Benjamin Zander TED TalkI love gaining knowledge from places I don’t expect.  I have shared this video with as many people as I can over the past few years, and recently someone asked me to write a quick post about it with some insights. After the video, I will explain how you can apply this to your life and business.

In his powerful TED Talk, Benjamin Zander doesn’t just discuss classical music, but instead uses the music to beautifully illustrate the way we interpret information. He makes us understand some of our self-limiting beliefs, shows how to connect with an audience, and also plays a wonderful piece of music.

Take time to watch this video, then read my thoughts below and make comments.

Note: If you do any sort of public speaking, pay attention to the subtle things he does.

Click the Video Below to Watch

“The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful.” – Benjamin Zander

 Okay, let’s talk about what Zander does so well in this presentation and how you can apply these ideas to your business:

1) He converts the audience to fans

He starts his presentation by fully admitting that the majority of the people are NOT customers of what he is selling – classical music. But then he educates them. He helps empower the audience to learn the psychology of the music, the technical meaning, and the reason classical music evokes emotion. He makes it relatable to every level of ability as well. This is done without judging people for being ignorant, only true acceptance of what is. The audience remains spellbound throughout and by the end, ALL of them are not only fans of classical music, but are now complete brand advocates.

Take Away for You: How can you educate your customers without pre-assumptions of their abilities? Can you craft a compelling story and keep their attention? What message can you convey that will get them excited and convert them to fans?

2) He connects individually to the crowd

When Zander speaks to the crowd, you will notice that he travels the room, often speaks to one person alone, and even makes physical contact. He points out their shift in emotions and lets them know they are both in the presentation together. In fact, he brings the entire audience in together by connecting with them one at a time.

Take Away for You: In your sales and marketing efforts, how can you connect to the “audience of one?” When you send sales letters, don’t address them as “everyone” or “all of you.” But instead, find a way to personalize your communication. In your marketing message, is it just a broadcast of your offerings, or do you specifically address the concerns that your customer has? Get them to say, “Wow, that message is speaking to me!”

[Tweet “Market to an audience of ONE”]

3) He evokes emotion

Excitement and calmness. Sadness and laughter. I know I felt all of these emotions while I watched the video. I think it was even more impactful because Benjamin Zander was so passionate about his topic. I couldn’t help but be completely engaged.

Take Away for You: Be human. Show emotion in business. People want to do business with other people and they want to know that you care. Try and connect with your customers, employees, and peers in a human way as much as you can. Share stories with them of how your previous customers made you feel, tell them what gets you excited, and share your thoughts. Your customers will love you for it!

4) He makes the subject relatable to everyone

This was a big one for me. I am sort of in the middle of the road when it comes to classical music, and I enjoy it from time to time. I normally wouldn’t watch a program on it, try and learn about it, or watch someone talk about it. But Zander did such a wonderful job of relating the topic to our everyday life. He made himself approachable and he connected the subjects the audience knew with what he was trying to teach.

Take Away for You: How can you connect with more people that may not know what you do or how you do it? Can you think of your product or service differently? Can you create branding for it that is more in line with how the customer uses it in the simplest way that anyone could understand? Look at your messages you currently use. Could a five year old understand them or are you trying to sound too smart?

5) He shares stories

One thing that is done so well here is how Zander connects the message with human examples. He talks about the child playing the piano, the young buy whose brother died, and the lady from Auschwitz. By using stories, you can picture more clearly how his lessons have been used and how this message has made an impact with a real person.

Take Away for You: Get good at telling stories. Create testimonials to share with potential customers. Use video, have pictures. Think about the problems your customers face and why you are the best one to solve them. Then build stories around how your product or service has helped people through those same problems in the past. Tell your potential customer, “You remind me of…” Build storytelling into your must-do list of skills this year.

Watch the video again when you get a chance, and pay attention to these points. You will see a presentation at its finest.

Make sure you comment below with your thoughts on the video. I would love to hear how you might apply these ideas!

Joe Girard
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    2 replies to "This TED Talk on Classical Music Inspired New Business Ideas"

    • […] don’t know how many salespeople don’t understand that if they become master story tellers, they will close more sales and have fun doing it.  Rather than trying to talk features and […]

    • […] Today I want to cover the concept of “enrollment” which I was reading about in Benjamin Zander’s book, The Art of Possibility.   Enrollment is a powerful way to get people engaged with your idea and excited about the opportunity.  If you haven’t seen Zander in Action, make sure you check out his Ted Talk on Classical Music.  […]

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