Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
From a young age we are led to believe that more is more, that is to say that your essays should be as long as possible, your projects should be far in excess of the minimum length requirement and your show and tell should be as lengthy and detailed a talk as possible.
It is rather unfortunate that we are allowed to believe this from such a young age as it results in what only can be described as truly awful speeches and presentations!
When it comes to giving a presentation LESS is often more, the reality is that people have limited attention spans and their brains can only absorb so much information in one sitting, therefore they will remember the first and last few minutes of your hour long presentation... and no more than that.
Great public speakers across the board from politicians to comedians recognise this fact and put it into practice when they talk to their respective audiences. They recognise that a presentation is about the audience, not about them. They recognise that it is their job to get the message across in a way that will be memorable and that will result in an action, not to stand atop a podium and show off how eloquently and comprehensively they can discuss an issue.
Abraham Lincoln is best remembered for his “Gettysburg Address”, a speech which is widely regarded as being one of the best speeches made by a US president. And while many people have heard of this speech, they have most likely not heard that Lincoln was not the main speaker at event, and more importantly that his speech was under 275 words and lasted less than three minutes.
Edward Everett was up before Lincoln on that day, and delivered a speech that was 13,500 in length... I have never heard of Mr. Everett and his role in the Gettysburg Address, in fact I doubt very few non-historians have heard of his speech.
Length is often not everything, if you can get your message across in a short concise talk, like Mr. Lincoln then you should probably do so!
Originally posted at my presentation blog www.clearlypresentable.com
Posted by Ed at Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
After much thinking on the matter I have decided to try putting my presentation skills to some use and start up my own presentation design business. Clear presentation design, found at www.clearpreso.com is my main website. Clear presentation design will offer services such as presentation makeovers, content generation and video presentations to begin with.
Posted by Ed at Saturday, December 05, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
It might not occur to most people, but meetings are expensive, very expensive. I am not talking about room rental, equipment rental, the cost of the tea and the chocolate biscuits that Doris the tea lady brings in to the meeting room (although add this in later if you really want), nope I am in fact talking about the cost of the time wasted in the vast majority of meetings.
Although you may think that meetings are just part and parcel of the way your business operates and therefore should not be subjected to criticism, I must tell you that the cost of most meetings is easily calculated, and absurdly large and underestimated.
Let’s imagine that Mr. Director of company X would like to call an internal meeting to discuss the launch of the company’s wonderful new product. The next afternoon all 50 employees shuffle into the large meeting room to hear the Director talk about the new product. The presentation is quite awful, it is poorly structured, conveys little to no information and does little to clear up uncertainties about what the new product will mean for various employees’ roles.
Let’s imagine that this presentation droned on for an hour, a very reasonable estimate. That was very much a completely wasted hour for each employee in attendance, 50 working hours are now firmly down the drain. If you were even more adventurous with your analysis of this meeting you could try and put a financial costing to it. Assuming that the average per-hour wage of the employees is €30 (very conservative here) that meeting has cost the company €1,500 in potential working hours and has given the audience little or no real value or information.
The lesson to be learnt here is that presentations are often an inappropriate form of communication. The Director could have chosen to send around a Word document in this situation describing the details and consequences of the launch. Or, if the Director was hell bent on making a presentation out of it, he could have at least practised out his presentation several times, been clear on the facts and trimmed the presentation down to a reasonable timeframe.
While this might go unnoticed in internal situations, the same will not be true for external meetings. People don’t like having their time and money wasted, so calculate the value of your next presentation (time x people x average wage per hour) – is it worth it? Have you worked hard enough to deliver real value and information? If not… START WORKING ON IT
Posted by Ed at Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
After last night's Ireland versus France game concluded with a frankly absurd judgement by the ref with regards to Theirry Henry's handball some are calling for a boycott of Gillette products if Mr. Henry continues to be one of their cover boys.
Posted by Ed at Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
I found this by way of the wonderful http://www.pkellypr.com/blog/ a blog worth visiting for definite.
Posted by Ed at Monday, November 16, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I mentioned previously here that I would continue my rant on Aer Lingus, so I will.
Posted by Ed at Thursday, November 05, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Well pumpkin carving time comes but once a year, and after the initial gutting of the pumpkin -which I really hate - it's actually quite fun to carve this vegetable/fruit/not too sure into a nice design.
Posted by Ed at Sunday, November 01, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Posted by Ed at Thursday, October 29, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
While listening to "The Bottom Line" a BBC business podcast I heard some information that both shocked and appalled me regarding trains. They may just shock and appall you also.
Posted by Ed at Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Posted by Ed at Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Posted by Ed at Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Posted by Ed at Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Well the 2009 Slideshare competition is coming to an end, the public vote is now over and the control is now in the hands of the very qualified judges (including one Mr. Guy Kawasaki - who as you might know is a good friend of mine that is to say I met him once).
Posted by Ed at Friday, September 18, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Posted by Ed at Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I read an interesting piece in the great book “The Definitive business pitch” regarding a rather unorthodox and gutsy pitch given to British Rail management in the 1980’s.
The managements at British Rail were holding a day of pitches to try and identify the best marketing agency for their requirements. At the end of the day the final agency hadn’t shown up for their slot...
Posted by Ed at Saturday, September 05, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
From RTE business news:
"Management at Aer Lingus say the outlook for the airline is highly uncertain following publication of the latest financial results.
The company has also said it can no longer afford to pay what was described as 'legacy-style' pay rates to staff.
Losses at the airline have tripled to €93m in the first half of the year."
Perhaps Aer Lingus should call it a day and stop keeping up the illusion that they can turn the airline afloat... what's that noise? I think I hear Michael O'Leary knocking at the door...
Posted by Ed at Thursday, August 27, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Posted by Ed at Saturday, August 22, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The editor of "Simple Complexity" found at http://simplecomplexity.net/ came up with a very strong argument as to why pie charts are not always the best way to go when trying to put across numbers, and are actually quite misleading at times due to the fact that our poor little brains aren't all that good at judging the areas of the various segments.
It's not all that easy is it? Now check out the dot chart below and try and do the same ranking exercise.Which is easier to understand? the vast majority of people will find making sense of the numbers involved in the dot chart. Both charts show the same numbers and are as follows A = 25, C = 21, D = 18, E = 10, F = 10.
Posted by Ed at Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
The Irish Times recently published an article on increased Aer Lingus passenger numbers for July... Ryanair's Head of communications Stephan McNamara wasn't going to let this one go unchallenged.
Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, is one of only a few indigenous companies to lead its sector in Europe and it is worrying that our July passenger numbers, which were six times those of Aer Lingus and detailed our remarkable and newsworthy July growth, were overlooked by The Irish Times.
While I do not expect any editorial favour to be shown to Ryanair I request that our good news stories be given the same consideration and space in your business pages as those of other leading Irish companies or small regional airlines such as Aer Lingus. – Yours, etc,
Head of Communications,
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Well I have a small favour to ask any readers of this blog with Slideshare accounts. I am entering this years "World's best presentation competition" over at Slideshare.net and need your vote!
The presentation in question is below and if you click through to here http://www.slideshare.net/edfk/why-statistics-need-context you can give me a vote... Pleeeeease.
Thanks in advance
Posted by Ed at Tuesday, August 04, 2009
According the the Irish Independent the Pharmacy situation is becoming a bit sinister, an article in today's paper starts "Garda protection drafted in as pharmacy row turns ugly".
It would seem disgruntled pharmacy owners have been turning up to the temporary dispensing centres and abusing the staff there... Pharmacists have obviously commenced foot shooting in earnest.
Posted by Ed at Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Although I will aknowledge he is not everyones cup of tea I have to admit that I quite like his quite "to the point" way of speaking. Below is a presentation I put together detailing a short selection of his finest remarks.
Posted by Ed at Monday, August 03, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
This week roughly half of the pharmacies in Ireland are planning to stop dispensing medicine to those with medical card as a form of protest against the governments proposed cut in their fees.
To me this seems like the most ill thought out protest possible, and will result in the public having a VERY sour attitude towards their local pharmacy, and perhaps will expose the somewhat cut throat nature of the "local friendly pharmacist".
What tomorrows actions mean is the following - elderly people who need their medicine will have to travel around and find a pharmacy willing to give them their medicine "Can I have my heart medicine so I can stay alive?" - "No they are cutting the margin on that slightly so I don't want to give that to you", very sick people will not know for certain whether they can get medicine they need... I'm not sure that's how you get the public on your side.
Furthermore, pharmacies who do stay open will poach customers from the ones that are protesting, For example: "Boots Ireland has confirmed that all its pharmacies across the country will remain open for business to dispense a full pharmacy service from August 1. Boots will continue to dispense all medicine schemes to ensure customers ‘are not disadvantaged’"
... That is how you win customers and keep them.
The IPU are shooting themselves in the foot here, rather than protecting small pharmacies they are going to be driving people to the larger ones and indirectly killing off the smaller guys. Bravo IPU. Should be an interesting week
Posted by Ed at Sunday, August 02, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I have to say I am becoming a little sick "bright shiny object" syndrome that has struck a large portion of the marketing community regarding iPhone apps. My two favorite statistics about the apps are below.
In the US the market share (in terms of handsets) is currently at 2.4%... When you are developing apps with the intention of using them as advertising vehicles 2.4% is not a very large target to be aiming for. While I acknowledged that this share will rise, Apple will never own the entire market - you will always be aiming for a portion - rather than all - of phone users.Now, once you have reached your 2.4% of the market, or whatever % it may be, you must now contend with the fact that the chances are that people will not use it more than once. The numbers above tell the story quite well.
With poor reach, poor usage, and questionable value-for-advertising-dollars I am not very positive about the marketing potential of iPhone apps.
(By the way I do acknowledge there are some useful fun apps out there, some, and I am talking about this from a marketing perspective)
Posted by Ed at Saturday, August 01, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Below is an amazingly funny video that I came across by way of "pharma gossip" blog. It was made by an Amsterdam native who was a little bit upset with how Fox "news" described his home city. According to Fox news "Amsterdam is a cesspool of corruption, crime, everything is out of control, its anarchy"
The video is a witty rebuttal and proves a point by using a few key statistics.
Posted by Ed at Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
When you are spending almost double -but not getting better results than - who you are insulting... you may want to think again?
Posted by Ed at Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
US media is ridiculous at the best of times, but now they have been able to combine stupid adverts with a sill disliking of anything that can even slightly resemble anything close to socialism... In the firing line now: Public Health Care.
I find it greatly amusing that "patientsunitenow.com"s supposed poster child of "Bad Health care" is Canada... which boasts far better health care records than the US...
Here is the advert I am ranting about, have a look and be astonished.
Posted by Ed at Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I know its all the rage these days to be critical of all things state run in Ireland, especially supposed shortcomings in transport.
But I must say that I think some very impressive changes have taken place in terms of inter city transport, that cannot be ignored. Recently I took an Irish Rail train down to "the Kingdom" of Kerry, and to be honest I was rather surprised at how nice the whole experience is...
Gone are the days of the hulking orange trains with seats as comfortable as granite, now Irish Rail boast of fleet of pretty damn modern and comfortable trains which offer a pretty comfy ride.
The trains are also fairly nippy and as an added bonus the seemingly run ON TIME!
If you would like to see a contrast to this take a little trip over to the US of A and have a peek at their equivalent "Amtrak", the trains are outdated and rickety, as slow as push bikes and furthermore judging by the constant swaying and bumping of the carriages they haven't even lay the tracks down properly.
So I think we should all give Irish Rail a round of applause... I know I will *starts clapping*
Posted by Ed at Saturday, July 25, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
You better be good at sports if you want to be deemed a good president in America. Poor Mr. Obama's baseball pitching skills have come under scrutiny after this video
The video has prompted fairly amazing comments from some viewers such as "Why can people not see what this guy is , he is a fraud ,the sad thing is, we are a country without a leader"... Jeez harsh, just because he throws like a girl?
He can however shoot some hoops!
Posted by Ed at Thursday, July 16, 2009