I love writing about Steve Jobs and his incredible communication skills. And this Ashton Kutcher speech let’s me do it again.
Jobs’ ability to leverage message and structure helped Apple become the most successful company in the world.
In 2013, Ashton Kutcher played him in the biographical film called simply, ‘Jobs’. Just before the movie came out, Kutcher made a speech accepting a Teen Choice award. And low and behold, the speech used the same CHUNK STRUCTURE that Steve Jobs used for his Stanford speech.
And it worked as well for Ashton Kutcher as it did for Jobs!
How to get your message repeated by others
A transferable message is the holy grail of communication.
It generates massive leverage.
Ashton Kutcher’s speech structure is engaging, and the messages are so vivid they gets repeated – just like many of Steve Jobs speeches.
There were many articles that referred to Kutcher’s speech. Most of them repeat his key messages exactly:
So, young men and women, as you sally forth into the great mystery of life, remember Mr. Kutcher’s three secrets to success: opportunity looks like hard work, being sexy is being smart and kind and living life means building a life.
And you can see in the transcript at the bottom of this page, it’s the structure of his speech that highlights the messages so clearly. You can actually design your speech in such a way that people will repeat your messages for you.
A Chunk Structure gets your ideas passed on to the world
See how this Business Insider News article transferred Kutcher’s 3 key points exactly as Kutcher wanted them to be shared. (In fact, it’s got a clearer structure than most articles, simply by copying the structure of the speech):
TRANSCRIPT: Ashton Kutcher’s Teen Choice Award Acceptance Speech August 2013
Preamble: 1.25 min. 3-part speech: 2.48 min. Total time: 4.13 min.
“What’s up? Oh wow. Okay okay, let’s be brutally honest — this is the old guy award, this is like the grandpa award and after this I gotta go to the geriatric home.
Um, First of all, um, I don’t have a career without you guys. I don’t get to do any of the things I get to do without you. Um you know, I thought that uh, it might be interesting.. You know In Hollywood and in the industry and the stuff we do, there’s a lot of like insider secrets to keeping your career going, and a lot of insider secrets to making things tick. And I feel like a fraud.
My name is actually not even Ashton. Ashton is my middle name. My first name’s Chris. It always has been. It got changed when I was like 19 and I became an actor, but there are some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris, and I wanted to share those things with you guys because I think it’s helped me be here today. So, it’s really 3 things. The first thing is about opportunity. The second thing is about being sexy. And the third thing is about living life.
I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13 I had my first job with my Dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job, and every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.
2. Being sexy.
The sexiest thing in the entire world, is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less, so don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.
3. Living life.
The third thing is something that I just re-learned when I was making this movie about Steve Jobs. And Steve Jobs said when you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble, and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family, but life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing, and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you, and you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in.
So build a life. Don’t live one, build one. Find your opportunities, and always be sexy. I love you guys.”
If you’d like to develop persuasive communication skills, consider:
- Cam Barber speaking at your next conference
- Presentation Skills Training for your team
- A Message Development Session
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