Gruen’s not where its at

Advertising is all about persuading people to take action. Be it to sign up for a bank account, try a different cereal, look to new streamed entertainment or any of the other thousands of offers, products and services clamouring for people’s attention.

Gruen’s not. It’s purley an entertainment show framed around deconstructing television commercials, staffed by a panel that has loose (and rather ancient) ties to some of Australia’s advertising firms.

It may have one or two insights of value to an entrepreneur, in an entire season. But even so, those learnings can be gleaned quicker observing any presentation you’re part of.

The reason Gruen’s wisdoms don’t work for presenters is that TV is a ve. ry peculiar medium. It relies on special effects, multimedia and even social to captivate attention. Then happily sacrificing it to constant interruptions (adverts).

It’s also, like every other electronic medium, always on. Hit the power button and something will come at you, typically when viewers have no specific expectation for the time they’re sacrificing with it.

Presenting is an entirely different communication. If the audience isn’t hooked, it’ll be resentful if not totally distracted. Just look at the next meeting – how many fiddle how many times with mobiles/ laptops or even watches? Banning the fiddling raises resentment, because people want to get things done on their devices while they enduring whatever presentation’s vomited across the room.

The worst thing to do while presenting is to go on like Gruen. TV will spew the program into your lounge irrespective if you’re watching or not.

When presenting, you will lose your audience. Doesn’t matter how engaging you and your subject are. Persuaders gather their audience. Presenters bang on in the hope that people will return by themselves. That approach, however, shuts them down and pushes them well beyond anyone’s reach.

Never bang on.

If you can’t get them back let them go. Give them time back in their day – they’ll at least remember you for that rare luxury.