what's your value? And we decided we'd gotten a lot of advice on building the newsletter, you know, build the newsletter one subscriber at a time. I know another guy who taught me a one person at a time thing has a multimillion-dollar business right now.
19:23 A guy named Jason McCarthy who runs a company called Go Rock. He was a student of mine in Georgetown and a multimillion dollar business and he built one person at a time. So I knew that one person and his work ethic, I knew the one person at a time thing. I knew the work ethic. So we're going out, we're only constructing each and every event where we will at least walk away with subscribers. So then everything that happens and it could be one subscriber, you know, and we, we've always had at least a 10% conversion rate. So I get 10 people in a room, we're going to get one subscriber. Our rates are actually much higher than that, but give me 10%, because I know the 3% is an acceptable rate and we can get 10. So, you know, make sure you get paid something of value, even if it's only a single subscriber and then everything just kind of starts coming together and flowing together but be willing to take one take and you get paid.
Anna David: 20:26 Were you able to use the book as a sort of lead magnet for that? Is there anything in the book where somebody can sign up? Do you mention the newsletter? Was that a technique that you use?
Chris Voss: 20:36 A lot of people have. We've got some stuff at the end. We've got a website at the end. We probably have under exploited the value of the back pages in the book. But we've, you know, sufficiently now built my daughter in law, keep it in the family. You know where to find them. If you have problems, you know, you can got to know where they are. If I don't know where my son and my daughter in law is, my mom does, so I can find them if I need them. Yeah. Maya, yeah, she's a marketing genius. She's built a sufficiently, you know, again, one brick at a time, one stick at a time. She built out our website and she loves marketing. And so now we can get away with not having properly set up the back pages of the book. But you know, that's absolutely, that's valuable real estate that you should set up. Give them someplace to go at the end of the book. We've have insufficiently exploited that and because of mine, we've gotten away with it.
Anna David: 21:40 And so, you know, going back to what you said about getting on the news shows finding an angle, you know, I noticed just Googling you yesterday, you've been quoted in the last 24 hours in a Today Show story about negotiating stress during the pandemic, oops. And then a CNBC story about negotiating a payday cut as a result of the pandemic. Are these angles your thinking of, or are people coming to you with these?
Chris Voss: 22:06 No. They're thinking of them coming to us. I mean, we try to throw as many seeds as possible and other places. And again, in the early days, what do we do? Where do we plant those seeds? You know Quora you know, answering questions there and it all ultimately, you know, pitching, answering 10 questions on the Quora digest. I mean, that's valuable. I remember reading, I remember hearing, I didn't read it, I've heard it, that Gary V started going on Quora and answering every single question he could. And he outworked people on Quora. I mean, if you're putting value out there and you're willing to put in the work, there are people there that need you, you just got to you know, it's kind of like searching for lost children. You got to get it out there and you got to work and look for them, and keep pumping it out. And so the Quora thing was big. And then you get, you answer a few questions and you get to the point where you can answer 10 questions and you know, they start, people start putting up questions and they vote on them. You answer the top 10, well you give a good enough answer? Then journalists go there and they're going to take your answer and they're going to copy and paste because there is no shortage of journalists that need quality content.
23:30 So where they're looking in these same places where you're trying to build yourself up, you come up with a decent readable answer, you're going to get rewarded because you help a journalist do their job. And that's really how a lot of those things get seeded. You package something so that somebody's looking for, who needs it, and you make it easier for them to pick it up. And that's where most of the, most of the journalism stuff starts to come from. And then when they do, you reward the hell out of them. You know, follow them on Twitter, you know, retweet, they put something up on you, you know, they're looking for value from you, retweet, you know, star it, you know, share it, thank them. You know, if your gratitude, your demonstrations of gratitude exceed with people will give you, they will always be happy to give you something because they're going to get more in return. Which again, you know, be grateful for anything. If you get the time to do it. Show your gratitude in a way that exceeds the love that they showed you in the first place.
Anna David: 24:33 That's genius. So were you Chris Voss going on Quora yourself and how many, if you were, how many questions were you answering a day and was that was preceding the book, correct?
Chris Voss: 24:45 Yeah, well, once the book was out there, you know, getting the book out was the real issue. And we had a marketing professional, traditional firm that was adequate. You know, and they did, you know, we didn't know any better. I didn't know what to do with the money, you know, but we took some of the advance and paid for advertising ourselves. Cause Steve said, "You know, you can't rely upon the publisher to do all the work. They really want to supplement what you do." They want to see, they're going to be encouraged by your hard work to do more. You know, they'll take a couple of steps and you would think to yourself that they should work really hard to protect their investment. But if you're going to be lazy, it's not going to do them any good. So show them that you're going to outwork them. So the first move was to hire a traditional publicist who kind of did a traditional job. I mean they, they were okay. I'd give them, I give them a B plus, but principally, you know, the founder of that delegated it to stuff who will contract.
25:54 And so I made a relationship with the contract in case they spun out and didn't last. And sure enough, they didn't last. You know, my relationship with the little people, the little people that actually did the work. And so I stuck with them and I, and I threw them some follow on business after, you know, as we continue to hammer, where are you? What are you doing? You're out on your own now. Cool, let's do some stuff. So you know, the team, it's, you know, it's a team and not everybody on the team is going to be the person you want them to be. But more than likely they're going to lead you to the person that you need. So, you know, just, just keep going, keep. The team, it's the team. It always comes back to the team.
Anna David: 26:35 And it's the same thing that you said about agents and writers. They lead you, even if they're the wrong person, they lead you to the right person.
Chris Voss: 26:42 Yeah. Yeah. There are no downside anywhere, if you're willing to see.
Anna David: 26:48 So how would you say the book changed your career?
Chris Voss: 26:51 Oh God. Everything. I mean, everybody kept saying do a book. It doesn't have to be any good. There's no better marketing tool. There's no better calling card. And to some, and for many reasons that's true. So it then becomes the most viable business card you've ever had, even if the book doesn't, even though the only people that actually pay for copies are your parents and you know, I can't make my mom buy a copy, I got to give her copies—like that Rolling Stone line from way back when, you know: buy three copies for my mother.
Anna David: 27:31 I thought I was the only one who had to buy my books for my mom.
Chris Voss: 27:37 Yeah. So, but yeah, the book is a game changer because then it's free market and if even if you as a consultant, as an advisor, as a trainer, so you want somebody to come on board with you, your social proof. If you don't have a book, their first question is why. And they don't care how many that's sold, the ability to get out of book. Is that enough of a belief in your own system to put it down on paper, even if it's self published. Security guy in DC told me while we were getting this process started, he self published a book on security and paid the fee to get it into bookstores because it was self published. You know your self published you're nobody. You want to be in Hudson News cause they're in all the airports and the train stations and that's where people pick up their business news. Hudson knows how valuable that real estate is. You're a nobody, you couldn't even get a traditional publisher.
28:40 So, and they know that that's a marketing tool for you. That's advertising space. You pay for advertising space. They're like, oh you want some of our viable real estate, this is a billboard and one of the world's greatest locations. So this guy says, all right, I'm self-published. That makes sense to me. He pays to get into the bookstores. Businesspeople pick up his book and he says, if I had an idea how much of an impact this was going to have on my company, this is the best marketing I ever did. I mean it impacted, he probably sold 5,000 copies in total, but they were, if somebody picked up that copy, they were business person. They read it on the airplane, they read through it on the train, by the time they got to where they were going, I reached out to him. They said, this makes sense to me. You don't have to explain what you're going to do for me. It's here in the book you're hired. And he laid that out for me and I was like, wow. All right, so that makes all the sense in the world. The book doesn't have to sell more than four copies. It matters who picks them up.
Anna David: 29:47 And meanwhile, are you like over a hundred thousand over 500,000 do you know your number of copies sold?
Chris Voss: 29:55 We're going to get a report this month. I know that globally, we were over a million last year, and we're going to be over a million when I get the report. I expect this to be over a million domestically. So that's not even cutting a globe counting, in the global sales world where I know we're over a million.
Anna David: 30:12 So if you had to wrap up your top three tips for somebody who wants to launch a book successfully, would you say Quora is one
Chris Voss: 30:22 Quora. Yeah, go on Quora.
Anna David: 30:23 Number two?
Chris Voss: 30:26 Take whatever visibility that you can get, take every podcast. Just be determined to outwork people. You'll get smarter every step of the way, you know, pay attention to the impact. But Quora is a hack, Quora is absolutely a hack, and that's one of the quickest ones cause they're looking for content and go out there and be, you know, get on, be willing to be interviewed. There are podcasters, you know, kind of get your act together, but you're going to, you, you're going to get it together as you go. Listen to, I used to listen to Ted Talks and asked myself, what made this Ted talk interesting? Is it Angela Duckworth's with Grit? Does that sound right? She got one of the shortest Ted Talks out there. Like it's the shortest. I mean they're trying to hit a sweet spot, 12 to 14 minutes. I think she's, she's there for eight. It's riveting. So the podcast interviews have to be equated to Ted Talks, cause you got to hold people's attention. So what makes Angela Duckworth interesting? You've got to listen to it like four or five times before it jumps out at you. It's so subtle. You know what makes Chris Rock interesting? You know, Chris Rock, while his material is interesting, the real critical issue is his tone of voice. You know, he's a master. You know, Chris Rock had read the phone book and he'd have your howling and in stitches, you know, so what is it that makes these people interesting? You're going to, you're going to learn that as you go on a podcast first podcast, you go on, you're going to. When you go back and listen to it, you're going to be horrified. So get that baby out of the way. And then learn, forget what you've learned from it.
Anna David: 32:16 Do you listen to the media? You do or you just did it in the beginning?
Chris Voss: 32:21 I did in the beginning and then I'll just, I got a better feel for it now as we go. And then, you know, I just, I'm a learn by doing guy, but learning, you know, heavily analyzing it along way, and then taking feedback and studying it, you know, not just experiencing it but studying it in some format. You know, I don't, I don't study my podcast interviews as much as I study other much shorter form audible things, so to speak, which is again, is Ted Talks, comedy routines. What is it about this guy that's making me stop in my tracks? Guy or gal again, Angela Duckworth. What was it about that, that made me, made her catch my attention over and over and over again and get so many views?
Anna David: 33:14 And obviously this podcast is an exception to you're not listening anymore because you will be listening to this hundreds of times in order to make up for our Facebook misunderstanding. Is that correct?
Chris Voss: 33:25 Really, I listened to it so much just so I can hear your voice.
Anna David: 33:28 I don't have the radio DJ, late night voice or whatever you call it. Is that what it's called? The radio DJ voice?
Chris Voss: 33:34 You know, you've got, there's a playfulness to your voice. I mean, and that's what makes it just, so fun to listen to. And, and there's those neurobiology behind that that makes it a very good thing. So you've got this great playful voice, which is a phenomenal thing to listen to and fun and draws people back in.
Anna David: 33:56 God, you're a fun to interview. I will tell you what, I used to do a lot of on air TV and I went through that on a site and Anna David has a voice for print. And I thought that was pretty funny. I thought he was funny. And I actually went to a voice coach who wanted to charge me $300 an hour to learn how to talk in a way that bothered people less. And I was like, you know what I can't.
Chris Voss: 34:18 Yeah. Well, you know, yeah. I mean, you know, that's a cheap shot, you know, the critic that wrote that was a frustrated, anchored himself. A frustrated personality. I mean, you know, criticism, you know, is envy. You know, if somebody says, what do you say to your critics? Well, criticism was born of envy and what's envy born out of in a realistic assessment of their own inadequate behavior. I mean, every movie critic has got a screenplay in a desk and nobody bought. So then they're going to criticize other people cause they're, you know, they're not good at it themselves. And a person that you want to learn from who you would take criticism from, the person you would trade places with ain't going to tell you unless you ask, because they hate critics themselves and they don't want to be another cheap critic or you go to somebody that you want to be like and you say, how do I duplicate your success?
Anna David: 35:24 Speaking of people, people want to be like, and I swear to God, I'm going to let you go cause I know how busy you are. What I love in the Genius Network community is like, I think all those guys want to be you. I think these entrepreneurs that are like, yeah, he was living a dangerous life. And I've had many men I know who saw my Instagram posts that you were in. They were like, you know this guy? The women too. Obviously the women too, but I think the men just want to be you, they really do. Chris, this is it. I can't thank you enough for doing this and I can't wait to see you again.
Chris Voss: 36:05 Yeah, this was a fun interview. Thank you for handling me.
Anna David: 36:07 Thank you.
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