I’m a big fan of Guy Kawasaki. He was the original evangelist at Apple and is one of the best people in the technology world at telling stories and crafting messages (in order to win hearts and minds or raise funds). I’ve read a bunch of his stuff recently and thought it might be useful to share my notes. Mostly for my own benefit, but if you find any of them useful, then even better.

The Building Blocks of Evangelism

Evangelism defined

Evangelism is the practice of convincing people to believe in your product or idea as much as you do. It means selling your dream by using passion, dedication, guts and cunning.

By selling the dream, you are transforming a vision into a cause and getting people interested into sharing your cause. It is more powerful than traditional sales because it involves sharing ideas, insights and hope rather than achieving personal gains.

Evangelism Goals

  • Evangelism yields long-lasting and dramatic changes.
  • Evangelism sustains itself.
  • Evangelism grows.

Evangelism in Action

The starting point for all evangelism is a cause – its reason for being.

Cause can do five things:

  1. Embody a vision.
  2. Make people better.
  3. Generate big effects that change lives.
  4. Catalyze selfless actions.
  5. Polarize people – when you shake up the status quo, people could either love you or hate you.


The leader provides the vision for an organization or company, and motivates its members.

It requires a person to:

  • Believe in the vision.
  • Understand, grow and sustain the vision.
  • Believe in people.
  • Set an inspiring example.
  • Share the cause.


These are individuals who share your vision and provide emotional support, expert advice, and sometimes financial aid to help you achieve your vision.

Some places to find the “angels” are:

  • Foundations and the community action programs of large corporations for social causes.
  • Boardrooms of successful companies.
  • Among retired executives for business causes.

Try to look for angels who are:

  • Pure – personal satisfaction for helping a cause is the motivation for him.
  • Experienced.
  • Realistic.
  • Outspoken.
  • Connected – they have influential and powerful friends who can help your organisation raise money and gain credibility.


These are the four qualities that typify an evangelist:

  1. Called not driven – they believe in and set out to further the cause.
  2. Committed.
  3. Attract people into the cause.
  4. Willing to listen.

Becoming an Evangelist

Finding Your Cause

A cause is like a goal or a map. Without it, you waste your time, money and efforts. In effect doing more harm than good. Below are major methods in finding a cause:

  • Anticipating a need – the ability to foresee people’s need before they are actually aware of that need.
  • Filling an existing need – giving a solution to an existing / obvious problem.
  • Finding a need – finding a problem to solve with something you have discovered or invented.
  • Piggybacking on other causes – strengthening and widening your cause by aligning / linking with another cause.
  • Being found by a cause.

Why People Join Causes

  • To do the right thing.
  • To feel good about something. To contribute to society.
  • To prove themselves.
  • To join a social group.
  • To enrich their lives.

Planning Your Evangelism

Planning is essential to any evangelistic activity, as it keeps you on track. Writing down your plan forces you to think critically, to understand your cause better and to communicate with others in the organization.

Parts of an Evangelistic Plan

  1. Mission Statement. The mission statement acts as a “road map” to achieving your cause or goal. A good mission statement is short, flexible and distinctive.
  2. Objectives. This is known as the “what” of your cause. There are two kinds for evangelism – the quantitative which involves something measurable, and the qualitative which involves parameters which are more difficult to measure. Good objectives have the following qualities: challenging, few in number, inspiring and stable.
  3. Strategies. These are the directives for an organization or it tells you “how” to achieve each objectives. Good strategies are connected, active, pragmatic and flexible.

Implementing Your Evangelism

Steps to Implement Evangelism:

Forming Groups or Departments Initial task includes picking a name, adopting by-laws, selecting management and staff, and securing necessary papers and resources.

At the early stage of the formation, you need to realize these goals:

  • Foster fellowship – make sure that the people in your group share the vision enjoy each other’s company and appreciate each other’s skills and contribution.
  • Start pure – Start in the right direction.
  • Create good karma – focus on positive results.
  • Maintain openness – be open to members with diverse backgrounds.
  • Formalize – Adopt by-laws and procedures.

Raising Funds

To successfully raise funds, have these principles in mind:

  • Think big
  • Ask for it
  • Ask for specific amounts
  • Target specific programs
  • Give before you ask others
  • Ask in person
  • Say “thank you”

Finding Legal Counsel

This is a very important step and can prevent major problems as your cause develops.

Hiring Competent and Committed Staff

Creating a Program for Evangelizing You can do this by creating printed or promotional
materials about your cause, telling other people through broadcast and print media or by producing / sponsoring conferences and contest.

Presenting Your Cause

Evangelism is a one-on-one skill: you convert and train people one at a time or at least in small group presentations. Speaking to a group, no matter how large or small it is, is an efficient way to look for potential believers so that you can work with them on a one-to-one basis.

Below are the steps in presenting your cause:

  1. Preparation. Know your audience, your cause, your site and focus on your mission.
  2. Practice. Prepare a script or an outline of your presentation and rehearse it by yourself and
    with your colleagues. Time your preparation and remember, “Practice makes perfect”.
  3. Take-off. This step has two purpose: it sets the stage for the presentation and gets the
    audience’s attention.
  4. Flight. At this stage you communicate your message to the audience. You can use different
    techniques such as metaphors, stories or analogs.
  5. Landing. This is the time you make the call to action and say thank you. A good landing is
    appropriate, clear, flexible and expedient.


At the start of the evangelism, it is vital that you “plant” as many seeds and welcome anyone with even the smallest interest in your cause. You can “spread your seeds” through advertising, talking to as many people as you can, encouraging your supporters to contribute in anyway that they can, localizing efforts, segmenting the market and evangelizing the right people.


This means that you should care for and nurture your “seedlings” so that they will grow in to healthy and potential customers / market.

Here are some ways to do just that:

  • Prune and Prioritize – select a few people/ group or projects and give them a special priority.
  • Cut your losses
  • Set objectives and measure performance
  • Follow through
  • Inspire don’t compete
  • Exploit your enemies
  • Be an internal cheerleader and communicate even small victories to your organization.


This is the final stage of evangelism. It is the most rewarding but also the most dangerous stage because of stagnation, burnout and compliancy.

To avoid the danger you must:

  • Avoid superficiality
    Avoid losing yourself in the cause
  • Help evolve your cause Remember your installed base Avoid fanaticism
    Keep it fun
  • Hire people who are fun
  • Empower others to make decision
  • Undertake interesting, ambitious and challenging projects. o Promote from within

Advanced Techniques of Evangelism

Recruiting and Training Evangelists

You need other evangelist because a cause needs clearly identified, trained and accountable people. The first and foremost requirement is that he needs to believe in your cause and be able to inspire and motivate others.

You can use the following questions in finding and hiring evangelists:

  • What is the mission of our cause?
    Do you believe in our cause?
    Why is our cause important to you?
    What does being an evangelist mean to you?
    How would you attack our cause if you are our enemy? What is your organization doing wrong?

How to Train the New Evangelist

Evangelist likes challenging training and they need it to succeed. Good training is demanding, informal, realistic and constant.

The 3 vital topics for training are:

  • The cause
  • The market
  • The skills

How to Deploy the New Evangelist

  • Practice the Gravy Theory – managing evangelist by encouraging any effort, no matter how small and insignificant it appears to be.
  • Make the assignments achievable
  • Give them the tools
  • Make the work valuable Delegate the work

Leveraging Your Efforts

Good public relations magnify your messages and generate positive word-of-mouth publicity. It is more effective than advertising and less costly because people believe what they read and what other people say more than they believe in your propaganda / advertising.

Other ways to add evangelist into your group include:

  • The press or the media
  • Buddies or people who see like and give without being told.
  • Multipliers or organizations who hover around mother ship causes (example: groups, clubs and associations).
  • Alliances or parties who share the same cause, ideologies, objectives and / or enemies as you do.

Felling a Dream

The Five Best Ways to Defeat an Evangelistic Enemy

  1. Ally with popular people
  2. Ignore it (publicly) – concentrate on your promotions, PRs and your cause.
  3. Use Aikido (if you can’t ignore it) — deflect the enemy’s force and use it against him.
  4. Let people experience your cause
  5. Do what’s right for the customer

How to Sow

  • Plant many seeds – evangelize and date as many members of the opposite sex as you can before you cultivate and harvest. Don’t settle down too early.
  • Let a thousand flowers bloom – concentrate on small thoughtful and local efforts such as giving her a simple gift, giving a single rose or chocolates.
  • Segment the market – do not be a different person to different women / men. Act true to yourself.

How to Cultivate

  • Prune and prioritize – narrow down your choices
  • Follow through tenaciously – pay attention to the small things such as saying thank you and sending thank-you notes and being on time.
  • Manners are very important.
  • Inspire, don’t compete – inspire her or be inspired by her and do not compete with her.
  • Exploit your enemies

How to Harvest

  • Avoid Superficiality – show that you are really interested in her, what she does and what she says. Never take her or the relationship for granted,
  • Move through the product cycle – do not move things too quickly.
  • Lose yourself in the cause
  • Never forget your installed base – never let go of and forget your friends and family. Avoid fanaticism – do not force yourself upon women (literally and figuratively).

The Ethical Evangelist

Each individual wear an invisible beeper that goes off when they go beyond the ethical boundaries. The author believes that every evangelist’s beeper should go off in the following circumstances:

When you evangelize something you do not believe in:

  • You lie in order to further your dream, career or to get people to buy in your dream.
  • You put your enemy or innocent people at bodily risk.
  • You violate the laws of your government.
  • You stifle or silence the opposition and prevent them from airing their views.


In Summary

The 4 BIG Questions 

  1. What is the mission of our cause?
  2. Do you believe in our cause?
  3. Why is our cause important to you?
  4. How would you attack our cause if you are our enemy?


Communications Designer @IBM • Climate Reality Leader • Lover of Old Business Books, Clever Technology and the NHS • Based in London, UK.

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