Jan 13, 2014

5 Lessons Presenters can learn from Advertising (Part - II)

In the last post we discussed the process involved in making a television advertisement. In this post, we will compare making presentations to making TV ads to see what presenters can learn from the process of ad making. Here are the 14 steps in making of a TV ad:

Defining the advertising objective

Understanding the consumer
Developing rough one-sentence/paragraph stories (concepts)
Client choosing one concept
Conducting consumer research to check appeal and effectiveness of the story
Fine tuning the chosen concept
Selecting the director
Incorporating director's feedback
Making of the storyboard (each shot decided and sketches made)
Pre-production meeting to discuss every aspect of the ad shooting
Actual shooting
Editing and post-production
First cut for client approval
Final ad is ready

Here are 5 lessons all presenters can learn from advertising:

#1 Clearly define your presentation's objective

Advertising always starts with the brand objective and so should our presentation. Brand objective is written and sent by the client to the agency as part of the adverting brief. Every presenter should start making the presentation by writing down what is the objective of the presentation. This will help you keep the focus on what really matters the most.

#2 Understand Your Audience

Once the overall objective is defined, the advertising agency spends time understanding the target consumer for whom the ad is being made. If it is a youth brand, the model selection, the costume and language is different than if the brand targets older people. Again, the ads targeted at kids have a totally different look and feel. Almost all good ads aimed at children have a jingle, since songs reach to kids better.

Before we start planning our presentation, we need to understand the audience properly. Start with the demographics; age, gender, income levels, language. Then delve into deeper things like interests and preferences. Spend time with your audience before you make your presentation. Understand what your audience is like. You can also conduct a small research to know your audience.

#3 Develop a Rough Story line First and Test it

Do not jump the gun. Go slow. Start with a once sentence story line for your entire presentation. If you are going to present to your CEO and recommend why a new product should be launched, can you make the statement in one or two sentences (max a paragraph)?

Develop not one but two or three such concepts (paragraphs). As you go along, you might realize one story appeals more than the other. The arguments made in Story 3 might be better than Story 1 & 2.

Once the story lines are developed, choose the one which appeals the most. For this, you can always meet people (who are similar to your audience) and take their help. Discuss with them and see what counter-arguments they come up with.

#4 Seek Outside Help (Audience or Colleagues or Experts)

Once you have finalized on one story line, you can seek further help. If you are the manager presenting to the CEO about the new product launch, why not make the presentation to your colleagues and see what they feel about it. Prepare yourself before you face your audience. Sharpen your arguments before the final presentation.

#5 Develop Slides at the Last

Once all your arguments are fine tuned and your entire story is clear in your mind, start working on the visuals and the slides. This comes at the end. This is something like building the storyboard after the story has been fully fine tuned.

Let me know which lesson you found appealing. Is there anything else you learnt from the process of making an ad?

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