The Precious Present

The Tibetans have a saying;

You will have to stand for a very long time

with your mouth wide open

before a roasted partridge will fly into it…

It is a rather droll way of expressing high levels of improbability, but nevertheless useful, in reminding us that some things that we may pine and hope for are simply ‘unrealistic.’

The fact is that we could stand outside ‘forever,’ with our mouths agape and there is no way in the world that a ‘roasted partridge’ will ever fly in!

The odds are completely against this ever happening and it is like this also with a lot of things that we may cling very vehemently to as aspirations, hopes, dreams and wishes.

This is not to say that we should not have any. It is only to point out that it is wiser to actually get out and take the needed steps that would enable an ‘outcome’ to eventuate.

We must measure our wishes against our ability to create the causes that will engender the hoped for ‘conditions.’

When we wait too long, the chances are we may miss out altogether.

If you are into ‘roasted partridges’ it makes more sense to scour the markets.

There is a huge advantage in learning to ‘surrender’ to life and accept what actually ‘is.’ Instead of dancing through our days like animated ‘puppets,’ tossed about here and there, in a relentless cycle of ‘hope and fear,’ we can simply learn to relax and allow our attention to fully greet exactly whatever arises before us.

Most of the time, we do exactly the opposite. Our ‘attention’ is fixed elsewhere; any where, but right ‘here’ and right ‘now.’

We need not live our lives as slaves to longings, hopes, desires or fear. We ALWAYS have a choice.

We can do ourselves the greatest possible favor and recognize the treasure of the ‘present moment.’

The ‘present moment’ deserves our closest attention, gratitude and even devotion.

Take the hint and look again more carefully at the very thing that you routinely take for granted. Things are seldom ever quite as they ‘appear’ to be.

This present moment, when it is just lived out for what it is, provides us with the supreme opportunity to discover an incredibly important truth.

If it were not for the present moment we could not exist at all.

Truly this present moment is precious indeed!

Guidelines for Writing Successful Business Video Presentations

Guidelines for Writing Successful Business Video Presentations
- Preproduction and Video Treatment Development

Successful presentations directly create a bridge between your client’s purpose and the audience’s motivation. As writers and producers, we search for ideas to help us make that match. We find those ideas–by asking the right questions.

Communications and training presentations support a problem-solving process initiated by our clients. Our challenge is to relate our client’s goal to the needs and desires of the audience. While our clients focus on how the goal benefits the organization, our focus is how it benefits the audience. There must always be a benefit for the audience.

Audience expectations

What does an audience want from a corporate or educational video presentation? Learning theory tells us:

·People learn what they need and want to know right now.

·They are most interested in information and skills that give them greater control over their life experience.

·They see themselves as experts in their own lives and want to be treated as such.
Responding to audience expectations

As video professionals, we need to support these needs and desires, build on them and never diminish them. We satisfy the audience’s needs in the following ways:

·The presentation neither over nor underwhelms by presenting too much or too little information.

·The information is immediately usable.

·The pacing allows the audience to feel they have control over the experience by going neither too fast nor too slow.

·The format or creative treatment engages their imagination in ways that allow them to identify with the problem presented and see themselves taking control and succeeding at the solution.

The video environment provides an opportunity for the audience to reevaluate and adjust their viewpoint, and try out new behaviors. They rehearse new behaviors and skills in their mind’s eye. By the end of the presentation, they decide whether change is worth the risk.

Waiting for answers

Screenwriter Syd Field says, “Writing is the process of asking the right questions then waiting for the answers.” This also is an excellent description of the preproduction process. During its early stages, we focus on left brain, logical analysis concerning our client’s goal and the audience’s motivation. In the later stages, we begin the right brain work of trying out various treatment ideas–ways we can use the medium to convey our message. The essential questions are:

·What creative vehicle will work best? Do we need drama, parody, comedy, documentary, an interview or panel discussion?
·What’s the right answer, how can we determine that answer–and then be sure of our professional recommendation?

Visualization and the creative concept

We now look for answers. It’s time to visualize. Go to your imagination and become a member of the audience. Block out the censors and critics, and delight yourself with images, sounds and music.

·What do you want to see, hear and feel?

·What interests you?

·What would move you from complacency and comfort to risking something new?

Allow time for images and ideas to come to you. Never reject an idea. And don’t miss those bits and pieces of ideas that present themselves as vague, ill-formed, or too avant-garde. Welcome them. Let them grow and identify themselves.

Reexamine your ideas in light of your client’s goal, the audience’s motivation, the budget and resources). Look for the best fit and select your creative concept.

Structure

Now you have one more consideration–structure. Surprisingly, our audiences don’t care as much about creative concept as they do about structure. Their perceptions are carefully developed by commercial television and Hollywood films.

Their first perception concerns “seat time.” Seat time refers to the amount of time the audience is willing to sit before taking a break. They are conditioned by commercial television to 10-minute (or less) segments separated by commercial breaks.

The second perception concerns storytelling. Hollywood films (and other forms of storytelling) influence audiences to expect a journey. They hope for a structure built on a series of twists and turns that leads to a new awareness where significant problems are resolved. This doesn’t mean structure depends on character-based stories. It does mean we need to structure even a straightforward presentation of information according to the principles of good storytelling. Information is always meted out in ways that build, pique, and then satisfy our audience’s interest.

The treatment

Finally, it’s time to write the video treatment. This includes your goal and audience analysis, and the structured creative concept.

Every successful treatment solution is unique. It results from the time, thought and care you put into asking the right questions then waiting, searching, and being available to the right answers. It begins with a solid relationship with your client and ends with a solid relationship with your audience.

The treatment now is your vehicle for communicating with the client and the guide for developing a successful presentation.

Increase Product Sales – Add Your Products to Google Product Search

Selling more products via the Internet is a major concern of most product retailers, distributors and manufacturers in today’s online world. The Internet has proven to be a terrific way to distribute products in a cost effective and efficient manner and should be a major focus for just about every product company.

If you’re a product company and are looking for an affordable way to sell more products, then lo and behold! Google Product Search is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Google Product Search, formerly named Froogle, is a place where product companies can submit and list their products directly with Google’s shopping search engine.

It’s a free service offered by Google that provides users with a search feature to search for products and be directed to the website(s) where they can purchase them. The previous name Froogle, named back in 2002, was originally a mash between the words “Google” and “Frugal” (meaning thrifty or thriftiness). The named was changed from Froogle to Google Product Search in August of 2006 because Google felt the word Froogle suffered in that users had no idea what Froogle offered from the name. There was nothing to make you think that Froogle meant shopping or product search, hence the new and improved name – Google Product Search.

Since Google has changed the name, Google Product Search has gained significant exposure from online users and it’s becoming more common for product companies to submit their products on a daily basis to increase product sales.

Google allows you to reach more shoppers by submitting information about your products to Google Base so they’ll be found on Google Product Search. You can link directly from the Google search results to your website. Depending on how many items you have, you can choose to submit your products one at a time, all at once using a bulk upload, or by having an automated product feed submitted three times a week, eliminating the need for you to manage the uploads all on your own.

The great part about doing an automated feed is once you’re setup, you’re done! Shoppers will be able to find your items on Google Product Search within 24 hours after they are submitted to Google Base and will be automatically updated three times a week. So as you add new products to your website, they are automatically added to Google Product Search, dramatically increasing product sales for your product company.