“I am a professional, so the onus is upon me to deliver a great performance under any conditions,” he says. “I once gave a speech during a migraine attack that felt like someone was pounding nails in my head. I was in such pain that I couldn’t stand up—I had to ask for a chair. But the show must go on.”
In fact, Kawasaki is so confident of his product, he’s even offered up the following wager to clients: “I have offered to speak for half my usual fee if an organization agrees to pay twice my fee if I get a standing ovation.”
This confidence—he’s a “Guy Kawasaki evangelist” now—isn’t hubris, he stresses.
“If I won a Nobel Prize or I was a former president of the U.S., then maybe it would be an honor to get me as a speaker,” he explains. “But for the foreseeable future, it’s my honor to speak and not vice versa. When you start believing an organization is lucky to have you as a speaker, you’re a loser.”
When it comes to selecting speaking clients, Kawasaki chooses not to speak for companies he considers as intentionally doing harm to society, such as cigarette manufacturers, and has three basic factors he weighs: whether he likes the organization’s product, service or cause; whether he feels a moral obligation to help an organization; or whether he can get a high fee. Having two of the factors is usually enough.
As far as social media and marketing, Kawasaki, who sends out about 20 tweets a day, believes the two are one and the same.
“Many people consider social media an experiment or special form of marketing,” he says. “Social media is core, and even synonymous, with marketing. In a few years, we’ll look back and laugh that we thought social media was something separate.”
Guy Kawasaki began working for Apple Computers in 1983, where he was “chief evangelist” of the Macintosh brand for four years. Since then, he has authored 10 books, is a widely followed new media marketing expert and popular speaker, and most recently became an advisor to Motorola for Google.