Passion, Engagement, Delivery

Alas, these days are ours. Have we not forsaken crafted scripture, wits, and wordplay? Dire are the findings of such statements. Endless PowerPoint’s droned in to me verbally and visually. Disengaged presenters and marketing puppets pushing through with ulterior meanings. Fear not, for some simple advice may make all the difference.

As a delegate of Network Field Day 4 , as most of you know due to my endless excitement, privy to some fantastic presentations; this included some not so fantastic. I had this post in mind and I believe it goes hand in hand with Tom Hollingsworth’s blog about “When Demo’s attack”

I am not the greatest presenter so I openly disclaim this at the start. I do however have a mind that is rather active, can detect hyperbole and fluff, and I can formulate my own opinion.

Passion

Speaking with passion is exciting. If you genuinely love the product then I know you aren’t faking it. You invest a part of yourself. You take pride in your work. You will seek ways to engage me that share your enthusiasm. Genuine passion is different from marketing. Note the keyword is different. You can smell faked passion like spoiled milk. A great example of someone just exciting to be presenting a product is Mr Steve Balmer. Sure the guy isn’t liked overall and some say directly attributed into running Microsoft astray. I personally cannot fault him for his passion and love for his job and the company which he works for. That cannot be taken away from him. You don’t need to come out like Steve Balmer but you might take a fraction of it and get excited!

Engagement

For the love of $Deity please do not read off a PowerPoint.  I have eyes. PowerPoint  when used, should allow a brief summary of what you are speaking out. For example, three dot points as topic points in which you discuss.  If you are delivering a highly technical, long length product review, or theory report, I do not need you to recite to me. Find different delivery methods to demonstrate feature A vs B. Use whiteboards, video tests, live demos (be aware of their bite!) or use live people as packets if you want. Something different.

Delivery

Tell me a story. Don’t just dive into what magic quadrant this product is in. Paint me a picture. Allow me to see a situation and a resolution. Use characters or fun topics. Shapes, animals, meme’s. Remember back to when you are making a slide deck or something crummy. How am I going to deliver this? My audience has seen PowerPoint theme A probably over a thousand timers before. Maybe tie it to a theme. If you are delivering a security presentation play on some bank heists or something? If you are delivering a cloud based presentation, I would quit making it. If you haven’t caught on yet, “cloud” attracts other marketers only and not real engineers.

Marketing today

Traditional marketing is performed to keep people happy. Driving down town in San Jose city the other day I saw a Zendesk and Oracle billboards. I was saying to my wife it is a different world. In the real world, billboards might be a play on food and a driver being hungry. I may then collect advertised item to consume.  The billboards of a tech nature made me laugh. You don’t go and blow 20 million or more on an Oracle install based on a billboard. You wouldn’t even engage a vendor most likely off that. The important spend honestly is getting in front of people who drive real decisions. Tech Field day provides links to people who can shape business and enterprise decisions. You get in front of architects, designers, CCIE’s, veterans of the IT world. Here  by delivering an engaging and unique presentation you will find the audience you are targeting is more than likely in that room. Execute the presentation and your door may * unlock.

Thoughts 

I think to network field day 4 and to Juniper’s automation in JUNOS presentation. Let alone this entire presentation being a fantastic example of what I discuss, it delivering a new and exciting feature, in a fun and enjoyable way, to engineers who would directly capitalize on it.  Smart marketing or effective delivery? I feel it’s both.

* We (NFD delegates) are not bought, nor are our opinions. Full transparency is disclosed by my disclaimed. Juniper Networks

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