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May 12, 2010

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presentation skills

One of the things that strikes me about getting caught up in the what and the how, and not attending to the why, is that this is often because we are so into getting somewhere, and firefighting, and dealing with the mountain that is on our plate that we don't feel we have the luxury of time to step back. And steeping back is what you need to do in order to ask why. This applies to presentations, and pretty much everything else I do in my job. Great video, and post, thanks.

Houston Spencer

I facilitate a lot of workshops for young folks trying to figure out what to make of their lives. One thing I experience is that some of the distinctions that Sinek makes are semantic. For a lot of the most important things in our lives, the distinction between what and why is hard for folks to delineate. And that can be frustrating for them, rather than helpful.

For example: Some participants in my workshops talk about how important it is to them, in the course of their lives, to be good parents. In some contexts, that strikes them as a "what": to have children and be a good parent. In other contexts, they see it as a "why": because they have values that are about family, children, and good parenting. Debating about whether its a "what" or a "why" can become just a word game if you're not careful.

I like Sinek's idea and its simplicity. It's a good reminder. That said, it's so basic, that it can twist in many ways that aren't necessarily clarifying.

Simon Sinek

Inspire action with WHY.

It's amazing how powerful that one little question is ESPECIALLY in presentations. The front page of any powerpoint, the cover, should tell the people in the room WHY they need to be there. WHY the presentation exists in the first place.

The vast majority of presentation titles say WHAT the contents of presentation are: "How To Write A Better Presentation", for example, and not WHY you need to hear it: "Communicate In A Way That Drives Support for Your Ideas"

This translates into speeches, emails, letters - anything. It's not good enough to have the WHY buried in there - the brain responds better when everything Starts With Why.

Also - thank you for sharing the concept of WHY with your readers. The more people that learn about its existence, the greater the possibility we will all wake up and do the things that inspire us. Thanks again for being a part of the movement.

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