As ShinyTile points out, the Oscars logo catches the eye first, and in this context is entirely irrelevant to the purpose and usage of the card. I assume the cards are nice keepsakes (in addition to the statues), and so I’m okay with keeping the logo, but minimizing it and making it the last thing the eye might read. In its place at the top center, I would place the category in the same Oscar logo gold. That should be the first place the reader’s eye goes and it should serve to confirm the category winner about to be announced. But immediately after the category is processed by the reader, the next thing is the winner and the first thing announced—big, bold and in all caps.
I’m okay with the title being all caps, but I would make the additional information (in this case the producer names), sentence cap as I think this is easier for the eye to read, especially with longer and more complicated names. The only things read aloud are in black and the other two items are in the less prominent gold.
The 60s Volkswagen ads were groundbreaking for so many reasons, but for me it was the simplicity that was amazing, successful and influential. And that’s why I discuss the “Think Small” ad every presentation training I do.
Guy Kawasaki has long said that he would never invest in a business that couldn’t make its case in 10 slides. While I’m no venture capitalist like Guy, I’ve seen plenty of pitch and investor decks that had no hope of getting investment—and one of the common themes was far too many slides. When you don’t understand your business well enough to explain it simply, or if your business model is so complicated that it can’t be explained simply, then why would an outside want to invest?
If there’s one thing drives me crazy, it’s seeing people putting together and designing a presentation before they even know what they’re trying to say. Often, this cart-before-the-horse approach is the result of laziness and simply not wanting to outline a story first. But I also see cases where presenters are literally trying to generate business ideas and solutions at the same time they’re deciding what font color to use. This couldn’t be more counterproductive to successful ideation, and it shows me yet again that idea generation is a vanishing art.
“Innovation” is what leaders say time and again is most important to their businesses, and yet few of us know how to actually generate and select innovative ideas—be it an iPhone or a better way for signing up for the office softball team.
So, how do you successfully ideate?
I’ve written before about the book SmartStorming which I still consider the single best book I have ever seen on this topic. The authors, Keith Harmeyer and Mitchell Rigie (good friends and former colleagues, full disclosure) are simply the best in the business when it comes to helping others generate new ideas and innovate.
Until now, the only way to learn their secret sauce was through their book or by attending a private corporate training. That changes with the introduction of their new SmartStormer online training available to all. Adapted from their in-person trainings, the 5 1/2 hour course contains interactive exercises, quizzes and 70 high-quality videos. It is essentially the online version of the full day SmartStorming training. And yes, it definitely contains their secret sauce to ideation. If you feel like you struggle with coming up with “good ideas” and wonder how others can brainstorm 20 ideas vs your three, I highly encourage you to take a look. The course is modular and can be accessed for up to a year, so you can definitely go through it at your own pace.
The cost to the public is $299, but use the special Present Your Story code of PYS50, and you’ll receive a $50 discount. And if you’re interested in a group discount for your office, just give them a holler—I’m sure they’ll cut you a good deal.