Archive for the ‘ Presentations ’ Category

Tired of presentations with tiny pictures and billions of animated bullets recited verbatim by the presenter? Introducing Haiku Deck, a free app for iPad users.

This app could save you from a presentation disaster of epic proportions! Haiku Deck eliminates the choice for bad design. The apps limited feature set forces users to follow best practices such as:

One idea per slide

Impactful images

Consistent look and feel

As mentioned in the full review at, the app forces the presenter to tell better stories. Grab a copy of the free app at the iTunes store.  Happy presenting.

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  • Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

  • The “Four Ps” of marketing

    Remember the “Four Ps” of marketing? At the 2012 International BMA Conference, one of the speakers argued that the “Four Ps” have become outdated.

    Although many marketing challenges remain constant, Eduardo Conrado, senior VP-CMO at Motorola Solutions and BMA chairman, provided his take which I found to be spot on – all focusing around the customer. Here’s what he had to say:

    PRODUCT should evolve into solutions and the ultimate impact on customer need.

    PRICE moves to value and the insights we offer for customers.

    PROMOTION evolves into education and how we engage with those customers.

    PLACE is increasingly mobile these days.

  • Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

  • MREs anyone?

    Who doesn’t like eating MREs? Certainly not the 6th graders at Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School in West Allis, Wis.

    Every few years I serve as a guest speaker in my daughter Rachel’s class.  Being in the Air Force Reserve, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do a bit of traveling. Back in 2007 I visited her class and talked about my deployment to Southwest Asia and what living in a different country was like. Her class and I wrote several letters back and forth, so it was neat to pay them a visit when I returned. Two years ago I spoke about my experiences with the Air Force helping people in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. Then recently, Rachel told me they were studying Africa in her social studies class.

    Ah, Africa – the Dark Continent that gave me a very bright sunburn on my face. I told Rachel to ask her teacher if he was interested in having me come in for a visit. He was – so off to class I went yet again. (more…)

    What do you get when you put cameras on two groups of highly creative and competitive people for a week? AMC’s The PitchIt’s over-dramatized to be sure, but I’m fascinated by the show. When we know who we are up against in a new business pitch, we check out them out and try to guess how they’re going to approach the task. Here’s our chance to watch two agencies a week run the gauntlet of a new business pitch.

    The fun part about the show is sitting back like a figure-skating judge and scoring the two full-service ad agencies as they move through their routines; developing their campaign recommendations. Who asks the client the best questions? Who brings more energy to their presentation?  Who offers unique thinking? Who proves they really understand the client’s needs? Who ultimately earns the business? Good TV … at least for ad people.

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  • Thursday, August 18th, 2011

  • Let’s do the Marshmallow Challenge!

    I facilitated The Marshmallow Challenge with our team last week as part of our agency’s monthly lunch and learn meetings. The Challenge is a good team-building exercise that encourages collaboration and creativity, at the same time teaching the importance of prototyping and not making false assumptions. It doesn’t take much time or too many resources. In fact, all you need are:

    • 20 uncooked spaghetti sticks

    • 1 marshmallow

    • 1 meter of string

    • 1 meter of tape


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    We’ve had an interesting string of new business pitches as of late that are worth revisiting, as I’m curious to learn if other firms or owners are experiencing the same outcomes.

    First let me say that we’re a bit spoiled, as we’ve won more pitches than lost over the years.  An enviable batting average, for sure, but the astute sales and marketing professional would respond to such a statistic by saying we simply haven’t attempted enough pitches in the first place.  Fair enough.

    Yet, when you’re used to winning competitive pitches you tend to analyze more deeply the occasional loss – especially when the differences between the winner and the losers are more easily defined and understood.

    Two quick case studies: the first involves a prospect we had pitched previously, and lost, only to be called back to pitch again.  The second study involves a loss to an agency that admittedly didn’t know the prospect’s products or industry, but won the business anyway.

    In case study number one our initial loss came to a firm that showed more “flash and sizzle” than did we during the presentation, and convinced the prospect that they were better suited to help elevate their brand.  In case study number two, a more recent loss, the winning agency did a better job of exciting the prospect about “all the possibilities” a partnership with them could bring.

    In both cases, we were “out-sizzled” in our presentation.  You see, we are who we are, in that we’re a no-nonsense strategic firm that has a history of planning for and executing campaigns and tactics that achieve measurable results for clients.  I know…doesn’t exactly sizzle.

    What’s interesting is that in case study number one, the client contacted us after six months with the previous winning firm, and asked us to come back in.  They’re now a good client for LePoidevin.  Case study number two is a more recent loss.  Who knows what the future may bring.

    From these two case studies I and we have learned two things: stick to your principles and be yourselves, but add a bit more sizzle to your presentation.

  • Thursday, February 18th, 2010

  • We know it all

    It’s good to get in front of a student audience periodically to gauge the state our own hubris. You know the value of a good Ishakawa diagram and the business end of a sincere communications plan. Now try explaining that in English.

    The gaze of 20 blank faces trying to digest their first exposure to anything associated with the concept of Six Sigma is akin to attempts at explaining away a speeding ticket to a state trooper on a 90-degree day. In the first instance, nothing has prepared this audience for the discussion because it’s a manufacturing concept (and they’re in the school of communications) and in the second case nothing you have to say is of interest to the target. And both situations are your fault. (more…)

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