I went to a talk recently about Behavioural Economics, it’s a topic that fascinates me and since the session was being hosted by a legal firm I was hoping for a different slant on the subject. What I got was a classic example of how easy it is for marketing activity to negatively impact on a brand.
The firm had invested a fair bit into hosting the event – a suitable room had been hired, refreshments laid on and more importantly senior staff were in attendance rather than busy billing clients. And the guy who was presenting had clearly spent a lot of time preparing for it.
But he was such a poor presenter that I was embarrassed for the law firm. He failed to introduce himself, or his law firm – bit of a major missed messaging opportunity there. He frequently umm-ed, wildly waved his hands around and lost his place in his notes – not very professional or reassuring. And the presentation itself was more of an ‘everything I’ve learnt about behavioural economics’ school report than ‘here’s some interesting stuff that we’re really into as a forward thinking legal firm because it has lots of relevance to your business and here’s why’. There was no story, no start, middle or end. It just was literally presented to us as information.
Now I’m an OK presenter, like most people I’m still on a learning curve. But I always make sure that I have clear take-out messages, a logical flow and that I start out by telling the audience what to expect and finish by reminding them what they’ve just been told. And I rehearse like mad. That’s basic stuff. And it’s really important because every time I stand up to talk as a self-employed person it reflects on my personal brand. This guy was the Marketing Director speaking on behalf of his employer, so he was reflecting on their brand – badly. And if anyone should know how stuff like this reflects on wider brand perceptions it should be the blumin Marketing Director…