AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerPresentations Are Changing

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Presentations Are Changing

I taught an advertising class as an adjunct professor at Wartburg College this semester. It was a great experience. I believe I learned more than the kids, but I quickly learned that teaching has changed since the last time I taught a class, some 20 years ago.20170303_134756

Here are a couple of my takeaways:

  • Even rhetorical questions can be answered with a quick search on a smartphone.
  • You can’t tell what students are doing if they have a laptop out. Are they taking notes, doing email or working on assignments for other classes?
  • Asking students to make phone calls as a class assignment to find information is unproductive: Students would rather look up the information than use the smartphone to make a call.

I also observed the same activity at a conference I recently attended (but I was in the audience and not up at the podium). I could see what people were doing.  Many, if not most, were using email. Some the entire time. Yet there was another phenomenon I noticed as well: When the screen was hard to read or the speaker was drifting around, many just went to the website of the company or searched what the person was talking about and pulled the information they needed.

During vendor presentations, some would look up competitors, search for pricing or search the general topic to see what else was available on the topic.  This means you can’t fake it as a speaker. It also means you have to think about your searching, emailing, disengaged audience during your presentation. The big take away: is what you are saying worthy of pulling your audience away from their email?  That is the real test in this digital age.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.