Using evocative images and icons in your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation has to be applauded.
And when you use evocative images to reflect your presentation theme or subject matter? That’s even better.
So it must have come as quite a surprise to the marketing team at Mercedes-Benz when it all went horribly wrong with their presentation.
Their presentation at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas took the theme of revolution reflecting the revolutionary qualities of the new Mercedes-Benz products. So far, so good. And indeed all seemed to go well with their presentation until it was publicised on the internet.
It was after their presentation that the Cuban emigré community, spotting an image of Che Guevara in the slide pack, took immediate offence. Their ire was compounded with the words, Viva La Revolucion, emblazoned on the slide.
The Cubans in exile pointed to Che Guevara’s record of murder and mayhem in Cuba and beyond and announced their extreme dissatisfaction.
At this stage the Mercedes-Benz public relations team went into top gear. They insisted that the presentation was an isolated event and that the slide did not represent the company or its products.
A well-engineered plan for this presentation quickly led to the presentation scrap heap.
Use images and use icons in your presentation. But, remember to look out for the pitfalls–not least in this interconnected, online, media savvy age where presentations speed around the world faster than Mercedes-Benz products could ever imagine.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+
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