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, 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.

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 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.