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Video: RVDA Speaker: Communication is Far More Than Words


LAS VEGAS - For author Chris Helder, things are pretty black and white – or maybe more like red, yellow, aqua and blue.

Helder, whose book The Ultimate Book of Influence examines how to understand and influence people, was born and raised in Denver, married an Australian woman, and now lives in Australia, so he speaks in an odd mixture of American Midwest twang and Australian dialect.

The result, when mixed in with a high dose of energy and insight into humanity, was an often-hilarious talk that left the normally staid crowd of dealers at the RV Dealers Association Convention and Expo talking and laughing as they headed to the Expo floor Tuesday afternoon.

Helder first set the stage by talking about four things that are important to influencing people: Posture, eye contact, a smile and energy.

“And energy is a choice,” Helder said.

He then moved into a discussion of four personality types, which he grouped by colors.

Reds he characterized by their “laser eyes.” They are focused, but are impulsive and tend to play in the future. Their email responses might be one-word replies leaving the recipients wondering if they did something wrong.

Yellows live in the now and are impulsive and easy to influence. They are visual and talky and like to be complimented.

Aquas, he said, “are the nicest people in the world.” They are steady and avoid confrontation, but hold grudges.

Blues are perfectionists and expect the best out of themselves – and everybody else. Their email responses might include a list of all the spelling errors the original sender committed.

Helder concluded by showing that once you understand what type of person you are communicating with, you know how to approach a conversation. He said the typical conversation centers around family, occupation and recreation.

Depending on what type of person you are dealing with, the three topics can be approached in a different order, but before going on to whichever topic is last, it is important to use a transition along the lines of, “I can see that keeps you really busy…” to make the person feel good about themselves.

Helder said dealers would do well to keep in mind that only 7 percent of communication is words. He said 38 percent is tone and 55 percent is body language.

Using the right body language helps people to connect.

Today’s session kicks off with concurrent education classes and includes annual meetings for both the RVDA of America and the RVDA of Canada.

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