Chris Hill, the immediate past president of AMA Knoxville, welcomed participants to the first event of the new season. AMA Knoxville brings together marketing minds from Knoxville and surrounding counties for professional development, networking, and educational opportunities. The chapter also invests in future marketers by awarding scholarships to marketing students at the University of Tennessee with our Eagle Endowment. Hill recognized the AMA board of directors, volunteers, and annual sponsors (Slamdot, Colby’s Photography, Larson SMB Consulting, and HumblePod) who make these events possible.
As an announcement, an AMA-endorsed marketing certificate program is available at the University of Tennessee. To learn more or to sign up visit http://noncredit.utk.edu/
About the Presenter
Eric Eskey is Managing Director of Dark Horse Works and a Practitioner of the Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) innovation approach. Eric founded Dark Horse to serve change makers like you by encouraging innovation and defeating the hidden forces that resist it.
Eric is a 17-year, seasoned innovation practitioner and leader. In the past year, he’s partnered and advised at the senior level in significant innovation engagements with:
A mid-market finch company to place the right financial bets, beat their most powerful competitors, and decrease their time to market as they prepare for their IPO.
A Fortune 100 company to judiciously drive down their marketing costs and drive-up revenue by reframing their product marketing approach and capability.
A mid-market insurer to reduce client and employee churn, strengthen their culture, and drive down risk as they respond to the threat of disruption by InsureTech.
How Has Marketing Changed?
It’s no secret that the face of marketing has changed considerably over the years. In the 50’s, TV and print were the top priorities. In the 60’s, the idea of campaigns was introduced and was closely followed by the integration of detailed analytics in the 70’s. The 80’s brought developments in technology and a need for increased marketing complexity and efficiency. The role of marketing was broadened to include more strategy and segmentation with the introduction of the CRM in the 90’s. A digital and social revolution came about in the 00’s which ushered in the era of AI and big data in the 10’s. And now in the 20’s we are faced with the future of marketing – smart data. Marketing has moved from “telling and selling” to “engaging in dialogue” with the customer.
What Kind of Marketer Are You?
Marketing has changed more profoundly than any other organizational role. The shift is historic and to truly understand its impact we must clearly (re)define the role of marketers. The range of marketing responsibilities has become so broad that it’s easy to set ourselves (or our employees) up for failure if we aren’t clear about expectations.
There are three types of marketers in today’s organization:
- Strategist – This individual makes decisions about positioning and product
- Commercializer – This person drives sales through marketing communication
- Leader – This person does both of the above, delivering profitable growth and innovation
Regardless of which role you serve (or want to serve), your success depends on creating alignment. This alignment comes from an interest or goal that’s shared between marketers and their partners.
Because marketers are focused on generating demand, we place a high value on creativity, speed, and achieving goals. But our organizational partners may be more inwardly focused on stability and accuracy. We can meet in the middle where our common interests collide and put the customer at the center of it all.
Creating Alignment Through Customer-Centric Goals
To best serve our customers, marketers must work together with other team members or departments to meet the customer’s needs. The best way to accomplish this is by creating a set of shared, customer-centric performance goals that all parties strive to achieve. Before we start setting goals though, there’s a few things we must consider:
First, we must get the customers right. The word “customer” has an incredibly flexible meaning and although many companies claim that their strategies are customer-driven, they may not be serving the right customer. The strategic selection of a primary customer group defines the business and should be made up of those who can unlock the most value for the business – not necessarily the most revenue.
Next, we must get their needs right. We often ask ourselves, “Can we do this?” instead of, “Should we do this?” This narrow frame of mind unduly limits the options we consider and can keep us from seeing what our customers really want or need. To widen your view, invite the customer into a dialogue about their customer journey, desired outcomes, and obstacles and use that knowledge to inform planning and decision-making.
Finally, we must gather smart data. After broadening the pool of available options, we must choose the right ones to make a difference for our customers as well as our own business. At this stage we reality test our options with smart data we can trust and work hard to avoid confirmation bias.
The bottom line? Smart data is the future. Our role as marketers is evolving and as we face new pressures, we must be vigilant, avoid bias, and create alignment within our organizations to provide truly customer-centric solutions.
If you enjoyed this virtual event we invite you to join us next month on Wednesday, October 13 when we’re joined by time management guru Samantha Lane for a discussion on work-life balance, managing time, and setting boundaries. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/top-tips-for-work-life-balance-tickets-169098625541
Chris Hill, outgoing AMA Knoxville President, introduced our June virtual event and recognized the board members, volunteers, and annual sponsors (Slamdot, Colby’s Photography, Kroeger-Miller CPAs, and Humblepod) that make it possible for the chapter to continually invest in Knoxville’s marketing community.
The AMA Knoxville chapter works to bring together local marketing minds for professional development events and networking opportunities. The chapter also supports the next generation of marketers through the Eagle Endowment, a scholarship for marketing students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
As an additional way to support the local marketing community, the Knoxville AMA chapter has partnered with UT’s non-credit program to provide AMA-backed certificate programs. Be sure to sign up for fall courses at http://www.utnoncredit.com/
Meet the Speaker
Combining over a decade of research-driven experience, her intuitive empathic nature and educational approach, Bonnie Casamassima guides clients on how to use the psychology of interior design and the healing science of nature within their everyday spaces to nurture their productivity, intuition and wellbeing. She is the Principal and Founder of Interweave People Place and an Adjunct Professor of Interior Design at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
Bonnie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a Master of Fine Arts degree within Interior Design focusing on Biophilic Design and Environmental Psychology from SCAD.
She lives in Knoxville, TN with her partner and his two kids. She enjoys traveling, pottery, live-music and a good belly laugh. You can connect with Bonnie on Facebook.
Our Spaces Impact Our Well Being and Quality of Life
The EPA estimates that we spend 90% of our lives indoors – that means that 9 out of every 10 of our breaths are taken inside built spaces. And oftentimes, those spaces are drab, impersonal, and uninspiring (imagine an empty classroom or an office full of cubicles) and leave us feeling drained and lacking motivation.
This happens because our spaces impact us significantly in direct, biological ways. There’s a whole body of science behind those intuitive feelings we have about our spaces called environmental psychology. This discipline looks at how our environments affect us, the restorative properties our spaces can provide, and how we can design our spaces to best serve our wellbeing.
You’ve probably already been exposed to these concepts without realizing it. Anybody heard of Marie Kondo? Feng shui?
Bringing Environmental Psychology and Biophilic Design Into Our Spaces
Just like healthy eating or an active lifestyle, healthy built spaces can impact us significantly. By including biophilic design elements like plentiful daylight and natural materials, a variety of spaces have seen significant improvements:
- In classrooms, test scores were 7-18% higher and information was retained 20-60% faster.
- In offices, employees showed higher productivity and took fewer sick days.
- In homes, individuals felt reduced stress and increased restoration.
Take a moment to think about your own spaces. What spaces make you feel most supported?
How can spaces impact us?
We attach memories (and by extension, emotions) to the objects around us. In a split second as we walk by a trinket shelf, years of memories and emotions are being cued within us.
In this same moment, our amygdala is being engaged and can trigger our fight or flight response if these objects stress us. It can take a few minutes (or even up to 4 hours) for our bodies to return to a neutral, resting state once it’s been cued for this stress response.
This is why we feel so liberated when we declutter our spaces – we are removing objects that stress us on a subconscious level.
What can we do?
Listen to your intuition about what things do or don’t serve you and use insights to support you. Remove the things that cue stressful responses and replace them with things that invoke a sense of gratitude and serve our mental wellbeing.
Increasing Productivity & Wellbeing
Let’s take a moment to look specifically at the spaces in which we work. During any given workday we go through four different work modes: focusing, learning, collaborating, and socializing. You may mentally shift between these modes many times during a day and our workspace should support the way we work.
Our spaces are an ecosystem that should provide us diversity and the opportunity to move through those work modes and accommodate the best way we work. (For example, private desk spaces vs. coworking tables, opportunities to work standing or seated, etc…)
Take a moment and Imagine being in your favorite space in nature. Think deeply about how it makes you feel. That feeling is the goal of biophilic design – bringing the calm of nature into our built spaces and our daily lives.
How can we accomplish this?
There are many ways to bring biophilic design into your spaces, but we’ll focus on two important ones:
- Engage all senses
- Incorporate smells, sounds, and textures of environments that are most nurturing to you
- Biophilia means “love of life” and many people start working toward this by filling their home with plants but it doesn’t have to stop there. You can pull in natural, warm light, environmental colors, natural shapes and forms, etc..
- Think about organizing your space so that daylight follows you throughout your day. This supports our circadian rhythms to engage our production of serotonin.
- Security and zones
- Orient your workspace so that your boat is against a wall. If your back is exposed to the room, your fight or flight reaction is constantly being cued.
- Ideally, consider setting up your space to have a view out a window
- Create zones between functional spaces. Especially when working from home it’s important to create a separation between “home” and “office”. Area rugs are great for creating a divide and threshold between spaces in a single room.
Keep in mind that not every space using biophilic design will look alike. No matter what spaces you’re designing, listen to what resonates most with you and your community or organization. Then, use the insights we’ve discussed to integrate biophilic design.
To learn more, we recommend that you read 7 Remote Work Design Tips: Rock Your Productivity and Wellbeing, check out other articles and courses from InterweavePeoplePlace, and consider picking up a book off of Interweave’s recommended reading list below.
The AMA Knoxville chapter works to bring together local marketing minds for professional development events and networking opportunities. The chapter also supports the next generation of marketers through the Eagle Endowment, a scholarship for marketing students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Holly Yalove, president-elect of AMA Knoxville, introduced the event and recognized the board members, volunteers, and annual sponsors (Slamdot, Colby’s Photography, Kroeger-Miller CPAs, and Humblepod) that make it possible for the chapter to continually invest in Knoxville’s marketing community.
For those who may not be aware, The Knoxville AMA chapter has partnered with UT’s non-credit program to provide AMA-backed certificate programs. The next course will focus on digital marketing management and will be taught by Holly Yalove. Sign up now at http://www.utnoncredit.com/
Meet the Presenter
Leslie Beale is the founder and CEO of Profusion Strategies. She has two decades of experience in building and leading teams, developing and delivering employee training, and crafting and implementing process and efficiency improvements. She is certified as an executive coach with the International Coaching Federation and has hundreds of hours of experience in coaching and mentoring leaders of all levels in a variety of industries.
When she’s not working, you can find Leslie watching her sons play sports, hiking, or playing (bad) tennis.
What the Changing Future of Work Means for Today’s Leaders
As move away from quarantines and into the new landscape of post-pandemic work there are three critical questions we must ask ourselves:
- What current changes will shape the future of work?
- What hidden impacts are these changes causing?
- What do leaders need to do to adjust?
Over the past year we’ve been in a constant state of description, uncertainty, isolation, disconnection, and struggle. The disruption caused by COVID-19 was unprecedented in its speed and scope. In the shock of this disruption, we experienced an initial adrenaline-based response which was followed by months of uncertainty that have led to a lot of the change that we’re experiencing in the workplace today.
What Changes Will Shape the Future of Work?
Some changes may be more permanent than others, including:
- Remote work – Over the past year companies that had not previously considered offering remote work opportunities have been forced into this new work from home model. Almost 48% of the workforce may be remote at least some of the time, an 18% increase over pre-pandemic rates, and as much as 327% of the workforce may stay remote post-pandemic, with the number of remote workers doubling in the next 5 years. After experiencing success with remote work, many organizations are considering downsizing or significantly altering office footprint.
- Massive shake up in the talent pool – Voluntary turnover has made a big impact on the workforce with over a quarter of all workers saying they plan to look for a new job once the health crisis is behind us. Permanent changes in remote work will allow for broader talent pools as people “work from anywhere,” but remote work will also open up opportunities for your workforce to look elsewhere.
- Entering the age of “corporate social justice” – Over the past year new pressures and expectations have been placed on companies to responsibly impact and interact with the world.
- Increased demand for flexibility – This applies not only to flexibility with regard to remote work and childcare, but will also impact schedule flexibility as well with many employees questioning why it’s necessary to get their work done between the hours of 9AM and 5PM.
- Performance tracking – With remote work becoming a new part of the workplace landscape, employers must find new ways to track employee performance from a distance. Computer and keystroke tracking software is available, but can send a negative message to employees about trust.
- Fairness in hybrid teams – Employers must be ready to determine what’s fair and equitable between employees when some are working remotely and others are working in the office. Perceived disparities in work distribution can be detrimental to workplace morale.
- Demand for social support from employers – During the height of the pandemic uncertainty, the number of employers offering mental health support to their employees grew significantly. Rather than revoking these benefits, employers should expect to include higher levels of support in their benefits packages moving forward.
- Increased pressure for organizations to consider their brand as an employer – Because of the increased opportunities that come with remote work, your company is now competing for top talent with exponentially more other employers. Rather than simply posting a job offer, be ready to show employees that you offer a great place to work, professional development opportunities, support for employees, care about social justice, good pandemic response, etc…
How Do We Move Forward?
Company leadership has been, and will continue to be, stretched like never before when it comes to managing performance, handling conversations about flexibility, responding to demands for diversity, and so much more.
With so many added pressures it’s important that leaders learn to adapt.
Leaders are human. They’re tired. They’re worn down. And no matter what a leader is dealing with personally, they’re still responsible for their team. To continue to be an effective leader, they’ll need to take some time and work on themselves to broaden their perspective and build resiliency.
Leaders must also learn new ways to effectively manage their teams. The most helpful thing a leader can do for their team is provide clarity. Be clear with your goals and expectations, craft a cohesive vision for your team, and keep team members motivated to serve that vision.
Interested in Continuing the Conversation?
Leslie Beale and Profusion Strategies offer an invitation-only leaders forum to help build better leaders and help our best leaders continue to succeed. The next Leaders Forum will be held on June 23, 2021 at 9:00 AM. To request an invitation, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The AMA Knoxville chapter works to bring together local marketing minds for professional development events and networking opportunities.
Chris Hill, president of AMA Knoxville, introduced the event and recognized the board members, volunteers, and annual sponsors (Slamdot, Colby’s Photography, Kroeger-Miller CPAs, and Humblepod) that make it possible for the chapter to continually invest in Knoxville’s marketing community.
- We are currently accepting applications for the Eagle Endowment, a scholarship for marketing students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
- The Knoxville AMA chapter has partnered with UT’s non-credit program to provide AMA-backed certificate programs. Sign up now at http://www.utnoncredit.com/
Meet the Presenter
Jill Green, a professional recruiter, has diversified experience with a variety of industries and has significant experience in the recruitment and placement of business professionals to include accounting, finance, human resources and executive administrative, sales, manufacturing, operations, customer service, marketing, and other roles. Jill has worked as a professional recruiter in the East Tennessee area since 2003. Her previous work experience includes accounting within the manufacturing, automotive dealership and distribution industries. Jill is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in Organizational Administration and obtained a second degree in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Jill is active in and continues to support many professional and civic organizations, including Financial Executives International (FEI), the Knoxville Chamber, the United Way, Leadership Knoxville, Make-A-Wish East Tennessee and is currently part of the FBI Citizens Academy Class of 2020.
What is Career Branding?
Career branding is the process of creating a recognizable professional name and reputation for yourself. It encompasses the way you speak, all written communications, your appearance, your online profiles and presence, and so much more.
There are many considerations in effectively creating a professional brand, but a few that are of the utmost importance are consistency and attention to detail. You want to be sure that you’re presenting a consistent image in all areas including your cover letter, resume, online profiles, personal appearance, and even in Google search results. Take a minute and Google your own name (your interviewer certainly will) – do the results represent you well?
For the best possible presentation on your online profiles (particularly LinkedIn), you’ll want to follow these few tips:
- Display an appropriate photo (a professional headshot is best)
- Ensure the contact information you list is up to date and correct
- Display your educational background and accomplishments
- Give more than you receive – be sure that what you post provides value for your audience
- And remember – everything is searchable!
During the job search you can expect to do quite a bit of professional writing. First and foremost, you’ll need to write a resume and cover letter.
When writing your cover letter, keep it short and sweet. Grab the attention of the reader right away and address your letter to an individual if possible. Take time to look up the company’s HR director or hiring manager on LinkedIn so you can add a personal touch to the letter instead of simple addressing it “to whom it may concern.” Avoid using fluff words in the body of the letter and use it as a place to convey details that may not be on your resume like charter changes, geographical moves, or gaps in employment. Your cover letter is also a great place to share your most notable (and quantifiable) accomplishments that pertain to the company or position you are applying for. Last but not least, close your letter with a call to action or a next step the reader should take.
Your resume, on the other hand, should be focused strictly on your career history, education, certifications, and quantifiable accomplishments. Be sure to craft a concise objective statement detailing your career goal. Instead of relying on overused buzzwords, consider using keywords that will help your resume be easily understood by ATS and HRIS systems that are commonly used by large companies. As for the appearance of your resume, be sure to choose a clean, easy-to-read format and utilize the margins as much as possible.
To write an effective resume and cover letter, follow these 4 steps:
- Know your market – Do your research on the career field and position you’re applying for. Be prepared to speak to your unique qualifications for the role and have detailed conversations about the industry you’re applying for.
- Know your product – Hint: it’s you! What are your unique characteristics? What sets you apart from your peers? Effectively explain your accomplishments and strengths that make you well suited for the position. Be sure to be honest and make sure you can back up anything you list on your resume.
- Assemble your resume – Include your name, target position, career highlights, education, references, systems, and involvements.
- Critique, polish, and proof – Before sending off your resume, be sure to spell check it and even have someone else proofread for anything that spell check might not catch. Attention to detail is key, and typos will not be appreciated by the company you’re applying to.
Your elevator speech is a brief statement that describes you and your career objectives. Before heading in for an interview, be sure that you have clearly defined these factors and can confidently deliver this statement to your interviewer. To prepare, consider role playing what it might be like to deliver this statement in a variety of settings (career fair, interview, business event, etc.). You’ll also want to be prepared for common follow-up questions including your greatest strengths or weaknesses, your ultimate career goals, and more.
Your appearance plays a huge role in creating a first impression. When preparing for an interview, you’ll want to choose an outfit that is conservative and traditional and avoid flashy colors. Simple accessories are acceptable, but avoid jewelry that might be oversized or noisy. Avoid extreme styles including piercings, unnatural hair color, and heavy makeup. And finally, when selecting perfume or cologne remember that your interview can smell your before they see you and a little goes a long way.
Once you’ve secured an interview, the real fun begins. Prior to the interview, do your research and have questions prepared for your interviewer. Arrive on time, not too early and certainly not late. Keep in mind – the interview starts when you pull into the parking lot so be aware of how you conduct yourself even before you walk into the building. While interviewing, keep good posture, keep your cell phone silenced and out of sight, and limit your use of filler words – opt to pause and briefly collect your thoughts instead.
A big mistake that candidates often make is not actually asking for the position at the end of the interview. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways from a direct ask to asking when you can expect to hear from the company or what the next steps are following the interview process. And of course, follow up on your interview with a thank you note!
Networking & Job Searching
Networking with industry professionals is an effective method to search for jobs and stay aware of positions becoming available. As opposed to social networking, job search networking should be planned and organized. There are a variety of venues that this might take place including professional groups, local chamber events, conventions, trade shows, community events, and more.
Creating a well-rounded professional network can be an incredibly valuable tool in any job search. Additionally, you might find success by locating an industry-specific recruiter or working with a staffing company.
Keep Learning with AMA Knoxville
Follow AMA Knoxville on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for tips on personal branding, digital marketing, and so much more! And be sure to check our website regularly for details on upcoming events.
The AMA Knoxville chapter works to bring together local marketing minds for professional development events and networking opportunities. We also Invest in future marketers through Eagle Endowment at the University of Tennessee.
AMA Knoxville Chapter President, Chris Hill, opened our March virtual event by thanking our board of directors and volunteers who work tirelessly to grow the chapter and the marketing industry in our city. Hill also thanked the annual sponsors – Slamdot, Colby’s Photography, Kroeger-Miller CPAs, and Humblepod – for their continued support of the chapter.
As an announcement for AMA Knoxville members, we have started a Slack channel that we would love to have you participate in. If you’re interested in joining, please sign up and become a member of the #amak-members-general channel.
Meet the Presenter
Regina Bonds, also affectionately known as, the Confidence Guru, is celebrated as one of the world’s most trusted voices to women, challenging them to use their confidence to improve, enhance, and ultimately elevate their lives. Regina has worked with women around the world helping them recognize their value, find their voice, and clarify their path through the power of her confidence formula. Hear from Regina as she breaks her formula down in a way that helps attendees leave with a plan to level up in every area of life.
Cultivating Your Confidence
2020 was a difficult and trying year for everyone. Now is the time to put that behind us and focus on bouncing back in 2021. This is the year to realign, refocus, refuel, and restart. To help you press that restart button, Regina is here to help you cultivate your confidence.
Grab a sheet of paper and draw the biggest circle you can on that paper. At the top, write “Life of (your name)”. Inside the circle draw two smaller circles, one on the left labeled “COC” for “Circle of Circumstance” and one on the right labeled “COP” for “Circle of Possibility.”
85% of the world today is living inside of their COC, focusing on what life has handed them and not making moves to attain their goals. Only 15% is living in their COP – this is the group that says, “No matter what, I’m showing up and putting my best foot forward.” Now ask yourself – are you one of the 85% or the 15%?
If you’re tired of living in your Circle of Circumstance and you’re ready to elevate to your Circle of Possibility, this information is for you. Extraordinary is calling your name and confidence is going to play a leading role in allowing you to level up.
Achieving Truly Explosive Confidence Growth
You’ll need 3 things to experience this kind of explosive confidence growth:
- Clarity. You have to understand what you want out of life. What can’t be explained can never be attained. Don’t be afraid to try something and realize it’s not quite what you wanted – finding out what you DON’T want is just as important as finding out what you DO.
- Courage. This transformation isn’t going to come easily or without fear. You’ve got to have the ability to do it even though you’re afraid. Be willing to bet on yourself. Be willing to take risks. And most importantly, be willing to be who you decide to be regardless of what anyone else thinks.
- Commitment. Are you committed to what it’s going to take to get you to your goal? How dedicated are you to reaching your next level and achieving the most confident version of yourself? Reaching these goals takes serious commitment. You have to take responsibility for your success. No one else is going to do it for you.
A statistic from Business Insider notes that a whopping 85% of your success is based on your ability to be confident and believe in yourself. This is so important because while of course we’ve got to perfect our skills, we’ve also got to learn to perfect our confidence.
“Cashflow flows where confidence goes.”
– Regina Bonds
So unleash your confidence and elevate to the realm of unstoppable possibility. It’s going to require the clarity to know where you want to go, the courage to go after it even though you’re scared, and the commitment to stick with it day in and day out even when it’s difficult.
Want to Learn More from Regina Bonds?
Be sure to follow Regina on Facebook and Instagram @reginakbonds for regular confidence coaching. And if you’d like to work with her directly you can visit reginabonds.com for more information on her 4 week mentorship program and exclusive one-on-one coaching opportunities.
In 2020, marketers had to quickly adjust to virtual meetings – getting by with whatever workarounds they could manage. In 2021, marketers like you can take the lead and thrive by crafting highly memorable virtual experiences featuring high-impact speaker strategies, dynamic content, and interactivity techniques.
In this presentation, Luke Goetting provided practical, actionable insights to make your virtual conferences, all-hands meetings, and client consultations highly compelling experiences – all without the need to be a technical guru.
Current AMA Knoxville President Chris Hill introduced the event, highlighted the impact of the local chapter, thanked the board members and volunteers who help to make these virtual luncheons possible, and thanked our annual sponsors (Slamdot, Colby’s Photography, Humblepod, and Kroeger-Miller CPAs.)
About Our Presenter
Luke Goetting is an award-winning presentation specialist and director of Puffingston Presentations – a presentation agency based in Austin, Texas. Goetting specializes in crafting dynamic, interactive presentation experiences for tech companies and has developed keynotes for CES keynotes, SXSW Accelerator winners, TEDx speakers and executives at Dell, IBM, Siemens, Western Union and SAP Concur.
Prior to Puffingston Presentations, Goetting was Sales Manager at RSI Video Technologies where he developed real-world presentation techniques his team incorporates today with speakers and companies around the world. Goetting is a winner of the Best Business Prezi award and a certified Prezi Expert.
Maximizing Your Impact Virtually
Technology (and the way we use it in business) has advanced continually throughout the years. For example, 10-15 years ago we were taking all of our meetings in person. Today (even pre-COVID) many businesses take meetings exclusively online and in some cases never meet their clients in person. Now because of the pandemic we’ve shifted almost exclusively to virtual meetings.
Pandemic or not, virtual communication is inherently plagued with distraction whether that comes from devices, others in your office, or a chaotic home environment while quarantined. To combat this constant level of distraction it’s up to us to ensure we are earning and keeping our audience’s attention with thoughtfully planned, engaging presentations.
Increase Productive Exchange with Dynamic Content
Regardless of its format, the goal of every meeting is to convey information. This can be accomplished with a single presenter speaking to an audience (like a webinar or lecture) or in a setting like a panel or Q&A that provides more opportunities for audience participation and engagement.
Whenever possible, we want to find a common ground between these two formats to maximize productive exchange. Goetting offered a variety of tips for more productive, engaging presentations:
- Establish context early. Provide any necessary history, trends, company positioning, etc…
- Use the hero’s journey framework for storytelling to captivate your audience
- Inspire with vision. Let your audience know where things are headed.
- Consider a conversational format. Give your clients an opportunity to play a role in the presentation to ensure it meets their needs.
- Address access to slides and presentation replays up from to take that concern off your participant’s mind.
- Be prepared to give participants information on where they can learn more right now and follow up on commitments you make to them.
By implementing these tips into your presentations (whether it’s a sales meeting, training, or all-hands meeting) you’ll create a truly custom experience for your audience, increase each participant’s buy-in, and minimize risk.
Enhance Your Presentations with Interactive Broadcasting
In the battle for attention it’s essential that you’re coming to the presentation with the best information but also the best tools for the job. And with the digital world at our fingertips, anything you can leverage on your computer can be integrated into your meetings.
Goetting shared some of his favorite tools and presentation integrations that can be used to enhance your presentations:
- Consider creating an “intro commercial” to play prior to the start of the presentation. This acts a virtual lobby as participants get signed in to the meeting and gives you a platform to promote your company, product, or other relevant information.
- Use a Logitech spotlight remote for added engagement and to direct your audience’s focus.
- Explore the hundreds of design ideas and templates available from Powerpoint
- Check out the templates and principles available from Puffingston Presentations
- Invest in a second webcam (especially if you’re writing on a whiteboard or showing something with your hands) so you can switch views seamlessly.
- Implement a virtual webcam software (examples include: mmhmm, Logitech, OBS, and ManyCam).
- For advanced setups, consider investing in equipment to improve your video like professional lighting, a greenscreen, and a professional microphone.
- Make use of audience participation tools where applicable (examples include: built-in tools on zoom, Slido, flexible slides, and navigation in your content).
In addition to bringing the right tools to the meeting you’ll want to avoid common pitfalls by monitoring your pace and keeping your pauses brief when requesting audience input to ensure that you aren’t lagging and creating opportunities for participants to become disengaged.
Whether we like it or not, virtual is the new normal. We have a challenge for attention and must maximize our impact during virtual meetings and bring a growth mentality with us to every presentation.
- Be strategic about how your speakers appear on-camera! Break from the “hunched over laptop” norms and evaluate how standing, gesturing and eye-contact can help your speakers establish stronger connections with virtual attendees.
- Maximize alignment between what your speakers have to say and what your audience wants to hear! Discover how a fine dining approach to presentations leverages a compelling message, modular content and slide navigation to craft a memorable, custom experience for virtual meeting attendees.
- With the digital world at our fingertips, there are so many ways marketers can drive engagement in virtual events and meetings: live polls, virtual webcam software, democratized Q&A and more. Explore how simple applications of technology can fundamentally alter the attendee experience.