Transperia Group, Inc.
Transformational Experiences That Drive Business Results

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

The Power of Person

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Personal connection is powerful. And it’s foundational, if not the cornerstone, to creating a great experience.

I’m always amazed at how much my experience at a store, restaurant, with a vendor, or wherever is affected by how I’m treated by the front-line person. It can literally make or break the experience for me (and determine whether or not I do business there).

I refer to it simply as “the power of person.” People want to be treated like a real person, by a real person. Not a number, not an interruption, not a nuisance, not a means to a sale. A person. It’s shocking how much we’ve lost sight of that in our culture.

Creating transformational experiences for people does not always have to be a huge endeavor. Simply put, our people are one of the biggest keys to creating a great experience for others.

I try hard to create a good experience for my clients, vendors and employees every chance I get. And the formula is really pretty simple. Here are some things we strive to do at Transperia:

  • Treat people like they matter. And authentically care about them.
  • Value their time as equally important (or more so) as your own.
  • Be kind and polite…even if they are being rude or disconnected (you never know what might be on someone else’s plate, or what burden they might be carrying).
  • Help them reach their goals (which, in turn, almost always helps you reach yours).
  • Be real and authentic. You don’t have to spill your guts inappropriately, but let them see the real you.
  • Have some fun/bring some joy in the midst of the interaction. I’m not suggesting telling jokes or not taking things seriously. Rather, look for ways to bring joy, if possible. Sometimes this requires a little bit of established trust or relationship, but if you authentically are looking for ways to bring some joy, it will go a long way.

These are just a handful of things that help a client feel like they are a “person” to you. You start by being a real “person” with them and letting them know how much you value them. If you can authentically do these things, your customers/clients will look forward to interacting with you—and doing business with you.

This isn’t rocket science and it isn’t a costly program to implement. If you (and the people on your team) simply employ “the power of person” you will stand out from the crowd. You will already be enhancing the experience. Best of all, others will begin talking about you.

Do you have any other ideas of how to fuel “the power of person?” We’d love to see your comments.

Hot 5: Avoiding Power Point Overkill

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Unnecessary GraphicI have a love-hate relationship with Power Point.  To be honest, it’s more of a hate-hate relationship.

I love using visual images to enhance a message.  They can stimulate, illustrate, & highlight good content.  More and more, however, I’ve seen the medium used and misused beyond its intended purpose and effectiveness.  You may use Power Point, Keynote, Pro Presenter, whatever—the software may vary, but the issue is the same.

I recently was producing an event for business professionals.  As I connected with the Keynote Speaker before the session, he informed me that he had 282 slides in his presentation.

“That’s a lot of slides,” I observed, trying hard to be understated.

“It’s okay,” he responded, “It covers 3 hours of training.  Besides, they go by pretty fast.”

“Go by pretty fast?”  I’ll say.  During a 3-hour training session, that’s more than 1.5 slides per minute.  Think about it.  A new graphic every 40 seconds.  That’s assuming that every graphic is equally spaced out, with no hesitations in the presentation.  A new slide every 40 seconds for 3 hours.  My head is still spinning.

Honestly, I think we’ve become lazy.  We have a classic example of the tail wagging the dog. The medium has become the message.  We’ve taken the focus off of our need to tell a compelling story and replaced it with a graphic delivery system.

A lot of presenters I see these days simply use Power Point as a public Teleprompter.  Consider this: if all your content is on the screen, then you, as the presenter, become unnecessary.  As a participant, I really don’t want or need to read your crib notes.  As with many other aspects of good communication, less is more.

As you prepare your next presentation, I encourage you to ask yourself these “Hot 5” questions:

  1. Is this graphic really necessary? Would my presentation be substantively any different without it?  If not, eliminate it.
  2. Will it distract from my message? It may be cool, hip, edgy or beautiful, but if it becomes a distraction, it shouldn’t be there.
  3. Will it increase or hinder the credibility of my message?
    • Is the design and composition of high quality?
    • Is it easy to read?
    • Is it easy to digest?

    If not, why give your audience any unnecessary reason to discredit you or your message?

  4. If the projector lost power, would my message suffer? Sure, it may lose a little zip, but if it suffers, then you’re relying too heavily on the graphics.
  5. Will it take emphasis off of me? Don’t ever forget that, as the presenter:

You are the story.  YOU are the show.  You are the star.

The message is much more important than the medium.  If you’re not convinced that you can deliver the goods on your own merit, then no amount of graphics will make a difference.

Let’s give Power Point a little rest.  It’s overworked, tired and needs a break.

Never Get Too Cocky

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Remember that great clip from Star Wars (the original) where Luke Skywalker shoots down his first TIE starfighter?  All excited and a little proud, Skywalker turns to Han Solo and exclaims, “Got him!  I got him!”  Solo responds with a cool, “That’s great, kid…don’t get cocky.”

This past week I was producing a national conference.  While it wasn’t a wild show, by any stretch of the imagination, it did have its share of complexities, from a production stand point:  lots of cues, live music, video roll-ins, music bumps, interactive elements and more.

Just before the last session began, an attendee came up to the production booth to thank us.  He said that he’d been to two other similar shows in the past few months and neither of them had the high level of production values, excellence and quality that we had shown.

I thanked him and asked what made the difference.  He said,

“You know, the basics.  Hitting the cues right. Mics being turned on when they are supposed to be.  Tight transitions.”

I thanked him again for his kind words, then passed on his appreciation to my crew.

“That’s right,” I thought to myself, “We’re good.  We’re not like all those other hacks out there.”

Wouldn’t you know it, but we blew two small cues in that last session.  Nothing big and disastrous, and nothing that I think the audience would have noticed.  Just small things that can make the experience a little more enjoyable.  Or not.

We can never lose focus—even when we are confident of our abilities and have a proven track record.  Every little cue is important.  The moment we begin to rest on our laurels is the moment the unexpected can sneak up on us and take us down a notch.

Thanks for the reminder, Han.

Give Me Some Space (part 2)

Friday, August 29th, 2008

(Read “Part 1” here)

My wife and I love movies. When we were newly married, we would occasionally do what we’d call a “movie marathon”. We’d see three movies in one Saturday—all in different theatres.
• We’d start with a late-morning matinee
• Then see a new release in another theatre during the afternoon
• Followed by a second-run movie that evening in the local “discount” theatre.

In the car on the way home, we would talk about the three movies we’d seen that day and invariably could only name two of them in the moment. Only after racking our brains and digging through our short-term memory for a few minutes would we eventually unearth the title of the third movie. We’d already forgotten.

Like I said, we LOVE movies, yet after over saturating ourselves in that environment, our ability to retain what we experienced became clouded.

The same is true for the people who come to our events. They need a little bit of time and space to process what they are taking in. If they don’t get it, their retention will suffer. We need to give them:
• Ample breaks
• Conversation time and
• Uninterrupted Space to process what they’re taking in

And I’m not just talking about “dinner on your own”.

The moral of the story is this: “Don’t over program. Don’t over schedule.” If you do, your audience will be hard-pressed to remember which “movies” they’ve seen that day. Allow adequate amounts of “process space” and your experience will reap far better results.

Give Me Some Space (part 1)

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

People need space. Taking in new ideas, concepts or information requires the brain to not only receive, but also to process. And process requires space.

When it comes to creating events or conferences, attendees need a little bit of time and (dare I say) quiet to be able to process what they are taking in.

Time after time, I encounter event sponsors who want to schedule every possible minute of every day of an event, in order to maximize the amount of information they can pass on to their attendees. Conventional Wisdom and the bean counters argue, “So much money has been spent on travel, lodging, registration, food, etc. We need to get our money’s worth out of this event. Let’s fill up the schedule with lots and lots and lots of sessions, breakouts, activities, seminars and meetings”. In so doing, they cut out any “free time” that may not appear to have value.

Granted, organizations spend a lot of money to train, educate and motivate their people. But quantity of information does not equal quality. In actuality, the opposite is true. The law of diminishing returns is in full play when we throw too much information or stimulation at people. After a while, the more we pour into their “learning” buckets, even more leaks out.

Which is more useful, for people to vaguely retain two out of ten watered-down points, or to fully embrace four out of four critical points?

Less is more.

(part 2 click here)

Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re My Only Hope.

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Ever since I saw Star Wars as a kid, I wanted to be a hologram. Or, I wanted to be projected as a hologram. Princess Leia’s desperate plea for help to Obi-Wan was too cool back in 1977.

Well, it looks like the wait just might be over. I came across this technology and thought it was absolutely amazing. It seems a company in the U.K. called Musion has been doing hologram projection and communication for a while now.

Not only that, but there can be two-way communication using this technology. It also appears the subject can be:
• Live
• Pre-recorded
• Graphic or
• Virtual

If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ve got to check out this video (click here) where they used holograms on-stage at a live event for Cisco. The live on-stage presenter actually had an interactive conversation with the “hologram guys”—live.

The implications for special events, virtual presentation, advertising and entertainment are staggering. The only limitations are the imaginations of the people using this technology.

Amazing.

There are several other clips of how Musion has used their technology on their site. I especially liked the clip from the FIFPro XI World Player Awards. Click around their site a bit and see if it doesn’t knock your socks off. I know it did mine.