How to give an engaging presentation?

Here’s what I’ve learnt over the years..

1. Start Strong: Begin with a captivating, authentic story to hook your audience from the get-go. Keep it real, don’t be on a pedestal. 

2. Interactive Dialogue: Dive into a conversational flow by asking probing questions, guiding everyone towards a shared understanding.

3. Storytelling Magic: Sprinkle in metaphors, parallels, and anecdotes to weave a narrative that captivates and connects.

Remember, the goal is to speak to each person in the audience as if you’re having a one-on-one conversation. It’s not about how much you know..but about them.

When you speak from the heart, it makes for an engaging and unforgettable presentation.. where everyone is looking in the same direction together and not at you. 

PS: and record it, any content where you flow from the heart makes for engaging content as well.

You’re struggling to create high-quality video content. What tools can help you succeed?

I see a lot of questions about the steps to create high-quality video content, the tools for scripting, hacking away at faster video production, using AI, or tricks to promote it. Here’s what I think is the most important:

Before diving into all the steps—from scripting to tools, to promotion—you need to really figure out what the goal of this whole exercise is. Because the goal for videos is not just for people to watch. It’s not about reaching them, being in front of them, or capturing their eyeballs. The goal of the video is for people to share it—to genuinely drive engagement, to compel them to comment, to start or be part of conversations. If that’s not the goal for your video content, then you’re just creating stuff like everybody else, yelling at the user. We need to move beyond eyeballs and focus on ideas that will matter to them. Because when the idea matters to them, they make it their own. They share on WhatsApp, download your videos illegally, and do all sorts of things because they’re compelled to take action and be part of it because they love it—it’s about them.

For that, you need to dive deep, research, and connect a lot of dots to come up with that creative idea. Because if you don’t have the dots, there’s no creativity.

To do this, create a list of all the pain points and the micro-moments—all the little things your audience cares about. Collect as much research as you can so you can connect the dots and create something that will matter to them. Because the direction of your efforts—in applying steps, tips, hacks, and tricks, from scripting to promotion—should be about driving engagement, about creating something worth sharing. If the direction is anything else, you’ll end up creating something that just adds to the noise, blending into the crowd.

To make your video stand out and have high-quality engagement as the goal, all the hacks in the world will align because they help facilitate and speed up reaching that goal. In the book, the process of IUCTC helps you dig deep and create a lot of those dots you can connect to come up with ideas that are worthy of sharing. These five categories (Inspirational-Useful-Celebrate-Topical-Change the world), rooted in experience and validation over ten years, are not just random thoughts or brain farts but pointers to create ideas that stick.

The million-dollar question is: what to create. Once you know what to create, scripting, tools, AI—all these things on how to create videos become effortless. It’s the “what to create” that’s the most crucial part, and everything else aligns seamlessly.

And that ‘what’ must be share-worthy—period.

Why Purpose-Driven Marketing Matters? And Nothing Else.

Traditionally, marketing has been about grabbing attention and yelling your message in the audience’s faces. The entire advertising game over the decades has been built on recall-recall-recall, from radio jingles to TV ads over the decades. Fast forward to today, and no one gives a sh*t about your ads or your brands. Trust and loyalty must be earned. This is why many startups in the D2C space are competing with big brands, gaining more market share by being more authentic and closer to audiences.

Here are three truths from my experiences, if you want your brand to matter…

1. Define Your Brand DNA:

The fundamental ‘why’ you exist is way bigger than ‘what’ you do. What’s the big reason behind why you do what you do? If it’s just about making money, well, everyone is thinking the same, and audiences don’t give a damn about you trying to lure them. The ‘why’ must originate from how you intend to help and create an impact. And when you define your brand DNA, don’t put it on your wall or slide-decks.. live it.. across functions.. authentically.

2. Branding is Not About Recall:

Gone are the days of bombarding your audience’s eyeballs to drive recall. Everyone and their cousin have moved away from traditional media, so why are your concepts about brands lingering in the past? Branding today is about relevance, not recall. If everyone is spending way more time on their devices, that’s where the party is, and that’s where you need to matter, be relevant, and be part of conversations. The more conversations your content can start to be part of, the more you stay in their lives. It’s not about acquiring customers but building a relationship with them. So next time you review any marketing material going out.. ask.. what conversation will it start or be part of?

3. Don’t Create for the Brand:

Nobody gives a damn about your brand or how shiny your logo is. It’s only you who’s obsessed with it. The goal must be to create share-worthy content (in any form) for the audience. All your marketing must be about your audience and not about you. Not about your USP, not about five product features, not about clients and testimonials (all that works when someone comes looking for you, then it adds credibility). Anything you create in marketing, must be share-worthy, engagement-worthy, in their interest first. Experiment with the IUCTC framework (in the book), which is all about deep diving and getting to know your audience. Create to solve or celebrate the tiniest pain points of your audience, and your brand becomes the conduit through which the content flows, and you turn your audience into brand evangelists who take your content (brand along) to crazy distances.


Stop peddling your products and services in the name of marketing; Stop targeting the eye-balls and start connecting with their hearts, that’s where true engagement and love is.

Masterclass at Rebel Foods – Viral Content 101

Grateful to have lead the masterclass on Viral Content with the incredible teams at Rebel Foods – home to loved brands like Faasos, Behrouz Biryani and EatSure

Loved the enthusiastic Q&A, looking beyond vanity metrics and exploring the essence of genuine engagement, authentic content, and the magic that unfolds when creating ‘dil se’… Excited for the adventures and experiments which unfold in the future!

Thanks Parivartan for making it happen :)

 

How Tamil became a search term for the book on Amazon :)

I’ve been wondering… how Tamil is a search term for the book on Amazon.. now I know.. ❤️

Here’s an excerpt from the post by Sriram Selvan and the reel which hit 100k views

In a recent Being Scenius Podcast episode, one of the guests discussed the impact of the book “Fast, Cheap, and Viral” by Aashish Chopra on his life. The conversation revolved around this book.

I used to save the book-related discussion for the end of the hour-long (sometimes a couple of hours-long) podcast.

In this particular episode, which lasted an hour and a half, I introduced the giveaway at the 1-hour 25-minute mark. I encouraged listeners who reached this point to connect with me on Instagram for a chance to win the book.

Surprisingly, I received the first direct message within two hours of the episode, and more followed in the subsequent days! As promised, I gave the book to the first five people who reached out.

It has opened many quality conversations with the listeners, which is most important for a podcaster like me!

While platform statistics provide insights into viewers and analytics, engaging in such enjoyable experiments adds a unique dimension to the experience!

PS: The episode was uploaded three months ago, and as of yesterday, I received a DM to participate in the giveaway!