By Jess Sanderson – Enriches Business
You’re at a conference and the keynote speaker enters the room to deliver her presentation. There is a lot of excitement in the room, indicating that you’re about to witness something special.
As she glides onto the stage you notice she is the picture of what you had been expecting. Exactly like her LinkedIn profile picture: dressed beautifully, sleek and professional. The control she has in her movements and body language only adds to how successful she appears and you notice a breeze of confidence following her on the stage and filling the room. The speaker is introduced followed by a round of applause.
She begins, but needs to stop mid-sentence to clear her throat. The projected presentation behind the podium begins on the wrong slide. This hasn’t started off well, but these things can happen to anyone, right?
After warmly introducing her topic and getting the slides organised she launches into the epicentre of her presentation. Volume increases for a moment. Volume decreases for a longer moment. What did she say?
After forgiving the volume changes, you notice the segments do not appear to flow into one another. It feels as though she is skipping from one topic to the next with little reference to how that segment started. You desperately want to follow along – after all, this is the only reason you attended the conference in the first place – but it is becoming more difficult with each phrase.
You’re 25 minutes in to the presentation now and your notepad is a title with an empty page. I came here to take something away from it, but frankly it feels like a waste of my time. I can hardly stand up and leave while she speaks – that’s just rude! And I certainly don’t want to be the only person in the audience asking for clarity – how embarrassing!
How can someone who looks the part, is marketed like the part and is talked about like the part explain this so poorly?
The conference ends after an hour presentation. You collect your notebook, stand up and leave the room. Understandably, you feel a little deflated. You just spent over an hour listening to a person speak which no longer offers any relevance or interest to you. The presentation of the information was just too difficult to follow and delivered in a way that unfortunately, has not inspired you to do any follow up research or ask questions for clarity. Quite simply, you feel as though you wasted your time and starting tomorrow, you’ll find another conference to attend with a speaker who may have a more solid presentation reputation.
Review the scenario: The audience member was excited and felt that this was the conference they needed. Unfortunately, while the visual presentation started immaculately, the presentation of information was poorly executed. The audience member leaves feeling disappointed, having wasted their time and decides to simply find another conference which is more likely to cater to their needs. We can safely assume there was more than one audience member who left feeling this way.
How does this apply to your business? Let’s imagine the woman (presenter) is the businesses logo. Perfect presentation, easy to recognise and the picture of what you felt you needed. The logo makes you feel like this is a business you can trust and you expect a certain level of delivery from them before you have even engaged them. That makes for an excellent logo but a successful business doesn’t end there.
Now let’s imagine the speech is the content. You saw the logo, felt compelled to learn more and as such, you headed to the website. When you arrive you find that the content is poorly written. The navigation is difficult so a bit of study is required before you can find what it is you want to read.
You find it and the subjects bounce around. The font changes and the colours do too. The size of the text jumps between big and small and there are no headings to help you find your place when you lose it. The information didn’t explain the product or service.
Ask yourself: If this was not in a quiet room full of people and instead in the privacy in my lounge room, what would I do?
If you had the option to stop the presentation, click another link and find a different presentation at any time you liked, would you? Would you follow through to the contact link to ask questions?
If considering a logo, we imagine this scenario a little differently: The speaker arrives at the stage looking under dressed, a lack of confidence and enthusiasm in their body language, slightly disheveled and look as though like they are about 10 years late to the conference. What is your initial impression? How receptive are you to what they have to say?
Chances are you would excuse yourself to a bathroom break and Google other conferences to attend on the cab drive home.
Your appearance goes hand in hand with your information. One is not necessarily any good without the other. You can have an outstanding logo and customers can still go to a competitor if they don’t understand what you do, why you’re qualified to do it, or how your services will benefit them.
On the other hand you can have amazing content, excellent service model and explain this beautifully in your marketing and website detail. However without a professional and up-to-date external image (initial impression) your target market may not get as far as discovering that excellent content.
Good presentation can be damaged with bad presentation.
Jess Sanderson is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Enriches Business – A Digital Marketing and Small Business specialist. She runs her business with her partner, Ben Riches, right here in Gympie and is a lover of all things content. You can get in touch via email@example.com or visit the website www.enrichesbusiness.com.au