Rockstar Presentation Inspiration – John Mayer

Monday, May 9th, 2011 by Simon Morton

I’m a big fan of the darling of the tabloids, John Mayer.

At this point, our UK readers will be uttering “who?!” under their breath.  The rest of the civilised World will be nodding their head and mentally painting a picture of me as a man with a penchant for blues inspired MOR with occassionally cloying lyrics. 

Blame it on my age…

The reason I mention this is that a recent trawl of YouTube threw up an interesting clip of an unreleased track that I think encapsulates what we do here at Eyeful

No, really.  Please read on…it’s worth it.

The clip (click the YouTube window below to play the track) covers the transition of a track called “Can’t Take That Plane” from rough idea through to fully produced, high impact and downright funky end product. 

And, if we’re going to run with this slightly tortutred analogy, that’s exactly what Eyeful does with presentations day in, day out

We take the rough and ready content from our customers and, through a process of refining, checking and challenging, we turn them into something that grabs the attention and communicates.

OK – as James Brown used to say, let’s break this down:

0.00 – Laying down the bare bones of the track

In terms of a presentation, this is getting the basics right first:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What’s your message?
  • What change in behaviour/perception are you looking to achieve through the presentation?

0.26 – Pulling together a rough idea of lyrics

For a presentation, this is pulling together a collection of possible content/data.  Just as with the songwriting process, you’re unlikely to include every lyric idea you scribbled down in the final song. 

Exactly the same process of careful editing needs to happen when creating a presentation – what you take out is as important as what you leave in! 

Many presentations fail because every “lyric idea” is left in the final mix – a recipe for disaster!

1.08 – Making the most of the HOOK

This is important – the entire song hangs off this one element.  In terms of songwriting, it’s repeated, is as catchy as possible (i.e. will be remembered by the listener!) and puts the whole song into context. 

When developing your presentation, replace HOOK with your MESSAGE.  In just the same way, it needs to resonate with your audience so make it strong, clear and memorable!

1.37 – Adding some colour & depth

Now the key elements of the song are down, you can start adding and tweaking the other elements of the mix.  A paradiddle of drums here, a squeal of guitar there…  In terms of presentation development, this is the slide design process. 

Think about it – a musician wouldn’t dream of throwing themselves into the production process until the core of the song was complete…yet countless presentations START at this point!  It’s little wonder that so many presentations end up as style over substance and ultimately leave their audience bored and confused.

So there you have it – we hope our slightly tortured analogy stands up under scrutiny. 

In short, it’s about planning and getting the component elements of your song/presentation sorted BEFORE you start the final production.  Obvious really…

End Note

Interestingly the track never made it onto the final album.  Perhaps his producer should have highlighted early on that no matter how much polish they added to the finished track, it was never going to be a killer tune. 

Rest assured, the gang at Eyeful will always stand up and tell you if you’re simply putting “lipstick on a pig“.  Everytime.

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