Sally Hogshead

Expert on Persuasion and Fascinating Customers
Sally Hogshead
  • Renowned advertiser called a “marketing icon” who has “changed the face of North American advertising”
  • Author of best-selling book, Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation
  • Advises audiences on breaking through today’s distracted marketplace by creating moments of intense focus
  • Blend a research-based message with the high-energy delivery required to inspire big audiences

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Drawing upon her branding expertise, Sally Hogshead created a method to identify how each person is able to captivate their listeners.  The Fascination Advantage® is the first communication assessment that measures how others perceive you. After researching over one million professionals, her algorithm can pinpoint your most valuable differentiating traits. The science of fascination is based on Sally’s decade of research with dozens of Fortune 500 teams, hundreds of small businesses, and over a thousand C-level executives.

Her two most recent books, FASCINATE: How to Make Your Brand Impossible to Resist and HOW THE WORLD SEES YOU: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination, were both New York Times bestsellers. Sally writes a weekly online column for Inc. on issues around personal and corporate branding. She is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame and Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Hall of Fame. Named a Top Brand Guru, her practical marketing system now lives inside organizations such as IBM, Twitter, the YMCA, as well as thousands of small businesses.

Early in her advertising career, Sally skyrocketed to the top becoming the most awarded junior copywriter in the U.S. by age 24. Her campaigns for brands such as MINI Cooper, Nike, Godiva and Coca-Cola have fascinated millions of consumers. At 27, she opened her first ad agency and her work is on exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. She frequently appears in national media, including NBC’s TODAY and the New York Times.

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Speaker Video

Hall of Fame Speaker - Highlights Video

CATEGORIES: Personal Branding, Sales, Communication

What High Performers Do Differently: How to Fascinate from First Impressions to Lasting Value. What separates certain professionals from the rest of the pack? Is it skill or knowledge? Expertise or seniority? Or is it simply charisma? Turns out, it’s none of the above. In her decade of research inside hundreds of companies, Sally Hogshead discovered a new trend. High-performers communicate differently and the most valued professionals consciously decide to over-deliver in select ways. As a result, they become difficult to replace, because they emphasize their natural traits. They earn advocates in the workplace and customer base, and become irreplaceable. In the case of entrepreneurs, they remain in demand even after raising fees and prices. Just as the most successful brands differentiate themselves, so do the most successful people. According to the Carnegie Institute of Technology, 85% of financial success is due to your personality, ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15% is due to technical knowledge. Increased competition and decreased attention spans make it harder than ever to stand out and win. It’s not enough to be the best, if nobody knows you’re there. But when you apply your most authentic and naturally fascinating traits, the world sees you at your best and you're recognized for your accomplishments.


  • Discover the top four traits of high-performing personal brands and pitfalls to avoid
  • Recognize the signs you are (or are not) perceived as a high performer
  • Identify your top two unique personality advantages
  • Describe, measure, and improve how you add value
  • Understand the situations in which you're most likely to over-deliver and outperform (and the areas in which you will not)
  • Discover the words you need to authentically describe yourself in introductions, meetings, and other high-stakes situations
  • Surround yourself with team members who boost your own performance

BEST AUDIENCES: Sales, Entrepreneurs, Financial Services, Customer Service, Direct Sales

CATEGORIES: Marketing, Branding

Impossible to Resist: Outshine the Competition, Attract Raving Fans & Earn Attention in a

Distracted World. Fascination is the single most powerful means of persuading and influencing behavior. You can make any brand or message impossible to resist…once you unlock the formula. Sally’s extensive market research reveals just how much fascination drives emotions and behavior. For example, when fascinated by a product, 80% of consumers experience a faster heart rate and other physical responses; 46% talk about it to others; and more than 1/3 do in-depth research on the product. Once you fascinate customers, they’ll become intensely focused on you ⎯ your products, your services, and your marketing. They’re more likely to believe, care about, and retell your message – as well as buy your products. Today, it’s not enough to just interest customers. You need to fascinate them, so that they’re intensely focused on your message.

Case Study:

When the MINI Cooper first launched in the United States, the poor car seemed doomed. It was ridiculously tiny, with bulging headlights and squat little body. It had very low awareness, outside of a few cult films from the UK. Yet this tiny unknown car from the UK would have to battle head-to-head against the re-launch of the VW Beetle, one of the most famous and beloved cars of all time. It didn’t help that VW had a seemingly infinite advertising budget behind its well-established brand, while MINI only had a few million to launch a virtually unknown product halfway around the globe.

How could MINI fascinate, and win, with a marketing budget as tiny as the car itself? The answer lies in the science of fascination. We need to understand why people become fascinated by certain brands but not others. Women will buy products targeted to men. However, men are unlikely to buy products targeted to women. As part of the MINI launch team, Sally helped turn this little insight into a big win. VW made a critical error in positioning the Beetle. By trying to sell to both men and women, the brand unintentionally became the car for middle-aged women (an unpromising demographic in the automotive category). MINI, on the other hand, only targeted men. As a result, both men and women identified with it. Today the MINI Cooper launch is cited as one of the most successful launches in marketing history.

We don’t always understand the choices we make -- from the cars we drive, to the people we hire. Yet in fact, there’s a science behind it. Once you understand the deeply-rooted forces that drive your customer’s decision-making process, you can out-think the competition and stand out in a crowded commoditized market.


  • Identify your brand’s number one advantage
  • Capture immediate attention and attract raving fans
  • Stand out in a crowded competitive market in less time and under budget
  • Understand your customers’ 7 triggers to perceived value to stop competing on price

BEST AUDIENCES: Marketers, Brand Managers, Agencies, Customer Experience Teams, Multi-Level Marketing Organizations

CATEGORIES: Leadership, Teamwork

Your Fascinating Culture: Building Engaged Teams that Outperform. What if you had a tangible way to show every single member of your team how they can perform at a higher level? It comes down to helping your employees tap into their natural communication style. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “50% of the difference between low-performing and high-performing teams is the quality of communication.” In Sally’s decade of research, she found the best way to build a culture of involved and energized employees is to help them understand how they are seen at their best. Think of your team members. What is each person’s most valuable quality? How could they communicate most effectively? How can you and your co-workers bring out the best of everyone’s natural abilities?

The research shows engaged employees:

- Deliver a better customer experience

- Generate profits for the organization

- Have higher morale and are more motivated

- Are more loyal and committed to their company

- Have less conflicts with co-workers

Each of us already has built-in differentiators. They don’t have to be brash and flamboyant. In fact, subtle personalities can often have the most distinguishing features. No matter what your natural approach, you must learn how it’s being perceived by others. Great teams are built on differences, rather than similarities. Differences create diversity and make a company stronger as a whole. Diversity strengthens a team and makes it more multifaceted, as long as each person understands and develops his or her communication style. In her decade of research, Sally found that the best way to build a culture of involved and energized employees is to inspire them with a vibrant culture of optimism. Measure what people are already doing right, and they’ll do more of it. Sally measures communication advantages within teams to uncover gems of potential. When team members are fascinated by their work-- in other words, when they are deeply engaged with their work, they feel differently and perform differently. They literally earn more, for themselves and their company.


  • Identify the top two unique personality advantages and archetype for all team members
  • Measure the communication advantages within teams to raise performance
  • Build a team of differences that make the company stronger as a whole
  • Amplify what your team is already doing right and capitalize on your natural strengths
  • Correctly identify the right person or team for important projects

BEST AUDIENCES: Executive Leadership, VPs, Managers, Business Owners, Human Resources

Different is Better than Better: Captivate Your Customer to Win in a Crowded Market. You have a choice: either have the biggest budget, or be the most fascinating. If you have a bigger budget than any of your competitors, must be nice…but few of us do. What if you’re a small business with a frugal budget or competing in an intensely crowded space? Then you must fascinate. Until now, branding required years of study or a team of experts, but in her decade of working inside world renowned brands, Sally Hogshead discovered the algorithm behind it all. By combining science with branding principles, she unlocked the formula for fascination and, once you can identify the patterns, you can make any message more memorable. In this keynote, based on her 2016 New York Times bestseller Fascinate: How to Make Your Brand Impossible to Resist, Sally reveals the formula for fascinating anyone.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand why others perceive you and your brand a certain way
  • Develop a clear understanding of why people want to work with you
  • Identify the perfect words to introduce and promote yourself authentically
  • Cultivate confidence in your natural competitive advantages
  • Increase your value to a prospect by communicating your greatest professional assets
  • Prove how you are different than others competing for the job

Best Audiences: Entrepreneurs, Business Owners, Franchisees, Multi-Level Marketing Organizations, Advertising, Marketing, Branding Professionals

CATEGORIES: Personal Branding, Sales, Communication

The Fascination Factor: Authentically Communicate Who You Are at Your Best. Most personal branding techniques give generic tips about how to make a good first impression. Yet, the whole point is to stand out and rise above the competition with your authentic traits. Avoid following one-size-fits-all techniques or else you just blend in with everyone else. David Ogilvy, one of the smartest branding minds in history, said this: "Tell the truth, but make the truth fascinating.” When you know the truth of who you are at your best, you can be both authentic and fascinating. Your customers and coworkers don’t want the plastic version of you. Nobody wants to talk with a fake cardboard cut-out. Your personal brand is NOT the same thing as your marketing or resume. It’s not your business card, or your blog, or the color of your website. Are you focusing so much on the other person (your customer, your client, your manager) that you’re losing your you-ness? Don’t focus so much on what you think someone else wants, that you lose who you actually are. Identify who you are at your best and the advantages that highlight your greatest value. Build your brand around those core qualities and you’ll never feel like a manufactured persona. Everything falls into place when you have a clear focal point for your communication. You can stop struggling and start doing more of what you’re already doing right.


  • Identify your top two unique personality advantages and archetype
  • Distinguish how you’re most likely to add value
  • Develop a clear focal point for all of your communication
  • Introduce yourself authentically with confidence
  • Craft the perfect words to prepare for crucial interactions
  • Influence people to listen and take action

BEST AUDIENCES: Sales, Entrepreneurs, Associations, General Public

You Are Fascinating: Empower & Leverage the Women Leadership in Your Organization. The greatest way to empower a woman is to help her see her own highest value. With engaging research, touching anecdotes, and a defined plan of attack, Sally’s program ensures every participant leaves energized and focused, knowing how to stand out and make a difference in the world by empowering the women in their community.


  • Men often prefer to work solo and “think things through,” women tend to feel alienated or discounted if they are not engaging with and understood by their peers.
  • Women want to have a voice that matters within an organization.
  • Women lead by building relationships, whereas men typically lead by leveraging their authority.


  • Instead of trying to repair some part of yourself that’s broken, focus on the way in which you’re likely to make the most difference, for the most people in the most meaningful way.
  • You have a message that matters and you have a responsibility to get that message out there.
  • The highest form of empowerment is to show someone what they are already doing right.


  • Identify how the women and girls in your life are most likely to add value
  • Recognize how to use your competitive advantages to become an empowered leader
  • Develop your unique message and implement a plan to share it with the world

BEST AUDIENCES: Women, Manager, Marketing Professional, Entrepreneur, Non-Profit Leaders

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booksLatest Books

Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation

Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation