Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Presentation skills 101

Handy little slide show that is a reminder of the horrors of bullet points from HubSpot! They recommend 30 hours' prep before a big speech, Gosh, my clients usually have about three!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Protect your brand, beware dumb (free) content!

HBR's executive summary of a sensational article "When TED lost control of its crowd" by the exquisite Nilofer Merchant.

In 2009, TED, an organizer of highly respected conferences on “ideas worth spreading,” threw its doors open, allowing anyone, anywhere, to manage and stage local, independent events under its banner. In the next few years, an army of volunteers produced some 5,000 such TEDx events in more than 130 countries. The brand extension and new content TED gained through these gatherings would have cost millions to produce by traditional means. But they came with a risk: TED no longer completely controlled its brand, and an extended community of people who didn’t work for TED were now capable of damaging it. And when TEDx licensees began putting dubious pseudoscientific presentations on their programs, that risk became a real threat. The blogosphere trashed TED for producing dumb content and questioned its overall credibility.
Nilofer Merchant: brains trust!
In this article, Nilofer Merchant describes the uproar and the lessons it offers: (1) that “open” does not mean “easy” or “free” and (2) that you need to get the crowd working with you, not against you. TED did that, turning things around by adopting three practices: “listening loudly,” realigning the community through shared purpose, and being strategic about the parts of the business it opened to the crowd and the parts it kept under tight control.

Avoiding Social Media Death

AFR finally has a large feature on executive uptake of Twitter. We know Rupert Murdoch and Richard Branson have mastered the art. In Australia, only four of the ASX top 100 have official Twitter accounts. There are a few horror stories in here, but worth a read. BoQ's Stuart Grimshaw has a good litmus test. He always asks himself before he tweets: 'Will it bite me on the arse?'
According to the AFR, here are Aussie corporates' star tweeters:

Star tweeters

Kristen Boschma, general manager of social media agency The Social Hatch, says a number of Australian executives are already making expert use of Twitter:
The ABC’s managing director Mark Scott uses the channel as a “signpost to interesting thinking or reading”. He also tweets links to pieces that refute or clarify criticism from other media quarters. @abcmarkscott
Suzi Dafnis, CEO of Australian Businesswomen’s Network, offers information that helps her followers, personalises responses when she can and gives an insight into the things she enjoys reading. @SuziDafnis
Greg McAweeney, group executive manager of RaboDirect Australia and NZ, uses the medium to express his views and what inspires him. He is promoting the brand values of transparency. @GregMcAweeney
Tjeerd Jegan, managing director of Australian supermarkets and petrol at Woolworths, uses social media to support community-based initiatives. @tjeerdjegen


oh for the budget to commission a new font...

It's the end of the second season of Girls. Lena Dunham is now officially a superstar thanks to her 20-somethings response to Sex and the City. I love the sans serif font she uses so much in her titles I nerdily went to investigate and it turns out Dunham commissioned a font for the project. She was looking for a new font inspired by art deco. Created by LA-based Grand Jete that has clients including lots of filmmakers, HBO, Lisa Marie Presley, Cypress Hill and Warner Bros. Imprint has written a nice piece on the process and the Grand Jete team made this great animation on the creative process. Read the full article here. Oh for that kind of creative budget.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Time to choose where you park your dollars
Nice article in the New York Times today about a small business owner wondering about where he should spend his marketing dollars, An Owner Rethinks How He Spends His Marketing Dollars

I agree with the observation of how few business owners track where their leads are coming from and fail to "harvest" email addresses. Seems really simple. but getting back to basics can really make a difference.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

TKO presentation

It's always a real thrill to read a presentation that makes sense. It's chock full of data, powerful visuals and follows my preferred way of delivering messages. It's also backed up by tight color palette, great fonts... This is how you communicate.