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Make Yourself Unforgettable

How to Become the Person Everyone Remembers and No One Can Resist

About The Book

From one of the most trusted and bestselling brands in business training, Make Yourself Unforgettable reveals how to develop and embody unforgettable qualities so you can become the effective and desirable colleague and friend possible.

Learn how to develop and embody the ten essential elements of being unforgettable!

What does it really mean to have class? How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd and become a successful leader? When should intuition guide your business decisions? The answers to these and other important questions can be found in this dynamic and inspiring guidebook for anyone looking to lead a life of greater meaning and influence.

In Make Yourself Unforgettable you can learn the secrets to making a positive, lasting impression, including:

· The six steps to managing communication problems
· The four unexpected stumbling blocks to ethical behavior and how to avoid them
· A new way to understand and exude confidence
· Techniques for building resiliency and preventing fear
· The five key social skills that identify someone as a class act

Once you discover how you can naturally and effortlessly distinguish yourself, you’ll quickly find people in all areas of life responding to you more positively and generously than ever before.


Chapter One

The Unforgettable Energy

Class—that unique energy that makes people truly unforgettable—

is easier to recognize than it is to define. We

know it when we see it—but what is “it”? This book will

not only help you answer that question, but also to really be a

“class act” in every area of your life. When you do this—and it

isn’t easy—you will literally make yourself unforgettable.

(By the way, just as class is easy to recognize, the absence of

class is also easy to detect in a man or a woman. That’s not something

you want people to see in you!)

We’ll have much more to say about what class is and why it’s

important in the chapters that follow. You’ll have a chance to

evolve your own definition of class—and you’ll gain practical,

powerful tools for making yourself unforgettable to everyone you

meet. Whether it’s in business or in any other area of life, nothing

is more valuable than that. You may not realize the full importance

of class right now, but when you reach the last page of this

book, you most definitely will.

We’ll begin by looking at the often unclear meaning of class,

as well as the very clear effect it can have in both business and

personal interactions. We’ll see how class was really the deciding

factor at a critical moment in American history, and we’ll explore

how you can make the lessons of that moment work for you.

In subsequent chapters, we’ll explore essential elements that

compose class in the truest sense of the word. Lastly, in the book’s

final chapter, we’ll look at how class expresses itself through

achievement in the material world—for you and also for those

around you. This ability to create success for others is one of the

most admirable qualities of class. Like a great athlete, a class person

always plays the game at a high level and makes better players

of his or her teammates as well.

To begin our exploration of class and what it can do, let’s look

at a case in point. There has never been a clearer example of

class in action than history’s first presidential debate. The debate

took place on September 26, 1960. The participants were John F.

Kennedy, then a senator from Massachusetts, and Vice President

Richard M. Nixon.

Over the years, whole books have been written about this

event, but it’s rarely been discussed from the perspective of class

in the way that we’ll be using the word. Yet class was a huge factor

in the debate. It made the difference in who won and who lost,

and in that sense it changed the course of history.

John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon were both in excellent

form at the time of their televised encounter. Each of them had

good reason to feel optimistic about the election. Their résumés

were very different, but were impressive in their different ways.

Each candidate in 1960 had been nominated on the first ballot

at his party’s national convention. Kennedy, whose nomination

had come first, had won impressive victories over the more experienced

Senator Hubert Humphrey in the primaries. Kennedy’s

wins in West Virginia and Wisconsin had made an important

point about his chances for gaining the presidency, since there had

been some doubt about whether a Roman Catholic could actually

win an election outside a predominantly Catholic state such as


Kennedy’s religion had given rise to uncertainty within his

party, but the Democrats more or less forgot those worries

after West Virginia and Wisconsin. Then, immediately after his

nomination, Kennedy made a bold and politically practical move

in his selection of a running mate. His choice of Texas senator

Lyndon Johnson may have surprised Kennedy’s core supporters

in the Northeast, but now the Democrats had a powerful national

ticket. Johnson, who was the Senate majority leader, was a supremely

experienced politician who knew Washington inside and

out. He was definitely a fighter, and usually he was a winner.

Perhaps the only drawback to Johnson’s selection as the vicepresidential

nominee was that he and Kennedy could hardly stand

each other! But Kennedy put aside his emotions to make an effective

practical decision. Was that a “classy” move? We’ll come back

to that question later in this chapter.

Two weeks after Kennedy’s convention, Richard Nixon became

the Republican nominee. In light of what the future held for him

when the Watergate scandal broke, it may be difficult to grasp

how popular Nixon was at the time of his nomination. In those

years America was preoccupied with the nuclear threat from the

Soviet Union. Nixon had won huge acclaim when he forcefully

argued with the Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev at a tradeshow

exhibit. He had also faced down a large anti-American mob

during a visit to Venezuela. Nixon seemed to offer security and

competence at a frightening time in American history. True, he’d

already had a few embarrassing moments. But he’d always come

out whole and on top. And it seemed as if he would again. He was

definitely the favorite to win the general election.

The actual positions presented by Kennedy and Nixon were

similar in some respects and very different in others. Both spoke

of America’s greatness in more or less conventional terms. But

Kennedy challenged people’s complacency while somehow still

sounding positive. In many of his speeches he referred to a “missile

gap”—a supposed advantage the Russians possessed in the

number of intercontinental weapons. No such gap existed, but, as

with his selection of Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy seemed willing to

sacrifice certain things to gain his objectives.

In light of the Republican Party’s generally hard line on

defense issues, it may be difficult to imagine Richard Nixon as

a dove. But compared to Kennedy, that’s how he seemed in the

1960 election. Not long before, President Eisenhower—who had

been the supreme Allied commander in the war against Nazi

Germany—had warned against the growth of a “military industrial

complex” that was threatening to dominate American life.

Eisenhower’s speech on this topic was worthy of the most ardent

dove, and Kennedy may actually have agreed with most of it. But

instead, he cast himself as the defender of America’s freedom

against the Soviet military threat.

As the incumbent vice president, Nixon’s campaign speeches

always referred to a secure present and a brighter future, but

he spoke of this in the context of Republican principles such as

free enterprise and decreased government spending. Besides the

overall message of pro-Americanism, Kennedy and Nixon shared

wariness of the Soviet threat and agreed on other foreign-policy

issues, although Kennedy put more emphasis on the need to

strengthen the military. The similarity of the two candidates’

stated beliefs forced the campaigns to seek out ways to distinguish

one from the other.

The election turned into a debate about experience. Both candidates

had come to Congress in the same year, 1946, but Nixon

tried to strengthen his qualifications by playing up his foreignpolicy

credentials as vice president. The experience issue seemed

to be a weak spot in Kennedy’s campaign, and before the first

debate Nixon seemed to be gaining strength. This was crucial

because at the time the number of Democrats was far larger than

the number of Republicans nationwide. The race for the White

House was so tight that any small advantage could pay enormous


But just as Nixon was finding his strength, several media

events took place that had a strong bearing on the outcome of the


Nixon’s focus on his experience in foreign and domestic policy
was damaged by his own boss. In the fall of 1960, President

Eisenhower was holding a press conference, an activity he had

never enjoyed. He was in a hurry to get it over with. Then a correspondent

asked what major decisions Vice President Nixon

had taken part in making. Eisenhower responded, “If you give

me a week, I might think of one.” The president was not really

trying to slight Nixon. He was trying to make a joke about his

own weariness and lack of focus. But the remark was a godsend

to Kennedy. It gave him a chance to undercut the whole issue of

Nixon’s superior experience. Kennedy said, “Yes, Mr. Nixon is

experienced—but his experience is in the policies of retreat, defeat,

and weakness.”

Some other problems started to crop up for Mr. Nixon as well.

After the Republican National Convention, he had promised to

campaign in all fifty states, but a knee infection sidelined him

for two weeks. Then against the advice of his inner circle, he returned

to the campaign in less than perfect health. And now the

tired candidate had to turn his attention to the first-ever televised

presidential debate. Nixon had been a champion scholastic debater

and welcomed the opportunity to speak with his opponent on national

TV, but as the evening played out, the subtleties of media

politics lined up against the vice president.

Kennedy devoted a tremendous amount of time preparing

for this event. The recent success of his televised answers about

religion proved that the medium had immense potential for his

success. In addition, a strong showing against the highly favored

Nixon would establish credibility on the issues and further boost

public confidence in his leadership ability. The vice president also

came prepared, but the outcome of the debate would not be decided

by substance.

Nixon also ran into bad luck on other media fronts. Kennedy

scored well with blacks when he came to the aid of Martin

Luther King Jr. after an arrest in Atlanta. The vice president

was caught in a conflict of interest and had to remain silent on

the well-publicized event. Kennedy used the press coverage to

fortify his compassionate, charismatic image. Late in the race,

Eisenhower stepped up his support for Nixon. This action was

balked at by the Democrats and possibly made the vice president

look incapable of winning the election on his own. The perceived

weakness was eventually echoed in the press. Combined with

Nixon’s poor showing in the first debate, the Eisenhower gaffe,

and previous triumphs by Kennedy in the media, small pressrelated

miscalculation such as these took their toll on the Republican


JFK was able to put Nixon on the defensive with his unexpected

grasp of the facts, but Nixon held his own in responding

to the Kennedy criticisms. The major story of the debate became

the visual appeal of the attractive Kennedy versus the sickly look

of the worn-down Nixon. Several factors contributed to Nixon’s

poor image. His health problems leading up to the debate had

resulted in severe weight loss. A freshly painted backdrop on the

set had dried in a light shade of gray that blended with the color

of his suit. During cutaways, the cameras caught Nixon wiping

perspiration from his forehead. He looked cornered and rattled.

Meanwhile Kennedy looked great in front of the camera.

It’s often been pointed out that people who heard the debate

on radio thought that Richard Nixon had won, while the millions

who watched on TV considered John Kennedy the clear winner.

There’s a simple reason for this. Nixon had an excellent presentation,

but Kennedy had—or seemed to have—an overwhelming

class advantage.

What do we mean by class advantage? It doesn’t mean that

Kennedy was wealthier than Nixon, although that was certainly

the case. What it does mean is the first important point to understand

about class. John Kennedy’s class advantage came in that he

seemed cool, calm, and in control. Nixon may have had the content,

but Kennedy had the class. Actually, nothing said that night was

particularly significant in terms of public policy or world affairs.

There were no zingers or sound bites, and the issues that were

discussed seem totally irrelevant in today’s world. But what have

endured are images of a relaxed and confident-looking John F.

Kennedy—clearly the class act, despite that Richard Nixon was

much more experienced in government and much better known.

How did this happen? Amid all that has been written about the

first presidential debate, three points stand out. We’ll be returning

to these points in various forms throughout the book, so as

you listen to them now, give some thought to how they may also

be present in your life and your career. You may never run for

president, but you will surely be facing some of the same decisions

Kennedy and Nixon made some fifty years ago. On the surface,

those decisions may have seemed to be about technicalities or

procedures, but they were really about something else. They were

about class—or the perception of class—and about how to most

effectively communicate that impression.

First, the participants in the debate were there for very different

reasons. For Kennedy, the debate was a positive choice. As a

relative unknown, he had everything to gain and little to lose. For

Nixon, however, it was a constraint. Worst of all, he imposed the

constraint upon himself, against the counsel of those around him.

Nixon’s advisers urged him not to debate Kennedy, but Nixon felt

compelled to do so. He felt he had something to prove, perhaps

to himself more than to anyone else. So his actions were based on

insecurity rather than strength.

This is an extremely interesting dynamic—one that can affect

any decision-maker, regardless of the external circumstances. The

more powerful people become, the more constrained they may

feel to prove that they actually deserve their power. They need

constant reassurance and support, which often manifests itself in

a crew of yes-men so they can head off any self-doubt.

Class never expresses itself unwillingly. Class is always a positive,

or even a joyful, choice. Even if your actions are objectively

class, the positive effect is canceled if the motivation is negative.

And make no mistake: negative motivation always reveals itself,

sometimes in unexpected and embarrassing ways.

There is an essential link between class and communication.

Class acts are people who can clearly communicate who they are

and what their vision is. You don’t have to be the smartest person

in the room to be the leader. It is widely accepted by many historians

that two of the brightest men to hold the presidency in

recent history were Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon. Carter had

a degree in electrical engineering, and Nixon had a law degree

from Duke. Yet whether or not you agreed with his politics, Ronald

Reagan is remembered as a popular and effective president,

the man responsible for winning the Cold War, the Great Communicator.

When he said, “Tear down that wall,” he made himself

unforgettable. It wasn’t because of any academic degrees he’d

earned. It was just because of what he said and how he said it.

Unforgettable people speak in terms of vision. Often, surprisingly

enough, it’s not about what they’ve done or will do. It’s

about what they can see. They paint the picture of a world that

others can’t imagine, and they share their vision with words.

They don’t use statistics to make their point; they use vivid imagery.

Being a great communicator requires two distinct qualities.

The first is optimism. Pessimism has no class. An unforgettable

person looks beyond any current situation to imagine a better

time. When will that time come into being? How will it happen?

Those are mere details!

Second, a great communicator puts that shared vision into

simple words that everyone can understand. It doesn’t help to use

a big vocabulary. It does help to use language that can be clearly

understood by a truck driver and a scientist—simple, understandable,

and repeatable.

Phrases such as I can see or I imagine or I believe are powerful

tools. Your thoughts help paint a picture of that image. For

example, it does no good to quote statistics showing that when

people enjoy going to work their overall productivity and general

happiness improve. No one will listen attentively if you assert the

importance of developing a series of systems and processes to

steadily increase people’s enjoyment of work, so that quality gets

better. Those are accurate statements, but who would be inspired

by them?

But suppose you said this:

“I imagine a time not too far from now in which every single

person who goes to work loves what they do. This is the world

I can see. Can you imagine going to work every single day and

loving what you do and the people you work with? How do you

think that would impact your work or even your personal life?

This is the world I imagine and it is possible if we work together

to create it. Join me. Choose to lead. Choose to inspire. If you do,

I know we will be successful. If you lead those around you, if you

inspire the people around you, every one of us will wake up and

love going to work. Are you in or are you out?”

The meaning is the same, but the message is very different.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can

do for your country,” said John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address

in 1961. Why was this unforgettable? Why was he unforgettable?

Kennedy did not ask us to follow, nor did he ask us to

lead. He challenged us to serve. This is the irony of an authentic

class act. Truly inspiring and unforgettable people aren’t driven

to lead people. They are driven to serve them. This subtle twist

of logic earns a good leader the loyalty and respect of those who

ultimately serve them back. For people to be unforgettable, they

need a following. Why should any individuals want to follow

another individual unless they feel that person would serve them

and their interests?

The more you are able to do that, the more you will earn the

trust of everyone around you. Not because you’re “the boss,” but

because you know what people need and you are determined to

see that they get it.

An unforgettable person wants to help others become the best

versions of themselves. An unforgettable person does not propose

to do others’ work for them. Again, the unforgettable person

paints a picture of how others can do it for themselves.

And by the way, that’s exactly the intention of this book! So

please go on to chapter 2.



About The Author

Dale Carnegie was born in 1888 in Missouri. He wrote his now-renowned book How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936. This milestone cemented the rapid spread of his core values across the United States. During the 1950s, the foundations of Dale Carnegie Training® as it exists today began to take form. Dale Carnegie himself passed away soon after in 1955, leaving his legacy and set of core principles to be disseminated for decades to come. Today, the Dale Carnegie Training programs are available in more than 30 languages throughout the entire United States and in more than 85 countries.  Dale Carnegie includes as its clients 400 of the Fortune 500 companies.  Approximately 7 million people have experienced Dale Carnegie Training.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 15, 2011)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781439188286

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