BMF's Chris Kay & Shane Bradnick: Cannes Day Two from a suit and a creative point of view

Campaign Brief 511.pngBMF managing partner Chris Kay and Sydney ECD Shane Bradnick are in Cannes and report exclusively for CB. 

Day 2 is over and we are continuing the slightly lazy theme of a dual blog written from a suit and a creative view of what we have seen so far in the South of France.
Having sat through a lot of conferences now and wandered around town we thought we might give this update a bit of a theme of 'presentation'.
So being the suit I'll have a first stab at the theme and give a bit of a perspective on that old school art of presenting based on the seminars I've seen so far. 

Considering there are a smallish number of lectures seen at times by a suitably large audience of a couple of thousand of people you'd think all the presenters would be legends.  But to be honest around 80% have been under-whelming. Some of the presentations seem a little staged - the Contagious presentation had three speakers passing the 'speaking' baton every four sentences which felt like a reasonably bad boy band, the Barilla discussion was more a rambling conversation, the Kraft presentation had 6 people presenting that started brilliantly then fell into a confusing end, and the Facebook speaker had to go off the stage to gather his train of thought (although he did come back and really nailed it - bless him).  

Now its easy for me to pick at people as I sit in the dark 100 hundred rows away, but I think there are interesting lessons for us to learn from the good and the bad styles here for the next time we have a big client presentation. 

First, keep the numbers presenting down - Deutsch LA had two, which allowed you to really get to know the speakers. Second, have a good mix of informality and humor - the Time Warner presentation had the writer of Sex in the City who was brilliant - but he clearly would be. Three - keep the slides low and show me some cool shit to keep me entertained - Kim Kadlec from Johnson & Johnson did this pretty well.
As is the case with most creatives, my attention span is pretty limited and constantly being distracted by the next shiny thing. Any good presentation is about great story telling. Even a dull story told well is going to do better than an interesting story told badly. I agree with Chris some of the presenters have been a little disappointing and therefore their content has felt disappointing. I even popped out of the Barilla talk to call my mom. Now, she knows how to tell a story. My favorites so far have been the YouTube and the Time Warner talks. Both delivered a lot of info, but in a very casual and engaging way.
Walking around looking at all the work, the same principal of good story telling is just as important. A lot of the boards are complex and busy and are not doing their ideas any justice. The crowds seem to gather around the work that's presented in a simple, direct and charming way. Nothing new I know, but good to be reminded. 
But probably the people that really nail good presentations are the hotel beaches. Particularly the Carlton, they do such a great job of presenting their beach that they can ask for mere 450 euros a day to rent a chair on their sand. Good luck expensing that.

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