To succeed as a presenter, you must think like a designer

According to Slide:ology ‘the art and science of creating great presentations’ – written by Nancy Duarte, Principal of Duarte Design (a great book, I recommend you read it), the firm that created the presentation for Al Gore’s Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truththe time estimated for developing a presentation is as follows:

  • 6 to 20 hours of research
  • 1 hour to build an audience needs map
  • 2 hours to generate ideas via sticky notes (allowing ideas to be captured, sorted but importantly re-arranged as needed)
  • 1 hour to organise the ideas
  • 1 hour to have colleagues critique and collaborate around the impact the ideas will have on the audience
  • 2 hours to sketch a structure/and or storyboard
  • 20 to 60 hours to build the slides in a presentation application
  • 3 hours to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

This means that 36 – 90 hours in total is required before you even step onto a stage.

Looking at the example of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launch from the Unpacked event on August 23rd in New York (which they also streamed live on YouTube). EMG Events cut a shorter highlights video of the 55 minute event below:

(See the full 55minute event at the bottom of this post).

This is an auditorium. Within this auditorium, Samsung have got a few thousand people in the audience and just one chance to capture their imaginations by showing them something they’ve never seen before while ensuring content is relevant and inspiring.

The design of the content and the way that the content works, you can see that the viewer has been at the front of their mind.

Using a full facade of the large LED screen to highlight the fact that the Samsung is a full screen, seamless product, the set design enables full visualisation that encompasses every aspect of the surface – perhaps subtly showing a key difference between a Samsung and an iPhone. This LED design allowed Samsung to go where projection couldn’t. Consumers asked for a bigger screen, a bigger surface – well here it is live format, and the stage design screamed this loud and clear.

Traditional projection does not give the viewer the clarity that you are able to garner from using a tight pitch indoor LED screen. Samsung devices are known for their screen clarity, another subtle link to the product.

My son has a Samsung and I have an iPhone – when we were travelling in the US, the pictures were more vivid on his Samsung than they were on my iPhone.

I love how Samsung have looked at the curation of their content, for me the way that the imagery has been constructed heavily emphasises the story. ‘Immersive’ in the true sense of the word, Samsung have invested heavily into using cutting edge technology that sits on par with their own technology, this creates understanding of the brand and how that translates in an event experience.

The other thing that I notice, is that the presenter has been considered within this design. When the screen fades to black, the presenter doesn’t get lost because the styling of their outfits allows them to still stand out. I also believe that they have considered making sure that the outfits of the presenters match their personality and role within Samsung – when the presenter is transitioning, it indicates to the audience that the personality and tone of the event is changing. For example, the person responsible for the design and user experience around the Stylus, is the person who is presenting that particular feature therefor his passion and personality shines through.

People process information differently: some people are auditory, some are visual, or analytical – so when developing the launch of a product, it is important to ensure that you are considering all the senses. A great presentation should transcend linguistic, geographic, and cultural boundaries.

Subtle use of the Samsung colour palette onscreen communicates to the audience that Samsung have design as an integral part of their value system. From product to the large LED screen, you can tell they worship design and truly champion their brand.

One thing that people tend to forget, is that sure – great design will come into play, great visual graphics will come into play, but to achieve seamless engagement and interaction with his or her audience, it is the time and commitment from the presenters themselves that makes the difference.

Hats off for the beautiful imagery and flawless execution. It’s events like these that truly connect, excite and inspire.

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