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I was getting ready to present Taking the NO Out of InNOvation for a client’s all-team dinner event. My client contact was wonderful in supplying lots of information on the organization and its people. Additionally, we had already conducted a survey among the next day’s workshop participants on creativity, innovation, and strategic thinking readiness.

Yet for all that prep, there’s nothing like seeing the organization in person – both its people and its physical location place – to shape last minute thinking about specifically tailoring a presentation in the last hours before you deliver it.

In fact, having lunch and talking over the course of the afternoon with my client contact was very productive in identifying several last-minute tweaks to make the Taking the NO Out of InNOvation presentation closely fit the audiences’ needs. The changes, which included changing the order of content I’d delivered in the same order for years, also made delivering Taking the NO Out of InNOvation a very fresh experience for me.

At one point, I told our client how much I appreciated that she wasn’t freaking out. She was sitting through me creating completely new slides and moving things around on a presentation that nearly her whole company was going to see in two hours. She said she couldn’t imagine making these types of last minute changes and still being ready to talk about things in a different order than originally planned. Yet she told me all the references they checked told her I had very effective presentation skills and could basically handle whatever was thrown my way and could customize a session to exactly what they’d want.

Mike-Brown-Speaking-at-KVC-

6 Keys to the Effective Presentation Skills for Making Last-Minute Changes

Suppose you need to make last-minute changes to a presentation. Maybe you won’t ever want to make the kind of changes I was doing, but these six keys will be valuable nonetheless.

1. Think of your presentation as modules.

Consider your presentation as if it were a series of independent pieces of content. Instead of trying to memorize all your content strung together in order, know each module of content (perhaps a few slides or one section) on its own, not in relation to what’s before or after it.

2. When using slides, take advantage of animation to deliver cues.

If you’re using slides in a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation, take advantage of animation to tip you off to what is next. Only reveal part of a slide when you first click on it. This gives you an idea as to what to start talking about when the slide comes up. Then as you start talking, you can reveal the rest of the information on the slide.

3. Leave space in the presentation to interact.

If you pre-plan times when you’ll ask the audience questions and take advantage of other ways to directly interact, it will reduce your dependence on specific slides and talking points.

4. Develop multiple ways into and out of important pieces of content.

If you have a couple of different ways to launch into and exit important content modules, you will be able to improvise more readily. Through imagining various potential connections between specific sets of slides and the rest of the presentation, you set yourself up for tremendous flexibility.

5. Use slide cues to let you know what’s coming.

When changing things late in the game, it’s challenging to know in exactly what order every slide is and where all the key transitions are. In this situation, you can use subtle visual cues on slides. For instance, I’ll often hide The Brainzooming Group logo on a slide at the end of a particular presentation section. When the logo disappears, I know a content section is at its end. You can also use a barely noticeable shape or a different font for closing slides to signal you, but not the audience, that a change is coming.

6. Take advantage of hyperlinks within a presentation.

For several presentations, I allow the audience to select the specific content and the order that’s most beneficial for them. To deliver this customization, I use a slide with a menu of topics and hyperlinks to each presentation section. The same slide appears at the end of each section so there’s always a natural pause point integrated into each section. This lets me know it’s time for another topic and to give the audience a chance to pick what’s next.

Boosting Your Effective Presentation Skills

Again, maybe you’re not going to join me in doing this level of last-minute presentation customization. But even if you are often in a situation of having to make a few tweaks late in the game, these tips will definitely make them work better for you! – Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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During the Lenten season, Christians seek to grow in their devotion to prayer, reflection, and sacrifice as a way to detach from life’s daily consuming distractions.

Angel-praying

This year, I feel a calling to more deliberately help others as much as giving things up. During prayer the other day, the message was clear that I should launch out into the deep in a way that is new for me. Maybe it’s the spirit of Pope Francis that seems to be permeating even popular culture, reminding us that we are called to be islands of mercy, putting aside the indifference that a comfortable life can engender. In his message for Lent. Pope Francis calls us to “pray, to help others, and to recognize the need for God.”

As we’ve done in past years, we are sharing a creativity prayer I wrote a number of years ago as a reminder to also seek out new creative inspirations from the reflection and quiet in the coming weeks.

A Creativity Prayer

Lord,

Thank you for creation itself and the incredible gifts and talents you so generously entrust to me. May I appreciate and develop these talents, always recognizing that they come from you and remain yours.

Guide me in using them for the benefit of everyone that I touch, so that they may be more aware of your creative presence and develop the creativity entrusted to them for the good of others.

Help me also to use your talents to bring a creative spark and new possibilities to your world, living out my call to be an integral part of your creative force. Amen.

Copyright 2008, Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Writing a newsletter article, it struck me that for as much as we discuss the importance of diverse strategic perspectives on better strategic thinking, we don’t seem to have a compilation of our articles on the topic.

Let’s fix that!

Workplace Diversity – The Why, Who, and How of Strategic Thinking

These Brainzooming articles are arranged based on why you should seek workplace diversity to benefit strategy, who holds the important perspectives, and how you can take best advantage of them to improve your organization’s strategy.

Dilbert-ThinkerWhy Workplace Diversity Benefits Strategy

Who Holds the Strategic Perspectives You Need on Your Team

How to Manage Workplace Diversity and Varied Strategic Perspectives Working Together

 

Making Workplace Diversity Work for Your Strategy

This list of articles is a start to thinking about the value of having people with different thinking styles, perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds on your teams.

If you’d like to discuss how to put this all together for your organization’s benefit, let us know. We’d love to customize a strategy that delivers the best results for you! – Mike Brown

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

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Learn all about how Mike Brown’s workshops on creating strategic impact can boost your success!

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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At the 2015 Social Media Strategies Summit in Las Vegas, I am introducing a new Brainzooming workshop on “Staying Sane as a Solo Social Media Professional.”

By title, the workshop targets individuals who have to handle a brand’s social media strategy and implementation. In reality, the content is relevant for anyone responsible for social media and related content marketing that wants to:

  • Develop social strategies linked to business objectives more effectively in less time
  • Produce content that is easily repurposed in multiple ways
  • Speed up content creation
  • Better prioritize high-impact content
  • Do more and better social media marketing with small budgets

Much of the content is coming from previous Brainzooming posts with additions from the responses to the solo social media survey we featured recently.

Additionally, I am developing a new, simplified content calendar, a one-page strategy overview, and the “Content Marketing Formulas” list below.

These content marketing formulas came to life yesterday morning as I started playing around with different approaches to express handy reminders for how to repurpose content in timesaving ways.

Girl-Board-Formula16 Content Marketing Formulas

  1. Blog Post / 140 characters > 10 Tweets
  2. Tweet + Instagram = Facebook Post
  3. Blog Post – Words + Images = Infographic
  4. Blog Post + “On Camera Talent” + Camera = Video
  5. (Blog Post Links + Blog Title) * 10 = Compilation Blog Post
  6. Video / Capturing Individual Frames > 15 Images
  7. 1000 Word Blog Post / 3 = 3 Days of Digestible Blog Posts
  8. 1 Video Interview > 1 Podcast Segment + 1 Blog + 3 Images
  9. 1 Audio Recording of a Presentation = 2 Podcast Segments + 10 Graphics + 4 Blog Posts
  10. Website ImageSocial Sharing Button = Pinterest Post
  11. (Blog Post x 10) + Intro + Close + Call to Action = Downloadable Asset
  12. Infographic + Blog Post = Downloadable Asset
  13. (PowerPoint Presentation + “Voice Talent”)com = Video
  14. Live Webinarme = Video
  15. (Customer Event x Capturing Content) / Editing > Weeks of Social Media Content
  16. Rambling Blog Post that’s Not Working – Parts that Aren’t Working = Tighter, Working Blog Post

This list is VERY much a work-in-process even beyond the Social Media Strategies Summit. As a result, I am especially interested in whatever feedback and tweaks you might want to share.

Ultimately, I could see using content marketing formula number 3 and turning this blog post into an infographic.

Before that though, are there any formulas you use to improve your social media and content marketing productivity and impact you would like to share with the Social Media Strategies Summit audience? pronto!

Interested in diagnostics to assess your social and content marketing strategies?

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

If you are an executive with questions about whether  your organization’s social media and content marketing strategies are working as well as possible, you need this short cut. In less than 60 minutes with the FREE Brainzooming ebook “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy,” you’ll have precise answers to your questions.

You can make a thorough yet rapid evaluation of nine different dimensions of your social media and content marketing strategies with these easy-to-assess diagnostics. To get started right now, download your free copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social  Strategy.” – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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There were many themes apparent in the Super Bowl advertising portfolio.

  • There was dad-dom (Nissan, Dove Men+Care).
  • There was overcoming-disability-dom (Microsoft, Nissan).
  • There was scantily-clad-dom (T-Mobile. Victoria’s Secret).
  • There was borrowing celebrity-dom. (Kia. Snickers. Wix).

Plenty of “doms” to go around.

The Crowd’s Creative Comes Out on Top in Super Bowl Advertising

Crash-The-Crowd-eBook

Download “Crash Course” at http://boomideanet.com/crash-the-crowd/

But the intriguing results from the night belong to Doritos and the creative crowd. According to Ace Metrix research “America voted for #WhenPigsFly from Doritos to be this year’s #TopSpot2015 #SB49 by scoring it higher than any of the other 2015 Doritos ads.”

Additionally, Doritos ranked in the top 5 a short time after the Super Bowl advertising wrapped up Sunday evening.

When all the Super Bowl advertising rankings are in, there may be another winner. The interesting thing here is that the spot crowdsourced by Doritos is in the running. Yes, it’s fan-based creative.

What Do You Know about Crowdsourcing Advertising?

While not every company is in a position to turn its brand over to its consumers, the Doritos fan crowd demonstrates there is bona fide creative power in the crowd.

In light of this, if your CEO is asking you, “Should we be doing this crowdsourcing thing?” you’ll want answers.

We can help you with answers.

We can help you decide if a crowd can work for your brand. And suggest how you can test the crowdsourcing waters.

Visit this link and download our free eBook about “Everything You Need To Know About Crowdsourcing Before Your CEO Asks.”

Boom-Ideanet-Download

It might just come in handy!  – Steve Wood, Boom Ideanet

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Amid the Super Bowl advertising hype, one theme receiving significant attention the past few years is the concept of crowdsourced advertising. At a surface level, crowdsourcing advertising seems to engage a broader audience, break the creative chokehold of advertising agencies, and cost less. The question is, are any of those presumptions about crowdsourcing advertising true?

With that question in mind, I’m excited to introduce Steve Wood of Boom Ideanet to the Brainzooming blog. Steve provides an insider’s perspective AND is introducing a new eBook on crowdsourcing advertising today. 

You can download the FREE eBook right here or at the bottom of Steve’s guest post and be ready with smart answers and strategies on crowdsourcing advertising when your CEO comes knocking with the idea to crowdsource your next advertising campaign.

Boom-Ideanet-Download

Crash Course – Everything You Need to Know About Crowdsourcing Advertising – Before Your CEO Asks by Steve Wood

Crash-The-Crowd-eBookThis weekend, it’s the Super Bowl® and The Ad Bowl, all wrapped up in one super-hyped package of anticipation. Regardless of how the game goes, the Super Bowl advertising will stir attention and conversation. Doritos®’ “Crash the SuperBowl” campaign will be part of the conversation, in particular because it is crowdsourced. And Doritos is not alone. Lincoln, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Pizza-Hut and others are spinning crowdsourcing, too.

So how does Doritos use a crowd to make its Super Bowl advertising?

Frito-Lay® invests a great deal of time, money and operational structure to mobilize its fan base.

Beginning in 2006, Doritos established a contest for a “fan-made” commercial. They used advertising and other channels to assemble the crowd, which is renewed each year. Crowd members are self-selected. Fans invest in an idea and a finished video. A secondary crowd of voters determines how far an idea goes in the contest.

In year nine, “Crash the Super Bowl” is far more a marketing strategy than a creative strategy. The brand likely spends as much assembling each contest’s crowd as they do airing the winning-spot. They  are promoting participation in 29 countries, hosting a website, polling and paying out prize money and benefits totaling over $1M for 30 finalists.

Is this the only way to approach crowdsourcing advertising?

Chances are your company doesn’t have those kinds of resources to apply to one advertising event. You think, “Our company will never do a Super Bowl spot. Maybe it works for Doritos, but how could it work for my brand, or retailers, even B2B companies?” Can crowdsourcing advertising really produce useful results? Is it more trouble than it’s worth? Why would I share my business challenges with a bunch of people we don’t even know? All good questions.

So on the Monday morning after the Super Bowl your CEO will likely ask, “What is this crowdsourcing thing?

Are you prepared to respond?

To get you ready to steer the CEO toward a smart strategy, we’re sharing “Everything You Need to Know About Crowdsourced Advertising Before Your CEO Asks.”

Boom-Ideanet-Download

While Doritos has been tapping the crowd one way for years, it’s still anyone’s game out there in crowdsourcing country.

Read the paper. Be the MVP. And at least be ready to play when your CEO asks, “Should we be using “the crowd?” We say Yes! – Steve Wood, Boom Ideanet

 

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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When it comes to your creative thinking skills, are you an idea builder or an idea slasher?

In other words, when you ask someone for advice, ideas, or creative thinking (or simply declare you need help and someone else responds), how do you immediately react to what they have to say?

Someone with strong creating thinking skills listens to what the other person has to say, then starts to build on ideas being shared. This type of person makes connections to what he or she already thinks, asks for additional information (with positive language), and builds on the creative thinking the other person is offering.

8 Clues You Are an Idea Slasher

A slasher, on the other hand, immediately says things such as:

  • Maybe, but . . .
  • “So and so” already told me . . .
  • I’ve already tried that . . .
  • Here’s what I think about that . . . (followed by negative comments)
  • Yes, but . . .
  • My experience tells me . . .
  • I suppose, but I’m not sure why . . .
  • You don’t understand . . .

Yes, I have heard or even said all these over the past few weeks. We can all temporarily abandon strong creative thinking skills and fall into the idea slasher trap.

creative-thinking-skills-Id

If you are an idea slasher, you will quickly wear out the interest, patience, and enthusiasm of others who might offer you creative thinking, even when you most need it.

Back to the opening question then, “When it comes to creative thinking, are you an idea builder or an idea slasher?”

It is incredibly difficult to listen to ourselves. Because of this, you may not be able to answer whether you are an idea builder or an idea slasher when presented with someone else’s creative thinking. You may have to ask those you most interact with what group THEY think you fit in most of the time.

If you do as others, be prepared for potentially tough responses. Take their comments in and process them before reacting. If you hear the answer you do not want, be sure to simply listen, and DON’T respond with an idea-slashing comment!

Boost Creative Thinking Skills – Download “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation”

If how you react to new ideas is an area where you need to improve your creative thinking skills, download our free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” today!  This ebook will help boost your creative thinking skills as you interact with those around you.

Taking the NO Out of InNOvation

For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you. – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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