Business Presenting – How To Make A Great First Impression

In presentations, as in life, you only have one chance to make a first impression. This is why the titles of your presentations are crucial.

In this short article, let’s examine how to title your presentation to immediately attract your audience.

What’s in a presentation title?

If you look at most business presentations, strategy messages, and sales pitches, you’ll notice one thing. Deadly boring titles.

If you were giving an award for the most boring, the dullest, and the most tedious titles, you’d have to have a lot of ribbons to hand out!

Sadly, many professionals title their presentations without thinking of catchy words, emotional spark or what the audience is really seeking.

This gives rise to titles such as:

Enterprise Sales Enablement Solutions

Research Findings For Field Utilization From The ACME Study

Strategic Initiatives In Alignment to The Corporate Vision for 2020

What’s your response to these titles?

Yawn.

If presentation and conference titles were looking for extra work, they might double as a cure for insomnia. Think I’m kidding? Try reading the titles in your industry’s conference brochure and staying awake!

Well, you’re not alone in falling asleep while skimming the titles.

Here’s what your clients and prospects are thinking as they preview the titles: “I’m getting sleepy and bored before I ever sit down. Maybe I do need to skip out and grab a latte.”

And as luck would have it, they may not come back from the coffee shop in time for your talk! Instead of risking the dreaded fate of presenting to an empty auditorium, get out your red pen and do some editing.

Be ruthless. Aim for dynamic headlines to describe your talk.

Here are a few pointers for titling your talk, pitch or report:

Tip 1. No Passive Language

Use verbs! Speak in active terms.

Tip 2. No Long Words

If your title is easy and catchy, you should be able to say the name of your presentation without sounding as if you have marbles in your mouth.

Tip 3. No Corporate Jargon

You are giving a dynamic presentation, aren’t you? Signal this to your audience. Avoid using words that only belong in the corporate bylaws or annual report. Avoid sounding like you never get out of the office park.

If you aren’t sure whether your title passes this 3-point test, do not check with an office mate. He or she may not be able to spot the lack of luster in your title. Instead, check with a 6-year old. If your young friend understands, can repeat the title and can say it without effort, then you deserve a gold star!

Hint: most likely you will sit in a meeting or presentation this week. Notice how the title of the presentation or talk affects you. Now you know the rules. Play a little game to challenge your inner-editor. See how you can rename these presentations to ignite interest and spark excitement.

Once you get used to renaming other people’s presentations, it’s a whole lot easier to edit your own. Funny thing, eh?

Write powerful titles to make a great first impression and cut through the clutter. Use the right words and pictures to connect with what matters most for your audience.

History and Evolution of Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property may sound like a modern-world invention, but it has actually been around since the development of civilization. Many sources pin the origins of Intellectual Property rights to the year 1421 when the world’s first modern patent was awarded to an Italian inventor. However, according to Former Lord Justice of Appeal Robin Jacob, the history of Intellectual Property law can be traced back to as early as 600 BCE. This article explores the documented string of events that eventually led to our modern understanding of Intellectual Property laws, and elevates the conversation to answer a more pertinent question: So what?

Expert Insight: Many people shy away from studying history in general, believing that it is just tedious memorization of events based on evidence. While partly true that historians are essentially walking historical records, a significant portion of the practice involves many social applications, sociological methods, and anthropological theories.

Recognition, But Not Quite Possession: 600 BCE

The earliest records relating to Intellectual Property dates back to the 6th century BCE, from Sybaris in Ancient Greece. It supposedly granted a yearlong exclusivity for bakers to make their culinary invention. In a manner of speaking, the rise of Intellectual Property originated from the rising of bread.

Granting exclusive rights is a culture our modern society was born into. However, knowing that it has existed for millennia tells us of our valuation of individual talents. Although the ancient Greeks still considered their inventions as gifts from the gods, recognizing the human part of the innovation process proves that we are very similar to our distant ancestors.

Expert Insight: In the absence of written texts from prehistory, we can learn social values through artifacts. For instance, remains of animals bearing early forms of branding indicate that early humans attributed produce quality with the method of growing. This idea of adding a separate value on the maker – and, in extension, on how they care for their animals – starkly emulate the modern trademark and patent virtues.

Backstep Into the Dark Ages

However, the resemblance of our values to ancient views would pause for a long time with the rise of the Roman Empire. Religion came to the fore, and so the individualistic view on creatorship took a backstep and remained there since. At around 480 CE, Emperor Zeno overthrew the whole concept of sole proprietorship on artistic and agricultural produce. The Church gained absolute control over the entire Empire.

Nevertheless, through the centuries, religious influence over society waned as humanism reemerged through ancient texts. This movement, which in many ways is traceable to Aristotelian and Platonic worldviews paved the way for the Enlightenment. During this period of human appreciation, the first genuinely recognizable iteration of Intellectual Property appeared.

Let There Be Light

As we collectively emerged from traditionalism during the Renaissance, our appreciation of scientific and technological developments overtook the prevailing dogma. With the influx of revolutionary models of thinking came radical advancements in the field of engineering.

Expert Insight: There was a more significant premium placed on innovations with industrial applications. This is evidenced by the first patent with legal protection granted in 1421 to an Italian inventor. The 1421 license also closely resembles our current patent protections.

However, equal recognition towards works of art would receive legal protection much later during the European Reformation. While publishing guilds were already present before the Reformation, licensing of the written word was an often lopsided agreement.

In 1623, the Statute of Monopolies emboldened select groups of individuals to control their industry. Thus, publishers owned most of the rights associated with authored works. And with the author assuming the losing position, amendments were placed to arrive at the modern version of written word license: the copyright.

It was the year 1710 when the Statute of Anne empowered writers with renewable 14-year protection for their original works.

Polarizing Intellectual Property

Free thinking gave our society the agency to return ownership of inventions to inventors. But it also opened doors for other schools of thought, and often with cascading ideological implications. For instance, as we learned to value individual talents, we also saw how these talents are made through, and for, society. Whereas previous beliefs invalidate ownership by virtue of religious faith, newer ideologies either:

call to consign the rights to the general public, thereby removing profit from the inventor; or
advocate for private ownership of an invention.
While equally valid in their own right, these polarized approaches to Intellectual Property are to become the pillars of modern debates. The latter eventually evolved into legislation, while the former defined alternative social ideation.

From History to Current Reality

During the early 1800s, the idea of global protection of Intellectual Property rights floated among legislative bodies. And it was in the year 1883 that the Paris Convention brought clarity and cooperation among international jurisdictions. Three years later, the 1886 Berne Convention extended the same protection to written expressions. Within half a decade, trademarks were also granted international protection through the Madrid Protocol.

Resulting offices from the conventions later merged into a central governing body, the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property. This then became a United Nation office we now know as the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The transformation of Intellectual Property from Divine providence to valuable human talent took complicated detours and pitstops. However, the history of Intellectual Property reveals an imprint of how we evolved as a society. It tells us of our past values, of our collective thought, and of our remarkable capacity to strike a balance among individuality, society, and spirituality.

Although the roads we passed were pockmarked with glaring mistakes and surrounded by dark alleys, the fact that we do recognize the imperfections and reinvented today’s Intellectual Property tells another thing about us: we can change.

From History to Herstory

And we do change. As we diverge from misinformed beliefs we inherited from our old world, our growth accelerates on all fronts. Modern philosophies enable us to see past the borders and beyond colors. The movement is to take down the great walls dividing us as a society.

Being a bastion for innovation, the Intellectual Property industry also aims to bridge the gaps between sectors of society. World Intellectual Property Day in 2018 addressed the disparity between men and women in the field. This led to world organizations consolidating empowerment efforts for women in the field of innovation and development. Within a few years, the involvement of women increased by over 53%.

After all, the law protects equally. Hence, this move toward equality. Learning the history of Intellectual Property law highlights the value we place on innovations. And this value can be transformed into economic value.

The Effects of Pollution May Be Present in Clinical Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

The notion that an individual can develop maladies as the result of a number of chemicals present in the environment even at very low levels of concentration has been a societal concern since the dawning of an awareness of pollution as a detriment to the environment. Our collective consciousness began to identify the effects of the industrial waste created as a byproduct of manufacturing and urban living long ago. In recent times, the emergence of a collection of symptoms attributed to environmental exposure called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity has divided medical science.

The burning of coal has resulted in the development of smog and fouled the air since as early as 1,000 years ago. King Henry I of Britain famously threatened London residents with severe punishment for burning sea coal but his and ensuing leadership efforts to curb the burning of coal had little to no effect. This would be a trend of populations in denial of the effects of industrial progress until reality struck in the form of severe consequences that are controversial to this day.

America had problems as well due to coal burning, but with a larger area and a briefer history it would take a while for a national crisis to develop. Nevertheless, in 1948 in Donora, Pennsylvania, deadly smog resulted in the asphyxiation of 20 people and illness of 7,000 more. Across the ocean in London, however, the infamous smog of 1952 killed as many as 4000 people in a matter of days, resulting predictably in political action taken to curb the emission of smoke from the burning of coal.

For America, one of its most famous innovations would become the central actor in propelling pollution to the forefront of societies problems; the automobile. It would take until the decade of the 60s before our collective attention was focused on the results of environmental pollution. A book documenting among other things the effect of an environmental pesticide ingredient known as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, called DDT for short awakened a population to the danger of pollutants.

The use of pesticides laden with DDT could be shown to work its way through the ecosystem to the national symbol of America, the bald eagle. The national bird had endured decades of harassment by Americans and their wild population was rapidly diminishing in the 1930s resulting eventually in the passage of the Bald Eagle Protection Act which prohibited the killing, possession or commerce of the bird.

The impact of DDT on this bird of prey was twofold. It weakened the shell of its eggs to the point that the majority of them were crushed by the parents in their attempt to incubate them. At the same time, the level of DDT in the fatty tissue of dead Eagles revealed they had become sterile. This combination of effects logically led to the severe decrease in reproductive success of the animal and resulted in its drastic decline in wild population. The Bald Eagle was officially declared an endangered species in 1967, before the landmark endangered species act was enacted in 1973.

That the symbol of our nation could undergo such depredation both directly by those who considered them a threat to fisheries and as a secondary consequence of environmental pollution highlighted the problem of environmental neglect in America and across the globe. Some success has been recorded, with the Bald Eagle being one of them, their population having recovered to the point that they were officially removed from the endangered species list on June 28, 2007. Unfortunately, the eagle is one of few creatures that have fought their way back and off the list.

The impact of pollution to our environment leads one to question its impact on people. While the dramatic cases of London in 1952 and the Japan experience with cadmium poisoning, locally known as Itai Itai disease due to the extreme bone and joint pain associated with its presentation, the impact of pollution on humans is a concern not fully understood. One syndrome known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity may be the leading edge of an awareness of pollutions insidious health effects on man.