My sister, Ann Marie Plubell, holds pandas at Wolong Reserve, Sichuan China in 2000

My sister, Ann Marie Plubell,  is in China preparing to give a presentation at IPv6  and she’s asking her family members for last minute advice.  Now, speaking in the United States, generally before peers and fellow English speakers can bring about its own case of the butterflies. But the thought of presenting in English while simultaneously being translated into Chinese could make even the most confident of speakers downright queasy!

My brother and I both jumped in to assist her, making a few comments on her slides and passing along a couple of  our favorite presentation videos. I shared one from Guy Kawasaki. The social marketing guru has become synonymous with the 10-20-30 rule. I got to hear him present this information live when I met him at the Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston last fall. He is so “enchanting” when he presents, he keeps the audience mesmerized.

My brother, Phil Plubell, a veteran teacher, provided the following outstanding suggestions:

  1. “Take notes when the other panelists are talking and refer to some of their points in your presentation, if possible.  “As Mr. X pointed out …”  That shows respect for your fellow panelists.  It also demonstrates to the audience that this is a “live” performance, and that you are not just “reading the slides.”
  2. Never appear to be rushed.  The impression is bad.There is a tendency to “rush through” a slide show when the time limit approaches.  If it looks like you are going to run long, right-click for the shortcut menu, then “Go to slide” and jump ahead a few slides if necessary.  This is more elegant than rushing through the slides.
  3. Have a strong opening and a strong close.  
  4. Don’t worry about “flop sweat” or “opening night jitters.”  All speakers experience it. My brother has taught thousands of classes.  Yet he still wrestles with; “Will the audience finally figure out I’m a fraud, and I’ve been in the wrong field all my life?” anxiety every time he teaches a new class. His answer to the self-doubt “Am I good enough?” is “I might not be the best, but I’m the best available to do this particular presentation right now.  It’s showtime!”

Then my brother suggested the “Ba-Da-Bing” video where the instructor illustrates her example by using the simple method she designed to help children craft sentences and stories. Love that teaching concept and it may prove helpful to my sister as she visualizes her presentation.

What are some of your favorite presentation tips? I don’t know if my sister will be able to read your comments in time for her speech in China, but surely we can help her (and others) for the next time! Thanks for participating. I’d love to hear your stories of what works for you.

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MarketingMel visits with Bob and Carl on AM 910 WJCW "Thinking Out Loud"

The popular talk Tri-Cities radio talk show “Thinking Out Loud” has been a wonderful place to talk about social media, business and communications trends and strategies. I’ve been honored to be on the show from time to time ever since I started my business, MarketingMel. Dave Hogan and Carl Swann are beloved radio talk show hosts who are favorites with Tri-Cities business professionals. I recently paid a visit to the Carl ‘N Dave show on AM 910 WJCW to talk about my trip to the Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston. From mobile to video and even the passing of Steve Jobs and former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki’s reaction, we covered the information in a fast-paced 12 minutes. Veteran radio man and trend-watcher Bob Lawrence was filling in for Dave that day as we talked new media and more. (Click here and on the “Listen to Podcast Digital Social Media Breakthroughs.”) What are some subjects you would like to hear discussed in our future “Thinking Out Loud” conversations?

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I had the privilege of attending the first Hubspot Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston in September 2008. That conference was a true “game changer” for me as I heard both Seth Godin and David Meerman Scott telling those of us interested in social media marketing that we were on the edge of something big. It was a pleasure to return three years later to realize how true their words really were and to see how far we as professional marketing and communications people have come. (You can see my video interview from IMS11 on The Pulse Network here.)

Over the course of the next few weeks I plan to share nuggets of information about the outstanding thought leaders who spoke to us.

I’ll start with my favorite, noted social media marketing guru and author Guy Kawasaki. (Guy truly had “rock star” status at this conference as attendees, myself and friend Cathy Rodgers included, lined up to meet him.)

Guy Kawasaki at IMS11 with MarketingMel and 7wavesCathy

In preparation to hear Guy I read his book “Enchantment.” Like all authors, they talk about their latest book when onstage. But Guy has a disarmingly charming way about him that keeps you mesmerized by his stories. He is, well, enchanting.

Here are 10 of my takeaways:

1. Likeability: Have a marvelous smile (Mari Smith’s charming smile was his example), dress equal to your peers and pefect your handshake.

Facebook guru Mari Smith has a great smile

2. Achieve Trustworthiness:  Become bakers, not eaters. (Great word picture isn’t it?) Trust others. Default to “Yes. How can I help you?”

3. Perfect your product. He used the Ford MyKey program in which parents can pre-set the volume and top speed of a car as an example. Provide value. It is much easier to enchant with really good stuff!

4. Have a mantra. Guy’s is “empower people.” What’s yours?

5. Conduct a pre-mortem. Ask “why will our product fail?” Come up with all of the reasons beforehand to ensure its success!

6. Plant many seeds. I loved this one. Guy talks about how Marketing 1.0 meant “sucking up to a traditional media hierarchy.” Marketing 2.0 with the power of social networking is flat. The people make it successful and “nobodies are the new somebodies.”

7. Enchant all the influencers!  He gave us a homework assignment to watch Justin Bieber’s movie “Never say Never.” (I did Guy!) Justin and his team enchanted all of the influencers from viewers of his YouTube videos to moms, to girls in parking lots who wanted tickets.

8. Invoke Reciprocation: When you do something for someone and they say “thank you” say, “I know you would do the same for me.”  Think about the power in that line! Then enable people to pay you back.

9. Presentations: Sell your dream! Guy says that Steve Jobs didn’t sell an iPhone he sold something cool and thin and sexy.  Customize your introduction every time and keep your presentation to the 10-20-30 rule; 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 point font.

10. Use technology to enchant. Don’t make it hard for people to engage with you. He talked about removing the speed bumps and obstacles to communicatingWhat was really humorous was that Guy was given a stick mic for his presentation. He is used to wearing a lapel mic. so his hands can be free. After several comments from Guy, the conference organizers got the hint, removed “the obstacle,” and presented him with a lapel mic.  “Social media is core to existence,” he said. (And Facebook has certainly proven that again with its recent change announcements at F8.)

Although Guy said much more these were a few of my key takeaways. Do you plan to move forward on at least one of these in order to become more enchanting to your employees, customers and loved ones? I do!


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