Laurie Puhn, J.D.: Harvard-educated Lawyer, Communication Expert and Author
by Derek Grosso
Where were you born and where do you currently reside?
I was born in Manhattan and my family moved to the suburb of Great Neck when I was one year old. My parents still live in Great Neck and I now live in Manhattan. I have an office in the city and in Great Neck, where I do a lot of my writing.
Walk us through a day in your life.
I get up early, read the newspaper, usually walk across the street to Barnes & Noble and buy a cup of coffee from the B & N café. Then I return home and start working! In the morning I usually make phone calls and write e-mails. I also do some writing in preparation for upcoming Instant Persuasion seminars and events. After lunch I often have interviews with radio and magazine reporters. I reserve time to communicate and brainstorm with my marketing and publicity assistants. In the evening, I tend to socialize with friends and family.
Tell us a little about your new book, "Instant Persuasion."
"Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life" (Penguin/Tarcher; ISBN# 1585423238; January 2005) offers simple communication rules to get what you want at home, at work and in your social life. Each chapter identifies a communication blunder that persuades people to dislike and argue with you and then offers the simple fix, the communication wonder to win them over. The blunders and wonders are revealed through entertaining real-life anecdotes that illustrate how to avoid the blunders and use the wonders in your everyday conversations to ethically get what you want.
Museum of Natural History
Watching a good movie on TV
What is your favorite restaurant?
Bevanda Ristorante in Great Neck
Favorite mode of transportation?
Favorite local sports team?
Favorite place on Long Island?
The hidden lake behind the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium
Most dynamic duo, real or fictional?
Lois and Clark
The macarena or electric slide?
You're in a time machine that can take you to one place. Where do you go?
August 28, 1963. Back to the March on Washington, which featured the Rev. Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
Best Halloween costume you've seen (or been)?
A group of women as the Spice Girls
What newspaper(s) did you read this morning?
The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times
I would like a lifetime subscription to ______ magazine?
Most recent book read?
Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life
Historic figure you would most like to meet, living or dead?
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Who would you like to see run for President?
Memory of growing up?
I will never forget the fantastic birthday parties that my parents would throw for my sister and me in our backyard. Every year my mother would come up with two original ideas (one for my sister and one for me), from designing a carnival with booths and prizes to making our own hats and jewelry. Every birthday party was special.
Favorite vacation spot?
Dream apartment in Manhattan?
Rooftop apartment with a large terrace and sunlight entering every room. I love sunlight!
What has been your greatest/proudest accomplishment thus far?
My proudest achievement is getting Instant Persuasion published by Penguin Group, USA. In the beginning all I had was a book idea that I believed in. So I went to the library to read books about writing a book. I didn’t know anyone in the publishing industry, but I worked hard and was persuasive enough to win over a top literary agent who helped me sell my book at auction to Penguin. The day I sold my book was one of the most incredible days of my life.
Most important life lesson?
Where there is a will, there is a way.
What makes Long Island special?
Long Island is an oasis from the city. It has beaches, malls and beautiful parks. I can play golf and tennis and just relax in the quiet serenity of my parent’s backyard. Then, just a short train ride away, is the fast-paced city where I can enjoy lively action and excitement.
Laurie's new book, "Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life," is now in bookstores. You can purchase a copy and find out more at www.smartcomments.com. She will also be appearing on NBC's "Weekend Today in NY" this Sunday, January 16 from 7:00 am - 8:00 am.