Sunday, July 19, 2015

Finding Your Presentation Voice

Having worked at 100+ agencies and trained or coached thousands of people in presentation skills, I have reached a conclusion that are plenty of different ways to a great presentation and just as many ways to do a poor presentation.  While this may seem counterintuitive, my point is that there is no one way to do it.

The problem is that when well-meaning people try to help others with their presentation skills, the end result is advice that basically says “do it just like me and you will be great.”  This creates many unintended consequences like having a group of people that all look the same or having many presenters that simply look out of sorts, trying to be something that they are not.

Everyone needs to find their own speaking style.  One that allows their natural personality to come through and accentuates their strengths.  For some, this style might be more measured and thoughtful.  That does not give that thoughtful presenter permission to be a sleepy presenter but it does give them permission not to be overly boisterous. 

Other presenters will naturally be more high energy.  They are the jolt of caffeine that interjects new life into the presentation. 

Just think for a moment what it would be like if everyone was the jolt of caffeine.  That would be a very difficult presentation to sit through.  Just like all clients sitting across the table from you are not alike, your pitch team should have similar diversity in their presentation styles.

While I am more than happy to give people a great deal of latitude in finding their presentation voice.  That does not mean that there are not some rules.  No ummmming and ahhhhhing your way through a presentation. No low energy presentations to the point of sleepiness.  No reading from notes.  Put the laser pointer down…you look ridiculous.  I could go on with the list but you get the idea.

Work to find your own voice.  Don’t try to mimic someone else’s voice.  It is fine to learn from watching others present but don’t abandon your own style in an effort to present like someone else.  Even if they are your boss;-)

Mark Schnurman
President --

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The power of non-verbal communication

I am not one to place tremendous importance on non-verbal communication and body language but it is undeniable that it has an impact on a presentation. Since the difference between winning a pitch and losing a pitch is a collection of small differences between agencies, we can't ignore subtleties like body language.

The following article in does a nice job discussing body language. 

Forbes article on body language

Mark Schnurman

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Loctite wins the Superbowl!!!

The general consensus seems to be that Fallon's Loctite Glue won the Superbowl. 
 See Loctite Glue spot.

The spot was funny and creative but as I walked through Home Depot the other day, I saw the Loctite Super Glue display.  $3.48 for a little bottle.  Assuming that Home Depot makes a $1.00 or so in mark up, that means Loctite needs to sell two-million or so bottles just to pay for the media (fuzzy math, not real math).

For a product that you only use occasionally, that seems like a tall order to me.  It is not the low price point but the infrequency of the purchase/need that makes it look like a curious choice for the Superbowl. 

I have read that Loctite spent what amounts to their entire marketing budget on the spot.  Time will tell if it was a wise investment.


Mark Schnurman
Filament Inc.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Has the Superbowl Halftime show jumped the shark?

Arguing the creative value of Katy Perry is a topic for another day.  The question for me is just how far the NFL should try to stretch its demo with the halftime show.  At some point in the stretching process something has to break.  I think we saw the breaking point last night.
 Katy Perry's 'Right Shark' Is Actually a Really Hot Dude

I did not think that the teenage girl was the much coveted demographic that the NFL was so urgently trying to obtain.  As I watched the show last night I thought what is next, Disney Princesses on Ice for a halftime show.  Or maybe Dora the Explorer.  Frankly, the California Girls bit last night reminded me of more of Dora than any other musical act.

As marketers, do we make the same mistake?  In an effort to grab as big a market share as possible, do we lose sight of our core audience.  In the pharma industry it seems even more important to understand our core customer and build from there.  It is difficult enough for us to capture the physicians attention in an ever shortening detail or keep a consumers attention during a DTC spot.  Let’s not make the same mistake as the NFL and invite our customers to tune out because we cast too wide a net.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

David Droga thoughts on work ethic and creativity

I found a nice podcast by David Droga on work ethic and creativity.  It is interesting to hear his point of view on what he needed, and still needs, to do to be successful. 

My favorite quote from the podcast..."I wish creatives cared more about the ramifications of their work not just care about the creativity of it."  Very powerful.


Mark Schnurman
Filament Inc.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jon Steel, head of planning at WPP, give a great talk on communication, creativing and pitching new biz.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Spark - Inspiring Better Presentations

While this blog is dedicated to winning new business part of the new business process is the presnetation.  Filament has launched a new blog (The Spark) dedicated to inspiring better presentations which looks  both withing advertising and beyond advertising to share lessons and thoughts on what makes for a great, compelling presentation.

Check out The Spark.

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