Viewing entries tagged
presenting

Your Presentation Skills May Not Be the Reason You Lost Your Last New Business Pitch

Your Presentation Skills May Not Be the Reason You Lost Your Last New Business Pitch

Earlier this week, someone told me she liked my approach because, “you’re not just about presentation skills.”
 
I think what she was getting at is that I tend to be prescriptive and offer solutions that get to the root of the disease, not just treat the symptoms.
 
But the comment got me thinking about what it takes to be an effective presenter—specifically one that can persuade an audience to buy what she’s selling.
 
You know the aphorism: no amount of marketing can fix a bad product.
 
It’s the same with presentation skills – all the training in the world won’t turn you into a strong presenter if don’t solve some underlying problems first.
 
Here's a simple set of three quality control factors you can apply to your slide decks before writing a big check to a presentation coach.

Ad Agency Credentials Presentations Don't Have to Suck

Ad Agency Credentials Presentations Don't Have to Suck

You know how it feels when you get so close to a topic that you begin to lose any sense of perspective? How many of you feel that way about your ad agency's credentials deck? How many hours have you spent debating with your team about whether the client slide should go before or after the awards slide?

Those are hours you will never get back my friends, because no one outside your agency cares about the answer. 

Last month, I extolled the virtues of Nancy Duarte’s Sparklines, a presentation method designed to draw an audience over to your side of an argument. This month, I tell you how to use this technique to transform the garden variety creds deck into a persuasive sales tool. 
 

What Does Persuasion Look Like?

What Does Persuasion Look Like?

Those of you who know me or have worked with me know that my mission is to help ad agencies and creative services firms communicate more persuasively. When I find a tool or technique that has the potential for changing that behavior, I pass it on. Nancy Duarte's Sparklines is one of those tools.  

Sparklines was developed after she asked herself "what does persuasion look like?" She’s certainly qualified to explore the question. Her company, Duarte, helps organizations like Google and Apple tell effective stories through presentation. To find the answer, she analyzed two extraordinary presentations: Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Steve Jobs’ iPhone launch in 2007.

Essentially, it’s is a method for drawing an audience over to your side of an argument by presenting a series of contrasts between what is and what could be. It's one of the most compelling presentation structures I've ever seen. Plus, it's not a technique that's difficult to learn. In fact, it has more to do with reframing your presentations than reinventing them.

Drop the “Sizzle” – the Dos and Don’ts of a Great Ad Agency Reel

Drop the “Sizzle” – the Dos and Don’ts of a Great Ad Agency Reel

Sizzle reel. I’ve always hated the term, redolent of steakhouse advertising.

The implication is the reel will dazzle prospective clients through a series of quick cuts and a thumping bass track – all without having to give the viewer any kind of context for what they’re seeing.

Ad agencies that fall into this trap are like Narcissus, gazing at his own reflection. (For those who’ve forgotten the myth, Narcissus was so fixated by his beauty that he lost his will to live and stared at his reflection until he died. A cautionary tale for our business if ever there was one.)

In my latest blog post, I'll give you my top four Dos and Don'ts for creating a great agency reel. Plus, I'll share with you what I think is one of the best agency reels out there (plus the reason why it's not quite as good as it used to be).

A Hack for Ad Agency Positioning: the Pixar Pitch

A Hack for Ad Agency Positioning: the Pixar Pitch

Finding NemoToy Story, and the latest, Inside Out - why are Pixar films so universally charming and compelling? ("And what, exactly, does that have to do with my ad agency's positioning?" you ask. Patience, you'll find out.)

A former Pixar story artist named Emma Coats discovered that all Pixar plots follow one simple format. And it forms the basis of a perfect pitch.

Want to know what this magic formula is? Check out my latest blog post on how the Pixar Pitch is an ideal hack for developing your ad agency's positioning.

Reading the Room: Keep Your Audience Engaged

Reading the Room: Keep Your Audience Engaged

Almost universally, agency pitch teams hate to rehearse. But one of the many advantages is the freedom it gives you to read the room – instead of reading your notes (or worse yet, reading off your slides). The better you know your material, the easier it is to change course if you feel the attention of your audience slipping away.

This point hit home for me recently when I found myself confronted by a roomful of blank stares. My stomach dropped. What was I doing wrong? Find out -- and how I fixed it -- in my latest
blog post.