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e-FAN-gelism: How photos of what you are a FAN of can help you connect with your audience and spread your message.

e-FAN-gelism is about daring to reveal your passions (what you are a FAN of) to help spread you message.

e-Fan-gelism can help you:

  • stand out (differentiate) from other similar “offerings” – services or products
  • build a stronger connection with your audience –  by reinforcing common ground
  • make your presentations more memorable and natural

1980s University band “Eugene & The Egg”

Over the weekend, I found two old photos of a band I was in in back in my university days (Eugene & The Egg – I’m the one in the op-shop polo neck).

They were wonderful days! We were so impressionable and such FANs of playing music. We played originals but we were influenced and inspired by English bands like The Cure and Echo & The Bunnymen. I was a big fan of Joy Division and a little, upcoming Irish band back then –U2. It was an  exciting and passionate time for our band captured by our talented and “artistic and angsty” friend Des –  who went on to become a barrister and part-time filmmaker.

Now that I have found these old photos, I’m going to use them in my “presentations” and training to help me connect with my audience – well with certain audiences anyway! I’ll show you how you can use old photos too to connect with your audience and spread your message.

Connection before Content


Photos are an effective way to connect

First of all –  a technique from one of my presenting heroes Guy Kawasaki (former Apple evangelist). I’m a big FAN of Guy’s presentation style. As well as having lots of expertise and knowledge, he has such an engaging and enthusiastic style.

Guy travels the world giving presentations and speeches – and he uses photos to connect with his audience. He arrives in a city a day before his presentation and will get “out and about” taking photos. He will then insert the photos into the start of his presentation to create a “tailored” introduction to his presentation.

The photo technique helps Guy:

  1. Show a connection with the audience by showing him out and about in “their” city (he connects with “their” world)
  2. Engage the audience early by asking them questions about the photos
  3. Show some genuine and gentle humour to put everyone at ease

Guy is in his late 50s but with his style he comes across with a boyish enthusiasm and sense of humour and an easy-going style. There’s a link at the end of this post so you can see Guy (and his photo technique) in action. As Guy says in his book Enchantment – people who show their passions are more engaging and enchanting. This makes them more effective presenters.

Photos can help you

1.connect with your audience

2.stimulate early engagement and some humour – show an easy-going, approachable style (not too serious)

OK, back to how I would use the old band photos


For example, as well as training senior executives, I often help younger staff. I had an assignment helping a young and talented group of advertising professionals.


Previous trainers had come across as dry and non-engaging and didn’t connect with this young creative audience. The previous trainers had good content – but they didn’t “connect”.

I wanted to connect with the younger audience- showing ”a younger me” that was closer to their age group and to show a passion for something they would most probably share. Remember, showing a passion (one the audience is likely to share too) makes you more engaging and enchanting!

So after establishing the formal expertise as a communication trainer I used a photo from the Eugene & The Egg days (a different photo from the two new ones I found but from the same period ) to establish common ground with my audience. Instead of eroding credibility, this technique greatly improved connection and engagement. The boss of the group later told me that the band photo helped engage the audience in a way previous trainers hadn’t been able to do. Her young staff gave her very positive about the session – because the taking a couple of minutes to connect and establish common ground helped the audience “care” more about the content.

Eugene & The Egg – trying to look like/sound like those great British bands Echo & The Bunnymen and The Cure

I’m paraphrasing, but the explanation with the photo was along the lines of:

“I know many of you come from creative backgrounds. It’s great to be young and creative and to be in a job where you can BE creative. When I was at uni it was such a creative and “artistic” time and I was lucky to be in a band called Eugene & The Egg.  (ESTABLISHING COMMON GROUND) Here’s a photo one of our arty friends took in a forest. Now, after the Cure had song “A Forest” – forests were very cool as were trench coats and scarves


Q: Anyone like to guess where the photos were taken?




A: It was sunny Brisbane! We had to wait for an overcast day – but our arty photographer did a great job of making it look like some English or European forest.


So to sum up:

You can be more effective in presenting and spreading your message by using photos to:

  1. Show common ground with your audience
  2. Show a passion that makes you more than just the purveyor of “knowledge”.

Remember the example from an earlier post about how e-FAN-gelism helped improve a dry technical presentation about filling out forms on-line? The presenter made it more engaging by starting with a photo of her as a snowboarder and showed how her audience would benefit from the presentation by learning how they could get leave to go on vacations.



Here’s a link if you want to check out this example. By adding some e-FAN-gelism the presenter revealed a passion (what she was FAN of) and was more engaging and enchanting.

how a presenter used a photo of her snowboarding to connect wit her audience

In the e-fan-gelism workshops we (the participants and I) workshop how they can harness passions and something personal to make their presentations more engaging.

The technique can be very effective when you:

  1. ensure what you reveal  (the personal and/or a passion) is “relevant” to the audience
  2. pick a passion the audience is likely to share
  3. keep it brief and snappy – but invest a couple of minutes to connection with the audience.

Remember: Connection before Content


Also, here’s a link to how Guy Kawasaki uses photos to connect with his audience. It’s a long presentation – but the photo technique I talk about is at the start! You’ll see why I am such a FAN!

I trust you’ll agree Guy (one of the most famous business evangelists)  is enchanting and also puts the FAN in e-FAN-gelism!


One comment on “e-FAN-gelism: How photos of what you are a FAN of can help you connect with your audience and spread your message.

  1. Pingback: How Guy Kawasaki can help you become a better presenter and communicator « Chris Adams Project (CAP)

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