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Agency Visit- Ignited/El Camp

This past week my M-School cohort got to visit Ignited Advertising in El Segundo to discuss the art of business presentations in a digital age. We got to speak to two industry greats, Eric Johnson and Michael Weiss. Eric gave us a tour of his brain child "El Camp" a creative co-working space inspired by the collaboration that comes along with Summer Camp. We get to visit a lot of creative office spaces in this class, but El Camp was really one of a kind. If I had to describe this visit in three words it would be, Inspirational, Insightful and Intimidating.

I absolutely love this idea of taking the camp experience into the workplace. I think many people would love to go back to those simpler times of summer camp, and working in an environment that facilitates that could almost bring a tear to your eye.

After we finished the tour of the space (and I wiped my eyes) we got to hear from Eric and Michael. Eric discussed the basics of presenting to a group of investors, and the importance of budget transparency when you're asking for money. In the second half of the class Michael reminded us of some important facts about our audience, that all good presenters need to know. As an avid public speaker myself, a few of these lessons stuck with me, and formed my insights for this class period.

Insight #1- Most people are not good listeners, they're thinking about themselves and are going to hear things from their own lense.

When I heard this, I found myself thinking "Well... yea of course". But then I started really thinking about it and realized it's more important that we might think. Here I was, listening to a presentation, being taken off on a tangent of my own thinking, just like Michael was describing. It was a little poetic, but mainly helpful. It's important to recognize that while you're telling a story, each person is going to be able to resonate with it in a different way, and might/will get taken off on their own mental tangent. You've got to craft your presentation to anticipate that, and recognize that each person will feel differently.

Insight #2 - Secondly, you need to make sure the audience cares about what you're saying. You need to tell a story, more than just state some facts. One of the quotes Michael mentioned was, "While food makes us live, stories are what make a life worth living". I completely agree and resonate with this quote. "Storytelling" is a buzzword now, so it can be harder to take these quotes seriously, but the message there still holds true. Unless you've got a compelling story, you're gonna be a hell of a lot harder to listen to.

Insight #3- Lastly, when you're giving a speech you need to create tension! The human brain craves the unexpected so you have to be sure to leave the audience in suspense for part of the speech.