appointing the correct person

The Right Person For The Job

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Communications, Customer Service, Marketing, Presentations, Social Media, Website 0 Comments

A graphic designer is not a marketing person. A communications person is not a marketing person. A marketing person is a marketing person. Graphic design, marketing, and communications are three totally different disciplines. However, far too often the job descriptions are exchanged and intermixed. If you want your collateral presented in a way that’s appealing to your target audience, employ a graphic designer. If you want well-written prose, research, client liaison, perhaps some project management, then take on a communications person. If you’re looking for help articulating your organization’s strategy and business value; looking for the most appropriate ways to deliver your message, develop content strategies, brand differentiation, social media, advertising and/or PR campaigns… Well, you get the idea. Image courtesy of KEXINO

Swiss_Army_Knife

Don’t Blame The Tools

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Presentations 0 Comments

Spend time searching online for how to create better corporate or product presentations, and very quickly you’ll learn that slide presentation software, particularly  Microsoft PowerPoint, seems to be reviled around the world. Why? Because we’ve all be subjected to those ‘death by bullet-point’ presentations where the speaker packs in too much information – both in terms of each individual slide as well as in the entire presentation. Where the speaker seems to be in a supporting role to the presentation, rather than the other way around. But is that PowerPoint’s fault? The reason why many business presentations are so painful to sit through is that they are not thought-out. Presentations are slapped together the day before they are needed, from content mined from various disparate sources. Images or illustrations are repurposed from other media, with the inevitable result that they are inappropriate from a communicative point-of-view. Clip art, or its 21st Century Bastard Son in the form of stock photography, is used to break up the monotony of too much text – rather than for better communicating the value message. Finally, the speaker has not had the time (or the forethought) to rehearse the presentation. They end up trying to …

Slide Presentation Rules, by Nancy Duarte

Gee Ranasinha Communications, Presentations 0 Comments

Duarte Design has just posted a fantastic YouTube video outlining five ways to improve your slide presentations. Using just MS PowerPoint 2010 (and nothing else) this presentation gives you some great ground rules for the next time you have to make a presentation. Sure, it shows off the new builds and transitions in PowerPoint 2010, which is probably why Microsoft asked Duarte to put something together in the first place. But for me what it really shows is that you can add such eye-candy without detriment to clearly conveying your message – if you know what you’re doing. I’ve mentioned Nancy on this blog before. Nancy’s company is one of the reasons why I started KEXINO. Duarte Design is probably more responsible than anyone else in making us all aware that slide presentations – for the presenter as well as for the audience – don’t have to be “death by bullet-point.”

value of creativity

What Value Do You Put On Creativity?

Gee Ranasinha Presentations 1 Comment

Most people think of creativity as being something to do with art, literature or music. But without creativity, business today wouldn’t exist. You can call it innovation, ingenuity, talent or even vision. Regardless, one of the most prized traits in business is an individual’s creativity. Think of any successful business entrepreneur and you’d be hard pushed to find one without personal characteristics that, collectively, would be interpreted as creativity. Creativity means coming up with a new idea, or a new approach to an old idea. It’s having the guts to “think different.” Many individuals that we associate with being creative were not seen as such: Einstein was four years old before he could speak and seven before he could read. Walt Disney was fired from his job at a newspaper because he had “no good ideas.” Louis Pasteur was rated ‘mediocre’ in chemistry when he attended the Royal College. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed, Michael Dell dropped out of University of Texas, and Larry Ellison dropped out of University of Chicago. So if creativity is held in such high regard today, then why do the world’s education systems place such low importance on …

Nancy Duarte, Duarte Design

Are Your Presentations Letting You Down?

Gee Ranasinha Business, Communications, Presentations 3 Comments

Part of our work here at KEXINO is taken up with reformulating a company’s client-facing value, of which a key component part is the quality of their presentations. It’s amazing that, in a business world where the efficient visual creation and dissemination of ideas continues to grow in importance, so few business professionals are any good at presenting. Anyone who has ever been at a conference or seminar knows exactly what I mean: Overly-long, boring presentations using stock presentation templates, too much text on each slide and presenters reading the slide’s content out loud. Part of what we do at KEXINO is re-engineer a company’s corporate or product presentation to allow the message to speak more clearly by the use of design, imagery, motion graphics, video and type. One of the most well-known presentation architects has to be Nancy Duarte from Duarte Design, a consultancy that is probably most famous for working on Al Gore’s slide presentation that ultimately became the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth. There’s an interesting Nancy Duarte interview on the Six Minutes website, where she describes how to avoid some of the pitfalls in making presentations.