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November 13, 2007

Excerpts: Excerpt from Fire Them Up!

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 6:47 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture


Below you'll find an excerpt from the Introduction and Chapter 10 Fire Them Up! 7 Simple Secrets to Inspire Your Colleagues, Customers & Clients by Carmine Gallo. Copyright (c) 2007. This chapter is about challenging conventional wisdom and accepted practices. Read on as Carmine introduces you to his book and profiles how Steve Jobs goes about inspiring colleagues, customers and clients.

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Introduction: Our Chief Want

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


You have the power to inspire anyone, anywhere, anytime. You may not have a leadership title, but you exert influence over someone every day. Whether you are a Fortune 500 chief executive or the head of a household, you are in the motivational business. Regardless of your role, you play the part of chief inspiration officer for someone at work, at home, or in your community. The 7 Simple Secrets revealed in this book hold the key to successfully selling yourself, your vision, and your values to everyone within your sphere of influence. As you develop the astonishing communications skills shared by the world's most inspiring men and women, you will enjoy far more successful and fulfilling relationships with your colleagues, clients, employees, and anyone in your personal or professional life.

In order for these strategies to work, you need to see yourself as the leader of your personal brand. How you talk, walk, and look reflect on that brand, and you are in sole command of the impression you make. If you fail to connect, you will lose the admiration of the people you hope to influence. But once you master the 7 Simple Secrets, you will be known among your peers as an individual who speaks with confidence and charisma. A door will open to a new world of achievement because the stories you tell will have the power to inspire, motivate, and persuade. The verbal pictures you paint will be so vivid and bright that the rest of us will want to climb aboard for the ride. The language you use will be so positive and optimistic that your presence will energize us, making us feel better about ourselves and our roles in the world.

Chapter 11: Wow 'Em Like Steve Jobs

Comparing a Steve Jobs presentation to most presentations is nearly impossible he is in a league all his own. It would be like comparing a silent movie to Independence Day. Where do you start? In my opinion, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is the most charismatic pitchman in business today. His presentations are brilliant demonstrations of visual storytelling that motivate customers, employees, investors, and the entire computer industry.

The Apple Web site streams his keynotes, which can be used as learning tools. After you read this chapter, visit the Apple site, select "Quicktime" and "Apple Events," and watch a presentation for yourself. You will find that Jobs has mastered all of the 7 Simple Secrets.

In January 2007 Jobs gave perhaps his greatest presentation to introduce the new iPhone.1 As I expected, the content of his speech met the qualities shared by inspiring leaders. Here are a few ways Jobs wowed the audience.
  1. Stick to the rule of three. We remember lists in groups of three. Jobs unveils the iPhone and builds drama at the same time by saying, "Today we are introducing three revolutionary products [an image of each product appears on the screen as he mentions each one]. "The first is a wide-screen iPod with touch controls, the second is a revolutionary mobile phone, and the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device." For added emphasis and drama, he repeats the three products and he repeats them three times: "An iPod, a phone, an Internet communicator....Are you getting it?" Jobs says. He then delivers the knockout: "These are not three separate devices. This is one device! Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone!" The dramatic buildup takes several minutes and is met with enthusiastic cheers. It is incredible to watch. Jobs conducts a presentation like a symphony, with ebbs and flows, buildups and climaxes. It leaves his listeners wildly excited.


  2. Tell personal stories. During one section of the presentation, Jobs's clicker to advance the slides suddenly stops working. He mentions it with a smile, knowing that somebody backstage will take care of it. Jobs kills time by telling a personal story about how he and Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak had built a TV jammer and used it to block TV signals at Wozniak's college dorm. Jobs had turned a minor glitch into an opportunity to make an emotional connection with his audience. Personal stories or anecdotes show us his human side. The audience laughed, smiled, and was kept amused as technicians repaired the glitch. Jobs continues as if it had all been planned. Effortless but powerful.


  3. Keep it visual. In a Steve Jobs presentation, you will not find bullet points on any slide; not one. You will not see slides filled with mind-numbing data, numbers, or words. The slides are highly visual. A photograph or image is all he needs. When Jobs outlined the three products--an iPod, a phone, an Internet communicator--a slide with an image of each product appeared as he mentioned each one: one slide, one product (an iPod, a phone, and a computer). It struck a perfect balance between the visual and the verbal. The simplicity of the slides kept the audience focused on the speaker: Steve Jobs. When he discussed the ultimate pointing device at your fingers, all the audience saw on the screen behind Jobs was an image of the iPhone and a finger touching it. Every slide was big on images and low on text. Images are memorable and, more important, complement the speaker, where the audience attention should be focused. Too much text on a slide distracts from the speaker's words. Strike the right balance between visual and verbal.


  4. Rehearse. I know as a fact from speaking to people at Apple that Jobs rehearses presentations for hours. Nothing is taken for granted. He knows the flow of his story, how he is going to build up to a big moment, what he is going to demonstrate, and how he will open and close the presentation. He appears effortless but only after hours of rehearsal. Motivation takes preparation.

Copyright (c) 2007 Carmine Gallo

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.