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America’s Fear: Public Speaking and Teleprompter #FAILS

It’s awards and event season in the entertainment industry. There is plenty to talk about, especially when it’s the “talks” themselves that we are buzzing about.

Earlier this month at the “Golden Globes,” actors Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie were put in the hot seat when the teleprompter wasn’t working. A month earlier, movie director Michael Bay found himself sans teleprompter assistance during a Samsung presentation at CES. In each situation, technology failed the speakers – leaving them struggling and panicking in front of a live audience around the world.

Jonah and Margot handled the situation with honesty and poise – briefly explaining the delay/mix-up and how the teleprompter was out of order. Luckily, someone rushed from off stage and handed them paper notes to pull them through.

Bay, on the other hand, had no back-up plan. His presentation was long, and it looked as if he hadn’t memorized even one line of his speech. Flummoxed, he at first attempted to “wing it” but ended up walking off the stage – frustrated and undeniably embarrassed. During the “Golden Globes,” co-host Tina Fey even mocked the CES incident.

Public speaking is not easy for most people, and it definitely doesn’t help when the one thing you thought you could rely on (aka the teleprompter) goes completely out of whack.

But what can we learn from these situations? There are some easy tips to keep in mind when preparing for and getting up in front of a crowd for a big presentation:

  • Confidence: You have been chosen as a speaker for a reason, so make sure that you exert confidence during your presentation. Be honest with your audience regarding any snafus, but don’t let that sway your speech by any means.
  • Focus: Know your subject matter. Don’t go over the top with apologies for what you don’t have with you to present or what you do not know. Rather, focus on what you can in fact speak to and discuss that material with poise.
  • Body Language: Stay upright. No crouching or nervous pacing. Open up and engage with your audience. Show enthusiasm!
  • Keep Simple Notes: It is ok to have back up note cards to get through your presentation should electronics fail you. However, avoid using notes as a crutch. Remember, keywords work best as thought starters so that you don’t sound overly scripted or are stuck looking down at a paper throughout the entire speech.
  • Rehearse: The best way to succeed at any task is to prepare for it. Rehearse your speech as much as you can — in front of the mirror and/or friends and colleagues. Knowing the material very well will calm nerves and give you some confidence so that very few unexpected interruptions or tech fails will rattle you.

And last but not least… breathe deeply, take a sip of water, and face that fear!

On the Go: TalkPoint’s Mobile Webcasts Soar

TalkPoint webcast tech mobile DGC DiGennaro CommunicationsThere’s no denying that 2011 was a wild year for mobile technology, and if this year’s CES is any indication it looks like we are in for even more advancements in the space in 2012. As tablets and smartphones become faster, lighter, and incredibly intuitive, our ability to stay connected in this always-on world of ours becomes increasingly reliant on mobile technology.

This rings true for our business-related digital communications. For proof, just ask TalkPoint, the leader in global communications technology. When their clients came to them looking for the ability to take their webcasts on the go, TalkPoint advanced their software to run seamlessly on mobile devices. To say that this technology has been widely adopted would be an understatement–just last week TalkPoint announced that mobile viewership of TalkPoint-produced webcasts increased a whopping 74 percent between Q1 and Q4 of 2011, with 33 percent of all mobile views taking place during the busy summer months of June and July.

If you’re ready to take your webcasts on the go, you can check out more about TalkPoint’s mobile solutions here. In the meantime, we asked Nick Balletta, TalkPoint’s CEO, to share his best practices for mobile webcasting. Here’s what he suggests:

  • Create mobile-friendly content – Consider the mobile device screen size when developing webcast content. Mobile viewers may only be watching the video or have trouble viewing details.
  • Simplify registration – Mobile registrants are typing on a small keyboard, so limiting the data that needs to be entered to join an online event will make it faster and easier for viewers.
  • Master social media –The use of interactive social media “sharing” buttons are particularly effective for promoting mobile webcasts, but too many active social media elements can lead to multitasking by the viewer.
  • Don’t forget about post-event viewing – Provide mobile webcasting viewers with a link to watch/review the webcast at a later date, providing webcast attendees with another opportunity to access the material from the event.

To hear more straight from Nick, check him out in The Point:

CES 2012: A Move from Devices to Content

While CES 2012 has passed, the buzz still lingers. We bet there are a few of you still wondering how a consumer electronics show is significant to your business. Well, from everything we’re reading and hearing, CES’ content has evolved beyond the usual technology conference. Coverage and attendee insights suggest that CES has jumped on the content bandwagon with companies talking less about new devices and more about content consumption (something we can all benefit from knowing).

Today, Mindshare’s Antony Young has a piece in Advertising Age about why CES is a must-attend event for marketing execs. Young compares attending CES to that of attending a live football game—in both cases, the experience and perspective gained from being there are significantly better than from the couch or behind the computer, touching on the content, networking opportunities and inspiration to be found on site at CES.

DIGIDAY’s Brian Morrissey also attended the conference and provided daily reports on what most impressed media and marketing execs at CES. The day-by-day recap included thoughts about the role that mobile and other communications devices continue to play in connecting consumers to content. Executives from Organic, Mullen and Tremor Video were just a few of those who weighed in on CES action: Recap Day 1, Recap Day 2, Recap Day 3.

Even though new technology wasn’t king at this event, Shelly Palmer, host of NBC Universal’s Live Digital with Shelly Palmer and other shows, offered highlights in the Huffington Post about technologies and the implications of “connected living.” Palmer flew high into the cloud, while homing in on the changing behaviors of today’s leading consumer electronics brands and efforts to create universal systems that work across devices.

Now the question remains, will you be there next year?

CES 2012 – Where’s the Beef?

by Shaun Quigley, mobile practice director, Brunner

A Year of “incremental improvement?”

LAS VEGAS — With Apple strikingly absent from this year’s CES, and with Steve Ballmer making Microsoft’s swan song at the world’s largest tradeshow, I had tempered expectations as I touched down in Vegas.  And the show is delivering on that expectation: small, incremental improvements to things like TV and tablets.

Nevertheless, every tradeshow has a few golden nuggets. Here’s what we uncovered opening day.

App of the Day: EBay’s AWESOME augmented reality fashion app helps shoppers try on the product before they hit the store. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmYZ1YImWIw

Content Consumption and Co-viewing.  People are watching more TV than ever before. That consumption is the result of co-viewing (or multi-screen viewing) on tablets, smartphones and an increasing number of “ultrabook” options.

CES 2012 LG Cinema 3D Smart TV

Smart TV. Executives from LG and Best Buy acknowledged that 40% of TVs being sold in stores today are connected, with projections of 90% by 2015.  The smarter the TV, the more social the viewing experience. The more social the viewing experience, the more integration points for brands.

Communications Planning. Demographics are out. Contextual relevance is in.  Also, media flowcharts are killing digital’s ability to make smarter, faster connections with consumers. (Why? Because it’s a line item that’s easy to cross off!).  Industry must find a better way to present media plans.

Mobile Strategy.  Business goals are different when your consumer is in the kitchen versus the store. Location awareness must factor into the strategy.

3D Everything. Last year there were just a handful of 3D enabled TVs on the showroom floor. Today there are hundreds.  Implication for brands:  how can your product experience reach out and touch someone?

Shaun Quigley is the mobile practice director for Brunner, and lead’s the agency’s innovation incubator, BHiveLab. Follow him @Squigster

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