Transperia Group, Inc.
Transformational Experiences That Drive Business Results

Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

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.

Sony Walkman Project

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Talk about a cool experience. Sony has taken a risk in promoting their latest Walkman media player.

Their website says, “The Walkman Project is an incredible musical collaboration that lets you make and share music with other people around the world.”

Sony has created a vehicle where people can collaborate on a piece of music together—each one adding his/her own part. You can sing, play or mix tracks. You then upload your contribution. Little by little, the musical piece grows, morphs and changes as each part is added. A very, very cool idea.

To promote this collaborative project (and their product), Sony created a video highlighting how even the most seemingly insignificant contribution makes an impact on the whole.

It’s brilliant.

The video features 130 musicians, all gathered in one place, performing a musical composition where each musician plays only one note at a time. The piece moves by beautifully as you watch each musician playing their one note, but the whole coming together fluidly and flawlessly.

It’s amazing.

I can’t imagine the immensity of the challenge of wrangling 240 microphones, handling 130 sensitive artist egos and juggling the logistics of such an endeavor.

Watch the video. It will blow your mind (at least it did mine).

Sony could have just done a regular product launch for their new Walkman. But instead, they created an experience for people to jump into, and also created a cool experience for the 130 musicians who played on the video, and then shared that experience with us.

Sony reminds us of the need to break the mold on our status quo events, projects or media. How about you? Is it business as usual, or are you creating an experience that will involve and impact your audience and not soon be forgotten?

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.

My Fellow Americans…Vote for Me

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Okay, I know this is going to come across a little narcissistic, but when I saw this, I couldn’t help but laugh.  I never thought I’d get into politics, but hey, you never know where the path of life might lead you.

–Your humble servant, Mark Bennardo.

Seriously, though, I think this is brilliant. And, you can try it yourself (it’s fun and it’s free–see below for link).

The real brilliance is in how the company PalTalk has apparently created this viral marketing tool to promote their instant message & video chat business. What a great way to create and use something that is fun, engaging and highly shareable to create some buzz for your product.

Also notice the subtle, almost subliminal product placement for PalTalk in the video.  Fantastic.

Well done, PalTalk!

PS: To try it out and throw your own hat in the ring, go 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.