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Top Marketing Presentation Cliches to Retire
1) IT'S CALLED "UPSPEAK?"
The talking point reads like this:
"We feel these conversion rates aren't as good as they could be. So our plan is to increase them by providing a stronger call to action."
So why does it sound like this:
"We feel these conversion rates aren't as good as they could be? So our plan is to increase them? By providing a stronger call to action?"
Why is your voice going up at the end of every phrase? Of a declarative sentence?
It's called Upspeak. Seriously, it's a real word, look it up. It used to be the province of valley girls. Now it's the official dialect of marketing and advertising professionals. If you want to stand out from your competition, consider putting periods and semicolons back into your spoken sentences. Trust me; no one else is doing it. Traditional - it's the new edgy.
2) "I'M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS OPPORTUNITY!"
The team finished the last interactive slide at 12:30am this morning. You personally had eight cups of coffee on the train. The client knows you're excited - your leg is shaking so hard that the CFO's pen just rolled off the conference table. Relax - just show up and show what you can do. Enthusiasm is a fine thing, but they'll trust you more if you aren't trying to channel Smiling Bob from the Enzyte ad.
I recall one presenter last year who didn't start with that line. Refreshing, I thought. Then he ended it with "Oh, if I didn't mention it before, I'm really excited about this presentation!" Glad you cleared that up, dude. So show off your mad copywriting skills and deliver a new line already!
3) "THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION!"
When the client hears this, they assume that one of three things is going through the presenter's head:
- "Phew! I have a talking point for that."
- "Crap, I don't have a talking point for that. I can wing it - I'll use the words ‘holistic' and ‘scalability' and ‘heuristic'. A lot."
- "I need to buy myself a moment to think."
"That's a great question" was a fresh, energetic response that made the client feel smart - in 1998. The jig is up - now it sounds annoying at best, patronizing at worst. Yet somebody said it in every presentation I've attended this year. Just stop. It's perfectly okay to say you don't know and come back to it later. Or ask for a minute to respond. Or just - you know - answer.
4) "DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?"
Ah, yes, behold the trial close of the new millennium! Granted, we needed a new one because prospective clients are so onto ‘don't you agree making more money would be good for your business?' and ‘which day is better for the campaign kickoff, the 12th or the 15th?'
It's not so bad, really. More elegant than "Okay so far?" and less condescending than "You getting this?" The problem is that it's everywhere. Please, please, wordsmith some other phrase that speaks to client engagement. Or the next time I hear "Does that make sense?" I may respond with "The voices in my head are saying no" just to spice things up. Or better yet, "That's a great question!"
About the Author
Cathy Carleton loves to find the story in the data. She is a Red Sox fan,
doesn't answer the phone when Mad Men's on, and heads up Database Marketing