How to wow an audience

Most of the humans who come to my company for public speaking have something to sell. Themselves, a product, a cause.

Most people do not like to be sold to. You don’t. I don’t. Yet, most speakers believe the way to sell what they are selling is it directly sell it. To teach the audience something that the audience CAN NOT do without them.

Bad. Not effective. Don’t do it.

Instead, teach the audience something they can do themselves, without you. Educate them, give a REAL take away value and figure out a way to give them a take away so they will remember how they got it.  Honor the persons time.  Make that the goal – not selling.

If you are a consultant, this means maybe giving away some of your secret sauce. Don’t worry, you will make more. Example: What I am doing right now. My company makes money when we use our intellectual property to wow our clients who hire us. The reality is, you don’t HAVE to hire my team for your next speech if you read my book and practice what is in the blog. The reality is once you hit it out of the park with the free stuff you get – you are more likely to want to know what else there is.   If I am taking your time right now in reading this, I’d better GIVE you some value.   Something tangible.

If you are a politician, this means giving away some of your personal history and perspective. Example: Instead of talking about the need for police and funding for police. (all politicians do that) Think about educating the audience in a different way. Think about it for a second. More police on the beat is expensive and one level of context. Another level is this: Let’s think of an average police officer. Do you think when police officer goes to the grocery store when she is OFF work she stops being a police officer? When she is walking the dog? Washing her car? If we really want our streets to be safe, we need to create affordable housing for police and fire. If more police live in our neighborhoods, the neighborhood will be safer. Right now, many of our police officers live in Daly City. (find some statistics on this) Educate in detail rather than talk about high level of context stuff.

If you are a cause, get off your obvious soap box and reach more people.  The environment.   The moment we make someone feel bad about the car they drive we reduce listening.  We create an “us and them” mentality where to them we are THEM.  (god, does that make any sense at all?)   Imagine educating an audience on what they CAN do for their own benefit.. not to save the world.   FOr example:  we are the most innovative country on the planet.  Think about what we have invented:  the telephone, electricity, the internet… we CAN figure out a more efficient, inexpensive, low impact way to get off oil.  Let’s imagine we don’t care about the planet .. it will be the next big boom for our country.   There is money to be had here – this is a US  (U.S.) initiative- not a democratic initiative.

Oh, and when teaching.  Please avoid being obvious.  The worst thing a CEO can do is tell a story about WORKING REALLY HARD to get his team to WORK HARD.   Give them whiplash a little so they don’t know what is coming.

Hope this helps.  Typos and all!

The debate debate

Political advisors are so stuck in the Nixon/Kennedy debates. Things have changed so much in the past .. what .. 50 years? geez…

The debate of the Democratic Presidential candidates yielded some clear results. HRC won hands down on policy. Biden won hands down on personality. Gravel won hands down as the whack job.

If I was on Obama’s team- I’d be working on one thing: Get your policy down. Find specific examples that show you know this stuff. The guy is SO GREAT at rapport – he needs some work on debating with policy.

One way to do this: experiential extrapolation. List the things he has done and make them relevant to the major issues that face our culture.

I worry about his comment about the environment. What have you done in the past 90 days to address the environment? Don’t you have an answer/ if you dont… go watch Al Gore’s movie….

🙂 I haven’t been bloggin much.. trying to finish my book.

I am only blogging now to AVOID writing my book….

The trepanning

It is happening again.  It isn’t even close to the election and it is clear.

I love being a liberal.  I wear the badge proudly with the ink on my skin and the color of my hair. 

The issue with the national presidential race is the island of Washington DC.  The campaigns have circled the wagons and do not understand they are wearing Dittos to a 501 concert.

 My political party is two steps behind.  As an entrepreneur, I get that to be successful, I must be at least two centimeters in front of the competition.

There is a new communcation reality : I have talked about it before.  If I hear one more candidate say,



I will defenstrate myself.  I think waters down the effectiveness of what the person is saying.  Why do we have this virus:  the I THINK VIRUS.   Tired of it.

Take out a pencil. Now.  Right now.  I will wait.  I will type slow so you will not miss anything.

Great big dogs eat animals


If you do not know piano you do not know what the heck I was just typing.. very.. slow….


anyway.. ready?


write down   I THINK


put a LINE through it.  Remove this phrase from your vocab. 


I think we should get out of Iraq.


Really??  Do you think?


how about


We MUST get out of Iraq.


Hear it?


I little better.





Reasons to run for President

I was lucky enough to hear past President Clinton on Sunday.  I have a great picture of him that I can’t upload.  Anyone reading this who knows how to use wordpress to upload pictures, let me know.

200 folks in a room:  he was talking about Hillary.

He talked about her decision to run for President.  He said one thing that resonated as I think of critical decisions we all need to make in our lives.

If you feel you are the best person for the job:  you HAVE to run.  If you feel someone else is the best person for the job: you can’t run.

Once you realize you are the best person for the job:  you have no choice but to run.

How simple is that thought process.   I am applying that to life right now.


Larry and Dillard

Mark Hopkins.  This morning.  Fifty Democrats.  One speaker.   Ten Thousand goosebumps.

It is the first time I have ever had tears in my eyes listening to Senator Hillary Clinton.  She connected with the audience this time- in such a beautiful way.  After she left there was an overwhelming response from the crowd- they were shocked and very very pleased.

What did she do differently?  She talked about her life.  In particular, her dad.  Her dad, his last days and his neighbors Larry and Dillard.

Well done.  The entire room was filled with policy wonks who the week before, with Obama, expressed their dismissal of the stories and the desire for policy.  Senator Clinton did both.

60 down.. now for the rest of the world.

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