Guy Kawasaki speaks at TEDxBerkeley, about the 10 points of innovation…


  1. Local references: In this speech, he makes a lot of references to local universities [Stanford, Cal (local nickname for University of California Berkeley), USC (University of Southern California)]. In fact, his very first sentence is about graduating from Stanford (a university near San Francisco). He is speaking in Berkeley (a city, also near San Francisco), and the audience is probably filled with university professors and students, or at least people close to the community. They will understand any university references very quickly, and they will feel a bond with him because of that.
  2. Self-effacing humor: At 0:20, he tells a joke/story. In this joke/story, his wife gives him a friendly, funny insult. So, within the first 30 seconds, he establishes a bond with his audience (the university comments) AND he makes them laugh.
  3. Body language, smiling: Guy Kawasaki smiles a lot during this speech, but that is typical body language for him. It is good to smile at your audience, to be conversational and friendly with them. But don’t think you need to smile as much as Guy Kawasaki. That’s just his normal, personal style — he smiles a lot whenever he talks.
  4. Outline the speech: There are many ways to open a speech. One way is to tell the audience what you’re going to tell them. Here, Guy Kawasaki tells the audience there are 10 points to innovation, and I’m going to tell you what they are. In the introduction, he doesn’t tell the audience what those 10 points are, he just tells them there are 10, so they can track the progress of the speech.
  5. Speaks quickly: He is speaking to an audience that:
    • probably already knows him,
    • probably has even seen him speak before,
    • probably already knows the topics he speaks about,
    • and probably lives in one very small area (towns near San Francisco).

    Since the audience is already very familiar with him, and with his topic, he can afford to speak very quickly. In fact, it sounds like he is taking a 30-40 minute speech and trying to cover all the material in 20 minutes. In most situations, this would probably be a mistake. But in this situation it works okay.


About Matt Krause

Matt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank, and Reckitt Benckiser. He also walked across Turkey and wrote a book about it.