On Top of PR with Jason Mudd

Captivate your audience with transformational storytelling with Tim Pollard

August 31, 2021 Jason Mudd, Axia Public Relations Episode 61
On Top of PR with Jason Mudd
Captivate your audience with transformational storytelling with Tim Pollard
Show Notes Transcript

Tim Pollard founded Oratium in 2011. As CEO, he leads the ongoing development of Oratium’s intellectual property as well as leading all major client relationships. Tim has developed a remarkable insight into the science of designing and delivering extraordinary sales messaging.

Five things you’ll learn from this episode:

  1. The most destructive problems that sales messages suffer from, the amplifying effects of the virtual environment on those problematic hallmarks, and how the problem can be fixed
  2. How to improve your storytelling approach and skyrocket your sales if you’re among the marketing department heads, public relations, and corporate communications management at a mid-market to enterprise size company
  3. The most toxic communication hallmarks: too much information (you violate your audience’s mental bandwidth), too confusing (complete lack of narrative and logical story), and too sender-focused
  4. How to get beyond the 1970s-style thinking to a communication method that lines up with good brain science so you can deliver your solutions seamlessly
  5.  If you’re trying to develop a consumer brand, retainability is everything—it’s time to bring your business to a higher level where people make purchasing decisions based on your loyal customers’ ability to retell your value proposition


  • “We teach people how to get beyond the 1970s thinking to a communication method that works and lines up with good brain science.” — Tim Pollard
  •  “Sometimes the presentations you’re making are simply not compelling enough. Even if you’re the perfect solution to their problem, the customer does not move forward.” — Tim Pollard

About Tim Pollard

Over a long career in sales at many companies, including Unilever, Barclays, and the Corporate Executive Board—and now a decade into building Oratium—Tim has developed a remarkable insight into the science of designing and delivering extraordinary sales messaging. The result has been two best-selling books, The Compelling Communicator: Mastering the Art and Science of Exceptional Presentation Design and Mastering the Moment: Perfecting the Skills and Processes of Exceptional Presentation Delivery, which form the intellectual backbone of his course. This messaging model is in active use and is the preferred messaging solution of companies as diverse as Cisco, Disney, IBM, LinkedIn, and Salesforce.

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Sponsored by:

  •  On Top of PR is produced by Axia Public Relations, which Forbes named as one of America’s Best PR Agencies for 2021. Axia is an expert PR firm for national brands.
  • On Top of PR is sponsored by ReviewMaxer, the platform for monitoring, improving, and promoting online customer reviews.
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- [Narrator] Welcome to On Top of PR with Jason Mudd presented by ReviewMaxer.

- Hello, welcome to On Top of PR, I'm your host, Jason Mudd, and today we are joined by Tim Pollard of Oratium. And Tim, and his company exist to solve one fundamental problem in sales communication, that is that companies create incredible solutions and products. But even the best company in the world struggle to tell their sales story well, and it chips away at their desired sales outcomes. This is gonna be a very interesting conversation. If you are listening to our video broadcast, you'll be really glad, you are because Tim's gonna be using a video in a cool way to help us walk through this conversation. In fact, Tim, is here to talk to us about the most destructive problems that sales messages suffer from, the amplifying effects of the virtual environment on those problematic hallmarks, and how the problem can be fixed. So a tall order and a big promise here, Tim, welcome to the show.

- Jason, thank you, it's a pleasure to be here absolutely.

- I'm glad you're here too. So we connected months ago and you were explaining to me and expressing to me what you do, and I thought you would make a great guest for our audience today. Our audiences we've talked about is gonna be marketing department heads, public relations, and corporate communications leaders at a mid-market to enterprise size company. They're always looking for ways to improve their messaging, their storytelling, how they're getting the brand out there and ultimately with the passion of growing sales, for your organization. And Tim, you do a lot of sales training and other consulting work. Tell us a little bit about what you do.

- Absolutely, very much as you introduced it. There's a very interesting paradox out there that companies do build these great solutions, but they have tremendous difficulty telling that story well in the marketplace that will express itself in sales. That's a big problem for sales, sales enable them. It's also a huge problem for marketing. Marketing is very often, very deeply involved in building the commercial story, both for use in sales channels and maybe earlier in the pipeline and other, in other channels, social media website, blogs, white papers, and so forth. What we do is we help companies completely transform the way they tell their story and kind of invariably helping them get to much improved sales outcomes. And as you said, this has always been a problem. There's always been a big gap between quality of solution and quality of message. But as you said, the problem has been amplified by the shift into the virtual environment. A lot of the mistakes we make in sales messaging are serious in a live meeting and they're catastrophic really serious in a virtual meeting. So what we do, is we teach people how to get beyond the 1970s, thinking a big PowerPoint decks, to something that's really contemporary and very brain aligned. In other words, communication that works because it lines up with good brain science.

- That's fantastic. So are we talking something more or different Tim, than being audience focused in our communications.

- Audience or customer centricity clearly as a vital founding principle. But when you think about what makes exceptional communication, that would not be the only thing. I could be audience centric and develop a hundred crappy PowerPoint slides. And I'd still completely fail. In fact, as we may get to later, there were really six hallmarks of exceptional messaging. One of them is really where you see the customer audience interest piece, most embedded, but you can't get it right without the other five. Building great messaging. Whether you're building a speech for a CEO, a Ted talk, a donor pitch, an investor pitch, or a sales pitch requires you to master a basket of skills. It's not as simple as audience centricity. Although that is an absolutely critical foundation.

- Okay, excellent, all right so start us off Tim. What are, how are companies, what are their big struggle and telling their stories well?

- So it's very interesting. If you look at most companies, when you look at their sales or solutions messaging, and really this is almost a matter for all communication, you tend to see these kind of dense bloated PowerPoint decks. Now decks are a problem, but they're not the problem. The deck is the vehicle in which the real problem resides. To summarize very briefly, most communication fails because it's committing three really toxic sins or three toxic hallmarks. The first one is TMI too much information. It's just madness how much we try and pack in. This is a deck from a well-known technology company. You all know them household name. 70, 80, slides. I mean, some of these slides of themselves could be the topic of a day-long meeting or a frontier that like only dogs can hear. We have good motives, we wanna be thorough. We wanna be complete, but we ended up so violating our audience's mental bandwidth that we fail. It's all, none of us like it at all when we're fire hose, when the death by PowerPoint happens, but we still perpetrated on others. The second thing that's really interesting, I think is most sales messaging and again, most communication. I think is just simply confusing. And what I mean in the commercial space is that the value prop that the strength of our argument is just incredibly unclear. Again, I could grab any one of these decks, but I'll probably just hang onto this one. I go through this, I'm more or less understand it. Unfortunately it gets too technical in places. And so I can't, but I sorta get it, but I just don't really get it. How exactly are you helping me? And this comes from a lot of reasons because part of it is packing too much and part of it sending it and get too technical, part of it is complete lack of a logical narrative story just it's just stuffed. And so people come away from the meeting and like, I kinda, yeah, I understood most of the words, but I feel no great compulsion to move. And the third is particularly toxic and shows up everywhere is our messaging is almost always just far too sender oriented. We just go in and we talk about ourselves. I mean, we're passionate about what we do and we're excited and we're obviously usually much more comfortable talking about us than talking about someone else. But it just means that, it's a message. That's mostly about us and in a busy, distracted world, it just gives people a reason to check out. As we may get to in a few minutes, this becomes very toxic, in a virtual environment. So those are probably the whole marks. And if you like, then I can talk about what this leads to, what are the downstream outcomes? 'Cause they're really problematic.

- You're reminding me of a client that came to us years ago and they wanted to announce on a Friday afternoon, the company was thinking about reorganizing. And I think they had, 30 something slides that they were gonna walk people through for not only the justification of the reorg, but also what the reorg might look like in three different scenarios. And fortunately they called us in to say, "Hey, I think, we just think this needs "a little more polishing." And we looked at it and we just said, you're gonna do this on a Friday afternoon number one, number two, this many slides. So we got them to do five slides, right? And we got, we helped them. We helped them get rid of this whole idea, Tim of, showing three different ways the reorg might look. And instead solicit input from the team, which is what they were trying to do. But instead by showing three different scenarios, all they were going to get was feedback on those three, instead of thinking more expansively about what might happen. So your big PowerPoint resonates with me and I think of that challenge and I think, beyond keep it simple, right? We turned it around and made it about the people instead of about the company that they were talking about.

- Yeah, it's a very interesting illustration. I mean, true audience centricity is about anticipating where your audience's head is gonna be. What's the number one question that audience would have had, "Hey, do I have a job or do I not have a job?"

- Exactly.

- And unless, the first thing out of that presenter's mouth is, hey, we're gonna talk about a new org. Let me start by saying something here, everyone here has a job don't worry. We're doing something pretty cool. And in fact, your life is going to get more exciting. Unless you start with that line, you don't have any attention. They are literally thinking man, bad time to refinance the house. Maybe, I shouldn't have bought that new car. You're actually there illustrating the principle of how audience centricity applies. And honestly, as good as it was to go from 25 to five slides, that is not the real problem in that presentation. You have a mental block. That's so significant that unless you put that answer to the unasked question on the table, right out of the gate, you have failed, no matter what else you try and accomplish.

- Nope, I agree, and that's exactly what we did, Tim. So I'm glad to hear we were saluting the same flag.

- Good, good, good, yeah.

- Yeah.

- Well, well I'm English, and you're American, we probably don't quite salute the same flag, but I know what you mean.

- The conceptual flag that you're talking about, so.

- There we go again, yeah.

- Yeah, okay Tim, and so when you get involved in these organizations and you see these issues, what are some of the resistance that you face?

- I think a lot of people do what they do out of pure habit. They, know at some level that what they're doing, isn't working, we rarely talk to a client who says, are you kidding me, this is wonderful. Everyone loves this. I think, it's the lack of a viable alternative. Honestly, if you think about it, you open PowerPoint as a default today, but is that the only way of doing it? No, and I think what we ended up doing is we ended up showing people A, that what they're doing is more serious, more damaging than they realize it is. But B, you've got to give them a viable alternative. It's certainly not good enough to say decks are stupid, stop doing it. You have to have developed a full doctrine and process around the right way of doing it. And that's essentially what we've done.

- That makes a lot of sense to me, for sure. And, what else I'm thinking about when we're talking about this whole concept is you're right. It's not necessarily the deck, that's wrong. It's, maybe the habit or the approach that's taken, right. Instead of really focusing on, on your audience. And so, you're also reminding me, I think it's GE who they did some analysis and they realized that the candidates that came to them to get in there, their accelerated program, their management acceleration program, leadership program, they found a trend that the fewer slides that that person brought to that kind of, that pitch meeting, or that audition for lack of a better word, the cadence they used the fewer slides were the ones that had the more engaging presentations and were more likely to get accepted, into the program. And so I really, took away from that, this idea that, less is more and you can certainly accomplish more by doing less.

- Yes, a hundred percent true. If you don't break the habit of fire, hosing people, you you'll never be successful. What we, this is a good example. This is the messaging we worked with Cisco to build for Webex. This was 100, or 60, to 100, slide deck. And you can boil a story to four panels if you have the self-discipline. Now it's funny, I like your line of argument, but I still notice we default to that word slides. I, think just get to five slides or the person who presented the fewer slides. If you want me to be provocative, why slides? Why asides the only possible medium by which to carry your message in a documentary way? We need to actually step back and question a little bit more of these defaults because fewer slides is better than a lot of slides, but fewer slides is still not the best.

- Right, that's good well, and to your point, right? We've been forced into this virtual environment. And so the default thinking becomes slides, right? 'Cause I'm not meeting with you one-on-one and you're challenging that thinking. So Tim, talk to me more about what you see as a best practice when it comes to virtual meetings and presentations.

- So do you mind, if, to answer that question, I need to talk very brief about one other thing, is that, what does this lead to, because this is the problem we have to solve. When you get messaging wrong, which most companies do you have two bad outcomes. One is the meetings that you're having. The presentations you're making are simply not compelling enough. Too many times the meeting seems to go well, but the customer does not move forward. Even those times when in theory, you were the perfect solution to their problem. The second thing, this is incredibly important. And I think for the audience, particularly that were, that are listening to us today I think this is so vital. Most messaging, this is a serious enough, right? But most messaging even more seriously, is failing what I would call the retail ability test. And this is probably the most important thing I'll say today, 'cause this is the standard we have to now set. This is I believe the most important word in sales and marketing communications, let me explain. This, just like a sales example. This is you and you're having a conversation with a customer is that conversation important? Yes, of course it is. Is that the most important conversation? No, it never is. There's always another conversation. Sometime later there's another meeting and crucially, it's a meeting you don't get to be invited to. And it's at that meeting the decision making body of the customer is going to decide whether to go with you or a competitor or you, or do nothing. And all communication works this way. You submit a budget to your boss. This is the budget committee. You submit that this guy needs a promotion. This is the career committee that decides this. This is the grant approval for say, every communication has this first and second level of effectiveness that it needs to happen. The problem with most messaging is when we do it this way it's filing here is certainly weak here, but it's catastrophic really failing here, why? Because at least in this meeting, you get to kind of navigate around the weaknesses. Good salespeople have always managed to make something out of bad decks, but of course you're not in the second meeting. And by the way, even though I said earlier, the problem is intellectual structure, not PowerPoint. You still should never use PowerPoint back to my earlier point. Because people do not represent someone else's slide deck. Now this has monumental implications. One of them is I said, if you know your meeting, your messaging, isn't working well here. You know, it's failing catastrophic be here because you're not there to help it over the line. But there's two other big consequences. One is the standard. We as marketers, PR professionals selfish, the standard we need to set up for communication is not first meeting success. That is a standard, but we need to be thinking much more about subsequent meeting success or second meeting success. In other words, it's not, it doesn't have to be good enough here. Is it, crisp enough, clean enough, powerful enough, compelling enough audience centric or customer centric enough that this person, is really able to retell that story effectively. And that sets a completely different standard. But we build messaging with customers, our clients, and teach them how to do it. We're not teaching them how to have successful first meetings we are, or what we're really doing is teaching them how to have messaging that's so good. It passes a much higher standard. The second implication. And I'm so glad I get to talk about this with this audience, is this changes the very purpose of messaging, because think about it. Do you build messaging in marketing or PR or sales to persuade? Yeah, trick question of course you do. You build messaging to persuade. Is that its only purpose? No, it is equally important that the messaging, you build equips, this person to retell the story. And the reason this matters is I could ask a thousand sales organizations to build messaging, to persuade you or marketing. And they'll say, "yeah," so I said, you build mentioning to a quit and they'll say, "no," not only will I say no, they'll say "I've never even really thought about it." So if you think about it, the way you think about messaging, this is fundamentally the root cause level, what we're doing wrong. But we have to understand why we're doing it in the first place. 'cause I would venture to say, Jason, if you could take a 20 slide deck and get it to 10, have you made it better? Yeah, have you made it good enough to work here? No, almost certainly not.

- Yap

- So I think, this is incredibly important because otherwise this is just a set of, hey, three things you're doing wrong, let's get them right. We've got to dig a little deeper into the purpose. Now to your point about virtual, I'll just say one thing. The world went virtual. The immediate mistake everyone made was to say, oh well, virtual communication, all we got to figure out is how do I use the platform? How do I turn my video on how do I unmute myself? How do I make sure your kids aren't running around? Is that important, yeah. Is that what's really important, no. There's something, way more interesting and important going on here. Communication, as we all know is a highly social process and especially so sales communication, it's a very delicate dance between buyer and seller. I cannot sell effectively if don't understand how you're responding and then react to your response. But of course what happened is it moved into a thoroughly, a social environment. An environment with completely different social dynamics. And the reason that matters is that this radically amplifies the impact of these mistakes. And this is what people have not fully understood. Very simply there are three big changes in social dynamic. One, people are far more distracted. They switch off a check, another piece of technology, and.

- That's right.

- They can get into all the what's going on there, but they create their own cognitive fractures. Well, if your messaging is already confusing and technical and unclear, how can that possibly work? When people are distracted, it's just gonna get so much worse. The second one is really interesting. People experience a loss of mental bandwidth. Our mental capacity is lower and science already shows us that this is because the focus and intensity you have to put in is so much higher. That's what zoom fatigue is. It's exhaustion from focus. Well so how is that gonna work if our tendency already is to pack too much in. How do I, how can I possibly be effective as a communicator if I'm packing too much and then, I'm not confusing. And I have a customer with less mental capacity to absorb. And then the third one, which to me is most interesting in fact, is you can experience an almost complete loss of feedback or social cues. And that can be, the complete paralysis of a sales conversation. Thanks Bryce, complete paralysis of a conversation. More logs don't run land deals. You don't win with investors or donors or communities or budget committees if you just have a monologue. And the problem is that if you don't intentionally design interactivity, and configure a meeting to create the feedback, for example, always have your camera on, never present for something that's not your face for more than one third of the meeting. So yeah, show some images, show a slide, maybe if you want, but for no more than one third of the time, because it's so paralyzing to lose those social cues. So the problem we've all been experiencing is that communication in a virtual world, which is clearly is here to stay, exists at the confluence of these three changes in social dynamic. And these have radical amplifying effects on these problems. So companies that were already struggling finding a huge challenge now selling effectively in a virtual world.

- Tim, that's very good, very powerful. So as I'm looking at my own notes here, based on what you're sharing, I'm thinking about, for our audience to take a note themselves, to ask themselves for each of the messages that they're trying to put out there. One is it compelling right? Two, is it re-tellable? And so I love the example you're giving and it works very well. Examples you gave work very well in a B to B environment. And I know that business to business is your specialty, but I want to challenge our audience who might be from a B to C environment to also be thinking about that exact same thing. So if you think about it, the husband or wife is at a car dealership and they're looking at a car, right? And they come back home to talk to their spouse or maybe their neighbor or whomever about the conversation. If they can't retell the value of the vehicle and I'm just making up a quick example, or the value of the computer, they might be buying or tech they might be buying, they're gonna run into the same issue. And so I think it's really important for our audience to really hammer home on, is this message compelling?

- Absolutely.

- And number two is it something they can re, is it simple enough the audience can package it and take it home to re retell it to somebody else.

- That is so true. If, I'll push you even further Jason, if you think about the consumer space, there are two reasons why you want it to be retainable. One is, because that is going to help drive a positive purchase decision. As you said, you were describing the kind of consumer durables market, but any major decision that a family makes a vacation, a washing machine, a car.

- There we go.

- There is always some kind of buying group here, even if it's just the two members of a couple.

- Right.

- But how does a great consumer brand grow? It grows through word of mouth and it isn't just a decision. You don't just do this to get a decision, even in consumer packaged goods so not durables, there's a critical word here, which is advocacy. Give me an example. I'm going on a really long multi-day mountain hike with a few friends in a week or two. And I was talking to my son about hydration. He's coming with us. And he just comes right out of the blue and he names a product. He said, "dad, you really want to use this. "The, this is like the best in class "for hydration right now." And he gave me four or five reasons. And right then I go on Amazon and I buy a bunch of that because it's gonna work better for me now, what did he do? He retold that story, not to get a decision but for advocacy. Now, if you're trying to develop a consumer brand, how important is retainability, it's everything.

- Right.

- Because if one person tells seven people and seven people tell seven people it's at 49 and then 350, and I can't do the math beyond that. So your initial premise that it's important for decision making is a hundred percent true. But even down at the durable or the package goods level whatever advocacy is critical, I just bought something based on my son's ability to retell their value proposition. And that happened because in their communication to him, they built a message that was re-tellable. And what that meant is it was crisp, it was simple. It was probably built around a small number of ideas, not a whole load of technical information. So this premise of retainability, is so critical in any communications arena, any there's really none where it does not apply.

- Perfect, yeah, Tim, that's very helpful. Thank you for summarizing that. As, I wanna go back to what you were talking about earlier with, the virtual platform. And, you were describing, I think you were describing the meeting I was in this morning, where I was using a different piece of, they were using a different piece of web conferencing than I'm used to using. I was presenting some information and materials, even some graphics and the platform they were using would automatically replace them on the screen with what I was showing. So I couldn't see them. And so I couldn't read their body language and adjust what I was showing right? And so, I became very, I was flustered, under the collar if you will, but not showing it. But at the same time, just thinking to myself, like I can't see them. And if they're even interested in this anymore, but it was something they asked to see, but you don't know how long to keep going, unless you can see them. So my point is I wasn't manipulating them windows to try to keep them in the screen.

- Yeah.

- And so you reminded me of that. And I think that's so important that you, back in the old days, we used to say one person to present and one person to read the room, right?

- Yeah, it's interesting. I believe, and our training goes into the detail here that this is the bigger problem to solve. But it doesn't mean this is not a problem. We have a very interesting acronym to teach you how to master the virtual platform. And the acronym is traps and I won't go through it all. But the T of traps is master your technology. And there's a lot of principles that once you know them, Will stand you in very good stead. One of them is A, you've got to know the main functions of the main platforms. You've got to know how to do what you're trying to do on Webex zoom teams. But here's a great tip. Get the meeting onto the platform you prefer. We teach that to ourselves guys. If we do, a meeting and our client says, "Hey, let's do it on zoom." If we write back and say, "Hey, do you mind if we do it on Webex, "we find that works better." They never say no.

- Right.

- And you always wanna give yourself small advantages in communication. We know exactly how to manipulate and use the Webex platform. I personally think it's the best platform. So there are these little tips, always use the technology, if you can, that you know, and then your default is you have to know the core functionality of the other platforms. If you're forced, use them. A is ambience, don't have your laundry in the background, don't have weird naked pictures of yourself, or your husband or wife has. I mean, we've all seen all of this. We can teach people how to master the platform in one 30 minute lesson as part of our broader e-learning. And some of this is so obvious, but we're still not doing it, too many people are still struggling with this. They need to get over this. That's easy to fix, they got to figure this out. That's what's more interesting.

- And, so for those that are listening to the audio version, we're talking about the getting over the virtual platform and focusing on the distraction, the loss of bandwidth, I believe, and the loss of what's the other one.

- Social cues and feedback.

- Social cues, which is what I was just talking about. Yes, exactly right.

- That was a part of that problem.

- Yep absolutely.

- The platform drives that, the platform really drives that.

- Yeah, so Tim, we teased the six items you wanted to mention. And as we are starting to wrap up, I do think that I'd wanna give you an opportunity to go through those six, if you're comfortable and prepared to do that.

- Yeah, absolutely. I had an example here I mentioned earlier. This is the Webex messaging. This was a very dense PowerPoint deck, very technical, a lot of feeds and speeds, and it can be boiled, and, I'll do this very briefly. And, obviously this would be such an introductory level. If people are interested, we have this wildly cool e-learning that I teach using this platform that unpacks all of this and then really teaches you how to do it. But basically great messaging conforms to six, new hallmarks. One is incredibly crisp and clean and simple. I don't care how much you want to tell a story that's bigger than the brain of your audience, but you don't get to do that. You have to respect and work within the bandwidth of your customer.

- Right.

- Two, this was the second but the one you mentioned is in order to be surely audience or customer centric, all great messaging has to be deeply rooted in a customer problem. Your opening should be, hey, there's a big problem out there. You're experiencing it. We're seeing a lot of people experiencing it. Let's talk about that. And let's tell you how we can solve it. Your value prop, you are the second movement of the symphony. The first movement of any great marketing or sales communication is the customer and their problem. And you don't just name it and go into the solution. The working rule of a sales conversation is at least one third of it should be on the customer problem. Because if they don't buy into it, it doesn't matter how good your solution is. They have no motivation. The third hallmark of great messaging, and we just don't have time to unpack it, which is so sad, is that it should be organized around a small number of big ideas. Now, this is very profoundly to do with how the brain works. The brain operates the level of ideas. If someone asks you later, "Hey, what was that webinar about?" You wouldn't play a recording from your mind. You don't have one. What you would say is, wow. It was really interesting. He talks about this thing called retail ability and the role of the second meeting. He talked about the changing social dynamic of the virtual world. You see what you'd be doing? You would be boiling your material.

- Right.

- To a small number of ideas. And so what great communicators do is they feed the brain, what it really wants. And so instead of hundreds of slides of feeds and speeds and features and functions and data, you can't read these, but the entire value prop here is organized around three big ideas. The fourth construct is those ideas have to be supported. This is called us powerfully supported. If we have one minute, I'll show you a picture of that. Imagine I was trying to sell you a car, Jason, and I want one of the big ideas was this thing is monster powerful. It'll tow anything you wanna tow. I can give you a data based way of doing that with a talk or how much weight it can tow. But imagine I showed you this image and Bryce can bring up on screen. This was from a Toyota Tundra ad, many people still remember this or that hasn't run for over a decade. And that is a powerful way of supporting that idea. And the particular thing you want to get good at, which is what you saw there is visualization. When you have an idea, you want to help your audience or customer to visualize it, not just get it from sort of an intellectual brain way, but really more of an emotional right brain way.

- And Tim, just for the, those that are listening, let's paint them a picture of what you just put on the screen.

- Yeah, it's a picture. I apologize, it's a picture from a Toyota Tundra, TV and press campaign of many years ago with the Tundra pulling the space shuttle.

- Right.

- And what I love about it is it's so beautifully conceptual. How much does the space shuttle weigh? I don't know.

- A lot.

- But it's heavier than my bass boat. Its heavier than my bass boat. And so they're teaching, it's all principal communication. I teach from, the greatest to the least. If it'll work here, it'll work there.

- Right.

- And so the first thing you do is establish what are the key ideas in your value prop? And then the second thing you do is figure out how to support them powerfully often through visualization. The fifth hallmark, is you've got to get away from this randomness. You need a logical sequence or structure or the word, all right up here is flow. Here's the good news is, a logical flow is implicitly present in every sales message it's there. And it's this it's three, it's actually simply three movements as I said. Movement one, you, the customer has a problem that's bigger than you think it is and more serious than you think it is. Movement two, we know how to completely solve that problem. And by the way, we're better than anybody else solving it. And then movement three. This is what it would look like to work together. And here are our next steps. At a fundamental level, the overwhelming majority of sales messages work like that. And that is the best way for them to work. The problem centricity brings in engagement souls, a lot of your distraction problem, you then show you can solve the problem. And then you show them what partnership looks like. And then the sick poll mock is insanely interesting, which is you wanna embed this, which is the message, into a document but that document is specifically designed for what? Re tolerability, not enough, just to design the message. What you need to do is embed it in a document that's re-tellable. And this has to take you away from you can do it in a simplified slide deck. We do have clients that do that. It's not a hill I choose to die on, but often a better way of doing it is an actual document. Because there's lots of reasons I can't get into why that is a superior model. So those are the five virtuous hallmarks, essentially the reversal of these three toxic hallmarks. And then here we had this shadowy sent us to a thing called the deck, which you replace with a document for retail ability. And this model, is just extraordinarily effective. We see companies use it for designing Ted talks, build sales messages, C level company level leadership messaging, but it's particularly valuable for sales, marketing and PR. It's also channel agnostic. Wouldn't you wanna go to your website and find that it's Chris clean and simple. That maybe it leads with the problem you solve, not who we are and what we do.

- That's right. _ And in fact these principles, to some extent, channel neutral marketers in our client base, we'll use them in all kinds of different arenas. If you write a blog post, shouldn't it be problem centric, not sender centric. So anyway, so a little bit about Gallop through some broader terrain. Obviously we didn't get to go very deep here, but I hope this was helpful.

- Tim, this was helpful and a great conversation, and I really enjoyed all the principles you shared. You've given our audience a lot to think about, and it's reminding me of two things. One, you've got some free resources on your website, some paid opportunities to connect with you as well, and do some consulting and training work. Where do they go to get in touch with you for those initial resources?

- Sure, so the company as you said, is Oratium. So obviously we are at Oratium.com. There are a whole bunch of free resources, a couple of interesting webinars, particularly a thought leadership piece, on the ways that COVID will change sales forever. If people wanted to write to me, that's just [email protected] the web, website's a great place to start looking at executive sales, marketing, donor donor messaging also. But then [email protected], is how to get in touch with me or just the contact form on the website, obviously.

- And that's O-R-A-T-I-U-M.com, correct?

- Correct, yeah same route as arbitrary and orator, Oratium, is actually Latin for an oral argument. Hence the word.

- Nice, perfect. And also our audience can connect with you on LinkedIn.

- Yeah, maybe even the easiest way to start a dialogue I'm pretty easy to find. So Tim Pollard, P-O-L-L-A, oops, can't spell my own name, P-O-L-L-A-R-D.

- Time to get some coffee Tim.

- So LinkedIn is a great, yeah. LinkedIn is a great place to start, so.

- Perfect, excellent. Well, what I wanted to make sure our audience heard was that there are resources to get, this learning started on your website. And then from there they can explore and even deeper and more meaningful relationship with you and your organization on these topics we discussed today, which I guarantee everyone who listened to this is gonna have a takeaway from it and an opportunity to improve something. One last question I was gonna ask you, as you were going through all, this is you're reminding me I heard once that in any given, 40, 50, 60 minute presentation, there really only ends up being about one minute of content that people actually remember long-term. Have you heard that before, and what are your thoughts on that?

- Man, that's a big question to throw in at the end. Yeah, one level science clearly proves that, for most content presented, the audience will only retain 10%. But that's a very, very dangerous average. If you and I met and I said, what was the example I use? If I was talking to you, Jason, I said, hey, Jason, you are not gonna believe this. I was, bitten in the leg by a dog this morning and I've got to go to hospital. You'd remember 100% of that. If we met a year later, you'd be like, I remember you, you had the dog but you remember 100% of that.

- Right.

- The danger of that 10% numerators we have to understand the denominator. In my view, when messaging is built properly, the recall comprehension recall can go up absolutely radically. But here's something I wanna leave you here is something I wanna leave you with. A good messaging model will include a document built from retail ability why is that important? Because why fight a battle you can't win, which is the unaided recall battle. Don't fight that battle. Give your audience always the ability to do aided recall. I could literally give this pitch to you for Webex. I could run you through it in 10 minutes. Jason, give you 20 minutes to kind of study it and you could go make this pitch perfectly.

- Right.

- Because what I'm doing is I'm extending your brains capacity. And so it's ironic. It's the one thing, I raised here. This is, the essence of great messaging, but when you build a re-tellable document, you change the rules of the game. You're no longer trying to win the unaided recall game. You always, as a communicator, always want to get aided recall on your side. The only type of presentation I would make with no document would be something like a wedding speech or a best man speech. There's almost no presentation I would give without, some kind of visual aid. And by the way, if you look at what I've done here on the light board, there's the visual aid. Anyone today, you could just take a screenshot right now and everything I've said, in fact, please do. You took a screenshot of this right now? You would have everything I've said. What we're getting wrong? What are it's downstream consequences. How is it amplified by the virtual environment, the problem, and then how do you solve it? And so you always wanna go for aided recall with that screenshot. Somebody could represent what I just did in the last 35, 40, 30 minutes.

- Yep, that's absolutely right. Tim, unfortunately we have, speaking of time, we have run out of time. This was a great conversation, great presentation. I love what you shared. I think our audience is gonna be very excited about the content and the light board that you've presented on here. Thank you for the opportunity to connect. And I hope that a lot of our audience reach out to you, reaches out to you after this. So those of you that are tuning in, thank you for watching. This has been another episode of on Top of PR. And if you enjoyed this episode, please be sure to share it with colleague.

- [Narrator] This has been on Top of PR with Jason Mudd, presented by Review Maxer. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode, and check out past shows at OnTopOFPR.com.