Instant Influence

Instant Influence – Book Review

By: Michael Pantalon

Can you motivate anyone in 7 minutes? 

Michael Pantalon, author of “Instant Influence,” introduces a scientifically supported method to influence others positively. Traditional persuasion often fails, but Pantalon’s approach helps individuals discover their intrinsic motivations for change. By focusing on self-determination and framing influence as a choice, Pantalon’s method sparks a desire for positive actions.

The Instant Influence Methodology: Four Assumptions:

Pantalon’s methodology revolves around four assumptions: freedom to choose behavior, external threats to freedom, negative reactions to threats, and restoration of freedom through self-determination. The key lies in framing influence conversations with statements emphasizing the other person’s autonomy. This approach rekindles motivation, facilitating a genuine desire for change.

Step #1: Why might you change? 

The first step involves guiding the influencee to visualize themselves in a desired situation. Pantalon suggests phrasing questions to challenge individuals positively, focusing on desirable behaviors near the target outcome. Avoiding orders, reflection, and acknowledging the influencee’s freedom contribute to igniting the spark for change.

Step #2: How ready are you to change?

This step gauges motivation on a scale of 1 to 10. Pantalon emphasizes the importance of the thought process rather than the numerical rating. The focus shifts to understanding why someone might want to make a change, setting the stage for further exploration.

Step #3: Why didn’t you pick a lower number?

Introducing an intriguing twist, Pantalon encourages individuals to explain why they didn’t choose a lower number on the readiness scale. This prompts them to uncover personal reasons for change, fostering a sense of autonomy and a genuine desire to take action.

Step #4: Imagine you’ve changed. What would the positive outcomes be?

Pantalon crystallizes the benefits of change by prompting individuals to visualize a positive future. Encouraging detailed reflections on the transformative effects and setting deadlines for change enhances the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Step #5: Why are those outcomes important to you?

Delving deeper, this step involves asking the influencee to articulate the significance of the envisioned positive outcomes. Utilizing the Five Whys technique, Pantalon helps uncover heartfelt and personal motivations, reinforcing the desire for change.

Step #6: What’s the next step, if any? 

The final step focuses on planning the next action. By emphasizing the influencee’s autonomy with the phrase “if any,” Pantalon reinforces their control over the decision-making process. Seeking permission for a follow-up meeting further supports ongoing commitment to change.

Influencing Yourself:

Pantalon’s method is not limited to influencing others; it can be applied to self-influence. By identifying a desired change, asking Instant Influence questions, and following the six-step process, individuals can motivate themselves to take positive actions.

Advice for Applying the Method:

Pantalon provides practical advice, including starting small, exploring multiple solutions, focusing on action, remaining open to surprises, trusting the process, consulting experts when needed, and affirming the influencee’s right to say no.


Michael Pantalon’s “Instant Influence” method empowers individuals to become masters of influence by uncovering intrinsic motivations for change. Through a structured six-step process and a focus on autonomy and positive framing, Pantalon’s approach facilitates genuine desire and commitment to positive actions, whether influencing others or oneself.

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