branding


“Instant gratification takes too long.” – Carrie Fisher

As a communication strategist and pitch coach, I often have clients tell me, “You can’t say anything in 10 minutes.”

One client, who was pitching a room full of investors at the Paley Center in New York City, said, “Sam, there’s no way I can explain my company, team credentials, business model and exit strategy in 10 minutes.”

I said, “Kathleen, you don’t have 10 minutes. You’re going at 2:30 in the afternoon. Those investors will already have heard 15 other presenters. By that point, their eyes will be glazed over. You’ve got 60 seconds to get their eyebrows up.”

The good news is, we came up with a 60 second opening that not only got the interest and respect of that audience, it helped Kathleen Callendar of Pharma Jet land millions in funding and become selected as one of Business Week’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2010.

(The full story is in this Fast Company article on How to Gain Buy-In to your Idea in 60 Seconds or Less. http://www.fastcompany.com/1751298/how-gain-buy-your-idea-60-seconds-or-less

So, what does that have to do with Super Bowl Sunday?

USA Today editors just selected the top 25 Super Bowl ads of the past 24 years … and all of them are 60 seconds or less.

Chances are, if you’ve seen them, you remember them and remember them … fondly.

They prove you can pack a lot into 60 seconds. You can win buy-in from target decision-makers, tell a compelling story and keep your brand and message top-of-mind, years after the fact.

As journalist Laura Petrecca reports in this article the winning ad “is the 1993 Nothing But Net commercial in which Michael Jordan and Larry Bird shoot an outlandish game of H-O-R-S-E ,” trying to out-do each other to win the right to dine on a McDonald’s Big Mac.”

http://www.freep.com/usatoday/article/1862001

What’s this mean for you?

What’s a communication you’ve got coming up? A communication in which you want to win buy-in from decision-makers and customers?

Don’t waste the first 60 seconds with preliminary, perfunctory remarks. No, “I’m glad to be here ….” Or “When Bob asked me to speak …” or “Before I start, let me …”

In this day and age of instant gratification, you will already have lost the hearts and minds of your audience if you start with … INFObesity.

Instead, jump into something intriguing that gets people’s eyebrows up. It’s the single best thing you can do to make sure your pitch, presentation, commercial or communication wins buy-in for what you care about.

Are you thinking, “I agree with the importance of doing this; I just don’t know how to do it.”

Want good news? My E.Y.E.B.R.O.W. TEST system shows you how to earn the attention and respect of any audience … in 60 seconds or less.

Discover for yourself why these techniques have been won raves from clients around the world (London, Geneva, Toronto and throughout the U.S.) and have helped people receive millions in funding while helping their products, services and business break out instead of blend in.

http://www.intrigueagency.com/products-page/eyebrow/

Purchase it today to instantly have these E.Y.E.B.R.O.W. TEST tips at your fingertips … so you can have people at hello next time you want their attention and respect.

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Sam Horn Eyebrow Test

Sam Horn's Eyebrow Test

“If you want decision-makers to care; you’ve got to show F.L.A.I.R.” – Sam Horn, author of POP! and the upcoming Eyebrow Test

Sam Horn at EO-Alchemy Los Angles

October, 2011


I’m here in Hollywood speaking for EO Alchemy, along with Biz Stone (founder of Twitter), Magic Johnson (basketball player extraordinaire), Simon Sinek (Start with Why) and a couple hundred of the best entrepreneurs in the country.

Yesterday I spoke on “Communicate by Design, not Default” and emphasized the importanc

Win Buy-In:  Get Anyone Intrigued in Anything in 60 Seconds.

Win Buy-In: Get Anyone Intrigued in Anything

e of abandoning outdated defaults that are undermining our ability to win buy-in – and adopting updated designs that intrigue and impress decision-makers.

In about a half hour, I’ll be giving a hands-on workshop on how to turn a:

* 1-way elevator speech into a 2-way elevator connection
* no into a yes
* one-of-many positioning into a one-of-a-kind positioning
* passive close into a pro-active close that motivates people to follow-up and take action
* ho-hum forgettable presention into a memorable presentation that hums

The focus of this hands-on workshop is how to pleasantly surprise busy, jaded decision-makers with approaches they haven’t heard before – approaches that quickly communicate a convincing competitive edge that get their eyebrows up and smart-phones down.

I promised several EO members that I’d post an article that will help them walk in with confidence for important presentations they’ve got coming up next week.

So, I know I should break up this article into several shorter posts – however for their convenience I’m keeping these 5 tips together in one post.

So, pardon the l-o-n-g article . . . hope you find it intriguing and are able to use these techniques to deliver a winning presentation on behalf of your cause, company, idea, invention, program or project.

Here are 5 ways to walk into any room with FLAIR and command the attention and respect of everyone in the room.

F = FUN!

“Most of the time I don’t have much fun. The rest of the time I don’t have any fun at all.” – Woody Allen

Sound familiar? Many people are so tight and tense during their presentation; it’s almost painful to watch.

Likability is not trivial – it plays a pivotal role in whether people listen to you.

Fun is a sign of confidence. It shows you’re comfortable in your own skin and can be counted on to wield authority without getting weird. In fact, your ability to enjoy yourself in front of a group is a sign you won’t panic under pressure or “choke” as a project manager or leader.

In the Vancouver Olympics, #1 ranked snowboarder Shaun White was in danger of being eliminated from the games after having a lousy first round. He and his coach actually went into the back-country for some “goof off time.” Some of his competitors thought he was taking a huge risk, but Shawn knew he’d lost himself in the pressure and the only way he was going to win was to “find himself by having fun.” His strategy paid off with a gold medal.

Yes, asking for 5, 6 or 7 figures for your venture, non-profit or idea is “serious business;” but don’t make it SO serious you lack personality or passion.

Stand in the wings beforehand and put a HEARTFELT SMILE on your face which increases likability.

Instead of filling your mind with doubts and fears which feed nervousness, “(What if I forget what I’m going to say? What if someone asks me something I don’t know?”) . . .

. . . fill your mind with thoughts that fill you with joyful anticipation, “I am GLAD to have this opportunity to tell potential investors about what we’ve created. I am HAPPY to be here and have this chance to get funded. I am GRATEFUL we’ve developed something I’m proud of that’s adding value. I am LOOKING FORWARD to being IN MY WHEELHOUSE and having FUN.”

L = LINK TO WHAT THEY LIKE

“The quickest way to help decision-makers connect with your priority is to compare it to something they already know and respect.” – Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert

Jan Bruce of New Life Solution is already a successful entrepreneur having developed meQuilibrim (talk about a business name that POP!s).

Better yet, she has a compelling “back-story.” As she confessed to our group, after selling a business to Martha Stewart for millions, for some reason, Jan didn’t feel as happy as hoped. In fact, she wondered, “Why am I feeling so bad when I am doing so well?”

This prompted a quest to figure out what was going on. Her research revealed that “stress is the new ‘obesity.’” It’s reached epidemic proportions, is compromising people’s health and is costing companies billions.

Jan’s developed an “online, guided, self-help program providing interactive education, behavior tools and peer support on a scalable basis.”

HUH?

See, that’s the problem. That sentence describes what her business does – but we still don’t get it. And if we don’t get it, SHE won’t get it.

That’s where LINKING comes in. Linking your idea to something your decision-makers already like provides a shortcut to comprehension. A metaphor comparing your unfamiliar idea to something with which they’re already fond and familiar fast-forwards understanding.

Jan knows this and excels at it. What’s her “link to what they like” elevator intro?

“New Life Solution is like Weight Watchers for stress.”

OOOHHHH. Got it.

Are you proposing a program, product or venture? What is it LIKE? Paralell what you’re proposing to a proven entity to turn people’s confusion into clarity.

When you do this (i.e., “Jaws is like Moby Dick with a shark”) you’ll get an intrigued “ooohhh” which, believe me, is a lot better than a confused “huh?”

A = Alliteration Gives Audience Members a Hook on Which to Hang a Memory

“I have a photographic memory. I just haven’t developed it yet.” – Jonathan Winters

Say these words.

Best Purchase.
Dirt Vacuum.
Bed, Toilet, Etc.

Kind of clunky, eh?

Now make those words alliterative. (Alliteration is when words start with the same sound.)

Best Buy.
Dirt Devil.
Bed, Bath and Beyond.

More musical and memorable, right?

This is not petty.

Repeatability is crucial to memorability.

And memorability is crucial to winning enduring buy-in to your message so you won’t be forgotten the second you leave the stage.

When I spoke at the Springboard Enterprises Boot-Camp at Microsoft’s Boston location, each of the 21 entrepreneurs (selected from more than 100 applicants) started with a 2 minute bio presentation.

Their assignment? “Tell us, in 2 minutes, your strategic credentials and proven track record so we are intrigued, impressed and convinced you have the clout to carry this off.”

45 minutes later, here’s what I told the group at the end of everyone’s bio presentations.

“Okay, I’m giving you each $10 million. You just heard 21 entrepreneurs introduce their business credentials. Who would you invest in?

Look around the room. WHO DO YOU REMEMBER? Do you remember ANY of the names of the presenters or businesses? What do you remember that so impressed you; you’re motivated to walk up to that person and initiate a follow-up conversation?”

It was a sobering moment. Because these entrepreneurs realized that most of what they just heard had gone in one ear and out the other.

They realized that unless they did something special with THEIR bio and presentation, the business they’d invested their head, heart, soul and bank account in . . . may not even register , much less be remembered by, future investors who’ve heard thousands of pitches.

Think about it. These were 2 minute pitches. Many pitch forums feature twenty or thirty 10 minute presentations, back to back. Imagine sitting through 8+ hours of pitches.

At the end of a l-o-n-g day, pitches start to blend together. It’s hard to remember who was who. Unless you do something special to stand out, you’ll be out of sight, out of mind.

That’s why it’s essential to give your audience hooks on which to hang a memory.

If you care about your message, it’s YOUR responsibility to communicate it so crisply and confidently, YOU’RE THE ONE they remember . . . YOU’RE the one they respect . . . YOU’RE the one they want to talk to at the end of the day.

Alliteration helps you POP! out of the pack.

Look at your program or product description, web copy and business name/slogan. Are you using alliteration, i.e., Rolls Royce. Dunkin Donuts. Java Jacket. Merlin Mobility?

If so, good for you. If not, rework your important sentences so they have words that start with the same sound. It will make your language more lyrical so you’ll be top of mind (vs. out-of-sight, out-of-mind) at the end of a long day.

I = Inflection and “In Your Body” Posture

“My job is to talk; your job is to listen. If you finish first, please let me know.” – Harry Herschfield

I’ll never forget it. I was speaking a high-profile, national conference and this was the opening session featuring several big gun keynoters. Seth Godin. Tom Peters. Jim Collins. Tim Ferris. They were all there. Everyone was on the edge of their seats, listening to every word.

A female CEO of a billion dollar company was introduced next. She walked to the center of the stage, stood with her feet together, and crossed her hands in the . . . Fig Leaf Position.

Yikes. Standing with her feet together made her appear off-balance, like she was teetering.

Plus, holding your hands in the Fig leaf Position is a defensive posture that makes you look like you have something to hide. It pulls your head and shoulders down and collapses your body which creates a Cower stance that makes you look submissive.

This female executive’s first words, “I was telling my grand-daughters yesterday . . .”were said in a querulous voice with upward inflection.

Within seconds, the digital devices came out and people started texting. Which was a shame because this CEO is a respected leader who’s done an excellent job running her company.

Whether it’s fair or not, people form their first impression by how you hold yourself, by the volume and tone of your voice, and by your opening words.

A meek or weak voice sends the message you have trouble speaking up for yourself – you don’t believe you deserve to be heard. Those are red flags to anyone deciding whether to hire you, promote you, fund you or give you their valuable mind and time.

Plus, ending sentences with upward inflection and speaking in a sing-songy “Valley-Girl” voice makes you seem unsure, hesitant, like you’re seeking approval.

One of the first steps to feeling and looking confident is to lose the “Little Girl Voice.”

A coquettish, “I hope you like me” voice will undermine the perception you have the clout to lead a company, carry off a multi-million dollar venture, or manage hundreds of employees.

Instead, do what TV broadcasters are taught to do their first day on the job.

End your sentences with downward inflection to project a voice of authority.

Try it right now. Imagine you’re pitching to venture capitalists and they’ve asked, “How much money are you seeking?”

Say, “$500,000″ with upward inflection at the end. Hear how it sounds tentative? Like you tossing it out there and HOPING they say yes?

Now say, “$500,000″ with downward inflection at the end. Hear how it comes across with more certainty? Like this is a justifiable figure you deserve to get?

When presenting, don’t use a casual, conversational tone. It’s tough to hear and doesn’t connote authority. PROJECT so every single person in the room can hear every single word.

Never, ever force an audience member to have to sat, “Speak up . . . I can’t hear you.” The truth is, if people have a hard time hearing you, they usually won’t ask you to speak louder . . . they’ll just give up and tune out.

Want another way to exude an executive presence? Get OUT OF YOUR HEAD AND INTO YOUR BODY.

When you’re introduced, stride to the center of the stage, plant your feet shoulder width apart and bend your knees slightly so you feel and appear grounded.

This balanced, athletic stance helps you feel in your body (vs. in your head) – and helps you stay “rooted” in one spot so you’re less likely to rock or pace back and forth.

Nervous movement patterns distract from your credibility because they give the impression you’re flighty and can’t or won’t hold your ground.

Now, instead of assuming the “fig leaf position,” hold your hands out in front of you like you’re holding a basketball. This opens you to your audience and frees your hands to make organic, natural gestures that illustrate what you’re saying.

Furthermore, this Basketball Position helps you straighten up and stand tall. Pull your shoulders back and instead of ducking your head, hold your head high.

Aaahh . . . that’s better. Feel how this TOWER stance makes you look and feel like an athlete which contributes to (vs. compromises) your confidence? Now you look like a leader.

R = Rhythm and Rhyme

“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” – Duke Ellington

Many people have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of presentations. After awhile, speakers start to sound alike.

To POP! out of the pack, you’ve got to craft intriguing content that will get noticed and remembered.

One way to do that is to use R = Rhythm. Duke was right. When you put things in a beat; you make them easy to repeat.

Hence the enduring popularity of such “earworm” ad slogans as “I Can’t Believe I Ate The W-h-o-l-e Thing” (Alka Seltzer) and “Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking” (Timex)

Chances are, you haven’t heard those jingles for years: yet you can still repeat them, word for word, in the same cadence you first heard them. That is an advertiser’s dream.

When I prep clients for their presentations or media interviews, one of our priorities is to produce a proprietary “phrase that pays” that showcases their strongest selling point.

We work on saying it clearly and distinctly so anyone can repeat it, word for word, after hearing it once.

One way to do that is to pause and punch.

When nervous, or when trying to jam a lot of material into a short amount of time, many speakers blush and rush. They jumble their words together.

The consequence is people don’t “get” your name or your important points – which means they won’t be able to repeat them a minute, hour or week later – which means you and your message had no enduring impact. Not good.

Put a pause between your first and last name (i.e., Sam – Horn) or before an important statistic – has spoken to more than a . . . half million people . . . around the world . . . . so each word is distinct . . . and will be imprinted.

E – nun – ci – ate each syllable of your business name – and put a 3 beat pause between crucial words in a quote, slogan or elevator intro – to make sure people get it the first time.

For example, In — trigue . . . In – sti – tute.

Two monologues . . . don’t make a . . . dialogue.

I help . . . entrepreneurs . . . executives . . . and organizations . . . create more compelling communications.

This may sound petty or like I’m making a big deal out of nothing. However, if people can’t repeat your name or elevator intro, they didn’t get your name and elevator intro. . . which means you may not get their business.

Another way to have confidence you and your message are going to get remembered is to use R = Rhyme, Ryhme is sublime because it gets you remembered over time.

One of my favorite examples of this comes from the U.S. Government.

They were concerned years ago about the number of fatalities and injuries in car accidents so they invested a lot of money to create a public service campaign called “Buckle Up for Safety.”

Hmmm. Are you motivated to just run out and fasten your seat belt? No one seemed to care and no one was inspired to change their behavior.

So, they went back to the drawing board. Or, as comedian George Carlin was famous for saying, “What did we go back to before there were drawing boards?”

This time, they put their slogan in a rhyme that had a distinctive beat. I bet you know what I’m talking about. Yep, Clickit or Ticket.

Not only did that catchy phrase that pays catch on, it’s motivated people to buckle up and, as a result, the number of injuries and fatalities has decreased.

All this goes to prove that phrasing isn’t petty. You can spend hours and thousands of dollars on fancy power point slides, bar charts and graphics. But if you blush and rush through your material and your audience doesn’t understand or can’t remember anything you said – it will all be for naught.

If you want to close that deal or land that contract – remember these 5 elements when designing and delivering your communication.

F = Fun. If you’re not having fun; they’re not having fun.

L = Link. Compare what you do to something with which they’re fond and familiar so the light goes on in their eyes and they “get” it.

A = Alliteration. It’s working for Java Jacket and Dunkin Donuts. Why not for you?

I = Inflection and In Your Body Posture. Tower (vs. cower) and speak with downward inflection so you have the look and voice of authority.

R = Rhythm and Rhyme. Craft a easy-to-repeat “phrase that pays” so you’re the one they relate to, you’re the one they remember, you’re the one they want to work with.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Want more ways to communicate confidently and compellingly so you close that deal and land that contract?

Check out my book POP! – which has been featured on MSNBC , BusinessWeek.com, FastCompany.com and in the New York Times and Washington Post. Its 25 innovative techniques can help you create one-of-a-kind communication that intrigues and favorably impresses everyone in the room.

Or contact us at Sam@SamHorn.com to arrange for Sam to speak at your next marketing conference – or to explore how you could work together to make your next presentation a win for everyone involved.

Guy Kawasaki . . . Genius in Action Part 3,

By Sam Horn, The IntrigueExpert

This is the final post detailing the excellence in action that Guy Kawasaki demonstrated during his keynote for Ruth Stergiou’s Invent Your Future Conference in NoCA.

Guy Kawasaki Genius in Action Part 3, By Sam Horn, The Intrigue Expert

Guy Kawasaki Genius in Action

Actually, there were many more things Guy did extraordinarily well . . . however these blog posts are already long enough.

Want to know what I suggest? Go see Guy in person if you have a chance.

I am a firm believer that our personal and professional impact is directly proportionate to our ability to communicate compellingly and convincingly.

If you’d like to turn no’s into yes’s – if you’d like to win buy-in from the people who have the power to scale your career, buy your products or services or support your message and mission – do yourself a favor and study great communicators like Guy (on the stage) and Seth Godin (on the page).

Then, adopt and adapt (don’t copy) their masterful approaches so you too know how to capture and keep everyone’s attention and respect – from start to finish.

7. Guy featured a kaleidoscopic mix of reference points.

“Let’s give em something to talk about.” – Bonnie Raitt

Hmmm. Let’s see.  Grateful Dead. Check. Steve Jobs. Check.

Personal examples. Professional examples. Check. Check.

United States anecdotes. International anecdotes. Yep.

Fortune 500 success stories. Small business success stories. Yep. Yep.

Some speakers commit the cardinal sin of focusing solely on a few “favorites.” sports. Kids. Corporate life. That leaves some people out. They may not like sports, don’t have kids or work for themselves.

Guy gave everyone something to “talk about.” By using a wide range of “demographically-correct” reference points, he made sure everyone felt included, honored and acknowledged.

The eclectic mix kept us eager for what’s next. Novelists call this a page-turner. The speaker equivalent is a “seat-edger,” as in, “We were on the edge of our seats the whole time.”

One of the most effective ways Guy modeled this was by using “pulled from the headlines” or “signs on the street” slides to prove his points.

For example, he mentioned he was just in New England checking out colleges with his kids. To illustrate how “disenchantment” can be caused by overcomplicating things, he popped up a Smartphone photo showing a sign from an Ivy League university campus that went into great detail on how to . . . (wait for it) cross the street.

Embedding his point in a recent, first-person story lent instant credibility to his case because it had currency. This isn’t
tired shtick – it just occurred yesterday or last week.

And he did this with EACH of his points – providing a “couldn’t see it coming” reference that explored the point in a compelling, convincing and creative way.

If you’re about to give a presentation, go back over your planned remarks. Double check that you have balanced gender, age, ethnic, work-life, geographic and industry diversity.

And, hold up a prop! Make it show not tell. Sharing an article from THAT day’s newspaper that’s relevant to your topic will charm your audience and turn “blah-blah-blah” into “rah-rah-rah.”

8. Guy was in his “Tony Bennett” zone.

“I have found if you love life, life will love you back.” – Arthur Rubenstein

Have you ever had the distinct privilege of seeing and hearing Tony Bennett in concert? If not, do yourself a favor and grab a ticket for his next concert in your area.

Tony Bennett is the consummate entertainer. Not just because he has a voice like “butta” and not just because he’s a great song stylist.

It’s because Tony Bennett LOVES HIS AUDIENCE . . . and isn’t afraid to show it. When singers (or speakers) love what they’re doing, we love ‘em back.

Tony may have sung I Left my Heart in San Francisco a thousand times but you’d never know it. He gifts each audience by singing that song as if for the first time.

What many speakers don’t understand is that our audiences will feel the way we feel.

We won’t have fun if you’re not having fun. If you’re not happy to be up there – we’re not happy to be down here.

We want speakers who welcome the opportunity to add value and who show up fully present with an unapologetic, unabashed personality.

Too many speakers dread speaking. I remember attending a book-author event in Washington, DC , where a famous actress who’d just written a memoir got up and said, “I rather be dead drunk in a gutter than standing up here speaking to you today.”

Yikes. How do you think that made us feel?

Guy brought his A game and his whole self to the party. Guy was in his body, in his element and in the moment. And when speakers invest themselves 100%– we feel lucky to be along for the ride – because it’s a great ride.

9. Guy replaced wah-wah information with real-world WWW stories.

“The world is not made up of atoms; it’s made up of stories.” – Muriel Rukeyser

Actually, as explained in a recent Newsweek cover story entitled Brain Freeze, the world is not made up of atoms; it’s
made up of information. And we’re drowning in it.

We don’t want more information. We want epiphanies.  And we don’t get epiphanies from wah-wah information. We get them from “WWW” stories” that vividly portray Who, Where and What was said.  WWW stories are pulled from real-life – NOT from the internet or from your colleague’s books.

If we wanted stories from the Internet or from your colleagues
books – we’d go online or go buy those other people’s books.

When you speak, we want to hear what you think, what you have experienced, what you have gleaned. And we want you to re-enact those lessons-learned so we’re in the room with you as they happened.

We want you to make your story our story by putting us in the story. You can do this by putting yourself back in the moment
and place it happened and describing:

WHO? Describe the individuals involved with specific physical and emotional details so we can SEE him or her in our mind’s
eye and know what’s going through their mind.

WHERE? Put us in the room, on the plane or in the pool (or as Nancy Duarte – author/speaker on Resonance
did so vividly in her keynote that day – put us on Half Dome). Make us a fly on the wall so we’re standing right next to you.

WHAT WAS SAID? Re-create and re-quote the dialogue so it’s as if it’s happening right NOW.

For example, Guy shared a story where he was speaking for a client in South America and realized, shortly before his talk, that he had a washing machine made by this manufacturer.

Understanding this was an “enchantment opportunity,” he quickly texted his sons and asked them to take a picture of the family washing machine and send it to him so he could incorporate it into his program.

Here’s where Guy got it right (yet again.)

Instead of just mentioning his sons sent him the photos – he put up a slide that showed the actual back and forth texting from his sons. He talked us through the chain of events and turned it into an unfolding mystery that brought it alive and brought it home. Guy’s message had the ring of truth – because it was true. Kudos.

10. Guy created the exquisite state of entrainment.

“What did the meditation teacher tell the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything.” – poster in yoga studio

Have you ever experienced that lovely peak performance state of flow?

If you’re an athlete, maybe you were immersed in your golf, tennis or basketball game and played out of your head (literally and figuratively).

If you play an instrument, perhaps you lost yourself in the music and weren’t even aware of the passage of time.

If you’re an artist or author, the world slipped away and you were completely absorbed In your painting, dancing or writing.

That flow sate – when we are one with what we are doing – is also called “entrainment.”

And Guy created it. There was no shuffling in the seats. No checking of watches or email. We got swept up in his world.

Everyone who’s experienced this state of flow knows it is a powerful and persuasive high. Everyone was bliss-fully entrained– or as Guy calls it – enchanted.

As The Intrigue Expert and author of POP!, ConZentrate and Win Buy-In, I have studied the art and science of entrainment for the past 20 years.

What I have learned is that while we can’t force it, we can facilitate it.

The ten ingredients above all combine to create entrainment.

The good news is, you can too.

Yes, Guy is a master at what he does. The good news is that speaking eloquently and “intriguingly” is a skill that can be acquired. I know this because I’ve helped many entrepreneurs and executives create more compelling, convincing communications.

We can all get better at this because these are replicable steps.

Do you have a presentation coming up? Use these 10 points as a checklist while preparing your communication so your audience will be seat-edgers.

Get Anyone Intrigued in Anything in 60 Seconds

Get Anyone Intrigued in Anything in 60 Seconds

1. Have us at hello by leaving out the parts people skip.

2. Engage everyone’s head and heart with facts and feelings.

3. Condense your concepts into one-of-a-kind sound bites.

4. Have the courage to be counter-intuitive.

5. Honor your family, mentors and contributors.

6. Use the power of three to create oratorical flow.

7. Feature a kaleidoscopic mix of reference points.

8. Get in your “Tony Bennett” zone.

9. Replace wah-wah information with real-world WWW stories.

10. Create entrainment by getting in the flow.

If you do these things, your audience will care about what you care about. They’ll be engaged and enchanted from start to finish. You will have delivered substantive value and they’ll be more likely to buy into and act on your ideas and initiatives.

And isn’t that a primary reason we communicate?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Sam Horn, The Intrigue Expert, and author of POP! and Win Buy-In, is an award-winning communication strategist who’s worked with clients including Cisco, Intel and NASA.

Her work has been featured on NPR, MSNBC, BusinessWeek.com and in Readers Digest, the Washington Post, New York Times and Investors Business Daily.

She helps people crystallize their strategic, signature message and get it out of their head and where it can make a positive difference for others and a profitable living for themselves. . www.SamHorn.com Sam@SamHorn.com

Guy Kawasaki . . . Genius in Action Part 2,

By Sam Horn, The Intrigue Expert

This is Part 2 of a 3-part series in which I share the specific things GuyKawasaki did so well in his keynote presentation at the Invent Your Future conference at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California.

You might want to have an upcoming presentation in mind while you’re reading this to get maximum benefit.

Guy Kawasaki . . . Genius in Action

Guy Kawasaki . . . Genius in Action - Sam Horn


What’s a situation you’ve got coming up in which you’ll be asking for approval, funding, support or a yes?

Who’s the decision-maker? Who has the power or authority to give you the green light or the support you need to move ahead with this idea or initiative?

What’s that person’s frame of mind? Or who will be in the audience and how receptive or resistant do you anticipate they’ll be?

Factor that into how you design and deliver your remarks – and use these techniques that were so masterfully modeled by Guy – to increase the likelihood you’ll have them at hello.

4. Guy had the courage to be counter-intuitive.

“Only dead fish swim with the stream all the time.” – Linda Ellerbee

The quickest way to lose an audience is to state the obvious.

The quickest way to engage an audience is to state the opposite.

Think about it. If you agree with everything a speaker says, why listen? The speaker is just confirming what you already know; not stretching you or teaching you anything new.

For example, he made a flat out recommendation, “EVERY ONE should go see the movie Never Say Never with Justin Bieber.”

As you can imagine, that got a “Really?!” response from this high-powered group of entrepreneurs and executives.

He then backed up his claim by saying, “It will teach you everything you need to know about marketing. Watch how Justin goes into the crowd before concerts and gives tickets to little girls who don’t have tickets.
Watch how. . . . “

He then upped the ante by promising, “If you don’t like the movie, I’ll give you your money back.” THAT’s putting a stake in the ground.

We appreciate speakers who have a passionate point of view – who dare to address (vs. tip toe around) the elephants in the room. Speakers who challenge our assumptions and admit the emperor has no clothes cause us to rethink what we “knew to be true.” They serve us at a higher level because we walk out wiser than we walked in.

5. Guy honors his family, mentors and contributors.

I want compassion to be the new black.” – American Idol judge Steven Tyler

Guy began by acknowledging a mentor in the audience, Marylene Delbourg-Delphis, who encouraged him to write. He frequently referenced colleagues including a special shout out to:

Facebook marketing guru Mari Smith in her trademark turquoise

Guy talked openly about his love for his wife, kids and parents and shared several “from the home front” stories of neighborhood hockey games, backyard bar-b-ques, etc.

What’s that got to do with anything? We like people who like their families.  In fact, novelist James Rollins, (NY Times bestselling author of Amazonia, etc.) told me he’s researched the ten best ways to create likable characters. Guess what #1 was? “Being kind to kids and animals, in particular, dogs.”

Simply said, our heart goes out to people who are compassionate.
This wasn’t contrived on Guy’s part. It’s simply who he is.

Many speakers think they have to be “serious” when speaking in business situations. Guy modeled that speaking affectionately about who and what has influenced us “warms up” a talk and establishes that all-important likability. He showed that not can we embody intellect and emotion – it’s more powerful and persuasive when we do.

6. Guy used The Power of Three to create oratorical flow.

“There’s a kind of ear music . . . a rhythmic synchronicity which creates a kind of heartbeat on the page.” – Allan Gurganus

Orators have known for centuries that communicating things in threes sets up a rhythmic flow that makes our message reverberate.

Furthermore, listing three real-world examples fleshes out your points and increases the odds every person will relate to at least one of your samples.

For example, Guy showcased Amazon.com, Zappos and Nordstrom on a slide to illustrate benchmarks of mutual trust.

He then went deeper by citing empirical evidence that showed how each of these companies have created a culture of mutual trust. But giving varied, yet specific examples (instead of one vague, sweeping generalization), we GOT what he meant.

No puzzled looks – no one left hanging.

For example, Amazon has a policy that says you can return an E-book in 7 days if you don’t like it. As Guy said,
most people can read a book in 7 days so that’s trust.

Next Guy asked, “Who would have believed a few years ago that hundreds of thousands of women would buy shoes online . . . WITHOUT TRYING THEM ON?!” What makes that possible is Zappos  visionary policy of paying for shipping both ways. No risk; all reward.

Nordstrom, of course, is famous for pioneering a generous refund policy that has proven over time that most people will honor the “We trust you” policy which offsets the few who take advantage of it.

Want more examples of how Guy Kawasaki hit it out of the park at the Invent Your Future Conference with his Enchantment keynote?

Sam Horn, Guy Kawasaki and Ruth Stergiou at the Invent Your Future conference in Silicon Valley

Ruth Stergiou, Guy Kawasaki and Sam Horn


Check the next blog for the final 4 ways Guy practiced what he taught.

Guy Kawasaki . . . Genius in Action,

By Sam Horn, The Intrigue Expert

 “It’s not enough to be the best at what you do; you must be perceived to be the only one who does what you do.” – Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead

I’m always keeping my antenna up for people who are one-of-a-kind at what they do.

I had the privilege of seeing one in action last week.

As The Intrigue Expert and a communication strategist for the past 25 years; I’ve seen and given thousands of presentations. (Really).

So, when I say Guy Kawasaki’s keynote at the Invent Your Future conference in Silicon Valley was one of the best presentations I’ve ever experienced, that’s saying something.

I was compelled to take notes because it’s a privilege to watch a master in action.

I shared my observations with Guy afterwards and am sharing them here so you can learn from his shining example and adopt/adapt some of his approaches so you can enchant (and intrigue) your future audiences.

Here’s why Guy’s keynote Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Action was a perfect 10.

Everyone was drawn in (and enchanted) -sam horn

Everyone was drawn in (and enchanted)

Please note: I’ve distilled this debrief of his brilliant presentations into three blog posts. Check back the next couple days to read and reap additional techniques.

      1.   Guy had us at hello.

“You’ve got to be a good date for the reader.” – Kurt Vonnegut

No perfunctory opening remarks. That would have been predictable and predictable is boring.

Guy pleasantly surprised everyone by starting with an amusing riff about how most speakers run long and no one’s ever angry at a speaker for ending early so he was going to jump right into things.

Guy knows people are BBB – (Busy, Bored or Been there-heard that) and that we make up our minds in the first 60 seconds whether someone is worth our valuable time, mind and dime.

He earned our good will in the first few minutes by being a “good date” and by kicking off with humor vs. the old-fashioned “Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em approach ” which would have had us reaching for our smart phones.

Bestselling author Elmore Leonard gave a keynote at the Maui Writers Conference (which I emceed for 17 years.) During the Q & A, a participant asked, “Why are your books so popular?” “Dutch” smiled and said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”

Guy was instantly popular because he left out the parts people skip.

      2.    Guy engaged our head and heart – our left and right brain – with facts and feelings.

“I never developed a plan for where I was going. I just counted on one interesting job segueing into the next. I let the universe do its work.” – Bernadette Peters

Any extreme is unhealthy. Many speakers (think engineers, IT professionals, physicians, professors, etc.) focus primarily on data, theories and facts. This makes for a lopsided speech because it’s long on logic but short on interest.

Other presenters (think motivational speakers) share inspiring stories but there’s no “meat” – no tangible takeaways we can apply to reap real-world results.

Guy was a sublime balance of head and heart. He let us know from the get-go he’d distilled his presentation into ten insights and 45 minutes.

People love top ten lists because it indicates you’ve done the homework for us and edited the superfluous, which means we’ll be hearing only the most salient points, the best of the best.

Anxiety is defined in two words: “not knowing.” If we don’t know how long this is going to take or the format, we may resent the speaker because, in a way, they’re keeping us in the dark and holding us hostage.

Covering 10 points (or 7 steps or 6 keys or whatever) in a specified amount of time builds pace and momentum and keeps a speaker on track because you don’t have time to ramble. Logical left-brainers think “Oh, good. This is clearly going to be bottom-line and a good use of my time because it’s measurable and replicable.”

Furthermore, a 10 point plan provides one of the quickest organizational constructs known to humankind because it provides an easy-to-understand-and-follow pattern. Listeners feel they’re in “the Allstate Plan” (they’re in good hands) and feel well-led as one interesting point segues into the next.

Better yet, Guy balanced rhetoric (words) with photos (senses) throughout his presentation. Everyone was drawn in (and enchanted) because he “peopled his points.” His beautifully produced slides featured intellectually satisfying ideas, visually stunning images and named individuals which produced a holistic sense of symmetry. Well done!

      3.    Guy condensed his concepts into one-of-a-kind sound bites.

“    Remember, you’re more interested in what you have to say than anyone else.” – Andy Rooney, 60 Minutes

“Invoke reciprocity”.

“Conduct a ‘Premortum.”

“Incur a Debt.”

“Frame Thy Competition.”

“Separate the Believers.”

These are just a few of Guy’s featured sound-bites (and chapter titles).

How could you NOT want to know more?

Guy got his ideas in our mental front door because he was not content to be common.

Instead of lazily sharing platitudes and clichés (“Make it a win-win. It’s all about team.”), he coined first-of-their-kind phrases that got our eyebrows up.

(Side note: What’s The Eyebrow Test? It is a technique described in my book POP! that gives you a way to test how compelling your communication is . . anywhere, anytime . . . in 5 seconds . . . for free.

Eyebrow Test? It is a technique described in my book POP!

The goal is to get their eyebrows UP

You don’t have to convene a focus group and spend thousands of dollars to determine whether your idea is commercially-viable.

Simply tell someone your main point (or your elevator speech, business name, book title, the first 60 seconds of your pitch/presentation, or the first paragraph of your marketing copy) . . . and watch their eyebrows.

If their eyebrows knit or furrow, it means they’re confused. They didn’t get it. And if they didn’t get it, you won’t get it.

The goal is to get their eyebrows UP.

Try it right now. Lift your eyebrows. Do you feel intrigued? Curious? Like you want to know more?

THAT’s your goal as a communicator – to get the eyebrows up of busy, distracted decision-makers because it means you just got your message in their mental door.)

Guy’s succinct sound-bites made his content POP! Because no matter how many books we’ve read or seminars we’ve attended, we’d never heard this before.

Comedian Jonathan Winters said, “I have a photographic memory. I just haven’t developed it yet. By developing original take-aways and NURDS (new words like Premortum), Guy made his content memorable and sticky.

Unique sound-bites give his content a long tail of influence. People love “the next new thing” and are more likely to share freshly-phrased ideas around the water-cooler – which means they’ll become Guy’s tribe and take his work viral by becoming his voluntary word-of-mouth ambassadors.

Phrases like “invoke reciprocity” are also monetizable and merchandisable.

People will pay for refrigerator magnets (or coffee mugs or t-shirts) with catchy phrases like this. This keeps you and your proprietary ideas “in sight-in-mind” with your target customers which gives your material even longer legs. It’s all good.

Check the next blog to discover more ways Guy demonstrated
platform brilliance.

“If you don’t know where you’re going; you’ll end up somewhere else.” – Yogi Berra

Thanks to Rhonda Abrams (small business columnist for USA Today and CEO of The Planning Shop – http://www.rhondaonline.com/ ) for asking me to conduct my POP! Your Pitch: Win Buy-in to Your Business in 60 Seconds workshop for the British Airways Face2Face competition last week. http://businessconnect.ba.com/contest/

What a pleasure it was coaching these 250 non-profit leaders and small business owners in the halls of the NYC event and at 30,000 feet on our chartered flight to London.

Our focus was on how to clearly, confidently and compellingly communicate the essence of your work so you can answer the question, “What do you do?” in a way that gets people’s eyebrows up (a sign of curiosity).

Check out these excellent articles which capture what great productive fun it was swapping best-practice tips with 250 smart, talented social entrepreneurs.

These articles also showcase the three finalists

Pencils of Promise is committed to supporting a world with greater educational opportunity for all.

Adam Braun Pencils of Promise is now a global movement.

Adam Braun of Pencils of Promise (the ultimate winner of the competition), Danae Ringelmann of IndieGoGo and Chris Eilers of Dunn Brothers Coffee.

All three are shining examples of visionaries who have built add-value organizations that are making a positive difference for everyone involved.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-strauss/i-have-seen-the-future-of_2_b_819088.html?ref=twitter

http://blogs.wsj.com/in-charge/2011/02/03/first-stop-london-next-stop-the-world/

http://www.portfolio.com/companies-executives/2011/02/03/millennial-entrepreneur-wins-british-airways-face-of-opportunity-faceoff

During one of our brainstorming sessions, several of the contestants weren’t able to articulate their competitive edge.

I told them, “It’s hard to have a competitive edge if you don’t know exactly how you’re different.”

One asked, “How do you figure that out?”

I asked her, “You’ve heard of having your ducks in a row? Well, before you can crisply communicate your competitive advantage – you need to have your ‘W’s’ in a row.”

“What are those?” she asked.

They are the W words journalists use to figure out where they want to go with an article or interview so they can stay “on purpose.”

Print out this blog post with the W10 Form below and take it to lunch with you. Or, print out several copies and ask key employees to fill them out so you can discuss these at an upcoming staff meeting.

POP! Create the Perfect Pitch, Title and Tagline for Anything

Hailed as one of the best business books of the year


Taking time to answer the following 10 questions (excerpted from Chapter 2 of my POP! book) can help you clarify where you’re first-of-your-kind and worth trying and buying.

W#1. What am I offering? What is my product, service or organization?

W#2. Who is my target audience, customer or decision-maker?

W#3. What problem(s) do they have that my business solves? What keeps them up at night? What worries them, frustrates them, confounds them?

W#4. What do my target customers want or need that no one else offers?

W#5. What specific, measurable action do I want people to take? Schedule a follow-up meeting? Visit our website? Buy our product? Hire us as their consultant?

W#6. What objections or resistance might people to have to my offering, products or services? Why will they say no or opt out?

W#7. What do I say/do to address and neutralize those objections so they’re a non-issue?

w#8. Who are my competitors and how am I different or better than them?

W#9. What do all my competitors have in common? How do I zig where they zag? How does our organization do the opposite of the obvious?

W#10. Who am I (or who is my organization) What are our strengths and unique abilities? What is our tangible track record of proven, measurable results?

When you (and your team) can answer each of the above “W” questions in a clear, crisp 60 seconds, you will know exactly why it’s in people’s best interests to do business with you.

And that, my friends, is a competitive advantage.