Your presentation style should project a long-term, going-somewhere brand that’s all about success.
Years ago at a Turner Broadcasting off-site meeting in Arizona, I was asked to demonstrate how we were motivating our cable affiliates to advertise TNT at the local level. This was not especially scintillating material. Basically, we sent out a monthly support kit with print and television ads that affiliates could customize. The more ads they ran, the more points they received that translated into prizes (read: we bribed them).
My challenge was to make walking through this kit exciting to a room of 100 people in shorts dying to get poolside.
I borrowed my girlfriend’s red strapless ball gown and long white opera gloves and threw on gobs of rhinestones. I entered from the back of the room like Queen Elizabeth — head high, gaze straight ahead. I held the kit in my hands as if it were the Holy Grail. Meanwhile, Champaign was being passed to everyone there.
When I got to the front of the room, I turned around and announced, “Welcome to a formal presentation of the Turner Affiliate Kit.” Jaws dropped and ears opened.
Research shows that visuals count for more than half the emotional impact of any presentation. It’s not just what you say, but how you present it visually that counts.
Another time I was asked to lead a panel discussion on how to create “effective promotion partnerships” – as when McDonalds puts the latest toy from a kid’s movie inside their Happy Meals.
Instead of creating a boring PowerPoint, I presented a “promotion cocktail.” I put on an apron, rolled out a bar cart and started squeezing oranges as I talked about “the juiciest ideas.” Next, I poured the juice into a martini shaker and added fine sugar to demonstrate “sweetening the deal.” Then I poured vodka “to get the contract signed.” Finally, I shook the shaker and served the drink to my panelists—in glasses that sported my company’s Big Fish logo. (Never stop branding!)
This level of creativity has characterized the way I have done business for 20 years, and it’s one of the reasons that great brands like Sony, Disney and MTV keep coming back to work with Big Fish year after year. We just make branding and marketing look like fun.
Speaking is a contact sport. It’s all about connecting with your audience. Real credibility happens when you get comfortable speaking to large groups of people. It’s amazing how you transform yourself into a brand leader when you stand up in front of a group solidly and add a bit of pizazz. And that’s just the perception you need to move up in the business world.
I really believe that anyone can learn to give an unforgettable presentation. From taking a night class and hiring a voice specialist to attending weekend workshops and bringing in a private presentation coach, I’ve done it all to hone my skills in this area.
Solid training can help you develop a signature presentation style that will give you an edge.
I’ll never forget the time I left my portfolio on the train. As I walked out of Grand Central Station I began rehearsing how I’d open the meeting. I was eager and excited to meet with A&E’s marketing team to show them why Big Fish was the right match for them. It wasn’t until I walked into the boardroom and saw 10 executives looking at me down a long conference table that I realized that my portfolio was missing. I decided in that moment to ask everyone to play “theatre of the mind” with me. I saved the day by standing up and recalling each piece in my portfolio with zeal. I landed A&E as a client that day and received my portfolio back safely.
How can you make your next presentation unforgettable?