PR Campaigns – The blog

April 12, 2009

More “good” presentations

Filed under: Prof. Gilpin — drgilpin @ 7:34 pm
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Here’s another potential source of inspiration for your final project pitches: the latest post at Presentation Zen shows some examples of visuals from Good Magazine. As Gar Reynolds points out, these are probably not great for full presentations, but they do combine high-impact images and text (such as a short phrase in white text on a black background, or a quick movie montage) that could greatly enhance a slide show and oral narration.

My favorite is the last one, but they all have some good ideas in them.

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April 3, 2009

When text is a good thing in a presentation

Filed under: Prof. Gilpin — drgilpin @ 7:46 am
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(Since some have asked: yes, commenting on this post counts for your weekly quota.)

I’m always advocating for minimal text on slides, which really comes down to wanting everything on the slide to have maximum impact. Usually there is a tendency for people to simply fill screens with ugly bullet points and meaningless clip art, neither of which enhance a presentation. My view is that it’s usually best to use the screen for strong images and the occasional key phrase, like a title or important data point, leaving the bulk of the argument for the oral portion of the presentation.

Sometimes, though, the text is the art. Although I wouldn’t recommend using these typographical techniques for an entire campaign presentation, they can be effective for certain portions, or for any video messages that you might want to make for your client proposals.

A couple of my favorites from the above link:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Ana Ng Typographic video on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “78RPM – MP3 | 70 Years of Revolutiona…“, posted with vodpod

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “DJ shadow – The Outsider (Typographic…“, posted with vodpod

In any case, it’s worth checking out. And as we near the end of the semester (and your team presentations), I strongly encourage you to visit Presentation Zen (where a recent post shows another fantastic text-based presentation) for tips and examples, and Ted for more inspiration.

October 27, 2008

Photography and the connection

Filed under: Metis PR — letsgoblogging @ 11:24 pm
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On Garr Reynolds’ blog, Presentation Zen I found a presentation by David Griffin, photo director for National Geographic. Griffin shares some of the most astonishing and most famous photos published in National Geographic and discusses how photography can dramatically tell a story. Whether giving a presentation in front of classmates, or in front of a client, the use of storytelling is vital in getting the message across. Depending solely on imagery to relay your message can be risky, but if done correctly can deliver your message in a very effective way.

Griffin says photography can tell a broad story in a focused way and create understanding and empathy. By using images to tell your client’s story or the story of your campaign, you can zero in on the important facets of your presentation without being weighed down with bullet points and paragraphs. Reynolds says “the power of the image to make a connection and tell a story is indeed unlimited.”

At first I thought it would be impossible to completely rely on images during my presentation to deliver my message. I always thought there was a necessity for text on my slides, but now I realize that the audience will be more engaged and focused if a story is being told rather than bullet points just being rattled off.

October 18, 2008

Mena Trott: Building a friendlier world through blogs

Filed under: Metis PR — marialinda17 @ 12:11 am
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The best presentations are those that tell a story and relate to an audience on an emotional level.  Often PR practitioners utilize presentations to propose solutions or ideas that will generate positive outcomes.  I found a very interesting presentation on TED.org by Mena Trott called, Mena Trott: Building a friendlier world through blogs.  Trott is the co-founder of Six Apart, which allows individuals, media, companies and other organizations to create blogs and interactive communities.  Her passion for blogging is evident in her speech as she discusses her personal life and the reasons people relate to blogs.  As she tells stories about herself, she visually supports each aspect with relevant photos and graphics.  Often times these tools add humor to her presentation.  As a result, she effectively adds color and meaning to her story.  And Trott is no stranger to the human experience since her personal blog covers happenings in her day-to-day life.  In fact, she learned to promote herself so effectively through everyday storytelling that she became widely popular online, even receiving a blog award.  As PR practitioners, it’s important that we also find ways to appeal to stakeholders and pitch presentations in a manner that relates well to the audience.

During Trott’s presentation she explains the growing influence of blogs in the world.  Her PowerPoint slides display articles, magazines and blog sites to keep the flow of her story moving.  For example, she cites a blog that posted flaws about Kryptonite locks, which resulted in the company taking action to fix these elements for their consumers.  Trott makes the point that blogs can have great influence in today’s society.  She skips being highly technical in her presentation and focuses on stories and examples of blogs changing the way people do business.  Mena Trott is an engaging, funny speaker and this presentation is a prime example of what good presentations should be like.  For PR professionals like us, it’s useful to watch this video for unique insights into blogging as well as Trott’s effective presentation skills.

October 5, 2008

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Filed under: Metis PR — letsgoblogging @ 3:13 pm
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Since our class has been focusing on the topic of effective presentations, there is one particular presentation that immediately stood out to me. Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was told by his doctors that his time left to live was limited. Instead of dwelling on the terrible news, he created a now famous presentation, “Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.

While the presentation topic is not related to PR, it is worth watching and I suggest everyone take the time to do so. Pausch delivered a speech that was so effective, that it gained a large amount of media attention and is still being talked about today, a year after the presentation took place.

During his presentation, Pausch incorporates videos, photos, and props. He engages the audience by telling jokes and laughable childhood stories. He is active on stage, at one point he even does pushups. The slides that he used were simple yet still creative. His presentation is successful in telling a story, a story that also offers really great words of advice.

Pausch was faced with having to deliver an effective lecture during a very trying time in his life. In PR, if we are faced with a having to give a presentation on a topic that is not so audience friendly, or maybe we are representing a client that is going through some troubling times, how can we still create and deliver a presentation that doesn’t dwell on the negative? What are some ideas to make the dynamics of a presentation more engaging and interactive and how can we effectively deliver a positive outlook in our presentation during a crisis situation, just like Randy Pausch was able to do.

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