Tag Archives: Video

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!


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


Kenny Nguyen: Simplistic Design + Passion in Presentations

2 May

Here’s a clip of our CEO/Founder being brave and presenting to a crowd how to deliver a presentation on presentations…without a presentation.  Darn technical mishaps. In the clip below, Kenny speaks about simplistic design, passion, and his story of entrepreneurship.  Check it out:

Note to self…always have a backup plan as the show must go on.

Presentation Breakdown: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

2 May

So we’ve got numerous requests to do more of these TED presentation breakdowns, so we’ve thought to ourselves, “Why not feature the latest and coolest presentations?”

And that’s what we’re doing.

Today we’re featuring Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” presentation:

Please see below our breakdown on how Sinek enchants his audience.


Simon Sinek

“How Great Leaders Inspire Action”

 0:00-0:28 – Begins the presentation with a series of questions to the audience

  • Right off the bat, Sinek has engaged the audience with a deep question, one that actually stimulates thought and creates a tiny wisp of suspense.  There is no doubt about where the presentation is going.  Sinek is using the question to make a statement.  This is a very easy and effective way of stating a point.


0:30-1:18 – Continues to ask questions of the audience, but refers to 3 specific examples from modern times moving backward to the turn of the century.

  • Sinek continues to ask questions of his audience, but has narrowed the focus of his questions.  He has referenced 3 major ideas of success: a company (Apple), a man (MLK) and scientific breakthrough (Wright Bros.).  By questioning very notable examples of success, Sinek has given us reason to doubt why these successes were successful.  This, in turn, has the audience craving the explanation.  Sinek has earned considerable attention.

1:18-1:35 – Shifts his questions into statements.

  • He sets up the central concept of the presentation by telling us how it affected him.  We, as the audience, are now more invested in the concept that we are about to understand simply because he told us how important it was to him when he discovered it.

1:38-1:55 – Makes a very strong, clear statement that leads into explanation.

  • Sinek has now given us a small taste of the central concept, of the meat, if you will.  He hasn’t yet told us the exact method by which success is achieved, but he has told us that it is the opposite of everyone else.  This is very clear and easily digestible, but it is not fully understood yet.  Sinek is still lingering on the precipice of the central concept.

1:55-2:20 – Introduces the idea of the “Golden Circle”

  • We are one step further in terms of understanding the centralized concept.  Sinek has now given us something to hold on to: an image.  He has piqued our curiosity even more, and we are ready to learn.


2:21-3:17 – Defines the terms of the “Golden Circle” and explains its meaning as applied to inspirational leaders and groups

  • Sinek has defined what he referred to earlier when he said that the great ones acted completely opposite from everyone else.  He has given meaning to his image of the “Golden Circle.”  Finally, he has explained how this concept applies to the previously mentioned subjects.  We are now primed for a thorough explanation from Sinek, which he has expertly constructed and is now prepared to deliver an example.

3:18-5:51 – Delivers a full explanation and example of how the “Golden Circle” concept works.

  • Sinek dives into the central concept.  He explains how and why Apple is successful in inspiring their customers to buy the product.  This example and its subsequent explanation give meaning to all of the preparation that Sinek has built up to this point.  He even compares and contrasts companies (Apple vs. Dell) and discusses how the “Golden Circle” concept applies to both.  We are now clearly and tangibly aware of the concept that Sinek is trying to illustrate. 

5:52-7:33 – Discusses the science behind the “Golden Circle” concept

  • Now that we have a decent understanding of the concept, Sinek reinforces the significance of this idea by backing it up with fact.  He has gotten our attention with the story and practices of the “Golden Circle,” but now he is justifying his claims with science, which only makes him sound more credible.  We believe in this stuff now, and Sinek is going to keep pulling us deeper into the inner workings of inspirational leadership and the passion that comes with it.


7:34-8:14 – Applies the scientific principle of “feeling” to “behavior” in the workplace

  • Once the element of scientific foundation has been laid, Sinek shifts briefly to discuss how the “Golden Circle” principle applies to who you hire in your movement, group, company, etc.  He stresses how important it is to know why you do what you do before you actually do it.  Now Sinek is speaking directly to the audience.  He says the word “you” repeatedly, which connects with the audience as he gives them some practical tidbits of advice.


8:15-10:57 – Tells the story of the Wright Bros. vs. Samuel Pierpont Langley

  • Sinek shifts into a story that deals with the central concept: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”  He explains how the two attempts at manned flight differed based upon their reasoning.  Once again, Sinek excels at presenting a clear image of contrasting ideals.  Just as in his comparison of Apple vs. Dell, Sinek is highlighting the successes of people who believe in what they do.  At this point in the presentation, we have seen two of the three aforementioned examples being applied to Sinek’s main point.  This story, like the one before  it and the one following it, helps to illustrate and demonstrate the main idea of the presentation.


10:58-13:31 – Introduces a new concept: The Law of the Diffusion of Innovation

  • Sinek is shifting into another principle and applying it to another practical example.  He draws the diagram, once again giving the audience something to hold on to and use as framework for the information to come.  Sinek is keeping the audience on their toes by introducing a new concept and proposing a new idea. 


13:31-15:15 – Applies the Law of the Diffusion of Innovation to a failed attempt: TiVo

  • Once more, Sinek is giving us an example of how one of his concepts plays out in reality.  He discusses the premise of TiVo and then why it was a colossal commercial failure.  He not only applies the Law of the Diffusion of Innovation to this example, but also includes the “Golden Circle,” building atop the foundation that he has laid thus far.  Sinek is a master of slowly and simultaneously revealing and building concepts with examples to further illustrate his points.

15:16-17:13 – Applies the Law of the Diffusion of Innovation to a successful attempt: Martin Luther King in Washington D.C. (“I Have a Dream”)

  • Sinek has discussed everything thus far in order to illustrate a much larger idea.  He has given the examples, introduced and explained the concepts all so that he can reveal the true meaning of leadership in action, which is the overarching theme of this presentation.  He tells the story of Martin Luther King’s speech in Washington D.C. in 1963.  He tells how it was organized, and more importantly how King himself used The Law of the Diffusion of Innovation to spread his word, and how he used the “Golden Circle” principle to speak his beliefs.  Now that we fully understand how Apple stays innovative, how the Wright Bros. changed history and how Martin Luther King was able to congregate such a massive amount of people for a cause, Sinek is preparing us for his final revelation.

17:21-17:56 – “There are leaders, and there are those who lead.”

  • This is it. This is the true and final revelation for which we have been waiting.  Sinek has cut to the core of all of his previous examples, concepts and stories to give us the meat of this presentation.  He has built up with lead-ins, subtle shifts and clear examples.  He has backed up his statements with facts, and he has captivated us with his passion.  We believe what he says because he has so clearly and so cleverly outlined, examined and explained his ideas.  There weren’t any misleading or vague moments in this presentation.  He also repeated “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” after many of his points were made.  This reinforces his main point, and gives us something to refer to and take with us.  All in all, Sinek is a clear, simple presenter that knows how to delicately and subtly build point upon point until his revelation.


Great leaders inspire action.  We follow these leaders not because we have to, but because we want to.  We follow them for ourselves because they speak from the “why” of their minds, not the “what.”  In order to lead, you must know why you are doing what you are doing, then you must speak from the heart and others will follow. 

Simon Sinek is a master architect of this presentation.  From the very beginning, his tactic of carefully and consistently adding layers of concepts, facts, explanations and applications gives depth and credibility to his words.  He teaches, but without overburdening his audience with instruction.  In essence, he has built a presentation from the ground up, using the very concept that he has illustrated to the audience.

We would love to hear our readers’s feedback and please keep updated with our presentation strategy updates by subscribing to our email list in the upper right hand corner titled, “Become a Presentation Rockstar.”


Congrats to our Client Red River Bank!

29 Apr

Check out this fun project we did for Red River Bank on their success for hitting the $1,000,000,000 asset mark!

It was the first time our video team did an illustration/time-lapse video, and the response we got from Red River Bank debuting it at their gala was very positive.

Thought we’d share with our readers their success!