I was at a pretty large networking event recently where I witnessed the most painful attempt at face-to-face networking I’ve ever seen. It made me realize something about face-to-face networking advice I fear lots of people misinterpret. It’s not an exact science. There’s no step-by-step process. Face-to-face networking is dynamic. Watch the short video where I explained what happened and who I think does the best job of giving advice on face-to-face networking. (Hat tip to Chris Brogan.) I think the best tip I ever got was to remember networking is a means to an end. Don’t psych yourself out when you network because you feel it’s going to make or break you getting a job. It’s like your resume, it needs to be in good shape, but it is never the only factor in getting you the job. Instead, focus on making a connection. Listen to people, engage them in conversation, use the advantages of face-to-face neworking (ie. body language, facial expressions, eye contact, etc.). If you leave making one new friend, you succeeded in face-to-face networking in my book!
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
- Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
PowerPoint – the “stirrups” of presentations
Some people say that stirrups took the skill out of horse riding. Stirrups made it too easy for riders to stay on their horses.
PowerPoint is thought to have done the same for presentations. By organizing your ideas, thoughts, and information in a series of slides, meetings start to look the same.
PowerPoint is so ubiquitous that a meeting is almost not a meeting without some slides. Is there another way to communicate, or are we all doomed to experience “death by PowerPoint”?
There Are Alternatives
PowerPoint was invented less than a hundred years ago. Socrates, Marcus Aurelius, Martin Luther, and Einstein didn’t let their lack of PowerPoint stop them! Perhaps it’s worth looking at some alternatives.
“Live & unplugged”
If your message is straightforward and doesn’t involve too many facts and figures, why not just stand up and say it?
This was how Cicero, Demosthenes, and Churchill spoke most of the time.
To make it work, you will need to prepare your message carefully. It will force you to boil it down to the basics and concentrate on what really matters.
If you’re going to answer questions, you’ll need to know your subject well enough to be able to think on your feet. You may want to “red team” possible questions and prepare your answers to them. See “further reading” for more details!
If someone asks you to share your content electronically, you can either have a document ready with speaker’s notes or get someone to film your conversation and share the recording.
Flipcharts are an effective way to share “low-density” information visually.
They are also very useful for “co-creation,” where your presentation is more of a discussion and the output is something that you have created with your audience.
Paul Ardern, the Saatchi and Saatchi advertising legend, recommended making pitches for advertising campaign stories in this way. It allows customers to get involved in the creation process right from the start. It also demonstrates how willing you are to listen to your customers.
Sharing the results electronically is fairly easy. Simply take pictures of each completed page by phone and share them by email.
Many people present PowerPoint slides with densely written text and diagrams.
Data projectors display whatever is on the screen, so if you have already written a Word document and you know which pages you want to show, why duplicate effort by copying text onto a PowerPoint file?
If the document is a draft, it’s also possible to get peoples’ input and edit it on the fly.
It adds a touch of authenticity to the meeting. You are showing the actual document. It makes sharing the information easier and more credible since what your audience sees during the presentation is what they get.
If you’re presenting numbers, such as an ROI or a set of cost estimates or accounts, you could just show your audience the spreadsheet with the calculations on it.
The advantage of this is, once again, you can discuss with the customer how accurate your estimations are and then make adjustments on the fly. This involves the customer in the creative process which will build trust.
Some salespeople have been known to deliberately make estimated costs that might be saved, such as salaries, lower than they really are. They then let their customers correct their figures, and so the final ROI figure goes up, and it looks like the customer discovered this for themselves.
Make a video
You may expect your audience to passively consume your message, or to ask questions later.
Why not just make a video, share it electronically, and give your audience a deadline by which they must submit questions?
Video editing software is readily available and not too difficult to learn. You can use it to mix media of different formats including audio, written text, and moving images.
Once the video is complete, it’s not too difficult to share it electronically.
Do you need a presentation at all?
If you are planning to read what is on the PowerPoint to your audience and then follow up with a question-and-answer session, why not just send them the text to read before the meeting?
This will give your audience more time to “digest” the information and they can prepare questions independently without worrying about the social aspect of asking questions in front of the group.
Let’s get in touch!
Are you planning a presentation? Would you like to brainstorm alternative delivery methods? Let’s talk and see what we can put together!
Here are some more articles on the topic of presentations:
An Executive’s Perspective
The industry defines a CDP as a platform that centralizes customer data from multiple sources and makes it available to systems for insight and engagement tasks. This definition is dated as modern CDPs include not only customer data but also the ability to ingest prospecting data and partnership data in a secured environment.
The 4 Key Considerations When Evaluating Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)
Key capabilities you may want any CDP platform to perform:
- Data management: ability to assemble customer profiles - the infamous 360 view
- Cross-channel marketing and digital advertising - ecosystem and APIs
- Data delivery for analytics and customer engagement
- Security features that allow for sharing data with partners
The CDP market is highly fragmented, with each vendor type focusing on a specific industry and/or specializing in a particular functionality. It is important to note that many providers may say they can provide every feature functionality. Still, the art and the science of evaluating CDP vendors are determining which vendor is good at the dimensions deemed to be important for the business problems and opportunities you are trying to solve.
I suggest conducting pre-RFP benchmarking and competitive intelligence using resources such as user experience interviews, industry publications, and commercial research firms. The output will give you an overview of which vendors, software providers, and consultants are good at solving the various pain points that are important to your specific situation. Remember to ask for client references upfront from the CDP vendor. If you need assistance with benchmarking activities, there are service providers that can help with all aspects of these tasks, from organizational needs assessment to the purchase and integration of tools. Please feel free to reach out to me for more ideas.]
Some of the largest vendors in the CDP space include SAS, Tealium, Twilio Segment, and Zeta Global. However, several cloud-based data lakehouses (e.g., Snowflake or Google, etc.) offer accelerators and partner APIs to link campaign data to CDPs, thus making the vendor/provider landscape more competitive than ever before.
CDP capability sets are focused in four areas, and so the relative importance of meeting needs within these areas must feed into an organization’s decisioning. The four capabilities areas to assess are:
1. What level of data management does the CDP provide?
CDP data management includes:
- Creates a 360° view
- Data governance
- Data transformation and modeling
- Attribute and feature calculation
- Merge/append and matching - classic marketing database features
- Modern platform for streaming analytics and real-time data
- Providing access and data sharing by internal and external systems
2. What level of cross-channel marketing and campaign automation does the CDP provide?
CDP orchestration for cross-channel customer engagement:
- Ability to create profiles and segmentation for target marketing
- Provides audiences with engagement management platforms for personalization
- Ability to automate marketing campaigns with channel integrations and delivery capabilities:
- Some CDPs include native campaign management software, incorporating a GUI or a campaign design interface for database teams and marketers to program, with conversation decision rules kicking off based on customer behavior
- CDP may include some level of native channel integration and channel send capability (for example, email marketing, mobile messaging, etc.)
- This flavor of CDP has a native decision engine for the automation of campaign rules
NOTE: While some CDPs may have personalization and product recommendation engines, these functionalities may not result in a fully automated campaign management CDP which typically includes programming of campaigns via workflow and channel send capabilities (see above).
3. What level of analytics and measurement does the CDP provide?
Some CDPs (but not all) can:
- Collect data on predefined metrics to measure campaigns
- Provide customer analyses
- Integrate and provide data to specialty analytics tools
- Integrate third-party model code and apply model scores
NOTE: CDPs that are measurement and insights-oriented may offer reporting, modeling, and other marketing and customer journey analytics features.
4. What security features are available?
- Allow for partner data sharing without exposing PII
- Allow for security and access controls based on internal standards
- Are set up to comply with the GDPR/CPPA
- Some CDPs that are part of data lakehouses have highly secured data zones that allow for the restriction of data at the field and user levels
My preferred process for evaluating CDPs is to identify all solution options based on an understanding of your:
- Internal gaps within the current marketing infrastructure
- The use cases your organization is trying to drive
- Knowledge and skill sets within your organization
And remember, CDPs fit within a broader business ecosystem, but many also come standalone. For example, you can purchase Adobe Campaign or Salesforce Marketing solutions, or you can buy their entire marketing automation ecosystem.
In closing, CDPs should be reviewed in the context of the existing MarTech stack and the feature functionality gap. A critical factor in CDP evaluation is the work and resources needed to integrate your current infrastructure at upstream and downstream connect points.
As always, I’d like to hear from you. How have you and others in your organization evaluated CDPs? Are there other criteria I have not mentioned? What challenges have you faced in the evaluation stage...and how were they overcome? Contact me for more information at email@example.com.