You want to stand out in the marketplace? Create an amazing experience.

Near the end of 2016 I spoke at a conference in Brazil and it was one of the most epic experiences I’ve had in my career. I can’t even begin to describe the spirit and the energy and the passion of these people. If you ever get a chance to go to Brazil, do it!

And yes, there was a language barrier, so my presentation was literally translated in real time. As if presenting to the largest audience of my career wasn’t a wild enough experience already! But that’s a story for another day.

Anyways, near the end of the event there was a presentation that I really wanted to listen to, so my translator and I went out to the one of the top balconies where we wouldn’t interrupt too many people and she translated the presentation in real time for me.

Boy, am I glad we went, because this presentation was AMAZING. I literally took pages and pages of notes.

The presentation was all about gamification. The presenters, Tatiana Gabrael and her husband Renato Gabrael, sell an online course which helps participants to improve their eyesight, and they include a game as part of the course to keep students engaged and progressing.



So Tatiana and Renato are experienced with gamification, and what I want to share with you today is the ingenious way they gamified their presentation.

During their presentation, about halfway through, they encouraged audience members to open up a secret envelope that everybody was given when they registered. FYI this was a three day event; people were given this envelope on day one when they registered and on the envelope it stated that they couldn’t open it until they were instructed to.

When it was time for Tatiana and Renato’s presentation, it was the end of day three. People had been holding on to this secret envelope that entire time, so it created all this anticipation until they finally revealed that that envelope was designed for their presentation and people could now open it.

Of course, it turned out that the envelope contained a game to help the audience participate in the presentation and experience the theory of gamification in action. It helped them implement what they were learning right on the spot, as they were learning it.

The experiment was a hit and everybody was smiling and having a good time. It was a great great example of how to design an experience so that people not only get the value from the information itself but from the way the information is presented.

It’s the little things that count and I think, more than anything, the audience appreciated the fact that Tatiana and Renato poured in so much thought in terms of how to involve the audience and how to create an amazing presentation that was three dimensional.

In addition to the game components, one of the things that Tatiana and Renato talked about was incorporating characters in the games you create. To demonstrate this, they actually had characters in their presentation, real people dressed up as the characters they were talking about!

These “characters” went out into the crowd and engaged with the audience.

It was really really cool. It was just an awesome example of how to take information and turn it into an experience.



The bottom line:

The bottom line is I will not forget that presentation. Yes, the information Tatiana and Renato presented was very valuable, but that’s not why I’m telling you about their presentation today.

I’m telling you about their presentation today because they presented the information in a way that was MEMORABLE.

And this is where you and I have the same opportunity.

We can look beyond the information we’re sharing and focus on HOW we’re sharing the information. By getting intentional about this, we can create an unforgettable experience that people will want to tell their friends about.

This might apply to the content you share on social, to how you structure your webinars, to your email autoresponder when somebody signs up to your list, and it definitely applies to the experience you provide for your paying customers.

Whether you offer a digital or physical product or service, there are always opportunities for you to tweak the experience you are providing customers and turn it into something special, the same way Tatiana and Renato turned their presentation about gamification into an experience that I wanted to share with you today.




  • Hi Stu, thanks for sharing your experience at the conference. Any chance you could get the Gabriels onto a webinar to share with us their presentation? My Portuguese is rudimentary, but I’d love to see the experience in action 🙂

    • Great minds think alike… I’m working on it Sarah!

  • ADJIBAO Patrick Codjo

    In others ways of my road I feel more energized in market place that another person.I believe in evolution

  • Ana Marques

    Thanks for sharing Stu!
    I was there and it was indeed great!
    I also loved your presentation! I’m following you and getting inspired from you since that event.

    PS. Tatiana and Renato surnames are ‘Gebrael’ not Gabriel 😉

    • Thanks Ana. I had an absolute blast.

      RE: Last Name – Thanks for the heads up!

  • Andrey Assunção

    I was in your presentation in Brazil and it really was amazing!

    • Thanks my friend! It was absolutely one of the BEST experiences I’ve ever had speaking to an audience 🙂

  • Mathew Peachment

    Thanks Stu. I absolutely agree that the best presentations are structured around an experience. I think back to presentations I remember and it was more about the experience that solidified it into my memory. This is something I want to apply to myself and what I do, but I know it’s a struggle for me because I’m much more of that reserved, quiet type person. I will have to spend extra time thinking of ways to provide an experience to those I can influence.

    • I think it’s less about being a “quiet” or “loud” person and more about being intentional. Now that it’s at the top of your mind, I have no doubt you’ll be thinking of ways to create an amazing experience. You may also want to check out Victoria Labalme’s workshop called “Rock The Room”. It’s designed to help you do this very thing. It’s AMAZING. Here is the link:

      • Mathew Peachment

        Thanks Stu! And thanks for the reminder about being intentional. When I’ve taken that mindset I don’t usually have to worry about the reserved side of myself. I’ve only recently come across her stuff and I’m very much interested in it and will hopefully make it there in the near future.

  • Jeff Anderson

    I’ve been checking out gamification for some time now and trying to come up with ideas for how to implement it into our membership area. I’d love to hear some suggestions from readers about different ways to add gamification for retention of members. Please share your best tips in the comments here for all to share.

    • MendBrokenHearts

      That is such great idea! I would love to hear some ways to apply this as well. Active learning in fun ways creates bonds and so, retention!!

    • Jeff Anderson

      I guess it only makes sense that if I throw down a “gamification challenge”, I should at least contribute myself, eh?

      1. Adding a “point system” for actions taken within the membership site and reward top earners in specific time periods. (I’ve been searching for the right one that will integrate with our WishList platform.) Badges and awards/certificates for completion of milestones. Points maybe used for “buying” other courses/goods/etc.

      2. Run a “submit a tip” contest among members for their best ideas related to a specific area of your topic. Offer prizes to the top 3-5 best idea-creators and then make a “cheat sheet” of the contributed ideas to make sure everyone is a “winner” who submitted a tip.

      3. Create a “flash competition” – Ex. Submit the weirdest photo of themselves with your product; submit a “pet picture”; video of them achieving something your membership site taught them; etc.

      I’m also trying to think about what keeps me engaged with things like video games. For example, GameLoft Sniper Fury (iphone app) ALWAYS has new types of challenges lined up for players. I can’t stop playing this thing! It’s been the only game I haven’t gotten bored with after a week.

      They offer the opportunity to earn “money, gold, rubies, mystery chests, new weapons, trophies” on and on and on… I highly suggest grabbing the app (even if you don’t like blowing up terrorists) just to see how they create player engagement.

      Anyone else? Ideas for gamifying a membership site?

    • Biggest things I learned from their presentation was to create “games” around the consumption of your content. So one thing I LOVED was they gave bonus rewards for people who completed tasks (related to the content) and then posted pics of themselves completing the task in the members area or Facebook Group.

      That then encouraged others to do the same.

      So always think about how you can reward the kinds of things that you want to see happen inside the membership.

      P.S. Reach out to the WishList team… I’m pretty certain they have a WishList Points plugin.

  • MendBrokenHearts

    I would also love to see a presentation on this. I am looking for ways to actively engage members in a fun way that helps retention – outside the box, not dry or formal but in ways that gets to the heart of what I want them to take away. You have sparked a HUGE curiosity in me!!

    • It was a fantastic presentation. And it got my wheels turning too. One book they suggested to me was “Super Better” by Jane McGonigal. It might be worth checking out.

      • MendBrokenHearts

        Always love a new book! Thanks, Stu. Will do that. I am still going through Giftology, as well. Very thought provoking and, again, gives seed to lots of ideas. Thanks again.

      • Ooh I have read one book by Jane McG .. must get the next!

  • tim logie

    Thanks Stu. I love a good post that really gets me thinking and this definitely has my wheels spinning. I am working on creating my course right now so this is great timing. I can’t wait to spend time with you in May as part of your World Teachers Aid reward.

  • Clare Fitzgerald

    Hey Stu, I’ve just recently found you and I’m really enjoying your content. I love this article on gamification ad it’s got my mind spinning with ideas to add for an upcoming course I’m running. Other than the rock the room event have you come across any techniques to use when you are working virtually with people in groups?

  • Ricardo Teixeira

    It was an epic presentation! I had the chance to be there and I must say that every word of Stu is very true! It was awesome!
    But let me add that Stu’s presentation was Epic! He created a BIG rapport using soccer running in the middle of the crowd with a Brasilien flag. It was epic!

  • Paulo R. Mezzomo

    I was there, Stu!! And I can say it as well: it was awesome!!

  • Rita Alves

    I’m from Brazil and I was there, and it was really magnificent! But I can guarantee that your presentation was also brilliant and also marked me in a memorable way … Congratulations on your beautiful work and for being a great inspiration! 🙂

  • Thanks for this Stu. Great post and I watched Victoria Labalme’s Tedx talk. Very inspirational. When are you doing a TED talk??