We are building something new and exceptional with a group of like-minded innovators. See what amazing things are about to happen now that 11 remarkable agencies around the world are united. Read more >
One of the world's foremost thinkers on the subject of better communications and presentations is Nancy Duarte. She has been on the show countless times. If you ever need to really study and deep dive into what makes a truly persuasive presentation, you won't find better business books than Slide:ology, Resonate, HBR Guide To Persuasive Presentations, Slidedocs, and her latest, Illuminate. Illuminate was co-written with Patti Sanchez, who also joins us this week to discuss the mechanics behind what a great story is, how a business leader should sell that story and, ultimately, how to best package a presentation to get your entire team (and customers) aligned and on your side. This is not about building a better deck or the function of good presentation structure. This is a dialogue about making your communications truly connect. If you have never checked out their business, Duarte, you should. Enjoy the conversation...
Check out these six links that we're recommending to one another:
Using Metadata To Find Paul Revere - Kieran Healey. "I came across this post while looking into other data science stuff. It's interesting, because it shows how simple facts (like membership in known groups) can tell us a lot about people -- in this case, that Paul Revere was plotting against the British. But it's brilliant, because the writer stays in character. He doesn't say, 'here's the source code,' for example, but rather, 'there is a secret repository containing the data and the appropriate commands for your portable analytical engine.'" (Alistair for Hugh).
Super-chill rapper wins South Korean space-out competition - Mental Floss. "I'd suggest this one for the title alone. But they say that when something becomes abundant, that which it consumes becomes scarce. So in a phone-charged, always-connected world, the ability to do absolutely nothing is rare. So rare, in fact, that there's a contest. Yes, there are commentators. And while it's performance art, apparently it's also hard. 'Artist Whoops Yang invented the contest in a period of intense stress in her own life two years ago.'" (Alistair for Mitch).
The Neu Jorker. "This is the most comprehensive bit of parody I think I've ever seen. I'm a fan of the New Yorker magazine, but it's always just veering on the side of insufferable. Well, here is a full 82-page(!!) parody issue, complete with ads ('Acela: The train for nieces', 'Father hats'), articles, with opening sentences like this: 'I attended my first Kentucky Derby the year after college, taken by my then-boyfriend who was something of Tennessee royalty,' and even, God bless them, cartoons: 'Crab? Like the animal?'. This is a serious bit of commitment to the craft of satire." (Hugh for Mitch).
Can Becoming A High-Tech Hub Lift A City Out Of Poverty? - City Lab. "I love everything that Richard Florida writes about. In this piece, the always-urban writer about how humans and cities intersect looks at the merits of building tech hubs in our cities. It has long been thought that if you invest in the people who are building the next generation of businesses, then you can create a wealthy and sustainable city. These businesses inspire creativity, create jobs and more. So, is it working?" (Mitch for Hugh).
The Dark Side of Longform Journalism - Literary Hub. "I'm pretty transparent about content. I love spending a lot of time deep diving into text (business books, magazine cover stories, longform journalism and more). I like sharing links and tweets, but they really don't satiate my infovore diet at all. It's not just reading longform content, it's the thinking about it, taking notes about it, and applying it to the work that I'm doing. I rarely get that same output from a listicle (big surprise). What you may not know is the true motive behind the journalist. Why do they write these stories? Their answers might surprise you..." (Mitch for Hugh).
Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.
In case you have been living under rock, this is the biggest week in marketing. In Cannes, France the marketing industry is primed for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Whether you like what these awards stand for or not, it's hard not to get caught up in all of the excitement (Who won what? Who said what? Who did what? Who did what to whom?). There are the late night parties (featuring industry luminaries and Hollywood stars) and, of course, the plethora of awards being handed out. That smell? That's the smell of great communications from across the globe!
How much of great advertising is magic?
I love magic. I watch countless videos on YouTube of magicians (and how they do their tricks). There are few artistic and creative forms that I appreciate as much as the art of magic. I'm not talking about pulling a bunny from a hat. I am talking about close-up card and coin manipulation. It's not just the repetitive practice and hours in front of a mirror that these magicians put into their craft, and it's not just the tricking result of what a flawlessly executed manipulation does to your eyes, mind and body. I see a direct (and powerful) correlation between the performance (and skill) of a magician and the work of both being a professional marketer and public speaker. Insert your joke here about how the two are connected, because they're about tricking an audience. That's not what I meant (and, it's not what I believe). One of my favorite books on presentation skills is actually a magic book titled, Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz. This is a book that really digs deep into the art of performance and - more importantly - how to tell and sell a story.
The best magicians and the best magic tricks (like the best marketing) tells a powerful and expressive story that moves the audience. When it comes to one of the originators of magic (and telling a much bigger story), there are few like master illusionist, David Copperfield. Yes, he performs incredible tricks, but more importantly he does so with a very powerful narrative and flow... and he's been doing it for decades. He's literally sold billions of dollars worth of tickets to his shows. Here's a secret: I used to have this old piece of luggage. It was one of those trunks with metal clasps. I filled it with magic tricks when I was a kid (the standard fare) and used to give magic shows for little kids' birthdays (yep... there... now, it's out there). So, you can imagine how surprising it has been for me to connect the dots between magic, marketing and public speaking over the years. When David Copperfield would have his specials on TV, the world would stop for this young man. While everybody marvelled at the scale of his tricks, I could never imagine what it might take to perform like that. Copperfield was always miles ahead of the magicians we would see at the local magic shop, performing on the weekend at the Italian restaurant, or the performers who worked the birthday, bar mitzvah and wedding circuits.
What can business professionals learn from a master magician?
It turns out that David Copperfield was in Cannes last week, talking about transparency, storytelling, presentation skills and, of course, the power of magic. This is a great conversation that is mixed in with a couple of fun illusions that Copperfield performs for the crowd. I'm going to urge you (and everyone that you know) to watch this presentation. Listen to how he talks about inventing illusions, and watch as he preps to perform (and how he speaks to both the audience and the people off to the side of the stage). His presence, his words and his power.
I've been on the road working, nurturing, tweaking and developing a brand new presentation that I've titled, Algorhythm - The Pulse of Creativity, Data And The Future of Brands. Here's how I have been describing it: "We live in a culture of change. Most brands are overwhelmed by the massive shifts they have to make to their business models. Disruption is everywhere. Digital transformation is imperative. We live in the Uber-ization of everything. There are several new (and dramatic) realities that will force businesses to rethink many of their commonly held beliefs about what works in business today, and what the future may look like. Interestingly, this is less about the evolution of technology and much more about how consumers have become that much more efficient in this very different landscape. Bring an open mind, because the world continues to change and challenge brands like never before. The new leadership is being a digital leader. Algorhythm is your compass."
Algorhythm is not working.
The content is working fine. It is getting stellar reviews and feedback from both audiences and my talent bureaus (thankfully). It's the title. Algorhythm. Nobody is "getting it." They're not getting the nuanced spelling (one wrong on purpose) and change from "algorithm" to "algorhythm." Like I said, the real world teaches you lessons. It's not just that. I've done a few concurrent sessions, and I wind up have to compete with sessions that have titles like, How To Monetize Your Facebook Feed or 10 Things Every Marketer Must Know About Digital Transformation. My artsy, cutesy title doesn't stand a chance, if the attendees don't take the time to read the subtitle or the sessions description. This is compounded when attendees are choosing sessions on their mobile devices, and these conference apps have very limited details beyond the session title. They're not choosing mine. So, Algorhythm may well be the title of my third business book, but it's looking like I'm going to have to give it an early retirement from the speaking circuit (sadly).
Who is this new customer?
That's the real crux of the algorhythm presentation. In this session, I look at some small and nuanced changes that consumers have made to their consumption habits, and the grave impact that it has had on all businesses (yes, B2B to B2C and small, medium and large enterprises). I recently presented an abridged version of the new presentation at the amazing BRITE conference held in New York City at Columbia Business School. Here is that presentation...
We're having an amazing growth spurt, and we think that you should join our team!
Back in April of this year, I posted about over ten new work opportunities that we had at Mirum in Canada. Well, we're still growing and looking for more people who are passionate about marketing, digital and the future of business. We announced that after just one short year of being this new entity called Mirum, we were named to Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Global Digital Marketing Agencies as a "Visionary." Now, Mirum has about 2500 team members in 25-plus countries with over 40 offices. Still, Mirum in Canada retains the same spirit we had (back when we were Twist Image), while adding in some new services, augmenting our positioning (which, in marketing, is an ongoing practice) and we now have an extended bench of team members, tools and opportunities. All in all, it's been exciting (and, obviously, super challenging). Along with that, we announced that we won UNICEF as a new client (as their global partner for the design and development of its entire digital ecosystem) and a fascinating new project for adidas called, Avenue A (a subscription box service for female runners). With that, we have a bunch of other new business wins, that we will be announcing publicly, along with some healthy organic growth from our existing partners.
If you are interested in any of these (or know someone who is)...
Please do not contact me directly (I say this with peace and love... peace and love). The truth is that I have nothing to do with HR and how we hire, at this point. I really do not know the details of the work that we're looking for (beyond what you too can read in the links above), and you will be best suited to follow our process, rather than hit me up for specific questions (that I probably can't answer). If you send in your stuff, rest assured that we're always looking for the right talent. So, if our folks think there is a possible fit, they will reach out to you.
Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio broadcasting out of Montreal (home base). It's not a long segment - about 5 to 10 minutes every week - about everything that is... Read more
Episode #519 of Six Pixels of Separation - The Mirum Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to. Nothing makes me happier than when people that I deeply admire and respect come out with a new book.... Read more
Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see? My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete... Read more
Facebook reminded me about something that happened three years ago on this date. It was three years ago today that we officially launched my second business book, CTRL ALT Delete. In an attempt to not do the standard "book launch"... Read more
Influencer marketing is all the rage right now. Multi-million dollar businesses are being built around how to connect brands with influencers. In case you didn't know, it's not all that difficult to pay someone that has a large social media... Read more