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

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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.

“It’s not overly dramatic to say our destiny hangs upon the impression we make.” – Barbara Walters

A premise of my study of the art and science of “intrigue” is that many people are BBB —
busy, bored, been-there-heard-that.

It takes a lot to get their attention.

In fact, most people make up their mind in the first 60 seconds whether we’re worth their valuable time, mind and dime.

If we want to get our message in their mental front door,
we need to open with something they’ve haven’t heard before.

In other words, we’ve got to be intriguing.

Intriguing is defined as “causing curiosity; capturing attention.”

Common or classic quotes no longer have the power to cause curiosity or capture attention.

I like Edison, Einstein and Emerson as much as the next person.

In fact, Emerson’s “Life consists of what a man is thinking all day long” is a favorite.

It’s just that many people under 40 often don’t know (or care) who he is.

As soon as you launch into Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream . . . ” some people are inwardly rolling their eyes.

Please note: it’s not that MLK’s profound remarks aren’t true; they’re just not new.

What this means is, everytime we use familiar quotes or old quotes from “dated” sources, our audience tunes out and moves on because they conclude we’re not current or relevant.

So, what can we do?

We can hold ourselves accountable for crafting original content and for introducing CURRENT quotes that get people’s eyebrows up.

I’ve spent a lot of time culling the following quotes from recent articles and interviews.

My hope is you’ll be able to use these intriguing insights (with attribution) to capture interest in what you want to get across.

What’s different about these quotes? You have to been alive to be included.

Read ‘em and reap.
.

1. “I am in love with hope.” – Tuesdays with Morrie author Mitch Albom

2. “A lot of the time, I’m raising more questions than I’m answering.” – NPR’s Andy Carvin

3. “We are better than we think and not yet what we want to be.” – poet Nikki Giovanni

4. “I want to write songs that play themselves on stage – songs that sweep you up in their current.” – singer k.d. lang

5. “Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself.” – Tech pioneer Bill Gates

6. “I learned how to win by losing and not liking it.” – golfer Tom Watson

7. “No one wants to go out mid-sentence.” – Johnny Depp

8. “Have I pushed the envelope as much as I want to? Not yet. That’s why I’m still creatively hungry.” -movie director Steven Spielberg

9. “I have the world’s best job. I get paid to hang out in my imagination all day.” – novelist Stephen King

10. Reporter: “Would you say this rookie has exceeded your expectations?”
Yogi Berra: “I’d say he’s done more than that.”

11. “We need to treat each other with consideration. In my world, the squeaky wheel does not get the grease.” Tim Gunn

12. “Keep in mind that you’re more interested in what you have to say than anyone else is.” – Andy Rooney, 60 Minutes correspondent/curmudgeon

13. Enough about me. What do you think about me?” – Bette Midler’s character in the movie Beaches

14. When asked why he chose not to stage a summer concert tour for the first time in 17 years, country singer Kenny Chesney said, “My career is great. I don’t need more money or fame. I need more heart.”

15. “Anyone who consistently makes you feel bad is not helping you get better.” – Sam Horn

16. “Guard your good mood.” Meryl Streep

17. “When you create, you get a little endorphin rush. Why do you think Einstein looked like that?” – comedian Robin Williams

18. “Love elevates. Love is what you live for.” – Angelina Jolie

19. “As long as I’m in good shape, you’ll always see me smiling.” – Usain Bolt, World’s Fastest Human

20. “I started out wanting to write great poems, then wanting to discover true poems. Now, I want to be the poem.” – Mark Nepo

Want to know how to “hook and hinge” these current quotes into your work so they’re relevant to YOUR topic?

Email us at Sam@SamHorn.com and we’ll send you an article that explains how to tie-in each quote (with full attribution) to your material so the lights go on in your audience’s eyes and they get a relevant aha.

“Quotes are distilled wisdom.” – Sam Horn

Fred Shapiro, Associate Librarian for Yale Law School, just released his annual version of the most notable quotes.

Shapiro picks quotes that are famous, important or revealing of the spirit of the times. The quotes aren’t necessarily the most eloquent or admirable.

Shapiro set out to create “the first major book of quotations geared to the modern reader.”

Shapiro’s book is now one of a kind.

Here are a few of his selections — and then I’ll share my “bakers’ dozen” list of TOP 2010 QUOTES which DOES feature quotes that are both eloquent AND admirable.

1. “I’m not a witch.” Christine O’Donnell, television advertisement, Oct. 4.

2. “I’d like my life back.” Tony Hayward, comment to reporters, May 30.

3. “If you touch my junk, I’m gonna have you arrested.” airline passenger John Tyner, remark to TSA worker at San Diego airport, Nov. 13, 2010

4. Republican Sarah Palin’s tweet: “Don’t retreat. Instead — reload!”

5. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “We have to pass the (health care) bill so you can find out what is in it.”

6. “Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le! Los mineros de Chile!” Chant at Chilean mine rescue, Oct. 13.

7. “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach.” basketball player LeBron James

Sam Horn’s List of the TOP POP! Quotes of 2010

Sam Horn’s List of the TOP POP! Quotes of 2010

Sam Horn’s List of the TOP POP! Quotes of 2010


1. “If you stick to what you know; you sell yourself short.” – country singer Carrie Underwood

2. “Any time you’re making a living at what you love to do, you’re blessed.” – rock n roller Tom Petty

3. “Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” – journalist Bill Moyers

4. “Nobody wants to go out mid-sentence.” – actor Johnny Depp

5. “I think the one lesson I’ve learned is there’s no substitute for paying attention.” – anchor Diane Sawyer

6. “I am in love with hope.” – Tuesdays with Morrie author Mitch Albom

7. “I went for years not finishing anything. Because when you finish something, you can be judged.” – author Erica Jong

8. “I take nothing for granted. I now have only good days or great days.” – Lance Armstrong (response to what he’s learned from his bout with cancer)

9. “I didn’t need more fame or money. I needed more heart.” – Kenny Chesney (explaining why he went back home to his “roots” instead of planning his 17th consecutive summer concert tour)

10. “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Apple pioneer Steve Jobs

11. “It’s the start that stops most people.” – former Miami Dolphins Coach Don Shula

12. “One thing that’s certain: around the corner from every ugly thing, there’s something really beautiful. If we stop at every bitter interaction; we’ll never reach our destination.” – TV reporter Soledad O’Brien

13. “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” – ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

14. “You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to be open.” – Elizabeth Edwards (RIP)

What’s your favorite quote of the year?

Share it here and tell us why it impacted you.

And if you’d like the entire list of my FAVORITE 50 CURRENT QUOTES so you can use them in your blogs, books and presentations; email us at info@SamHorn.com, put CURRENT QUOTES in the subject heading and we’ll be glad to send them to you.

I guess you can tell I love quotes.

I think they’re a great way to make familiar ideas fresh; common thoughts uncommon. They’re a Purposeful, Original, Pithy way to POP! your content and get busy people interested in what you have to say.

Here are intriguing insights that were said this past year. Hope you enjoy them and are able to use them (with attribution) to spice up your communication so people are motivated to listen to or read what you have to say.

1. “When you create, you get a little endorphin rush. Why do you think Einstein’s hair looked like that?” – Robin Williams

2. “What did we go back to before there were drawing boards?” – George Carlin

3. “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” – Maureen Dowd

4. Asked why, at 72, he has no plans to retire, actor Morgan Freeman says, “If you take time off, you get more off than you want.”

5. When Judd Apatow, writer/director for the movie The 40 Year old Virgin and the popular TV show Freaks & Geeks was asked what he’s learned, he said, “It’s understanding that the common things that happen to people can be fascinating. Instead of trying to think up high-concepts, I now look for what’s ‘relatable.’”

6. “If you don’t have an idea that materializes and changes a person’s life, then what have you got? You have talk, research, telephone calls, meetings, but you don’t have a change in the community.” – Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics

7. When asked if he was always so sure of himself, Clint Eastwood said “Oh, I don’t think anybody begins that way – otherwise it feels like arrogance. It’s just that when you accept that life is a constant learning process, it becomes fun.”

8. “I like being tested. I get as scared as anyone. But the feeling of putting yourself on the line, betting on your talent and having it work; that’s the most exhilarating feeling in the world.” – Conan O’Brien

9. “My parents always told me I wouldn’t amount to anything because I procrastinated so much. I told them, ‘Just you wait.’” – comedian Judy Tenuta

10. “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.” – Richard Bach

11. When asked what he’d learned from his bout with cancer, Lance Armstrong said, “I take nothing for granted. I now have only good days, or great days.”

12. When a Washington Post reporter asked Michael Phelps why he was re-dedicating himself to swimming after 4 months of partying following the Olympics. Phelps said, “I discovered that having nothing but fun is not all that fun.”

13. One of the very first things I figured out about life…is that it’s better to be a grateful person than a grumpy one, because you have to live in the same world either way, and if you’re grateful, you have more fun.” —author Barbara Kingsolver

14. “I wish there were ten of me and we could each be doing what we wanted to do.” Filmmaker George Lucas

15. When author Elmore Leonard was asked the secret to his books’ success, he thought about it for a moment and then smiled and said, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”

16. “I have the world’s best job. I get paid to hang out in my imagination all day.” – novelist Stephen King

17. Columnist Carolyn Hax gave this advice to a reader whose subtle hints to her boyfriend about his inappropriate behavior weren’t getting through. “Enough with the subtle hints. It’s easier to tell people how you feel than for them to read your mind.”

18. “We need to treat each other with respect. In my world, the squeaky wheel does not get the grease.” Tim Gunn

19. “Here’s the thing about earnestness. Our culture discounts it; but people are yearning for it.” – Jeffrey Zaslow, co-author of Captain Sully’s memoir Highest Duty.

20. “I’m always looking for something to engage my imagination and take me on a little mental voyage. I just want a new topic in my life.” – comedian, author, playwright Steve Martin

We agree with Steve Martin. Here at The intrigue institute, we’re constantly looking for intriguing ideas and insights that engage people’s imagination.

Want to help? Keep your antennae up for what captures your favorable attention. When you hear a thought-provoking quote that “has you at hello,” take a moment to email it to us at Sam@SamHorn.com.

And if you’d like a list of our Top 50 Current Intiguing Quotes (that means the originator of the quote needs to have lived in the last 10 years – no Goethe, Gandhi or Goucho Marx), email us at Sam@SamHorn.com and we’ll be happy to send it to you.

Until then, here’s a couple of bonus quotes.

* “I think we need a 12-step group for non-stop talkers. We’re going to call it On and On Anon.” – Paula Poundstone

* “The world was shocked to learn I wrote a bestseller at 66. No matter how long you live, you have stories to tell. What else is there to do but head off on the Conestoga wagon of the soul?” – Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt (Angela’s Ashes) and Maui – Hawaii Writers Conference keynoter

Did you see the movie Jerry Maguire?

Remember when Tom Cruise (Jerry) burst into Dorothy’s (Renee Zelwegger) home at the end of the movie to profess his love? He’s carrying on about how much he loves her, and she finally interrupts him and says, “You had me at hello.”

In today’s rush-rush world, people are often preoccupied. It takes a lot to break through their distraction and get their attention.

If we have something we care about – whether that’s an idea, a worthy cause or our business – it’s OUR responsibility to package it compellingly so it captures people’s interest and has them at hello.

Here at The Intrigue Institute, we’ve studied the art and business of “intrigue” for 20 years.

Intrigue is defined as “to cause curiosity, to capture interest.”

We also define “intrigue” as the ability to get people to care about what YOU care about.”

The good news is, we’ve developed a step-by-step system you can use to win buy-in to your priority.

That system is outlined in our founder Sam Horn’s book POP!, and is also available via our Intrigue Institute presentations, podcasts, consulting services and products.

One of our favorite ways to “have people at hello” is to use an intriguing quote from a current source to stop people in their tracks. If you “hook and hinge” that quote to your priority and explain why it’s relevant; even the busiest people can be inspired to look up from their Blackberries and iPhones and give you their attention.

We’ve compiled a list of our 50 favorite intriguing quotes including:

1. “When you create, you get a little endorphin rush. Why do you think Einstein looked like that?” – Robin Williams

2. When Judd Apatow, writer/director for 40 Year old Virgin was asked what he’s learned, he said, “Maybe that things that happen to me can be fascinating. Instead of trying to think up high-concepts for movies, I started looking for what was ‘relatable’”.

3. “If you don’t have an idea that materializes and changes a person’s life, then what have you got? You have talk, research, telephone calls, meetings, but you don’t have a change in the community.” – Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics

4. When asked if he was always so sure of himself, Clint Eastwood said “Oh, I don’t think anybody begins that way – otherwise it feels like arrogance. It’s just that when you accept that life is a constant learning process, it becomes fun.”

5. “I like being tested. I get as scared as anyone. But the feeling of putting yourself on the line, putting your talent out there, betting on yourself and having it work, is the most exhilarating feeling in the world.” – Conan O’Brien

6. “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” – Maureen Dowd

7. “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.” – Richard Bach

8. Asked why, at 72, he has no plans to retire, actor Morgan Freeman says, “If you take time off, you get more off than you want.”

9. When asked how he “kept his sanity” in the competitive world of movie-making, Robert Redford said, “Other people have analysis. I have Utah.”

10. A Washington Post reporter asked Michael Phelps why he was re-dedicating himself to swimming after 4 months of partying following the Olympics. Phelps said, “I discovered that having nothing but fun is not all that fun.”

You can receive the full list by emailing us at Sam@SamHorn.com. We recommend you print it out and keep it handy so the next time you’re delivering a presentation, writing an article, or preparing a marketing campaign; you review this list for inspiration. You may find just the right insight to capture the favorable interest of your target audience and motivate them to give you their valuable time and mind.