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January 18, 2006

Addendum to How to Get a Standing Ovation

Img_3142 My, my...this topic sure generated a lot of comments. I'll respond to them here:

  1. Dress code in Hawaii. A great aloha shirt is the way to go. Have I got the solution for you. The world's best aloha shirts come from Anne Namba. I often wear them in my speeches because it's powerful to know that you are wearing the most expensive shirt in the room. Here is a horribly out of focus (don't blame me, I didn't take the picture) picture of me in an Anne Namba alongside Rick Smolan and Russell Brown.
  2. Dress code of Steve Jobs; Steve denigrating the competition. Steve is Steve. There is only one Steve Jobs. Very few rules apply to him. Certainly not the rules of a mere mortal like me.
  3. Toastmasters. Can't say I know much about them, but I hear nothing but good things. My father was a member in Hawaii, and he was a great speaker.
  4. Conversational tone of voice. Absolutely. This tone is a natural outcome of telling stories. I'm an evangelist, and I hate the preachy tone. I despise the, “I've come down from the mountain to inform you ignoramuses” tone too.
  5. Keep it simple. No simple answer here. I believe I can cover ten topics in a speech. :-) Certainly you shouldn't ramble, but remember: be entertaining!
  6. Better to be too short than too long. Generally, true, but if you're too short, you can insult the audience. If you're too long, you insult yourself. Just practice until you end exactly on time.
  7. Delivery of proceedings before or after the speech. I hate giving out my slides before a speech. I think it leads to attention deficit because people can skip ahead. However, many people like slides to take notes on--and my slides are particularly sparse, so I'm not exactly blowing the suspense. I always offer my PDF after my speeches but not just because I'm a good guy. I also like to capture people's email addresses for future evangelism. :-)
  8. How will I keep up with “this amazing flow of brilliant content”? (You the Man, Martin Oetting, for putting it this way!) Good question. I just know there are bloggers out there who don't think I can keep up this pace...which drives me further to keep up this pace. I ask myself that question every night at 10 pm or so. It takes me two hours to write a blog entry. Then it takes me one hour to recover before I can fall asleep. On Tuesday nights the posting is late because I have to watch my favorite TV program: Boston Legal (my goal is to be the Denny Crane of technology). Postings are also late anytime the San Jose Sharks play. I'm trying to post five times a week: skipping Friday and Saturday nights. This Thursday is going to be tough because I have a hockey game at 10:45 pm. When I reach 100,000 page views a day, I'm going to start taking it easier.

What do you think: Does this qualify as Wednesday's posting so I don't have to write one tonight?

I hope you like KubaKounter, my daily page views counter. When I asked if anyone knew of such a thing, two people went and wrote one for me! Is the Web great or what?

Written at: Palo Alto, California.


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» How to Get a Standing Ovation (courtesy of Guy Kawasaki, with follow-up) from Phil Gerbyshak Challenges You to Make It Great!
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» Tips on Speaking from ntschutta.com
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Funny.. I searched for Gloryhole and ended up here.. but after reading.. I found it well worth the read.. Ill be back..

"Dressing beneath the audience" might end up denigrating them. This got me thinking.

Denigrating would be evident more in the words, the style, the body language. So one can denigrate the audience even if he has dressed as good as them or above them.

Steve jobs really cares about the content and the way he is passing it on to his audience. Thats why his turtle shirt and jeans aint matter/denigrate.

I agree with your definition of blogger, so it is refreshing to read a blog by someone that has a real message based on real experience and accomplishments. I do take exception with your definition of those that read blogs. I've got a lot to do and I'm looking for more effective ways to do it.

I see that your visitors people interesting, you the same likely the person interesting. I wish you all most good.Though some nuances nevertheless are not exact, and I could argue with you.

Gives people time to digest, saves me from blog block, gives me time to interact over comments, and locks people into coming back again to see how it all turns out :)

Hi Guy,

isn´t `toastmasters` a great idea for bloggers as well? A community, where experienced bloggers, help new bloggers to improve their blog-writing, trackbacking, permalinking, pinging, posting, commentaring, technorati-listing, statistic-making skills in order make their blog more interesting? Just a thought - good bloggers use certain techniques from my point of view - same as speeches do... By the way: Thanks for your great thoughts! Christian

I've been a fan of yours since your Apple/evangelist days, and now with "my goal is to be the Denny Crane of technology" I'm twice the fan. :-D

On Steve Jobs, I think he can get away with denigrating the competition not just because he's Steve, but because he's in front of an audience that considers themselves underdogs, rebels, and upstarts. The Mac community has -- for better or for worse -- a defensive "us versus them" sort of mentality. Jobs is just playing to that. There's probably not too many markets with such defined userbases (Chevy vs Ford? Xbox vs Playstation?) where you could get away with it.

Also, I just wanted to say I agree about the content. It's fantastic. I subscribed to your feed a few days ago and I click through every day. Great, great stuff. Many thanks!


You may already know this but let me say it anyways. If your goal is to publish one entry per day, you can write a few entries and schedule forward.

In my case, whenever I travel, I open notepad and start typing in my entries. When I get connected, I post a few entries but schedule them for future dates.

Written at: Changi Airport, Singapore :)


I've been a member of Toastmasters for three years. I earned my CTM and CL awards through them. I've mentored about 12 members and served as President and Vice President of Education in the club. Our club has earned the highest club award for the last two years and aiming to repeat for a third time this year.

I've seen people come to a metting for the first time, nervous and concerned they can't speak in public. I've watched them progress and in time become accomplished speakers.

Toastmasters is one way to improve your speaking skills. I've seen it work with many people in my club.


I remember speaking at a technology conference in Honolulu around 1995 or 96. I wore a suit and was chided by a member of the audience. When I was done, I went to my room and put on an aloha shirt, then went back to the presentation room, where the guy who gave me a hard time saw me and said, "Hey! Welcome to Hawaii!"

I'm a Tommy Bahama fan, by the way.


you have no idea how informative and entertaining your blog is. the advice here is timeless and hornest. i dont think you have to wait long before you hit 100,000 page view a day.

Also, does anyone know if Steve always dressed like that, or if he only started doing it once he was already successful? Does it make a difference? I understand how underdressing is insulting to people, but there are a lot of things in life that are insulting to people that aren't necessarily bad. Starting a startup is often seen as a big fuckyou by your friends who graduate college and get corporate jobs, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing.


I am really loving your blog. Like Mikey, I followed the link over from Seth's blog but I had already read Art of the Start. I like how you mix original stuff with things from your books. I'd recommend you keep doing this, it is a good refresher for those of us who have read your books because they are so dense that it's hard to keep it all in your head. Art of the Start was practically bullet points. Also I'd like it if you could throw in some stories that incorporate your ideas, things seem to stick better if you have a cute story or a witty phrase to remember them by.

It's hockey. C'mmmmmmmoooonnnnnnn!!!!!

Excellent Blog, and thanks for the Hawaiian shirt link.

If you are going for the most expensive shirt in the room, may I suggest Citron on Montana in Santa Monica?

I see no mens shirts on Anne Namba website. Did I miss something?

I know Steve is Steve, but he is a mortal (sadly!) I think he's style is cool, like informal, but that leads me to think what you said earlier of being a smart ars in front of your audience.

I think the solution will be letting your audience know you in advance. Anyone knows exactly (sort of) how Steve Jobs is, we all saw the movie about his life (yep, I'm old) and we all read articles, biographies, books about him.

That is why we don't care if he gives a keynote dressed like marilyn manson, because we all know who Steve Jobs is.

One of the tricks may be showing a little bit of what we are, instead of what we think to our audience in advance.

How? who knows. That's personal marketing, don't ask me, I'm just a silly web designer ;)

Great article Guy, keep the good stuff coming.

A while ago, I read your speech at a Bay Area school. I wish I had that advice when I was a kid. I have been hearing that you are a great guy and your blog proves that point. Your sincere intentions to help us (blog readers) is amazing. My only suggestion for you is to change the format of the content now and then. Great blog, keep it up Guy!

dude - take a night off!
I have to say - came here via Seth... and I think you've out done him (not that it's a competition or anything ;)
this is without doubt a firehose of magnificent content.
take the night off. go & do something you've never ever done before... and blog about it tomorrow!!
we'll be waiting :)
and thank you for the speach blog. I'm off to buy a dog to practice on.
cheers from sunny sydney.

Guy - please take the night off. This is by far the best blog I read each day. I agree with your definition of blogger (someone with nothing to say) - so it is refreshing to read a blog by someone that has a real message based on real experience and accomplishments. I do take exception with your definition of those that read blogs. I've got a lot to do and I'm looking for more effective ways to do it. I'm interested to see if you can keep up the pace!


Your goal of posting daily is amazing. But one thing I can tell you after struggling to keep a blog going for 3 years(struggle in terms of fresh content etc while keeping my day job running my company) is that there will be days or weeks at a time when you get Blog writers block.

But since you are already an author and have published 5 books...writers block is something you probably know how to handle:)

On the Kuba Counter....very nice tool...but one item the developers should add is the ability to not count page views from the same IP address say within a 24 hour period as multiple page views.

As it stands now if you were to hit refresh the page counter would count each page refresh as a new view when most bloggers try to get unique page views in their counters.

Keep up the great work Guy...a lot of us are happy you are blogging.

Really, really good stuff Guy. Glad I stumbled across it...

How to keep up with the pace?
One suggestion... when you have a good idea, write it, but schedule it to drop later-
One of my favorite things to do is take a few hours on a day off, break up a good idea into 2-3 good, tight blog entries, and schedule them to run sequentially over the next few days.

Gives people time to digest, saves me from blog block, gives me time to interact over comments, and locks people into coming back again to see how it all turns out :)

But again, great blog- I'll be a repeat customer...

The survey seems closed already, so you seem to have gotten the answer you wanted. And no, you can enjoy yourself tonight, you've done a good day's blog work.

Great, great post. This and "Hindsights" have both made my blog :-)

(And I must admit, I want to become the Denny Crane of the world... I love that show!)

I have to work on the dress code thing. Last time I was hoodwinked into running a seminar, I dressed like Steve.

Ahhhh, what to do if your biggest dress worry is getting socks that match (Do people really judge you on that stuff???)

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