Tag Archives: cool

Presentation Breakdown: Rich Mulholland “Escaping Educational Legacide”

18 Jul

This week’s presentation breakdown features Missing Link CEO and former rock star roadie Rich Mulholland.  After operating lights for bands like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, Mulholland started South Africa’s first presentation company, Missing Link.  He is also an outstanding speaker and education activist.

In this TED talk, Mulholland speaks about his proposition of reinventing the educational system.  He believes that people should never stop learning.  The traditional model of education, one in which we attend school until our early 20s, then rely on this education to fuel our careers and minds for the remainder of our lives, is a flawed system.  Let’s take a look at the structure of this fun, engaging presentation!

0:08-0:20

Mulholland opens up the presentation by greeting the audience, but then he jumps right into a declaration of his personality.  He says that he always wanted to join the circus, but that he never wanted to actually follow them on stage.  This gives us a brief glimpse into his personality, which we will come to recognize as being light and humorous, but with a sincere glow.

0:20-0:50

Now, Mulholland jumps right into a new idea. Notice how directly he addresses the audience and how lively they become when he speaks to them.  He is very unorthodox in his approach at humor, especially for a TED talk.  Within the first minute of his talk, he has made the audience laugh, while truly engaging them in a scenario that he begins to play out.

0:50-2:30

As we dive deeper into this scenario, which is an interesting one I might add, Mulholland is amping us up with suspense about the “catch” of this “gift.”  He is clearly going somewhere with this, but until he finally reveals the punchline, we are clueless, but enjoying the ride.  He delivers the “catch,” and gets the reaction for which he was hoping.  The audience plays right into the joke.  However, it isn’t simply a joke.  We have been taught something through the joke, and we will spend the rest of the TED talk delving deeper into this idea.  He shifts into the topic of how things change.  Now, we will get to the meat of the piece.  He addresses this shift with the mention of education.

2:30-3:04

Once we have made the shift into the “real” topic of the piece, Mulholland is keen to run with it while he has our attention.  He doesn’t drag it out, waiting for us to wonder too much.  We’ve had a little of that already.  People want to get information when they want it, not when someone decides to give it to them.  By using the clothing scenario, Mulholland has opened our minds to this possibility, and now he has given us a token of wisdom concerning innovation.  He says, “Innovation isn’t about doing something new.  Innovation is almost always about stopping doing something old.”

3:04-4:06

Mulholland turns to giving us some visuals that we can use to compare and follow the points he is talking about.  He shows two graphs that differ drastically.  We see his points clearly and he conveys his message in a humorous way.  Then, he gives us some insights into his personal life as well as his father’s.  He backs up what he is saying by addressing his past.  We believe in this idea, we are on the same page because we see a an analysis of his life running parallel to his points.  He is living and working the way he says that most people are living and working.  After he has convinced us of this, and we see his point clearly, he moves on to another point by addressing the idea of Experience vs. Expertise.

4:06-5:23

Now, we’re getting into the heart of the presentation.  Mulholland digs deeper into the current problem of age and salary. While the former system meant that the older you are the more money you make because of the experience you have, the newer model suggests that expertise, not experience, is the more valuable asset for a company to have.  People are retiring earlier because they have been replaced by younger, more specifically talented and trained new employees.  After showing two more graphs that illustrate his point, Mulholland explains the bigger idea in terms of a real, current problem.  He directly tells the audience that they should be afraid of what’s to come.  By doing this, he is preparing a call-to-action and  instilling a tiny initiative into the audience in order to promote action.  We will see the development of this idea later on in the presentation.  As he makes the declaration, “I think every 30-year-old in the room should be crapping themselves,” the audience begins to laugh loudly, to which Mulholland responds with more humor.

5:23-6:07

Mulholland goes on to explain that everyone is plateauing earlier, including himself.  People in their 20s are so excited to learn and update their skill sets.  They eventually become less valuable to their companies due to more and more specialization by other, newer employees.  At this point in the presentation, Mulholland is once again bringing his personal struggle with this issue into play.  We are invested in the idea because we see that our speaker is also personally invested in the subject matter.

6:07-8:50

We are on the backward slope of the issue at this point.  We have come across the main topic, discussed and setup the climax and then revealed the true problem.  Now, Mulholland is explaining the effects of the problem, and how we can begin to come to terms with the issue.  He puts into perspective the central message: all of the rules have changed.  We can’t keep looking at our careers in the same, traditional way.  He is setting the audience up for a solution.  He uses passion and exciting body language to keep us interested in the subject matter, which will be crucial for him to do as he in the next few minutes.

8:50-9:57

Mulholland has reached a solution.  He has clearly stated the answer to this problem.  We have experienced the build-up of the issue, and now we are about to take action in order to solve it.  Mulholland displays a clear slide with the sentence, “We need to shorten the distance between education and execution.”  The structure thus far has been consistent.  Mulholland has given us examples of how each portion of the problem affects our lives, and now we come to see a possible resolution to the issue.  He proposes that we stop schooling earlier, begin working and then integrate education into the remainder of our lives.  We never need to stop learning.

9:57-12:34

As we wrap up the presentation, we are given a thorough, clear understanding of the necessary steps to change the system.  He gives us an original set of instructions that can be used to change the “business model” of educational institutions.  There are three main points: 1)Sell-by Date for degrees 2)Subscription model for learning 3)Relevance is Key for maintaining functional, efficient employees.  Now, we have a few concrete rules that we could follow in order to fully integrate education into our working adult lives.  Then, Mulholland seals his proposition with a quote.  This is a very good technique for concluding talks because it not only gives the audience a tangible piece of information, but a relevant quotation encompasses the essence of the overall idea.  It reminds and reinforces the goals that the speaker has laid out.  Mulholland closes the presentation in a quick, simple manner, which makes his last words easily digestible for the audience.

So, there you have it!

This piece is rather short, but informative, and most importantly, fun.  Mulholland is a lively, passionate presenter who goes in a clear direction, not stopping or lulling the audience to sleep.  He keeps the energy flowing and the thoughts brewing for his audience, and we are enchanted by his fresh approach to an engaging topic.  Overall, this presentation gives us a chance to experience and learn in a thrilling environment, and we walk away feeling refreshed and informed with a sense of joy at having been a part of it.

Now, the real question is: how do you feel about this presentation?  Are there any key points that we have missed or that you would like to discuss?  As always, subscribe to our YouTube channel, leave us some feedback below or on our Facebook page, or tweet us at @BigFishPresCo!

Advertisements

The Future of Presentations: Tupac’s Hologram

17 Apr

Tupic is alive…via hologram at least.

On Monday, the world was abuzz with the recent videos of the infamous deceased rapper, Tupac Shakur, performing on stage at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

 

 

The seemingly 3-D rendering of Shakur was created by the special effects company Digital Domain (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “Titanic”), while AV Concepts installed the plate of glass and the lighting that brought the hologram to life. “Although the perception was of a 3D likeness of Shakur, the image was actually a 2D image. Shakur’s likeness was projected onto an angled piece of glass on ground, which in turn projected the image onto a Mylar screen on stage.” (CBS News) This unique approach to concerts is only the beginning, according to Dr. Dre.

So, is this the future of presentations?  Am I going to be showing holograms of my old PowerPoint slides?  Am I going to be giving presentations as a hologram myself, perhaps?

I wouldn’t go that far just yet.

This was a $400,000 project and took months of preparation and planning.  However, I would say that the future of presentations is a bright, digital one.  We are in the midst of a technological shift from smart phones and tablets into motion sensors and 3-D images.  The world is becoming more tangible. People want to feel and experience the media.  They want to be a part of it.

Now, just because there is a significant change in the way we receive our information doesn’t change the need for style and personality in the message.  People want to be spoken to and with, not preached at.  More and more, people crave to be catered to and thought about and cared for.  Technology is speeding things up, but the message can’t be dumbed down for the sake of this speed. We will continue to enjoy and embrace new technology.  We will remain dazzled at the new inventions and sleek gadgets that come our way, but we will never lose the desire to be heard and to share experiences with other people.  It won’t be all robots and screens.  It will all come back to the emotional connection that users experience and enjoy.   It won’t be about flashing cold bits of information to people, but about having a conversation and getting responses.

 

 

So, as you watch that new Prometheus trailer or see Tupac on his virtual tour, keep in mind that these are all simply methods to interact with an audience.  They are new channels with which we can engage our audiences, but they are not replacements for clear communication.  They are not alternatives, but supplements.

Remember to engage your audience, even while using the latest and greatest gadgets.

What do you think? Is this the beginning of a technological revolution or just an anomaly in the midst of our current technology?

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Tweet us.  E-mail us.  Leave a comment on our Facebook page.

We love feedback!

Introduction to Characters [An excerpt from “The Art of Storytelling”]

19 Mar

We’d like to share with you an excerpt from our up-and-coming e-book, “The Art of Storytelling.”  This is a section from a chapter about Character.  

Check it out, and let us know what you think!

Continue reading

The 3 T’s of Entrepreneurship

5 Mar

Image

en·tre·pre·neur / äntrəprəˈno͝or/

Noun:
  1. A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so.

Entrepreneurs are game-changers.

By their very nature, they are re-inventors, originators of fresh ideas.

In their day-to-day activities, they take risks and pursue their dreams so that they can continue to push the boundary in their chosen industry.

We believe Baton Rouge is a very healthy environment for entrepreneurs.  There is a community here that truly embraces the entrepreneurial spirit.  Big Fish has been fortunate to grow up in this area, learning from and interacting with the various entrepreneur groups and businesses.  Along the way, we have picked up a few tricks of the trade that have worked for us and that we believe can help you in your ventures, whether they are entrepreneurial or not.

So, here are a few tips we’d like to share with you: The 3 T’s of entrepreneurship

Talent

Simply put, great work comes from great talent.  If you want the best for your business you need the best skills on your team.  You want the best hired guns to get the job done. You want quality, not quantity.  However, this doesn’t mean that you should always hire the brains over the personality.  It means that not just any group can succeed.  The group functionality depends on many variables.  A five-star team can be built in many ways, which leads me to my next “T.”

Team

A company is only as strong as the many elements of which it is made up.  The efforts of a single person or small group of people is definitely influential.  However, in order to make a true impact on the world, there has to be trust (which could be a fourth “T,” but odd numbers rule) throughout the entire organization.  One bad attitude or lazy work ethic can “ruin the bunch.”  Having a cohesive crew of hardworking people makes a bigger splash than a few extremely talented ones.

Trends

Most entrepreneurs exist because they want to change something.  We noticed something in our daily lives, and at one point said, “Hey, I can do that better and differently!” It is important to follow trends because it’s a great way a company can keep re-inventing itself.  Without change, without adaptation, companies would keep following the same business model, and eventually become stale and stagnant.  Now, the other side of this “T” is not always following trends, but setting them.  This is the more powerful side of trends.  Being a trendsetter is very risky, but if pulled off correctly will pay for itself tenfold.

So, there you have it, the three T’s of entrepreneurship.  Again, these aren’t commandments or even rules, but simply tips that have worked for us in the past and which we definitely look to in our ventures.

Keep in mind, these are only our takes on entrepreneurship.  We aren’t so arrogant as to think we know more about it than most.  No, not at all.  In fact, we have much, much more to learn in our business practices, and are on the lookout for the latest ideas and concepts.  We have put some of our ideas to the test, and it has paid off thus far.  We have entered several contests, and have been lucky to have been mentioned a few times in the Baton Rouge area, as well as a bit of national attention.

After some time and hard work, we are in the final round for Inc.com‘s “Coolest College Start-Ups” contest.  We made it through 200 companies and are now in the top 18 nationally.  The voting process to be labeled the coolest college start-up has begun, and we are trying to rally everyone to vote for us.  We entered a pitch video based on a Goodfellas scene that pitches our company for the contest.  If you get a chance, go “like” our video here.

Big Fish Presentations 2012 Inc.com Pitch Video

We are giving it our best shot, using these 3 T’s along the way.  We are always optimistic about the future, and we love our community.  Baton Rouge has played a crucial role in our growth and our passion.  We believe that we are surrounded by young, talented individuals that help us to understand what it takes to be successful.

So, what do you think?  What are your “T’s”?

What does it take to be an entrepreneur?

A Very Brief History of Storytelling

28 Feb

Stories have existed long before recorded history, and the telling of stories has changed forms drastically throughout the ages.  From cave painting to novels to movies, stories have always fascinated mankind.  Although the methods have changed, the desire to tell and hear stories has remained unchanged, and still greatly impacts the way we look at life.

The earliest form of storytelling that has been discovered is from the Lascaux Caves in the Pyrenees Mountains in southern France.  Discovered in 1940 by a group of French children, a series of cave paintings that date back to sometime between 15000 and 13,000 B.C. depicted a variety of animals and one image of a human being.  When closely examined, this mural of sorts actually follows a very simplistic series of events.  It tells of rituals performed and hunting practices.  It tells a story.

Flash forward to 700 B.C.  The first printed story, the epic of Gilgamesh, was created and began to spread from Mesopotamia to other parts of Europe and Asia.  The story was carved on stone pillars for all to see, which spread the story around very quickly.

In the 200s B.C., Aesop’s fables were written down, and continue to teach lessons today in many areas of life.  Aesop lived in the 500s B.C., but his stories were remembered for hundreds of years without a single shred of paper or other printed material.  Isn’t that amazing?  Oral storytelling was so powerful and people remembered Aesop’s tales so well that even 300 years later the stories were revered enough for mass production.

Storytellers began to arise as very important figures in a community.  The ability to tell stories effectively and memorably was a very valuable skill.   Why?  As wars were fought and valiant deeds were done, the people needed some way to remember them.  Instead of simply stating what happened, stories began to emerge as a way to preserve the raw emotions and sequence of events of the actual event.

The Bible’s Old Testament spoke of men and women, of tales and lessons learned that occurred many, many years before they were written.  A majority of the books relied on solid resources for their writings.  What were these resources?  Stories.  People witnessed events, heard the stories and kept them alive through word of mouth.  They told their friends, families and communities about the events, and a chain was formed, one link, one storyteller, at a time.

Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets weren’t meant to be published, but his status became legendary once they were.  He was known as a great storyteller to many of his close friends, but soon became immortalized in the pieces that he produced.  From a young street rat in London to being taught in every school hundreds of years later, he made his mark on literature forever.  How did he do it?

Storytelling.

Steve Jobs was famous for his keynotes.   Whether launching new products or making an announcement, he agonized for hours over the details of his presentations.  People were amazed at his ability to craft a narrative, to create and maintain suspense and to deliver a solid message.  It wasn’t dazzling special effects or crazy props.

It was storytelling.

History is nothing but a series of stories that, when told correctly, can teach us lessons, give us insights into a variety of concepts, or entertain us.  Every story serves a purpose, even if to simply relay a message.  Without history, without chronicled stories, mankind would never learn from his mistakes, would never dream to emulate past heroes, would never see anything but the now.  We would be clueless to the past, and therefore helpless for the future.

We all crave stories because they allow us to sympathize with characters.  Tell your audience a story, and you will gain their support.  You will create a following for your cause and inspire your audience to act and believe.

In your next presentation, remember the power of storytelling.  Remember that even in a straightforward business presentation, a story helps to illustrate a point better than a set of facts.  A story gives people a reason to care about what you’re saying.  They relate to the characters, the plot and the lessons learned.  They relate to your story, and therefore your message.

So, what’s your story?