Flash Communications

Tales from a student-PR agency at Kent State University

Ford Presenter Did It Right

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Allison BrookesThanks to guest blogger Allison Brookes who provided this commentary about a speech from Lew Echlin from Ford, which was part of the MyPRseries at Kent State University.

I sat through several sessions at the final MYPRseries session last month in Franklin Hall, but one session in particular stood out to me. Lew Echlin, Ford’s marketing and communications manager, presented wonderful insight on the Ford brand and how the company earns the trust of their consumers. Ford does this by providing customers the best experience possible.

Echlin provided six steps that are used by Ford and can also be applied to life:

Step 1: Get a grip on your surroundings
Step 2: Discover yourself
Step 3: Decide deep down, what you’re all about – take an inventory of yourself
Step 4: Find out who your real friends are
Step 5: Get out there
Step 6: Keep growing

Not only did Echlin provide great insight on maintaining and growing Ford’s brand, but he was an engaging presenter. I’m currently taking a PR Tactics course where we learn the dos and don’ts of giving a speech. These are a mix of tips from Roger Ailes’ book You Are the Message and Steve Jobs’ “How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.” Check out this presentation from Slideshare.

Here’s what Echlin did right:

  1. Incorporated personal stories into the presentation.
  2. Walked around the room to engage the entire audience.
  3. Smiled, made direct eye contact with the audience.
  4. Added short videos to the speech, added humor.
  5. Created his PowerPoint presentation without bullets (simple is better!)
  6. Numbered the slides of the PowerPoint.
  7. Knew the material well, and didn’t have to look at the slides to keep on track (You could tell he practiced, which is key!)
  8. Made his presentation memorable.

The other speakers I listened to also did well, but Echlin definitely stood out to me as the best speaker at this session. The entire experience was great and provided a great lesson on the importance of truth in the public relations field.

What are your best presentation tips for engaging an audience?

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