05th Sep2008

Youth Marketing Forum 2008 – 2Ps:Passion and Presentation

by Dorothy

I was at Day 2 of the Youth Marketing Forum 2008 at Dragonfly on Wednesday, along with Amelia, as part of the youth panel for the interactive breakout session, and a big shout out to Prof Mark Chong for putting our names through for the panel! I suppose many of you are now expecting a post on the hottest trends in youth marketing. I will get around to the cool highlights of the Forum but first, I just want to make some points about the presentations that I witnessed.

As the day went on, it became increasingly apparent that there was a chasm between the quality of the various presentations going on.
There were several categories of presentations that I could detect.
Awesome content + Awesome presenters = Always a joy to watch and learn!
Moderate content + Awesome presenters = Still bearable.
Moderate content + terrible presenters = EPIC FAIL.

How (not) to give a presentation:

  • Sit down and drone on and on about your content.
  • ‘Talk down’ to your audience
  • Read your slides word for word.
  • Read your slides word for word + monotonous android voice.

I think that our local presenters have a long way to go before we can catch up with our other counterparts who are clearly more adept at managing their stage presence and engaging the audience. Nevertheless, I do believe this might be a generational issue as well- the more youthful presenters let their personalities shine through on stage and were a welcome relief from overwhelmingly monotonous deliveries.

This thought just struck me. How many of the presenters were talking about something that they truly believed in, and not just something they had been a part of under the guise of work, or worse, not even been a part of because the work had been done by colleagues?

I am going to post this video of Clinton’s speech at the Democratic Convention, that I found off this post, entitled “Fantastic public speaking“.

Let’s ignore the politics for a while. The main point about Clinton’s speech was that it was touted as the one in which she finally “won people over” without trying to win them over. In other words, they finally could connect and believe in the message that she was bringing across. Some background info: there had been previous issues about Clinton apparently being confusing in her stance, and that translating to a lack of believability while the primaries were going on earlier this year.

It occured to me that a few of the presenters at the marketing conference hardly seemed to care whether or not they were coming across as believable. They were saying the words, but their body language spoke otherwise. They were talking about the ‘cool’ widgets, youth initiatives that their companies were going to implement and invest in. I will take that leap of faith and assume the initiatives were meant to excite people our generation. I saw none that I, nor the other youth panelists sitting around, would have liked to engage in. At one point, it seemed that there was more energy coming from the youths sitting at the back than on stage.

Presenting is not just standing up on stage and delivering the lines you have to, and scurrying off. Trust me, the audience can feel it. It is about sharing, it is about engaging, it is about telling people about something that you have to make your audience believe in. It is about sincerity.

The great presentations that I heard combined the evergreen elements of success in presenting – great sense of humour, great case studies, intelligent points and of course, passion for their subject. My favourite presenters for the day include Rob Campbell and his talk about An Inconvenient Lie, Ban Yinh Kheow from Stickfas, and Graham Perkins who shared about the i in Apple.

A great presentation energizes you like a refreshing drink after a long, tiring run. It wakes your mind up ; it makes you start to think. And question. Some times, it is not even what you present directly that is of the greatest value, but simply because you were able to use what you had just heard to springboard to other ideas.

…more on the forum (and other topics that came up) next!