Business Communications Book Review: Fire Them Up (Carmine Gallo)

Fire Them Up - Carmine Gallo

Learn to speak the language of motivation with Fire Them Up!, the subject of the latest Six Minutes public speaking book review.

Fire Them Up focuses not on short term steps (things to do), but on seven qualities of inspiring business communicators (things to embrace).

The target audience is broad: CEO, salesperson, manager, merchant, entrepreneur, coach, teacher, pastor, and parent.

Overview: Fire Them Up!

This book has two halves, each with 7 chapters.

The first half of the book dedicates one chapter to each of the 7 Simple Secrets which Gallo advocates:

  1. Ignite Your Enthusiasm: Light a fire in your heart before sparking one in theirs
  2. Navigate the Way: Deliver a specific, consistent, and memorable vision
  3. Sell the Benefit: Put your listeners first
  4. Paint a Picture: Tell powerful, memorable, and actionable stories
  5. Invite Participation: Solicit input, overcome objections, and develop a winning strategy
  6. Reinforce an Optimistic Outlook: Become a beacon of hope
  7. Encourage People to Reach Their Potential: Praise people, invest in them, and unleash their potential

These chapters are brought to life with many short anecdotes taken from successful individuals and companies known for great business communications: Apple, Cranium, Starbucks, 24 Hour Fitness, and many more.

The second half of the book examines seven remarkable individuals in-depth, and shows how they exhibit the 7 Secrets. This includes individuals ranging from Apple founder Steve Jobs to Gymboree CEO Matt McCauley to U.S. Navy IT Manager Robert Labrenz. Inspiring views of inspiring people!

Excerpts From the Book

To give you a flavor of a book’s lessons, here are a set of short excerpts spanning several chapters.

Three Types of Communicators

The Introduction describes the three types of communicators:

  1. The Chief of Blah
  2. The Chief of Mediocrity
  3. The Chief Inspiration Officer

The rest of the book is devoted to helping you become the third type of communicator in your organization.

Learning from Cranium: Are your ideas CHIFF?

Chapter 2 (Navigate the Way) introduces the Cranium mantra, CHIFF: Clever, High quality, Innovative, Friendly, and Fun.

CHIFF has become a common language, a way of communicating the vision of the company. … Everyone measures success [of ideas] by asking “Is it CHIFF?”

Do you want a drill, or do you want a hole?

Chapter 3 (Sell the Benefit) discusses a popular marketing mantra: “sell the benefit, not the feature.” I’ve never seen this principle more concisely conveyed than by the anecdote near the end of the chapter:

There is a saying in the insurance industry that every year, 6 million quarter-inch drills are sold, and yet nobody wants a quarter-inch drill [feature]; they want a quarter-inch hole [benefit].

Praise for Storytelling

Chapter 14 tells the story of inspirational teacher Ron Clark, and includes this praise for the power of storytelling:

Personal stories are motivational because your audience can interpret their current situation through the lens of your experience. Personal stories work in the classroom or in the corporate environment. Tell more of them.

About the Author — Carmine Gallo

Carmine Gallo is a communications coach with a client list that includes Intel, IBM, and Nokia. His resume boasts stints at CNN, FOX, CNET, and CBS.

Gallo credits these authors for inspiration:

This is very good company. I have read (and thoroughly enjoyed) books by 4 of them, and have seen a fifth speak. All have a fantastic reputation.


More From Carmine Gallo

After completing Fire Them Up, I find myself craving to read Carmine Gallo’s other book: 10 Simple Secrets of the Worlds Greatest Business Communicators. As the repeat of “simple secrets” seems to imply, I wonder whether these books overlap in content? Do they follow the same approach? How do they differ? Is it worth reading both?

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review.

Fire Them Up! by Carmine Gallo Andrew Dlugan 1 March 19, 2008 Focuses not on short term steps (things to do), but on seven qualities of inspiring business communicators (things to embrace). Draws examples from many high-profile corporations, including Apple, Starbucks, Cranium, and many more.

This article is one of a series of public speaking book reviews featured on Six Minutes.
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  1. All great points. I like idea of a whole chapter focused on storytelling.

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