For any aficionado of mobile phone launches an iPhone launch was characteristically loud, vibrant and exciting; the combination of the presentation skills of Steve Jobs and the cutting-edge design styling of the iPhone.
And a Blackberry launch? Well the scene was set today for the launch of the new Blackberry 10 in New York with a presentation by the Blackberry CEO, Thorsten Heins.
As a presenter it’s fair to suggest that Thorsten is no Steve Jobs. If his role was to convey passion, emotion and soul then it didn’t happen. Mr Heins is not that sort of presenter.
Today was a key day for the company. Analysts everywhere have suggested that the Blackberry 10 will determine the fate of the company…Research in Motion (RIM). Success or catastrophic failure. So presentation success was also critical.
But his presentation really did not make that clear. His introduction was poor. It was self-centred, introspective and slow. It seemed to be all about the company and certainly not the expectations or travails of his market.
His audience was treated to a series of thank you notices at the start…well before anything had been revealed.
Thank you so much for guiding us into the future.
Excruciatingly nauseous. That wasn’t successful. But it got worse as Mr Heins referred to all his Blackberry employees:
This is why this moment belongs to them…
Blackberry people, all 12,000 of them, are obviously very clever and gifted…but the audience wasn’t after that.
The presenter’s lack of tonal range was obvious when he intoned:
This is so exciting
We heard some rare peeps of rhetorical technique with a few not this, but that type statements. There was some alliteration with thinner, lighter, stronger. But these were rare.
On the whole the language smacked of the corporate machine:
constantly connected , in real time…
today represents a new day in the history of Blackberry
we made the tough call to go it alone…
We wondered about the focus of the presentation at an early stage. That’s not a good sign for a make or break presentation of the company’s future.
And it got worse as his audience heard:
That sounds pretty good, right?
Most presenters in the mobile phone industry have to get the word, experience, into their presentations. They aren’t talking about their own experiences or their years of service. No this is a different user experience that no marketer worth his or her salt can ignore. In this presentation we heard, among others:
A physical keyboard typing experience
The best typing experience in the industry, period.
This is the window into the Blackberry 10 experience.
This is the experience we are delivering.
Yes, you never thought you’d hear that, but you have. Experience and exciting were the most over-used words in this presentation.
We suspect that the new Blackberry 10 will be a successful set of mobile phone products. Or even a successful platform! But this presentation was far from a glorious beginning.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Bracknell, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+
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