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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Purposeful Presentations

We have been talking a lot recently about Prezi (if you don’t know much about it check out our Powerpoint versus Prezi demonstrations here to find out more) – a lot of people are very excited about Prezi and what it can potentially do for their presentations and their business.

Some people are more sceptical. Either they have been subjected to a bad Prezi and wound up wishing they hadn’t had that extra sandwich at lunchtime (for those new to Prezi, a bad one can often result in a bit of motion sickness!) or they are comfortable with Powerpoint and how they use this tool and are concerned about having to learn something new.

But before you worry too much about what tools you are using for a presentation objective, it is more important to know your purpose and what you are looking to achieve. Only once this is clear can you choose the most appropriate tool for the job.

It may be at this point that you decide that Powerpoint is the right tool to use – you don’t have much time to learn something new, you are comfortable, you already have assets that you use and you know it works to an extent.  The most important thing is to ensure you are always working with your objective in mind and even more importantly, your audiences objective (see our presentation on ‘Their bubble not yours’ to learn more about this….)

Too often with Prezi you see presentations that have been created using this software, but not used to the best effect. You wonder what it is that the presentation creator wanted to achieve with it. You are confused by the messages or just unimpressed and it looks like they have simply used Prezi for the novelty factor and because it is different. They might have seen a fantastic Prezi themselves, but in their eagerness to try that out, they lose sight of their objective of the presentation and don’t put themselves in the shoes of their audience.

My Advice

So my advice is to think first about what you are trying to achieve and why, and then choose the most appropriate tool for the job, based on time, resources, knowledge, budget and creative direction available.

Prezi is fantastic and I can sing its praises all day long, because we are a creative, visual company. The way it works speaks to us and is music to our ears as creators of presentations. You might be more process orientated however and therefore seeing the big picture and visual metaphors for your messages may be more of a challenge. In which case draft in some help. Don’t necessarily think that you cannot use Prezi – find someone who can help you to think about your presentation content a little differently and put it within the context of an audience journey, rather than a series of docu-slides.

But don’t just import your powerpoint presentation into Prezi and expect it to be miraculously amazing!

Ultimately if you want to create a successful presentation, you must know your purpose, then choose the most appropriate tool for the job and make sure you are keeping your objective in mind at all times. Here are some magic questions to ask yourself at every stage of the presentation development process and help keep you on track:

  • What am I trying to communicate here?
  • What will the audience see and interpret here?
  • What do the audience know at this point?
  • What do the audience want to know at this point?
  • Does this enhance, stimulate, demonstrate or prove my messages?
  • What is my big picture and how does this slide / piece of content relate?
  • Where have we just been immediately before this slide and where are we going immediately after? Where are we on the journey?

Keep these questions at the front of your mind and whether you are using Powerpoint of Prezi, you will have significantly more power and purpose in your presentation!

 

 

 

Powerpoint versus Prezi…..

Prezi is changing the face of business presentations – and for good reason – it is an amazingly engaging piece of presentation software, that given some basic training and rules to follow can be used really easily – arguably much more easily and effectively than Powerpoint.

However, Powerpoint still has it’s place.

A true presentation professional understands both of these software tools, how to get the best from each and the most relevant situations each one works best in.

Take a look at the two videos below – we have created the same presentation in both Powerpoint and Prezi. We have then created screen record videos of each presentation and added a voiceover to demonstrate the differences.
See what you think:

We offer one day Prezi training courses, either as open course or in-house. To book onto our next open courses click here

To book an in-house course contact us

See the ‘Their Bubble Not Yours’ Presentation on Prezi here

See an example of another recent Prezi of ours click here

To speak to us about us designing and creating your Prezi or Powerpoint presentation contact us here

 

Internal Communications Presentations and Event Case study

Internal Communications Presentations

We had done a number of pieces of video work for our client, an oil distribution company, called GB Oils at the time, when they asked us to pitch to help them with the launch event for their new brand.

They were creating a new brand for the company, which included many structural and company changes, as well as redefining the vision and values for the business moving forward.

This involved a significant brand re-structure, wanting to give the group identity a much bigger and bolder part in their marketing and PR and a clearer national identity.

The plan was to invite 250 of the company senior managers from across the UK to an event where they are introduced to the company changes, the brand vision and values moving forward and what these changes would mean for the staff.

The event was to be motivational, inspirational and have the theme of team-working underpinning it. We used the concept of the British cycling teams marginal gains theory to emphasise the impact of every little change in the business and the collective team result.

The event was planned for early September and we started work on it in June. We worked closely with the client on the plan for the day, which would be run twice, with 125 managers attending each day. They already knew the structure of the presentations to take place and who would be presenting which sessions. So one of our first tasks was to create the script for each of the presentations and workshop sessions. We did this through thorough consultation with the client. Whenever we undertake a project such as this it is imperative that we learn and understand as much as possible, as early as possible. So in this case we needed to understand everything about the history of the company, what led them to this point, the changes taking place, the new structure, vision, values and what is driving the business. We also needed to understand aspects such as the marketplace they operate in, the customer segments, products and services delivered to these customers and the company processes for delivering totheir customers.

What was particularly challenging about this process, and something that we really enjoy at Capture 1, is that it was quite a complex set of messages covering the historic journey through how the re-branding process has worked to what it now meant for everyone in the team. As the re-branding was in it’s final phase, it meant the significant work that had been put into that needed tying together cohesively and clearly to tell the story successfully to the team.

From the scripts we then developed the slides for each of the presentations. The presentation slides were the critical visual support for explaining the new vision, strategy, values and company structure, so first and foremost we needed to create artwork that explained these factors in a snapshot using graphics. The end result was all about being in keeping with the new brand and animating within the Powerpoint environment to add to that clarity. These critical slides were sandwiched with exciting photos revealing the new branding in situ in the business and representing the key theme of sporting achievement and marginal gains that add up to business success.

Another major responsibility was the creative event management, which meant we had to ensure that workshops and every aspect of the event reflected the re-brand transformation and the event inspirational theme. We have a history of working with actors to great effect within the scope of training and team-working and in keeping with the theme we arranged for a Hacker team working exercise where delegates first worked together in small groups to learn the New Zealand infamous Hacker routine and this was later integrated into the finale of the event where all 130 delegates and management worked together to perform this. The energy and fun that this added to the event was significant.

HAKA team building video

There was a large amount of video content that needed to be produced, both for use at the event and following the event as general marketing video material for the website and presentations.

There has been a massive return on the investment for the client, not just with the rebrand launch event itself but all of these presentation assets and videos were re-used in a 5 week road-show campaign informing all 2000 staff across 200 depots across the UK about what the re-branding and new values means for them.

The main video presentation we created is now their corporate video on their website and the presentation slides in Powerpoint have been provided as assets that can be reworked reused and edited and so will provide long term use in the business.

This was a very involved project for us, which is the kind we love the most. We were able to really get to know our client, help them with successful communication, both internally and externally, ahead of the launch. We worked with all levels within the company, right up to working with the directors at board level on their presentations. We were instrumental in creating a style, structure, presentation assets and organisation of the event that resulted in achieving a successful communication of the new company brand, vision and values moving forward.

Event highlights video

 

 

 

 

How to create a winning video script

Winning Scripts for your Video

Over the years I have produced literally hundreds of video productions. I remember early on in my business career clients used to tell me ‘we’ll do the script for the video’. Because I was less experienced and less assertive, I used to accept this and we would end up being handed scripts that were too long, badly written, lacking focus and clarity and ultimately doomed for failure. Because we have never been able to allow a client to fail we would then take this script and put our expertise and skills to it, resulting in a script that is clear, concise, and focused on the objective and target audience and ultimately a successful video project. Clients often didn’t realise the critical role in the success factor of their project – they didn’t notice the significant changes that had taken place in the script. They didn’t realise the full on listening and understanding of their business that had taken place. All they knew at the end of the day was that their video worked for them, had impact and achieved results. The success was wholey to do with our understanding of what they needed to achieve, why they needed to achieve it and creating a script and plan that resulted in the end project fitting these objectives.

business communications and presentations

 

A video script is not something that you can turn your hand to in an hour one afternoon. As anyone who has ever seen a bad video will know, it is very easy to switch off – whether physically or just in your mind! Either way time and money has been wasted.

The most important thing about a good video is that the message is relevant, interesting and the content is engaging for you – testimony to this is the hundreds of thousands of videos on youtube that have been created by amateurs and received millions of views. Now I am not suggesting that your video should be created by an amateur or that you need millions of views! If you have a specific audience and a specific message, you may only need to deliver it to 20 people – but if it is a business critical message that will be delivery to 20 key people, then this will be as important as Coca cola delivering a branding message to a millions – to you and your business !

So what does it take to create a good script? Well the first and most important thing is to take a step back, look at your project objectives and why you are creating a video and then think about who you are creating it for and why. If you know your who and why it is much easier to create your how. Give the process respect – if you want your video to work as a communication tool, treat it as you would any presentation or communication tool. Don’t expect miracles to happen in filming and editing if it hasn’t been planned out thoroughly first. The amount of times clients have come to us having had a video production fail and when we have analysed why it didn’t work or just didn’t happen, it generally turns out that the video team have not put any expertise into the pre-production stage. They have expected the client to do all that and just turn up and do the filming and editing. If you want your video to integrate within your communications you need to work with a good team who care about your business and your communication strategy, before any cameras start to roll!

We have a fantastic, unique scripting technique that we use in the pre-production stage of our video projects. It enables us to successfully plan out a script in very little time. It is revolutionary. Last month this technique alone allowed my creative director to write 12 scripts for health and safety training videos in just 4 hours! All we had been given were bullet point headlines by the client. Each video focused on a different area of health and safety training. And the scripts he created were spot on!

Watch this space and we’ll be posting a video in the coming weeks to show you how you can use this simple but revolutionary technique yourself!….

If you would like to hear more about this technique in the meantime please comment below with your email address and I’ll make sure I send you the information first!


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