Why – how – what: How great leaders inspire action

Tapping the emotional  core of decision making is proven to be more effective than the logical brain.

I  am consantly challenging entrepreneurs to pitch-  present  “what ” they do – in terms of outcome, rather than “how” they do it.

It appears the default way all “craftsmen” speak is to talk about their craft.  Hell thats what they are expert in.
 So we oftern hear “What great technology we have” rather than,  “this technology solves this mega problem” and better still “this technology saves you money”.

Simon Sinek takes this concept a step further and argues the point that we should be driven by “what we  believe” or “why”we think the way we do”.
Have a listen to his 18 min TED presentation. You will get it, in the first 5 mins. 


As a side note:  How many ppt slides does he use? 
None!   2 pieces of flip chart and a pen.


The Perfect Pitch – a great read

For those who share my passion for “creating a perfect pitch” here is a great book to read.    The Perfect Pitch The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business  by Jon Steel

I am always on the hunt for new book on preparing for and delivering great presentations. This one had a slow start, but then fired on all cylinders. The initial case studies were to long-winded and in my mind out of character with the message of the book. But in the guts of it was a great read. Once I made it 20% of the way through I couldn’t put it down. 

Oh and don’t read it if you are a Porsche owner or belief that power point is a key ingredient to succinct pitches.


My key takeaways from this great book are listed below, not to give it all away but to bait you for a great read – this book is full of great ideas.

  • Often pitches “Say everything, but tell nothing”
  •  The Most powerful statements come in small bundles.. check these powerful remembered statements out: “I do”,” I’m leaving”, “she’s dead”
    People can only assimilate one idea at a time… a great example is throw five balls at once at someone and they wont catch any. Throw one and they will catch it. This concepts take me back to a comment that has stuck in my mind “One thought, one message , one person”  Bernie White from Wellington (the moment).
  •  Surprise your audience with something different – my version is “stand out from the crowd” …
  • Always write the 2 min version of your pitch first, even if you are doing a longer version.
  • Use post notes to brain Storm and collate and order thoughts – themes. Jon argues going to power point to soon kills the creative process.
  • Check you are Communicating vs lecturing to your audience
  • Team – presentations need flow and if you are selling the team they need to look like a team eg all members need to be engaged excited with other team members presenting – Not reading email on their iPhones 
  • Use the room as part of your presentation always look at changing the layout from the norm.
  • Remember 5-15-80 rule when accessing clients:  5% u know that u know,  15% u know they don’t know, 80% u don’t know they don’t know

 Oh Jon Steel is not a great power point fan … I love this quote he has taken from Edward Tufte’s book a “Cognitive Style of Power Point”:

 Imagine a widely used and expensive prescription drug that claimed to make us beautiful but didn’t.
Instead the drug had frequent, serious side effects: making us stupid, degrading the quality and credibility of our communication, turning us into bores, wasting our colleagues’ time.
These side effects, and the resulting unsatisfactory cost/benefit ratio, would rightly lead us to a world-wide product recall.

 Go buy this great book, its well worth the read.   http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Pitch-Selling-Winning-Business/dp/0471789763

Other books I recommend

What impression do you give your clients on first contact?

Are you one of those businesses with your caller ID blocked?

One of my pet peeve’s – is businesses that block their caller ID or worst still, who do not reply to “contact us” on their web sites.

  • Caller ID “blocked”? – for me, it says that you have something to hide or be ashamed of.  You want to hide behind your anonymity.
  • Answer web site enquires? – If you do not want to enter a dialogue with your clients then do not put “contact us” on your web site. If you do then answer them in a timely manner.

For tradesmen who want to grow businesses here are my tips:
1:  Have a web site – you will stand out
2: Respond to those of us who are busy and like to use email or cell phones
3: Remove the blocked ID from your PABX or telco.

Would Trade Me have sold for $750m under the new Financial Advisers Act?

Is the new proposed financial advisers act is bureaucracy gone wrong? My fear is that this sort of policy is going to slow the economy and scare off the wrong people.

Check out Andrew Simmonds take on the impact of the new act on the legendary and inspiration trademe deal