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Good morning marketers, when attending events, do you prefer 20 minute or 40 minute sessions?
That’s a debate we often have. How long should the sessions be? Especially this past year with virtual events where attention spans are already stretched.
We get a lot of feedback on this topic as well. I spend a good amount of time reading all the comments and ratings we receive about our event sessions and I’ve seen many opinions about session length. As you would expect many people say 15 minutes is too short and not enough time for speakers to dig into the topic. I’ve seen that comment on 30-minute sessions too. I’ve also seen the opposite, that 30 minute sessions are too long. After analyzing comments and feedback for years, I finally realized what the magic session length is. There isn’t one.
In the end, it’s not about the length of time, it’s about what you learned or didn’t learn in the session. I’ve watched 10-minute video sessions that I got more out of than a 60-minute webinar. It’s when a speaker jumps right into the subject matter and provides clear actionable solutions, a framework, or a process that I can replicate to improve my own work that makes me feel like the session was well worth my time.
Below you’ll find tips on how to put together a successful presentation. I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts. Maybe you have some ideas about session lengths or more tips for creating memorable presentations. If you do, feel free to reach me at [email protected].
Director, Events Content
Keep your presentation actionable and 5 other tips for a successful virtual session
Presenters often get caught up in their subject matter and forget some of the basics that allow for clear informative presentations. If you’re getting ready to present a session at a virtual event or a webinar, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Get the audience’s attention by starting with an interesting fact or stat that encapsulates what the presentation is about.
- Keep your presentation topic narrow in focus. You can’t teach someone everything they need to know about a broad topic in one 30- or even 60-minute presentation. The more specific the topic of your presentation is, the more likely you’ll deliver on what you’ve promised to teach.
- Skip the background and get to the meat of the presentation. If someone has chosen to come to your session or webinar, they usually understand or have experienced the problem. So skip the details about why the topic is important (they know) and jump straight to the solutions you’re teaching.
- Keep the words on the slides to a minimum and use graphics to illustrate the point. It’s been said before but it’s hard to do. The words and graphics on your slides should illustrate and enhance what you’re saying, not serve as a script. If you want your audience to have more details, provide them with a separate document or handout.
- Keep your presentation very actionable. For most event and webinars presentations, the attendee wants to walk away with a new tip or technique they can use to improve their business. Providing step-by-step instructions or a framework are often successful ways of doing that.
- Leave your audience with a summary or next steps. Don’t make your viewers work hard, leave them with a list of things to get started implementing what you just taught them.
Microsoft Advertising blocks 1.6 billion ads while dealing with the pandemic
Microsoft published its 2020 ad quality review about a week after Google released its annual ads safety report. The company said it put “strict measures in place to restrict advertising for products such as COVID medicines, COVID testing kits, etc.” As a result, Microsoft’s sensitive advertising policy rejected about 21 million ads.
The company relied on automated fraud detection and other methods to determine which ads or campaigns violated their policies. They also used manual removals through human reports.
Why we care. The past year was rocky at best and catastrophic at worst for many search marketers. The global ad market declined 10.2%, according to the Global Ad Trends: The State of the Industry 2020/21 report. With constant evolution, Microsoft and Google’s ad safety reports indicate that it’s evolving its platform and AI to keep up with the ever-changing global situation to help protect both advertisers and users.
“More than half of US adults said they have never shopped for goods via voice and have no interest in trying voice shopping. In fact, just 9% of US adults have ever shopped via voice, and only 2% have done so regularly,” according to data from Bizrates and eMarketer.
Clubhouse on Android, healthcare on TikTok, and Facebook green screens
Clubhouse is coming to Android… eventually. Clubhouse co-founder Paul Davison said in a Townhall event that the company was working “really hard” to come to Android, but said it’s going to take a “couple of months” to make that happen.
TikTok is changing healthcare marketing. TikTok’s health-and-wellness credibility has been bolstered by a host of savvy healthcare providers. Some have flocked to TikTok to spread public health messages to younger audiences, others to connect with other providers and still others to blow off steam during a desperately difficult time.
Facebook Stories testing green screen option. The change could open up new creative considerations for brands looking to add Facebook Stories into their content mix. Facebook Stories still doesn’t seem like a major consideration, but its top of feed placement makes it a potentially valuable branding tool for those that can get it right.
WhatsApp for work: Slack is turning into a full-on messaging app
Yesterday, Slack officially launched Connect DMs which allows any Slack user to message another Slack user from any other workspace. Here’s how it works:
Users send an invite to anyone via their work email address, and if the recipient accepts (everything is opt-in), their new contact is added to their Slack sidebar. The conversations are tied to the users’ organizations, but exist in a separate section of the Slack app itself.
In theory, this seems to be a useful move. Slack is where work happens, after all. So if you need to collaborate with a partner at another company, a vendor, a freelancer, or anyone–it can happen where you’re doing the rest of your work communication.
But some have rightly pointed out that there is potential for abuse of Slack’s new DM system. “Look at the last 5 years of random messages on LinkedIn…yep. That’s what we’re looking at,” said Jeremy Rivera of SEOarcade.
Slack “is an important internal company tool, especially during this era of 100% remote work. We don’t want employees having to fend off unsolicited messages while collaborating with each other,” agreed Catherine Thomas of CareMesh. Others have said the lack of a blocking and reporting tool makes this a no-go for their organizations.
With notifications about the change coming through in Slack apps already, we’ll be interested to see how it plays out.