[Presentation Design] Making the Pitch for Action on Climate Change

A few weeks ago I got introduced to the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA), an organization which had been assembled to help achieve a ambitious, fair, and binding agreement in December at the UNFCC Climate Conference in Copenhagen. As they enter the final run-up to the event over the next few months they were looking to spruce up their presentation deck in advance of their official launch – the only catch? it had to be done in roughly 48 hours.

Before:

The Process

Up for the challenge, I got started. Over the next 48 hours I helped them entirely reflow the presentation to create a story that built up a case for action and showed how the GCCA would play a pivotal role in coming away from Copenhagen with a deal that was best for the planet, and all its stakeholders. From there I built out the presentation deck, created a consistent template and added visual elements that helped further illustrate what’s at stake.

The Results

Some example slides from the finished presentation

gcca_port gcca_port1
gcca_port2gcca_port3
gcca_port4gcca_port5
gcca_port6gcca_port7

Case Study

I’ve summarized the entire process as a mini-case study on my site – you can access it here.

As a freelance facilitator and information designer, I can help your organization discover, define and develop your story so you can share it more effectively – If your organization could benefit from better explaining what it is you do, then I can be of help. Contact me today.

[Follow-up] The Integrated Content Lifecycle

The Integrated Content Lifecycle

A quick post to update you on the Translation World session, “The Integrated Lifecycle: Creating a Foundation for Envisioning and Planning an Integrated Translation Lifecycle that I facilitated last month – A summary of the session, as well as the visual outputs, including a high-rez PDF, are now available on my site, here.

Overall I think the session went really, really well – we had a perfect mix of attendees (we had three of the four major stakeholders represented) and all had mixed levels of experience with integrated systems. I’m really happy with the final visual as well – I think we captured the important points and I know the attendees themselves gained a much deeper understanding of the process and discovered areas where integrating systems might prove valuable. Be sure to check out the full rundown of the session (including the process we used) and sneak a peak at the full-size graphic while you’re at it.

All of the outputs have been licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution, Non-commercial, Share-alike license.

As a freelance facilitator and information designer, I can help your organization discover, define and develop your story so you can share it more effectively – If your organization could benefit from better explaining what it is you do, then I can be of help, contact me today.

Designing for Visual Efficiency – My FITC Toronto Talk

Yesterday I gave a talk at FITC Toronto on designing for visual efficiency. I was originally approached last fall to submit a idea and my original intention was to do a talk focused on design for information heavy graphics and recommendations on best pratices for designing them. But, based on some of the content I got to see at our VizThink conference in San Jose this February though I decided to shift and narrow the focus to designing for visual efficiency, a slightly different topic but still quite relevant to the original context.

When I say visual efficiency what I’m actually referring to is the idea of designing to reduce the amount of processing our minds have to understand what we’re looking at.Overall I think it was fairly well received, by the end of the session it was standing room only. I think I achieved my goal of sparking the idea in attendee’s heads that it’s important to think about, consider and factor HOW people see, and how to work with that process,  into their designs.

The presentation is embedded below – I’d love to hear your feedback or questions. I may also represent it at an upcoming VizThink Toronto.

Suggested Reading and links to the imagery used in the presentation can be found on my FITC09 page on the site.

#Hohoto – The Toronto Community Gives Back

Cross posted from the VizThink.com blog

As December approached I had been trying to figure out what to do with the Toronto VizThink Community, my plan at the time was a simple “VizDrinks” idea, basically a mixer at a local bar with whoever wanted to come out. Around the same time a group Montreal announced they were doing a big Christmas party for the technology/startup community and the idea was floated about doing something similar locally in Toronto. A handful of us through our support behind the idea and on December 2nd we met at a downtown bar to come up with a plan.We left with a name, #Hohoto, a date and a cause – Toronto’s Daily Bread Foodbank.

HOHOTO-7671.jpg

The next 13 days were a blur as the event came together and this past Monday night we found ourselves at the Mod Club in downtown Toronto, with a sell out crowd of over 600 people from the technology, marketing and visual thinking communities here in Toronto, and at the end of the night handing the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank a check for $25,000.

I put together the following video/slide deck as a brief history of the event:

The outpouring of support from the community was overwhelming, as you can see from the video above we had over 60 organizations sponsor us either with cash contributions, in-kind services or raffle prizes so we could raise a little extra money at the event as well.

I want to personally thank two of our VizThink sponsors, and community members, Betsy Weber & the team at TechSmith and Michael Deutch & the team from Mindjet. Techsmith added a few licenses each of Camtasia and Snagit to the mix for us to give away and Mindjet gave us a couple of copies of Mindmanager for Windows 8 (Over $3000 in prizes alone from these two companies!) – all three are fantastic apps that I use daily and I know many people were hoping their ticket got drawn for them.

All in all it was a wild night, from interactive video walls displaying tweets tagged with hohoto to DJ requests via Twitter and the insanely popular p#hohoto booth setup and run by Rannie Turinigan & Canon (pics here). We even had a recorded messages from a handful of 2.0 “Celebrities” including Biz Stone, co-founder of twitter – heck, even the mayor of Toronto, David Miller recorded a greeting for the crowd.

All in 13 days. It was truly something special to be a part of and I was glad I got to include the VizThink community as part of it too. I also want to thank my co-conspirators without whom this wouldn’t have happened:

Leila Boujnane – CEO, Idée Inc.
Alexa Clark
– Managing Partner, Plethora Press
Duarte Da Silva
– Senior Manager, Communitylend.com
April Dunford
– Director, Incubation Marketing, Nortel
Peter Flaschner
– Founder, The Blog Studio
Rob Hyndman – Founder, Hyndman | Law & Mesh Conference
Sheri Moore – Partner, Creative Director, MCC Planners Inc.
Michael O’Connor Clarke – Vice President, Thornley Fallis Communications Inc.
Michael Penney – El Presidente, Afterlight Films
Michele Perras – Manager, Mobile Experience Innovation Centre
Corey Reid – Chief Cat Herder, FreshBooks
Ryan Taylor – Goldsmith, Adventurer, The Fair Trade Jewellery Co.
Rannie Turingan – Photographer, photojunkie.ca
Elena Yunusov – Founder, communicable.ca

Embedded below is a slideshow from the #Hohoto Flickr Pool. If you want to see more of the fun at #Hohoto you can also check out Flickr YouTube Facebook or Twitter

[IDEA] Mind State Messaging

Far too many weeks ago I had lunch with Sean Howard (a.k.a. “Craphammer“) for lunch – we’d been talking to him, and his team at SpinGlobe, about some Clay Tablet marketing activities and he wanted to share some ideas.

One idea he brought up was the concept of “mind-states” – in a nutshell, trying to identify what state of mind your target is in. It was a new concept to me (thus why I’m CTO instead of CMO) but made perfect sense once he explained it.

We talked about how to visualize the notion and by the end of lunch we had a napkin sketch that consisted of mapping mind-states to messages, basically the idea of targeting each message to the specific mind states of each user.

Tweaking it Further
That night on the GO train home I opened up Illustrator and decided to play with the concept a little further. Over the following days Sean and I shot the illustration, along with comments, back and forth eventually coming up with this variation:

Mindstate1

To which Sean simply responded “You’ve got to post this so we can discuss it with more people” – which I’m doing now, many, many weeks later (Sorry Sean :) )

The premise is pretty straightforward. The idea is broken into four general quadrants “Mind States”, “Needs”, “Features/Benefits” and lastly “Messaging”. Each oval represents an item in that theme. Obviously in practical use these ovals would be text or images describing the specific element. I also used size the indicate importance (or, in the case of features, strength/support) – the bigger the oval the bigger or more important the item.

Mind States rooted in Needs

Mindstate_MS-N

My initial impression (and the bit Sean and I are still debating) was that behind each Mind State (which I at first considered to be an irrational state), there was a rational need or requirement behind it.

I’ve dropped the notion of rational/irrational from the latest version but the notion of a Mind State being rooted in a real Need or Requirement (or vice versa) is still very much there. For example, perhaps the Mind State was “I want that promotion”, the thinking is there’s a requirement or need(s) in the background that would resolve, or contribute to resolving, the mind state. In this case it may be “deliver on sales targets”.

Needs can drive States, States can drive Needs.

Features & Benefits to resolve Needs

Mindstate_MS-N-FR

This was all fine and dandy, but the next consideration was how mind states and needs related to your product or offering. For the most part it’s hard to link features and benefits directly to a mind state. As far as I can see, no feature I can put into my software will resolve the your mind state of “I want that promotion” but if you can uncover the true need then you can build features or identify benefits that help resolve it. By recognizing that the users mind state is actually driven by a need (deliver on sales targets) we can now see that our “Automated Lead Identifier” and “Motivational Tool-tips” features can help the user achieve their need, by keeping them informed and motivated, which will hopefully resolve their mind-state.

Messaging around Features to speak to Mind States

Mindstate1

Because Features don’t typically speak directly to Mind States we need to close the loop with messaging. Messaging should speak to the mind state of the user. By working through the previous relationships we know that “I want that promotion” is resolved by the need to “deliver on targets” which our product helps solve by “automatically identifying new leads”.

If you can craft messaging that speaks to their emotional mind state you have the opportunity to strike a real cord with them, then back it up with true features that have their needs in mind.

Mind-State Messaging in Product Management

The other side effect that came out of this exercise was the realization that this could also be used to work through product management issues. By using items that are scaled (or colour coded etc.) to represent the importance you can quickly get an impression of how your product’s features & benefits stack up. The image below shows how needs can be mapped to features or benefits, and how you can quickly gauge if your product is living up to the needs of your prospects/clients.

prodmgm_balance

In example (1) you can see that the need is tiny, and likely not very important in the grand scheme of things, but look at the strength (and assumedly the amount of effort that’s gone into it) of the feature in comparison. Likewise in (2) a huge need is basically going unfulfilled.

Obviously depending on who your specifically targeting you won’t be able to get a perfect match (3) – in theory you’d have different Mind state maps for each persona you’re dealing with in the sales/marketing cycle – but with this model it still gives you some insight into the holes you may have in your product. Especially if the same imbalance pops up on every model etc.

Discuss.
Anyways, this idea is still in the “half-baked” stage, but Sean and I really wanted to throw it out into the ether to see what others thought of it. I know Sean has actually thrown this into the mix on some pitches and projects over the past few weeks – but I’ll leave him to comment on where it worked/didn’t work.

Thoughts?