Wharton Marketing Conference: What Goes Into a Great Presentation?

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I always love to open presentations with a bit of personal flair and laughter. In my introduction slide, I was sharing a snippet about how Wall Street would have never let me interview in a pink suit, so I came to Google where I did, in fact, interview in a bright pink blazer.

What goes into an engaging presentation? At 22, when I started my Sales career at Google, my first Sales manager, Nate, gave me free rein to architect the storyline of my decks. He helped shape my philosophy about building stellar stories delivered with pizazz – some of which I’ll share below:

    1. Keep it simple, stupid.
    2. Less slides, more conversation.
    3. Don’t data dump, data needs to have a point.
    4. Use your customer’s language. Don’t get lost in your own technical jargon.
    5. Humor me. Tell me a story that I can share back with the chain of command.
    6. Great presentations are one thing, but the execution after the meeting is everything.

On a daily basis, I miss working with Nate – and my years working for him showed me what the concept of a “charismatic leader”(I have a B.A. in Sociology, so the German sociologist Max Weber’s concept about charismatic authority stuck with me in the business world) looks like in application. Our team consistently blew our numbers out of the water because he ushered in an era of psychological safety (the team was quite international and was comprised of folks from Brazil, Romania, Lithuania, India, Canada and of course – America!) that empowered us to feel bold enough to experiment and challenge the status quo. As the youngest person on the pod, I had an unabating desire to continuously become better and meeting such a phenomenal mind like Nate’s (even at a place like Google) was a matter of auspicious happenstance. Nate is now the COO of Kormo, which was born out of Google’s internal accelerator, Area120.

Earlier on this year, I decided that I wanted to work on becoming an exceptional public speaker. I already do a lot of speaking for a living, but the art of storytelling is one that is constantly evolving as our attention spans, technology and platforms evolve over time. Throughout highschool and college, I dedicated so much time towards becoming a budding writer and journalist, but I let some of those talents fall by the wayside when I opted to go into the corporate world. In my adult life, I haven’t put aside enough time to be intentional about the flutter of words that I want to take flight.

As such, in this past year, I’ve been searching for and subsequently searched for when an opportunity for a panel, moderator or speaker arises!

I recently delivered a talk at the Wharton Marketing Conference about Personalization in Advertising Strategies. It was a blast to share some of the projects that I’m currently working on with clients. Highlights included Director Mix – a tool that creates customised videos at scale, predictive customer lifetime value modeling based on Peter Fader’s book “Customer Centricity, and an overview of trends that we’re seeing surfaced in Google searches based on the demands of modern living.

Here’s the organizing committee of the Wharton Marketing Conference. My beloved friend Mel, who worked at Google, is on my right and my fabulous friend TT (from Cole Haan) is to my left.

Sending you all the warmest holiday vibes! I’m back at home now and there are azure skies in Vancouver.

Bis,
M

 

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