3 Presentations That Will Make You More Persuasive at Work

One of the the first lessons I learned in my career is that Marketing is about communication. Constantly. Every day. To everyone. Not just to your customers but also to your boss and your coworkers.

As marketers, if we want to do our jobs well, we don’t just have to be good at communicating our ideas, we have to be masters as it. Especially internally within the org as you move up the chain and have to start persuading people with increasing levels of influence and decreasing amounts of time. Having excellent communication skills is incredibly important whether you’re angling for a raise, pitching for budget, or proposing a campaign that requires lots of departments to work together.

Along the way, you’re going to have to make presentations. Lots of them. So as marketers, we need to be students of great presentations, constantly consuming them and harnessing their magic into usable bits that we can use into our own lives.

The 3 presentations below are amazing examples of how to effectively convey your ideas and persuade people regardless of medium. Looking at them closely, we find that they are effective because they can clearly answer these questions:


5 marketing tactics that made Movember an unexpected global success

Movember marketing moustaches

Movember started from an idea between a few guys in a pub and has grown into an international fundraising sensation. What makes it so popular?

Movember is a fundraiser that takes place every November, where men pledge to grow out moustaches to raise money for men’s health causes. All starting from a chat between a few friends in a pub, it has since become a global fundraising machine. It began with humble goals — getting 30 people to grow out their ‘staches for a month — so we know that its creators did not have an idea of the worldwide potential their idea had.

Like many viral phenomenons, it grew organically, tapping into something that resonated with a lot of people. Here’s a look at why their idea unintentionally became a worldwide phenomenon, which can hopefully spark some ideas on how you can replicate it for your own projects.


A teardown of Zynga marketing: how Zynga sucks you in and keeps you there

Zynga marketing: how they suck you in and keep you there. Zynga's user acquisition and retention methods breakdown

Whenever Zynga launches a new title, it’s sure to be a top-10 Facebook hit. But how do they get people into the game?

Sometime at the end of November, Zynga will finally release their IPO. It is one of the most anticipated IPOs of 2011, as Zynga is the undisputed top dog in the new industry of social gaming.

Their dominance comes from their massive userbase; 4 of the top 5 social gaming companies would need to merge simply to compete with Zynga’s enormous footprint on the industry (see AppData leaderboards).

Certainly, Zynga achieved this position on the strength of building best-in-class products. Much debate exists whether Zynga can truly be called a gaming company or whether they are merely a media company that uses cute graphics and psychological exploitation to generate revenue. But what is undeniable is that they are dominant, which they do through leadership in product design and marketing.


4 Psychology blogs that will help you kick ass at Marketing

Reading psychology blogs for practical everyday learnings is always difficult.

Most are too academic to be accessible; even fewer have stuff you can actually translate into action.

The psychology blogs below do a fantastic job of distilling data into an entertaining, easily-digestible form. If they don’t improve your marketing plans, they will at the very least make you stop and think about how your mind works.


Jeremy Dean tops nearly every “must read psychology blogs” list out there, and with good purpose. He expertly connects academic findings to familiar, everyday behaviours and gently points out flaws in our thinking and explains how we decide and why we act the way we do.

Marketers will appreciate how Jeremy challenges firmly-held beliefs over certain things. For instance, his article on why sex or violence does not sell.


Your Opinion is Worthless: Why Numbers Matter

It's easy to forget that we are just one amongst many

You and I always make the mistake of thinking that our opinion is representative of everyone else’s. I think this sucks, and therefore, nobody in their right mind could possibly enjoy this. Thanks to the internet, everyone is suddenly a righteously indignant critic.

The problem is that the internet is an echo chamber. With good reason; we only visit sites that we want to visit. If I love Sarah Palin, am I have going to have Huffington Post in my RSS feed? No, because I wouldn’t even know what the Huffington Post is to begin with.

This thinking reduces an infinite internet into something very, very finite: your own narrow point of view, made even narrower by biases and experience. This is incredibly dangerous for anyone, especially if you’re a marketer. The world shrinks to your own prejudices, preventing you from seeing trends, shifting demographics and understanding the big picture. The only way to combat this restrictive mindset is to constantly shock it with something objective and powerful: the jarring reality of numbers.


Chapter close…

I’ve decided to change the focus of this blog away from Generation Y topics. As much fun as it is to write about Gen Y, it’s simply time to move on to something else.

The new direction will be an amalgamation of topics that I have always found interesting. I feel that connecting the dots between these topics forms a larger and very exciting picture, given the context of where marketing and technology are today.

A big thank you to everyone who has supported the site!

If you haven’t done so yet — subscribe to the site now — as bigger and better things are yet to come.

A Day In The Life of Gen Y: China

I’ve been in Shanghai for a little while, and I’m always fascinated by seeing which foreign brands have successfully integrated into China. Last year, I took note of the brands I saw over the course of a day. I wanted to recreate a Chinese version of that, so I asked some of my native Chinese Gen Y friends about their own “brand timelines”.

Gathering recognizable brands turned out to be a little more difficult than I thought. The Chinese Generation Y-ers I talked to interact with brands in a different way than North Americans. For example, clothing is usually brandless (or effectively no-name) and you go shopping at markets. For food, you usually eat at your schools’ canteen, a local noodle shop, or cook something for yourself. A big part of their day is interacting with items that can be considered brandless.

With that in mind, what follows is a composite of the different aspects of a Gen Y’s life in China, gathered from a handful of people aged 19-25.


Gen Y Can Ruin Your Brand in 24 Hours

Generation Y Can Ruin Your Brand in 24 hours You can’t be caught flat-footed in the web these days, even if your brand only has a finger dipped in the sea of social media. Here are 3 examples of how Gen Y can blindside you and your brand, all inspired by the recent hoopla around Kurt Greenbaum, the latest target of the Internet Hate Machine™.

Kurt Greenbaum

Social Media Director (actual job title) Greenbaum took issue with someone leaving a vulgarity in his comments, so Greenbaum put on his best hall-monitor sash and sought out commenter’s employer. Commenter lost his job and Greenbaum gloats in his blog. Blog comments then fill with shock and anger over his breach of privacy policy (and smugness).


Only Stupid People Click Internet Ads

does anyone click on web ads?I was watching a video on YouTube the other day, you know, one of those videos where a text ad in the lower-fifth of the screen pops up. With sharpshooter accuracy, I hovered the mouse over the small, boxed “X” and clicked. It all happened in less than an instant and I went back to watching my video.

Afterward, I reflected on all the ads that were thrown in my face that never even got a chance, thanks to my shark-like instincts to kill anything that looks like an ad. The year 2002 was an especially good year to hone this skill, as it was around that time that those annoying spy-cam ads spawned instantaneously all over the web.


Gen Y Needs Nerds To Tell Them What’s Cool

I’ve always been amazed at how things get popular on the internet so quickly. I remember watching Evolution of Dance skyrocket into pop culture in 2006. This year, the internet transformed the letters FML from meaningless acronym to hilarious punchline.

How do things get popular on the internet?

I’ve created the graph below to help explain the phenomenon.

How The Internet Makes Things Popular

The answer, put simply, is nerds.


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