always present with your seatbelt on

When Apple asked two ad agencies to pitch for their 1990 advertising campaign, one agency pitched the concept “now we deliver the promise” … the other “the power to be your best. In his book “From Pepsi to Apple”, John Sculley (the CEO of Apple) recalls the decision to run “The Power to be your best” campaign, being based on what he believed to be a fundamental principle of good advertising … never advertise anything from a negative perspective. “Now we deliver the promise” … runs the risk of the response “so what have you been delivering up until now?”.

Does this principle hold true for other types of advertising … or presentations? I believe it does.

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The point of the story is …

I think it happened when we were developing material for our first presentation skills programme.  Somewhere amongst the research or perhaps through interaction with colleagues, we began using the expression ‘competing for brain time’. This concept of competing for both attention and retention of information, has without doubt become even more relevant today … to the extent that we now seem to have our own internal trash can that we can that we drag and drop information into.  We only retain what we flag at the time as really important or useful.

When we stand up to present information or persuade others to follow a specific course of action, like it or not we are just a small part of a deluge of information our audience will experience, in any given day.  We are competing for brain-time more than ever.

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