Ethan Rotman

Archive for the ‘Tools and Gadgets’ Category

Seven Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Video Marketing

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Credibility, Delivery, Public Speaking, Tools and Gadgets on September 27, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Are you looking for a new way to boost brand awareness, drive traffic to your site and increase sales conversions? Today, the answer may be as simple as harnessing the power of video. Video marketing is on the rise and proving to be an effective way for companies to get the message out to prospects and customers.

iSpeakEASY workshops take the fear and hassle out of adding video to your website, but before you click the workshop link, read these reasons how web video can help. 

Jimm Fox, President of One Market Media and author of the Marketing with Video and Rich Media blog, says video and video marketing will play a dominant role in the next phase of the Internet’s evolution. He offers seven compelling reasons why web video should be a top marketing priority this year:   

1. Better ROI
Adding video to your online marketing campaign can significantly improve your results. In a recent study by Eyeblaster of online advertising campaigns, video increased dwell rate on ads by 20% and dwell time by %100. Another study by dynamic logic also indicated significant improvements in brand favorability, aided brand awareness and purchase intent of rich media ads with video compared to traditional static display ads.   

2. Traction
ComScore released web video consumption results in September 09, which indicated 85% of people online consumed an average of 10 hours of video a month online. That number continues to grow every month. 26 billion videos were consumed in September in the US. Video has taken root on the Internet to the point where visitors to Web sites are now looking for video content first.   

3. Engagement
Video is the best way to keep visitors to your site engaged and the best way to engage people with your brand. Time-on-page and time-on-site numbers increase when you add video. Images, podcasts, polls, charts and graphics are all great but nothing engages a Web site visitor more effectively than video. There are hundreds of blog posts and articles like this one where Patrick Moran explains how his sales team improved their close rates by 20% and online registrations by over 25% using web based video.   

4. Video Is A Top Priority for Marketers
According to a recent survey by Marketing Sherpa, for the second year in a row video marketing is the top priority for marketers surveyed, ahead of SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing and all other online marketing tactics. Turnhere has also released a study in the fall which revealed the same results – “When asked to rank various online marketing priorities for 2010, video was ranked as the top priority.”   

5. Ubiquity
In a recent post conference interview Jeremey Allaire, CEO of Brightcove summarized the outlook for web-based video this way,“Video will become as ubiquitous as text on the web.” He went on to say, “what we’ve seen happening over the last year is this incredible growth in the number of organizations and corporations, of all types, of all industries, of all sectors of societies, embracing video to enhance what they are doing on the web.”   

6. 2010 Marketing Predictions
A year-end article by Junta 42 reviewed hundreds of blogs and articles to summarize the predictions of leading marketing experts for 2010. Topping the list – the growth and dominance of video.   

7. SEO
Type in ‘Video’ and ‘SEO’ in Google and you will discover many articles explaining how video can improve your SEO results. With the launch of Universal Search from Google, you should expect to see more and more video results occupying the search engine results that are served up by Google. That means Google is prioritizing video in its search algorithm. Not only will video help promote your products and services online, it can also help those products and services get found online. 

iSpeakEASY workshops make it easy for you to receive the benefits of web video. We do everything but the talking and we will help you with that!  

You receive coaching to create a clear and concise message, tips on how to look good in front of the camera, and the opprotunity to observe other business owners practice their presentation. You are recorded by a professional videographer using state-of-the-art equipment.  Your video is enhanced and edited before the final product is delivered to you. We can even help you post it to your website (additional fee).

 

 

 

 

Reprinted with permission from Jimm Fox
Web site: http://www.onemarketmedia.com/
Marketing with Video and Rich Media Blog:
http://www.onemarketmedia.com/blog/2010/
Email: jimm.fox@onemarketmedia.com   

 

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PowerPoint Pitfalls…

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Delivery, New Techniques, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, Tools and Gadgets on July 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm

and How to “Purge” Them From Your Presentations     

by Jon K. Hooper, Ph.D.         

guest author for iSpeakEASY           

         

(This is a series to help enhance your PowerPoint presentations. Each edition pinpoints pitfalls that are commonly faced when planning, preparing, and presenting PowerPoint shows.)                 

       

Pitfall #3: “Accepting PowerPoint’s Defaults”    

Remember the last time you bought a backpack? You slipped it over your shoulders then adjusted the straps so the pack fit your body. You did not just accept the default positions of the straps. PowerPoint comes with the “straps” present; it is up to you to adjust them to fit your presentation style and goals.           

   

Pitfall: Using a “serif” font. The default font for PowerPoint shows is usually Times New Roman. While this is an excellent font for the printed page, the font’s serifs or finishing strokes (such as the feet on a capital “A”) make it difficult to read on a screen. A “sans serif” font (one without serifs) is better for projected visuals because it is easier for audience members to read at a distance.             

To purge the pitfall: Switch to a sans serif font such as Arial or Helvetica.            

Use sans serif fonts to make your slides easier to read

Pitfall:  Accepting default placement of text boxes. The designers of PowerPoint’s templates simply “take a stab” at the positioning of text placeholders (aka “text boxes”). They have no way of knowing exactly what position will create the most aesthetically appealing and properly balanced design for your situation because they do not know how many words, bullet points, etc. you’ll put into the text placeholders. Think of PowerPoint’s templates as blueprints. When designing your dream house, you would always tweak the architect’s initial blueprint. Do the same with PowerPoint’s templates.          

To purge the pitfall: Reposition text boxes to enhance the aesthetic appeal of slides. In the example shown in Figure 2, the default placement of the text box for the bullet points did not provide enough of an “aesthetic margin” on the left side of the image (i.e., the bullet points are simply too close to the left edge). Moving the text box a bit to the right really improved the design of the slide.            

Move text boxes to improve the aesthetics

Pitfall: Accepting default template backgrounds.  You wouldn’t hire a new employee that is “close enough” rather one that is “right on.” The same holds true when selecting a PowerPoint template. Don’t accept a PowerPoint template when you know in the back of your mind that there is one or more aspect of its background that needs tweaking.            

To purge the pitfall:  Learn how to edit the “Slide Master” so you can delete or alter distracting background elements. The example below shows an overall design and color scheme that is fine, yet the key on the left side of the template simply doesn’t relate to the message the slide is trying to transmit. Simply deleting the key solves the problem.            

Change your backgrounds to fit your message

Final Thoughts   PowerPoint’s designers set up the program to meet a majority of peoples’ needs. This doesn’t mean that the program’s defaults will meet your needs. Enhance your shows and make them stand out by tweaking the defaults a bit. Your audiences will appreciate your efforts.           

Dr. Jon Hooper has over 30 years of experience helping natural and cultural resource professionals enhance the effectiveness of their communication efforts. He is a professor of environmental interpretation at California State University, Chico and is the owner of Verbal Victories Communication Consulting.  jonkhooper@hotmail.com.            

For workshops on improving your presentations, visit www.iSpeakEASY.net. We help you profit from your words.

PowerPoint Pitfalls

In New Techniques, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, Tools and Gadgets, Uncategorized on May 31, 2010 at 7:50 pm

How to Purge PowerPoint Pitfalls

From Your Presentations

Volume 1

 by Jon K. Hooper, Ph.D.

Guest author for iSpeakEASY

  

 

“Oh, no, not another PowerPoint presentation!”

 

How many really good PowerPoint presentations have you seen?  Can you count them on the fingers of one hand? While PowerPoint shows can be great, they are often dreadful!  Is the problem inherent with PowerPoint or the presenter?   

PowerPoint is a wonderful communication tool when used properly. Its colorful, professional-appearing images capture and hold audience attention.  The shows are flexible and easily adapted to different audiences and situations.  PowerPoint’s animation features can diagram relationships that would be difficult to explain with words alone. PowerPoint’s hyperlinks allow interactive presentations and its multimedia capabilities make it easy to incorporate audio and video.  

The real problem is many presenters don’t know how to use PowerPoint.  They know which button to push to create a specific effect, but they don’t know when it is appropriate. When a pianist plays the wrong note, you don’t blame the piano. The same axiom holds true when a speaker hits a bad note with PowerPoint.

Presenters often get caught up in PowerPoint’s whistles and whirls without considering the accompanying problems. We’ve all seen “text takeovers” where text dominated the show and “animation atrocities” where the special effects were memorable yet the main message remained a mystery. 

This column is the first in a series aimed at helping enhance your PowerPoint presentations.  Each edition will pinpoint one or more PowerPoint pitfalls and suggest specific ways to purge them from your presentations. 

  

Pitfall #1:  Thinking the media (i.e., PowerPoint) is the message 

It’s easy to start the presentation planning process by thinking about various PowerPoint visuals and effects you’ll use in the show.  Oops!  In so doing, you’re skipping some important steps.  You should be focused on content and your audience, not PowerPoint, at this point. PowerPoint’s whistles and whirls can’t mask poorly designed content.

To purge the pitfall:

Start by developing a communication strategy based on an audience analysis. Next, brainstorm, outline, and storyboard your key points. Finally, design and produce your visuals and visual effects.

   

Pitfall #2:  Too Much Text

When 35-millimeter slide shows ruled the roost, adding text to slides was difficult, so photographs dominated shows.  When PowerPoint became king, text-only slides became the norm because adding text was often easier than hunting down, creating, and/or incorporating digital images. 

 To purge the pitfall

Visualize ideas with photos and illustrations. Use short phrases rather than complete sentences. Limit the use of bullet charts (and limit each one to five lines with six or fewer words per line). Use PowerPoint’s “animation” feature to reveal words or lines of words one at a time.

 Final Thoughts

PowerPoint does not need to lead to “presentation purgatory.” Remember that PowerPoint images are just visual aids that help you present – and your audience understand – your message. You and your message are still the key ingredients of an effective presentation.

  
 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dr. Jon Hooper has over 30 years of experience helping professionals enhance the effectiveness of their communication. He is a professor of environmental interpretation at California State University, Chico and is the owner of Verbal Victories Communication Consulting.  Contact Jon at jonkhooper@hotmail.com or 530-342-6045.
 
© 2010 iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops. Article may be reposted, tweeted or linked. Please request permission to use it in any other fashion. 

 

 

 

 

The Language We Speak

In Attracting New Clients, Credibility, Delivery, Mannerisms/Habits, Public Speaking, Tools and Gadgets on January 24, 2010 at 10:52 am

The man on the other end of the phone was offering to send me fishing lures. Not a single lure, but hundreds or even thousands to use with the learn-to-fish program I manage. I thanked him and explained I was not interested, as we do not use lures in our programs. His offer was good but even for free, it was not anything I could use. He pushed his cause a bit but I would not budge – I simply do not use lures. There was an awkward silence and he suggested I visit his website. Out of boredom or politeness, I typed the URL and was surprised at what I saw.

The “lure” he was offering was not a “lure” as I think of it –it is “bait”. I asked him about his choice of words and he replied it was how he referred to his product.  

Instantly my interest in him, his offer, and his product went from zero to one hundred. I have no use for lures, or what I call a lure. I have a high interest and constant need for bait. I like it even better as he is offering me thousands of free samples as of his marketing campaign. Now we have a win-win situation.

I was struck though, at how close to failure we had come simply because we had not agreed on the definition of a term. It was as if we were speaking different languages.

How often are you trying to sell something – a product, service, or an idea – and run into a wall because the language you are speaking, the words you are using, are different from the words understood by your prospect?

Do you use lingo, buzzwords, or acronyms that make sense to you but push your clients away? They make perfect sense to you because you are in the business, so to speak. You use the terms everyday and know what they mean

Take time to practice your presentations – even your phone calls – with some one outside your field. Have them listen to you and then listen to them to see what they heard. It will be a valuable (and profitable) use of your time.

Speaking well is all about addressing the needs of your audience. To address their needs it is important to speak a language they understand.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links from your blog or webpage are encouraged.

Magical Transformations – Creating Effective Power Point Graphics

In Credibility, Delivery, New Techniques, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, Tools and Gadgets, Uncategorized on January 7, 2010 at 10:44 am

PowerPoint is so easy to use that we often believe that with a little bit of experience, we are good at it. Studies show that more than 80% of presentations are poorly done. You do not need to be a researcher though, to know that most presentations using PowerPoint are sleepers. Too often, shows are full of badly designed slides that contain too much detail and provide the audience with too little of what they really want – what it all means.

Take a look at the two slides below created by Marianne Gates.

Right off the bat – which has more eye-appeal? What is your initial reaction to each of the slides?

The objective of the slide is to demonstrate that taking a particular supplement lowers the oxidative stress level regardless of your age.

Which slide is more effective at reaching that objective?

Which are you more likely to remember?

Marianne realized the first slide contained more information than was needed. It is complex and overwhelming: audience members would not even try to understand it. Her success rate with her presentation overall was lower than she desired.

Notice the changes she made on the after slide:   

  • The graphics are clear and crisp.
  • The message is easily readable.
  • It contains only the information essential to her point.
  • Extraneous information has been eliminated.
  • The trend is clearly apparent.
  • She reinforces her point with color (red is bad and green is good).
  • She uses her words to give the context limiting the amount of information needed on the slide. 
  • (What you can not see here is the animation she uses. The slide opens with just the axis. As she talks, the red and green lines appear).

She has not cheated her audience by removing information; she has enhanced their ability to understand what she is saying.

Your graphics should be designed to help you get your message across as simply and easily as possible.

Marianne did not just “re-create” her slides. She went through a process of determining her message, laid out measurable objectives, and then created her visual aids. This was not an easy 15-minute fix. She invested money in training and many hours of time into improving her presentation. Her investment will pay off, as she will more easily and quickly reach her goals. She will save time and earn more money. She already feels more confident in her presentation, which will make her a more credible speaker.

Congratulations Marianne.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of “Tips For Effective PowerPoint Graphics”, send an email to ethan@iSpeakEASY.net with “PowerPoint Tips” in the subject line.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.