An Honest Review of Chris Voss’ Masterclass: Is It Worth It?

Chris Voss

Chris Voss’ Masterclass on the Art of Negotiation is an undoubtedly unique, insightful, and valuable learning experience. 

For professionals, business negotiators, and even individuals looking to improve their negotiation skills in daily life, Voss’ Masterclass is an attractive resource! 

However, the course comes with a high price tag, and it can be difficult to evaluate whether this investment is worth it. 

This article provides a comprehensive overview and review of Chris Voss’ Masterclass, including a brief synopsis of the instructor, the course structure and content, key takeaways, pros and cons of the course, pricing, and an overall verdict on its value. 

Keep reading to gain a better idea of whether or not this course is a beneficial investment for you!

Who is Chris Voss? A Brief Overview 

Chris Voss is an expert negotiator, professor, author, CEO, and successful businessman. 

Voss is best known for his high-profile FBI career. As former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI and the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative, his achievements are well respected. 

Voss has represented the US government as a kidnapping expert at major international conferences, won prestigious awards throughout his career, and taught business negotiation classes across multiple respected universities. 

Chris Voss can be described as a pioneer in the field of negotiation. Throughout his 24-year tenure with the FBI, Voss developed a set of revolutionary negotiation tactics and philosophies that he is now imparting to the world. 

His insights are transferable across multiple disciplines and are particularly valuable in business!

Voss’ work has significantly impacted how organizations and businessmen understand one another and negotiate in high-stakes situations globally. 

Masterclass Promises: What to Expect 

Chris Voss offers a Masterclass on the Art of Negotiation, through the broader Masterclass platform

With multiple years of experience in international crises and high-stakes negotiation, Voss is highly qualified as a negotiation instructor. 

Within this Masterclass, the former FBI lead hostage negotiator promises to equip participants with key skills and strategies to “help get more of what you want every day”. Voss’ course covers the ins and outs of successful negotiation. 

You can expect to gain a thorough understanding of the art of negotiation and leave with a valuable toolset of tactics that will better your negotiation abilities across multiple disciplines and situations. 

The insights are particularly useful to the business world, but can also be used to help you simply get more from life – because after all, life is a negotiation in itself! 

With practical real-life applications and step-by-step guides, the course content is straightforward and easy to digest. 

Expect to learn practical tactics such as reading body language, bargaining, and mirroring to improve your negotiation skills as well as gain a broader understanding of what negotiation is. 

Through his Masterclass, Voss imparts his revolutionary ‘tactical empathy’ philosophy. 

While many understand negotiation as a battle or debate, Voss sees successful negotiation as a collaboration rooted in empathy. 

Course Pricing: Assessing Affordability

Chris Voss’ Masterclass operates through the Masterclass platform. Masterclass is an educational streaming service that runs on a subscription model. 

A Masterclass subscription costs $120 USD per year. The platform offers payment plans as well as discounts for long-term subscriptions, which make it more financially feasible. 

The important thing to note is that Masterclass subscribers pay a subscription fee to access the ENTIRE library of courses, rather than paying for each individual course! 

Masterclass offers an array of premium online courses taught by experts, entrepreneurs, and celebrities across a wide range of subject areas and topics.  

The only way to gain access to the Chris Voss Masterclass on the Art of Negotiation is through purchasing a Masterclass subscription. 

With this subscription, you’ll get access to not only Voss’ course but to the whole plethora of 200+ online courses available on the platform as well.

Therefore, while the $120 USD annual Masterclass subscription fee does seem steep, the value you will receive is significant. 

Masterclass subscribers have the opportunity to engage in a vast array of unique learning experiences across multiple disciplines and areas of interest. 

Alternative online negotiation courses are similarly priced at between $100-$200 USD. 

The important difference is that these options give users access to just one singular online course. With Masterclass, subscribers have access to the entire library, making this subscription great value for money. 

Course Structure and Content Breakdown 

The Chris Voss Masterclass on the Art of Negotiation is split up into 18 video lessons. The entire course is 3 hours and 4 minutes long. 

Participants will also have access to a downloadable workbook that summarizes key topics covered in the course. 

The workbook is a handy resource to look back on in the future when you may need to refresh your memory on negotiation, such as prior to a salary raise discussion. 

The lesson plan is as follows:

  1. Tactical Empathy
  2. Mirroring
  3. Labeling
  4. Exercise: Mirroring and Labeling
  5. Mastering Delivery
  6. Case Study: Chase Manhattan Bank Robbery
  7. Body Language & Speech Patterns
  8. Creating The Illusion of Control
  9. Mock Negotiation: Teenager
  10. The Accusations Audit
  11. The Value of “No”
  12. Mock Negotiation: Rival
  13. Bending Reality
  14. Bargaining
  15. Mock Negotiation: Salary
  16. Black Swans 
  17. Mock Negotiation: “60 Seconds or She Dies”
  18. The Power of Negotiation.

As you can see, the course provides an excellent combination of theory and tactics, as well as ‘mock negotiation’ demonstrations which help you apply the teachings.

The first three lessons cover key tactics of negotiation: tactical empathy, mirroring, and labeling. 

Lesson 4 demonstrates these tactics and illustrates the points covered so far in a mock negotiation video. 

Then, Voss discusses more fundamentals of good negotiation, such as mastering your delivery, understanding body language, and creating the illusion of control. 

Again, mock negotiations are used to demonstrate these lessons. 

In the second half of the course, Voss adds further insights such as the value of ‘no’, bending reality, and bargaining. 

Lesson 16 describes ‘black swans’, which is a term Voss coined to describe key pieces of information that change everything within a negotiation. 

Personal Takeaways: Key Learnings

Below are a few key learnings from the Masterclass that stand out as valuable insights:

  • The three types of yes: Confirmation, Commitment, and Counterfeit
  • Empathy is all about gaining an understanding of the opposition’s perspective. It’s not necessarily agreement, compassion, or sympathy
  • Giving the illusion that the opposition is in control, is key to getting the upper hand in a negotiation
  • Labeling your emotions decreases negative activity in your brain. Reinforcing positive emotions is a powerful
  • The mirroring technique: repeating the last 1-3 words someone says, can reinforce them and encourage them to speak more and reveal valuable information
  • Intentionally making a wrong guess can prompt someone to correct you – which again could get them to reveal valuable information!

Pros of the Chris Voss Masterclass 

  • Learn from a world-renowned hostage negotiator, who has used these tactics in over 150 life-or-death negotiations
  • The course includes real-life footage of FBI negotiations, which makes the content feel legitimate
  • The course contains digestible information and easy-to-implement techniques
  • The insights can be applied to an array of real-life situations, not just in business negotiations
  • The tactics and strategies do not feel manipulative. Voss continues to remind viewers that negotiation is a collaboration, rather than a battle
  • Engage with an active online community of other course participants, to share your thoughts and discuss content
  • Voss’ teaching style is engaging and compelling. His techniques are memorable
  • The course is well structured, and the lessons follow a logical plan
  • Benefit from watching ‘mock negotiations’, which illustrate and demonstrate the points clearly. 

Cons of the Chris Voss Masterclass

  • The workbook is only 14 pages long, which is minimal compared to other Masterclass workbooks
  • The workbook does not follow the course structure. Rather, it acts as an overview of negotiation as a whole
  • Some of the mock negotiations can feel staged and awkward
  • The course does not include ordinary real-life examples. Most of the demonstrations use high-stakes scenarios, so it can be difficult to transfer this knowledge. 

Evaluating the Promises: Did the Class Deliver? 

The Art of Negotiation Masterclass is a profound learning experience, with many participants noting that they have approached situations differently since taking the course. 

Voss’ teachings can be applied to your personal and professional life, to create immense gain. 

Ultimately, the course provides valuable insights and life skills that can benefit you in a variety of situations, from high-stakes business scenarios and salary raise discussions to daily interactions with those around you. 

As Voss puts it: “Everything in life is a negotiation; life is a negotiation”. 

Value for Money: Is the Investment Justified? 

The Chris Voss Masterclass on the Art of Negotiation is a worthy investment. The techniques you can take away from this course can genuinely benefit you in all sorts of different situations! 

There are more affordable options out there that offer similar insights into the world of negotiation. One of these is Voss’ book Never Split The Difference

However, the video format of Voss’ Masterclass is extremely engaging and is a unique way to learn from the expert himself. 

Seeing Voss speak directly to you feels more intimate and inspiring, and the fact that his teachings are supported by demonstrations is useful. 

The $120 USD Masterclass subscription fee may seem steep, but it’s important to remember that this cost gives you access to the entire Masterclass library of expert courses.

It is clear to see why Chris Voss’ Masterclass is one of the most popular courses on the platform!

The structure is easy-to-follow, the content is high quality, and Voss himself is an extremely reputable instructor. 

Conclusion: Final Verdict on Chris Voss’ Masterclass 

Chris Voss’ Masterclass on the Art of Negotiation is an excellent resource for individuals looking to enhance their negotiation skills. 

To summarize: Voss is a highly qualified individual, the value of the course (and platform) warrants the steep subscription fee, and the lessons are well structured with engaging and digestible content. 

You can almost guarantee that you’ll come away from this course with a greater understanding of negotiation, as well as a toolkit of tips and skills to take with you for the rest of your life! 

Josh Hutcheson

E-Learning Specialist in Online Programs & Courses Linkedin

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