Who Should Present Your Corporate Video?

Choosing a presenting style is no easy task. Should you use one of your staff, a professional presenter or get your clients to do the talking? The presenter is usually the first person the viewer sees or hears – so it’s important to chose the right person. To assist in your decision, we’ve compared the benefits of three styles of corporate video presenting.

Using one of your own

You don’t have to be a famous celebrity or professional TV personality to present a video. A knowledgeable member of staff can be very compelling:

• The viewer will associate the company with the face, voice and body language of the presenter, thus the presenter will act as the brand.

• Nobody knows a company better than its staff, the message you wish to convey may be industry specific and a member of staff will tell your story best.

• A good option for companies on a strict budget.

• Suitable to a promotional style or ‘how to’ video that will be uploaded to the company website, sent to prospective employees and used in trade-shows etc.

Remember, this route is only a success if the presenter is a confident public speaker. If every senior member of staff in your company is camera shy, the next option may be more suitable for your company.

Bring the professionals in

This is the most commonly used option when making corporate video. You can choose an actor, regional news reporter or even a celebrity. The benefits include:

• Professionalism, warmth and engagement, authority and an interaction with the viewer. A presenter can deliver a script in a natural and engaging way.

• Suitable for a report on what the company does or a news item.

• It is a good way to show and promote new developments within a company to prospective business partners or as a training video for future and current employees.

• Ideal for the promo-style piece.

Let your clients do the talking

The third option is the client testimonial. Who better to promote your company than happy clients?

• Your video would consist of a montage of shots of your customers singing your praises.

• This will build customer trust and so lead to increased sales.

• The client testimonial has a greater impact on potential clients than the company talking about itself – this is often the best promotion a company can get.

With a little thought and planning video can achieve extraordinary results, but it needs a customer focused approach and careful planning.

Christmas Gift Ideas: Interior Decor Presents

Choosing a gift for someone to display in their home can be frustrating. On the other hand, if you’re shopping for a friend or family member, you can give a present that will be appreciated.

When to Not Give Home Décor Presents

If you’ve never been to your friend’s home, I would definitely not give a household item unless it’s for a recent bride with a gift registry. Even if you’re gift shopping with your friend and she points out a darling framed picture or frilly pillow, that doesn’t mean the item will fit in her personal interior décor.

Perhaps you know your friend collects figurines like I do. Because of my last name, I started collecting fish years ago. However, I collect tiny glass antique fish, about one inch tall. The large wooden fish my mother gave me just doesn’t fit my interior décor.

How to Give Home Décor Presents

If you have been to your friend’s home and know she needs to complete her home decorating with accessories, here are some gift ideas:

1. Double check your friend’s color scheme. Your gift doesn’t have to match perfectly to blend in.

2. Make sure her home isn’t too crowded with many small decorating items. Many small accessories make a home feel cluttered.

3. Make something yourself that has meaning to you both. For instance, make a stained glass icon to reflect light in her bathroom window.

4. Find an old snapshot of you two from the past. Get the picture touched up professionally and frame it in a frame that blends in with her home decorations.

5. Give your friend a huge candle dressed up with pearls, sequins, or seashells with a base that matches her style. For instance, if she loves silver, crystal, ceramics, or brass, choose that material.

If you give thought to your gift with these interior decorating tips, you will make your friend happy.

Book Review – The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, by Carmine Gallo

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs is a book that a speechwriter can love. Gallo quotes from sources such as Nancy Duarte’s Slide:ology and Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen. He even has a sidebar on JFK speechwriter Ted Sorensen’s influence on Barack Obama titled, “What the World’s Greatest Speechwriters Know.

The message of this book is that Jobs’ extraordinary impact is based on his authenticity and his passion for his company’s people and products. Most presenters can’t claim to be the CEO of an archetypically cool Silicon Valley company.

Neither can they get away with wearing faded jeans, sneakers and a turtleneck onstage. But simply everyone with a product or service that improves people’s lives has a story to tell. Gallo’s book explains in detail how Jobs presents his story so that his passion shines through and ignites the audience. It’s Gallo’s claim that anyone can learn how to deliver an “insanely great” presentations.

The “secrets” that make Jobs so effective onstage include the usual stage tips taught by presentation coaches: Make eye contact with the audience, use vocal variety and know the power of a well-timed pause. But the majority of the book analyzes the structure, rather than the delivery techniques, of major keynotes Jobs has given at Macworld and elsewhere over the years. This makes the book of inestimable value for anyone who needs to understand the nuts and bolts of writing a speech.

Performance piece

When Steve Jobs takes to the stage he often tells dramatic stories, so it’s appropriate that the book itself is structured as a three-act play. Act 1 tells how to create the story, Act 2 tells how to deliver it, and Act 3 stresses the importance of rehearsal. Gallo adds “Director’s Notes” that summarize each chapter (or scene), and he introduces a cast of supporting characters.

Organizing the book in this way also reinforces the importance of telling a story in three parts; of delivering a speech with three messages. In fact, Gallo concedes, the chapter on the effectiveness of breaking a speech into three “could easily have become the longest in the book.”

Speechwriters’ playbook

The book is a playbook for writing a great speech. Jobs and his team start scripting a speech long before firing up PowerPoint or, in their case, Keynote software. They settle on an attention-grabbing headline (“The world’s thinnest notebook”); then they decide on the three key messages; develop analogies and metaphors; and scope out demonstrations, video clips and cameo guest appearances.

Next they develop the “plot” of the speech, setting up an antagonist (Microsoft or IBM in the early days), dressing up numbers and including plenty of “amazingly zippy” words. Finally, they script a memorable “holy smokes” moment that people will talk about long after the event ends. The slides they eventually create are heavy on images and light on text and bullet points.

Live action video

A book alone will go only so far. If you’ve never actually seen Jobs present in person, then you haven’t experienced the “reality-distortion field” his charisma and eloquence creates in the auditorium. Gallo has this covered.

The book’s end notes provide URLs for some of the 47,000 YouTube and Apple.com video clips showcasing Jobs and clearly demonstrating the techniques discussed. Viewing the videos compensates for the poor-quality monochrome photos of Jobs onstage-the one disappointment in the book.

Learning from his mistakes

To counteract any feelings of inadequacy you might have after watching Jobs deliver a flawless keynote, do a quick search on YouTube for “Apple Bloopers” and you’ll see that, even for Steve Jobs, things don’t always go well onstage. Demos fail, screens freeze, and he stumbles over words. But as with any masterful presenter, Jobs remains calm. 

Even if the speeches you write or deliver are not destined for “insane” greatness, they’ll be much, much, better for having read Carmine Gallo’s insanely great book.