I have just finished reading Guy Kawasaki's new book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. And as with all of Guy's books, this one is filled with easy-to-understand concepts and immediately applicable suggestions made all the more memorable by intriguing stories and examples of both everyday people and celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Al Gore and Steve Jobs.
Kawasaki's main premise is that enchantment "...causes a voluntary change of hearts and minds and therefore actions. It is more than manipulating people to help you get your way. Enchantment transforms situations and relationships....It changes skeptics and cynics into believers."
And isn't that exactly what we set out to do as presenters? Change hearts and minds and actions. Change skeptics and cynics into believers.
Here, then, are some key enchantment principles, as they relate to business presentations:
- "One must understand what people are thinking, feeling, and believing in order to enchant them...Enchantment requires understanding why people are reluctant to support your cause."
APPLICATION: Do your homework and uncover the needs of your audience before you even start creating your presentation. This will make it easier to include the appropriate level of detail and examples. Knowing what points are likely to be contentious allows you to prepare extra backup in these areas, anticipate questions and rehearse answers that will satisfy the skeptics.
- Be likable, achieve trustworthiness and create memorable experiences for those you are trying to enchant.
APPLICATION: Don't spend all your time creating the slide deck. Leave enough time to speak to people ahead of the presentation to get a sense of attitudes towards your topic. Rehearse adequately so you are comfortable with what you're going to say and can focus on interacting with the audience. Get to the presentation venue early so you can mingle with attendees before you start to speak.
- "Sell your dream. Enchanters don't sell products, services, or companies...Steve Jobs isn't thinking, How can I get people to buy $188 worth of parts with a two-year contract from AT&T? Enchanters sell their dreams for a better future...It makes them think of what could be, not what is."
APPLICATION: Even if you don't think you're trying to change the world, most of our presentations are advocating a better or different way of doing or looking at things. Focus on the dream -- the benefits, solutions and opportunities -- rather than getting stuck in the weeds.
If you need a little extra help enchanting your next audience -- and who doesn't -- go get Kawasaki's book and take your enchantment quotient to a new level.
As a special bonus for a limited time, buy Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions in any form (paper, ebook, recording) and get a free copy of Garr Reynolds' classic book on presentations, Presentation Zen. Details here.