Presentation Skills are Crucial for Careers



As I reach the end of the term, I find my courses requiring me to create three presentations. I remember when I first started pursuing an education in advertising, Deb Morrison once said in a lecture, that becoming a powerful presenter was one of the most important skills you could have in life. I find this increasingly true as I begin to search for a career where I will be pitching my ideas and work.

Forbes recently published an article with the headline, “New Survey: 70% Say Presentation Skills Are Critical For Career Success”. This has me thankful that I was able to take a class aimed strictly at making me a better presenter. A few years ago, when Deb told the class this, I raced to take advantage of her advice.

I was lucky enough to be blessed with the opportunity to have learned from the amazing Mark Lewis, may he rest in peace. One of the best classes I have ever taken was his “Presentation skills” course. Because of this, I am writing this in tribute to him, just four months after I finished his class, he unfortunately passed. He will be remembered by the lives he touched and the knowledge he imparted.

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Photo taken from Mark Lewis’s old Website, Laughing Moon Productions

Mark taught me not only how to become better at presenting, but also what makes a good and memorable presentation. The knowledge I’m sharing isn’t my original thought but rather a reiteration of what mark taught me. The structure to use when creating a presentation is: “Tell them what you’re going to tell them,” “Tell them,” “Tell them what you told them.”

I know this might seem simple or even repetitive for a presentation, but there is science behind this. This structure relies on the psychology of persuasion using the primer of consistency. To sum up what some people have devoted their lives to researching, people require consistency to be persuaded by others. Even if a presentation isn’t mean to be persuasive, you are still trying to persuade your audiences to listen to your information. So it’s a battle with the listener’s attention.

Psychologists have proven that it takes 3-5 times for a information to be fully absorbed. By addressing this scientifically proven factor, presentations are much more engaging and the information fully absorbed. Let me break down the structure. When you, “Tell them what you’re going to tell them you are giving them a primer to your information so that they are ready to hear your information. The Next step when you actually, “tell them” is the second time giving them the majority of the information making it on the forethought of their minds. Lastly, when you “tell them what you told them” you are hitting on the persuasion primer of consistency.

The below image is a sheet he passed out in course. I found it while cleaning and I felt like Indiana Jones in “The Raiders of the Lost Ark” when he find the artifact. As Indiana Jones gave it to the museum in the film, I want to share it with the public and anyone who wants to take advantage of it.mark lewis


The Possibilities of Virtual Reality

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To some people virtual reality still seems like science fiction, but the fact of the matter is, that it is here and it’s just going to grow in popularity. There are many companies investing billions of dollars into the virtual reality industry with Oculus Rift in the lead. What these companies see that many people might not is the applicability of virtually reality to their businesses.

Virtual reality will allow brands to actively engage the target audience in an immersive ways that have never been done before. I predict that Virtual reality will be the next significant medium to advertising and public relations, and I am not alone. Facebook acquired Oculus Rift because they too see the potential.

Virtual reality is just around the corner but there are simplified types of it like what is in the marketplace today. The most basic ways of achieving virtual reality-like effects started Google’s use of phones as a virtual reality screen. Although virtual reality is just an expensive luxury right now, in five to ten years from now it will be much cheaper and as such many people will buy it. Once virtual reality has been adopted into mainstream media, it will be a valuable medium for advertisers to use to engage the target audience. Additionally public relations professionals will be able to expand brand content.

The applications of virtual reality are endless. As I mention in one of my previous post, gamification is currently trending into mainstream education. Once virtual reality is adopted and gamification is applied, education could be revolutionized. Instead of students just learning basic things, they would be applying them in virtual simulations. Right now students go to school to take tests, but virtual reality would offer a completely new way to teach the next generations.


Buy Buttons Will be Big for Brands

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As you may have or may not have noticed, buy buttons have invaded the Internet. Over the last year, many of the most popular social media companies have found ways to add commercial uses to their social platforms. Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have all added buy buttons to their websites and mobile apps. Their hope is that people will begin using their social platforms for purchasing products directly.

A new frontier is emerging, where business is integrated with social media . As a result brands and retailers will need new strategies to reach consumers in this evolving marketplace. For brands that can see the opportunity  and merge their social media platforms with commercial use, buy buttons could be the first step to getting ahead of the competition.

So, why exactly do buy buttons have so much potential? The reason is because of an explosively growing ecommerce. Over the last year, the global ecommerce has increased by over 17 percent, and is intended to skyrocket over the next few years. By 2017, ecommerce is expected to be at over $370 billion per year in revenue; it was only $220 billion in 2014. 

One significant benefit about buy buttons is the vast amount of data provided by them is easily analyzed to determine the buttons effectiveness and give data driven results. This will change the way marketers and advertisers assess the effectiveness of social media marketing. Spreadsheets can finally have dollar amounts in the “ROI” columns.

After more than six months since Pinterest first added buyable pins, reports have started to prove the effectiveness of these buttons. Early success for Pinterest has lead to an expanding number of products with buyable pins. With ecommerce becoming an exceedingly bigger market, brands who can benefit from using buy buttons on social media to sell products would be foolish not to.

So, why should your brand be using buy buttons? Because if you aren’t, you’re missing the opportunity to have your products reach your target audience directly.

– Nathan

My First Blog Post

communications spotlightI’m new to the blogosphere and this is my first attempt to begin blogging. As a senior at the University of Oregon, set to graduate in June, I am eager to share my observations as a communications professional.

It is my intention for this blog to provide insight into the world of communications. By discussing trends and issues in the industry, I hope this blog will help provide an understanding of the ever-changing communications industry.

You might be asking yourself why I named my blog after a medical term for a doctor’s opinion about what is going to happen in the future. The truth is that Hippocrates inspired me with his “Book of Prognostics.”

A doctor’s purpose is to study, diagnosis, and treat a patient’s problem, which is exactly what communications professionals do for their clients. Because of this, I see communications professionals as a type of doctor, whose patients are the businesses and organizations they help. Since I consider myself this type of doctor, and the focus of my blog is on emerging trends, I thought it would be fitting to name my blog Prognosis.

I am interested in everything that relates to the world of communications, but if I had to pick one thing that interests me most regarding it, it would be technology. Specifically, how technological advancements are shaping and altering the communications industry. Every time i see the news it seems like a new technology is is replacing an older one, which is why I am so fascinated by how the communications industry is affected.


– Nathan