Sunday, March 23, 2008

How To Present Your Brand Professionally.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen competent people stand up in front of an audience, speak intelligently, pick up their clicker and proceed to walk through a miserably amatuer digital presentation. I witnessed this exact situation in Detroit a few months back. The presenter was a local motivational speaker. Very engaging personality BUT the digital presentation was embarrassing. I even had notes passed my way, suggesting I have a chat with the presenter afterwards. There are some simple things you can do to make what you present visually more powerful. The high school quality of this evening lowered my expectations of this presenter. His brand was tarnished. It told me that he didn't entirely get it. If he wanted to be considered one of the players in the motivational arena, he has to put a better shine on his overall package. Other comments I heard later was that he was a hack. He could have done so much better with a keen understanding of how much damage he was doing to himself.

Try these pointers for your next presentation:

1. Pick an overall brand colour scheme. Stick with it. Consistency builds confidence. It is very comforting for an audience to see a consistent colour and direction.

2. Bring banner stands or banners that push the theme of your presentation. Remind your audience of what they are about to enjoy. Just like a movie poster.

3. Distribute materials that either promote other products you have or your service. Be sure that they reflect your brand image. Don't just leave them in a stack on a table by the door. Put one at every place setting. It also helps to distribute your colours through out the room.

4. In the digital presentation itself - DON'T USE BORDERS! You don't need them, the edge of the screen is fine. Border just close information in.

5. Make sure that your Brand logo is at the bottom of EVERY page of the presentation. Never let your audience forget who is speaking to them. A nice touch is putting their logo next to yours, this is of course if your audience is from one source or you are presenting to a potential client.

6. Insert video clips that compliment your message. They set a powerful tone and helps to break up the pace.

7. (This is a preference thing) I prefer to NOT work off of a script. You should know your subject so just speak to the screen. Use the screen to keep you on track, speak to what it is referencing. Don't read the screen - if you resort to that technique, what is the point of having you there? Off-script also allows you to constantly keep your eyes on the audience - more engaging.

8. Input music where appropriate such as the intro and exit. It is a feel good tactic.

9. I usually have the second last screen show text asking for questions.

10. Your last screen should be a "Thank you for coming!" screen. You can leave this up as the audience applauds and they start to mill around you for discussion. Your brand logo is also large on this screen.

Another idea might be to have the audience look on the back of the materials you initially left on the table and they will notice a number, hold a draw for one of your products or some nice prize "related" to what the topic was. Everybody loves FREE. It is a happy ending technique.

Following the above principal will go a long way in developing your expert brand. Your personal and corporate brand will be more powerful. Even if you don't fancy yourself a professional speaker, you will ooze confidence in the professionalism of your presentation. I also generally use pictures of people through out my presentation as people like to look at people. I find a lack of humanity very cold. Charts and graphs have their place but putting relevant people in the frame is engaging.

If I had to pick one tip out of the ten, that would be #5. Putting your logo on every screen is key. Doing this consistently will do wonders for your message.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yap, Yap, Yap!

It's time to start talking with customers.

Technology has made many of us lazy communicators. One of the things that makes a brand great is communication with your customers. You can't have a relationship if you're not talking. It's not enough to just do a great job, you have to connect as well. Connecting is more than seeing your name in the in-box of their email program. If that is where it's at for you, you allow your competition to take the personality advantage. I can't tell you how many times just picking up the phone or personally dropping in has gotten me additional business - just because it all started with the phrase, "Hey Ed, let me pass this idea past you."

Once you have their ear, you have every opportunity to tell of some new product or service. It is cheaper in cost and sweat to get additional business from existing customers. Technology has its uses, but nothing beats old fashion shoe leather. It also gives you a chance to be known to the front office. It puts a personality to the name. Over time you are part of the overall team. You are an employee in a sense too. Everyone is on board to making thew company successful.

Most customers are so busy. A regular check-in gives them a chance to get you to focus a bit on you and hopefully a chance for you to make their lives easier.

There is no downside that I have recognized from personal attention. Even long-distance customers see value in the regular dropping in - it shows that they are high on the food chain with your company. They are worth the effort. What it does for your brand is immense.
More blogs about http://brandcorral/