Guy Kawasaki explains How to Enchant an Audience

Apple’s former chief evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, recently published his 10th book: Enchantment.  In the book, Kawasaki shares his insight about the art of changing hearts, minds, and actions.

This book is all about influencing others. Kind of a modern day version of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People“. Because presenting is influencing at its best, there are some great tips in the book to make your presentations more compelling, more effective, more enchanting.

Watch this short video to see Kawasaki’s advice to become a better presenter:

The 9 key points made by Guy Kawasaki to Enchant an Audience:

1. Customize the Introduction

Kawasaki tells the story of a trip to Brazil during which he had to present to LG. Since he owns an LG washing machine at home, he had one of his sons take a photo and send it to him. He then started his presentation with the photo of his washing machine and giving praise to the product.

Another way he personalizes his presentations, especially in foreign countries, is to do a bit of sight seeing and then have someone snap a picture of him. One of the images will become the opening slide showing him as a tourist in his audience’s environment. A perfect backdrop to tell an ice-breaking story to which the audience can relate. There is hardly a better way to build instant rapport with your audience!

2. Make a Duchenne Smile

This one resonated strongly with me: I live in Thailand, nicknamed “Land of Smiles”, and know from experience that a smile can go a long way in building a trusted relationship. Not any smile though… It has to be a genuine smile that is made not only with the mouth. It also involves your eyes conveying a smile and getting a spark of confidence and joy across. A smile known as the Duchenne Smile.

3. Dress for a Tie

Although we all have been told before to not judge a book by its cover – it’s hard not to do it. We automatically get an initial impression from somebody’s dress and as a presenter, you need to be ultra aware of this. Underdress and you will give your audience the impression of not caring.  Overdress and you will give your audience the impression of wanting to be better than them.  Dress like your audience, and you’ll build rapport.

4. Provide Value

This one is such a no-brainer, I was surprised to see a slide and Kawasaki spending time to go into at all. But it’s often the most obvious that is being overlooked and I’m therefore glad he did. Provide your audience with information, give them insights, and offer assistance and they will find value in your presentation.

5. Tell a Story

The best presenters are story tellers.  They understand that an audience is not interested in numbers and facts. It’s the stories that people want to hear. It’s the stories that people remember. When you have personal and emotionally charged stories, people will be more inclined to remember you and your product. It’s the stories with purpose and relevance that people love to hear and that help them identify with you and your products.

6. Sell Your Dream

Your audience doesn’t really care about your company or your products. They care about themselves. They care about their dreams and their hopes. When you present, do not sell your product and its features. Sell your dream of greater creativity or greater productivity. Sell your dream of how you and your products and services are making the world a better place.

7. Use Salient Points

Give meaning to numbers by putting them into a context your audience can understand. Instead of talking of Giga Bytes when you discuss storage capacity, talk about the number of songs or photos or documents that can be stored. Steve Jobs does this extremely well. Whenever he presents Apple products, he always breaks down numbers to make them more visual. He turns numbers into meaningful Information…

8. Shorten

Many presentations are way too long and verbose.  Kawasaki offers a simple rule: 10 Slides / 20 Minutes / 30-point Font.  Do not use more than 10 slides (or deliver more than 10 major messages), because your audience will not remember them all.

Be prepared to deliver your information in less than 20 minutes. Shorter is better! And use just a few words with a font size of at least 30 points to support your verbal message. Less is often more, especially when you want to make your presentation memorable and compelling.

9. Suck up to the AV Guys

Watching a presentation is a multi-sensory experience for your audience.  The way you sound is as important as what you say and how you say it. Making friends with the AV folks will ensure that they will make you sound good and give you the necessary attention if you should encounter any technical difficulties.

Kawasaki’s advice to bring your own Countryman Microphone is right on. It will show the AV crew that you are a professional who knows what you are doing.

If you follow just some of the advice Kawasaki has given in the presentation above — and in his new book — you will improve your presentation. If you take all of his advice to heart, you are guaranteed to enchant your audience.

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