Sam Horn at the Presentation Summit 2013

Created: Monday, September 23, 2013, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:02 pm



Sam Horn, well known as the Intrigue Expert delivered the first keynote session for this year’s Presentation Summit on Monday morning.

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She started with three questions we all need to ask ourselves:

  1. Are you eager to get up in the morning?

  2. What are you good at that you can point at?
  3. How do you know that you are making a difference?

Here are some thoughts shared by Sam:

  • If you have answers to all these questions, the “light” is probably on in your eyes, and you are in the state of “SerenDestiny”.

  • It is not enough for the light to be on in your eyes, you must make the light go on in the eyes of the others.

  • Keep your eyebrows raised up to show intrigue.
    Knit your eyebrows to show confusion

  • What are the three “did-you-know” questions that the decision makers don’t know — and you know. Frame your “did-you-know” questions based on these thoughts:

    The size of the market
    The scope of the solution
    The importance of cost

  • Use the word “imagine” often in your narrative — your audience will pay more attention, and they will no longer check emails, or do something else. They now have your attention.

  • Make sure your content is such that your audience is smarter than what they were 20 seconds ago.

Sam then involved the audience in an interactive exercise and asked them to first imagine a situation about which they need to convince a decision maker — here are the steps for this exercise:

  1. What is the situation?

  2. Who is the decision maker?
  3. What do I want the decision maker to do?

Here are some more thoughts from Sam:

  • What are the three eyebrow up questions you have to do for the decision maker. Start with “Did you know……?”
  • Never ask a person, “What do you do?” Ask them instead, “Can you give me an example of what you do?”
  • The empathy telescope says “We can put ourselves in the shoes of one person, we cannot put ourselves in the shoes of thousands”.

Sam HornSam Horn has a 25+ year track record as a communication strategist with international clients that include Cisco, Fortune 500 Forum, MPI, Intel, NASA, and Four Seasons Resorts. She has authored five books and has been interviewed as a media resource on every network and in every major city. To learn more, visit her site.

Categories: powerpoint, presentationsummit

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4 Comments

  • Wow Geetesh:

    You are fast!

    I just finished my SerenDestiny keynote an hour ago, and you've already distilled the essence of my remarks and posted them online.

    Kudos, and thank you.

    Glad to hear you found these ideas on how to get our decision-makers' eyebrows up in the first 60 seconds valuable.

    You are right. It's the quickest way to turn INFObesity into intrigue and:

    1. Motivate listeners, in the first minute, to give us their valuable time, mind and dime.

    2. Pleasantly surprise skeptics with something they didn't already know (the surest way to EARN people's attention/respect).

    3. Get a yes to our priority projects by introducing a "haven't-heard-that-before" approach to solving a problem, addressing a current issue or filling an urgent need.

    4. Put the light on in other people's eyes by sharing a relevant, resonant Dog on a Tanker example so THEY care about what WE care about.

    Hope your readers are able to use these EYEBROW TEST techniques to win buy-in to their SerenDestiny projects.

    Sam Horn
    Intrigue Expert and author of POP!

  • Great read, Geetesh! Seems like Sam really "intrigued" you with her presentation. Keep up the good work!

  • Mo

    Great article! I love the line about INFOBesity. It's so true!

  • How interesting!

    Imagine how much richer the conversation will be the next time I ask someone an example of what they do rather than just what their position is or what company they work for….

    There are definitely tangible takeaways from this that I will start using today.

    Thank you for passing on this great advice, Geetesh!

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