Now Playing: Becoming Abi

It’s been a crazy past few weeks. You might remember that I work so even though we had a mid-term break 2 weeks ago, it was still a madness for me. On Tuesday, I finally got a moment to breathe, and I opened Netflix in an attempt at destressing.

And that, my dear people, is how I landed on Abi’s story.

Bolu Essien's Movie 'Becoming Abi' is coming to Netflix on October 28th |  BellaNaija

This is Abi. Abi works as an Account Manager in a marketing and advertising agency somewhere in fictional Lagos. You can see how this strikes a chord. The series follows her journey from junior to senior level and highlights the obstacles she must get past. [Spoiler Alert] On her first pitch, she almost botches it but eventually, she finds a way to wow the clients and eventually wins the pitch.

That got me thinking. You could have put together a fantastic pitch deck with all the research done. You could have the most amazing key visuals and a guerrilla activity that will literarily drop jaws. But if the story isn’t well told, both in the deck and in the spoken presentation, it could all be a waste of energy.

So here are a few proactive tips and reminders for good presentations:

  • Embrace the Fear: If we wait for fear to pass, we’ll never do anything. Fear is not an evil thing. It can be a catalyst for the greatest things you could ever say or do. It’s why SCA is such a great school; we’re constantly encouraged to push through the fear. Take deep breaths and talk anyway.
  • Design the story: How do you want the flow to go? Professionally, we have presentation templates that help us present the flow of ideas. But let’s put ourselves in the client’s shoes for a minute. Let’s say you’ve had 5 agencies pitch to you. And because somehow, ad guys seem to work in at least 5 agencies before they bow out, all the pitches sound the same. Where’s the pizzaz? The vavavoom? What if we presented our pitches in new ways, every pitch?
  • Write Notes: Technology, thankfully, allows us to do some great things, like put notes in our PowerPoint presentation slides. Sticky notes are a great idea too. Highlight the main points you intend to make
  • Dry Runs: Pull a couple of people together and have them listen to you present. Ask them for their feedback and use that to tighten loose ends. This way, when it’s time to present, you’d have worked out whatever problems the presentation might have had.
  • Remember, you put in the work. You know your stuff; your ideas are great. Show your client how hyped you are about how you intend to bring their brand to the forefront of consumers’ minds.

Now I feel like a lecturer but as always, my random thoughts work as double-edged swords.

Thank you,(fictional) Abi, for nearly messing up your presentation. I only intended to cool off for a few hours but here I am, wondering what’s next on your journey in advertising.


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