Monday, October 15, 2007

Animoto-rizing - The End of Boring Business Presentations?

On a Relentless Quest to Banish the Boring

Business presentations are usually boring. Not usually. Almost always. Boring. Boring. Boring.
50-60-70 powerpoint slides full of corporate gobbledygook, meaningless diatribes and words drained of meaning.

Poison Pills (PowerPoint)

Hours wasted? Incalculable. America's productivity probably suffers a 20-30% daily deficiency, but not because of business meetings. But because of boring, useless meetings that took hours upon hours to prepare for, that have long agendas which are rarely followed, filled with multiple poison pills named ... Powerpoint slides.

On the relentless quest to banish the boring and try something different in business meetings I ran across a new company called and their application. Now the Animoto guys probably never envisioned their application being used in a business environment (I asked -- they hadn't), but I saw it and thought, what the hell? I gave it a try.

Animoto Easy

Took me about 5 minutes to figure out. Easy to use. Quick to learn. I had a few questions, emailed the folks at Animoto and they responded almost instantly -- even at 1:00 am. So, not only a good new tech application, but some dedicated folks that understand customer service.

Animoto has the potential of being a real ice-breaker in business meetings. You may harrump and bloviate ... but do you remember how PowerPoint got started? It was developed by a couple of engineers to communicate with some marketers what they were trying to do in an easy to understand (pictures/images/graphs) manner. (Don't blame the engineers, their motives were pure.)

Opening with and Opening

Opening up a meeting with a funny or poignant look at an issue with a quick 30-60 second video overview will differentiate you from about 99% of others giving a business presentation at any given time. I'll give you a briefy (neologism for a "quick overview").

Animoto makes it 1-2-3 easy

Step 1 - Upload your images.
Step 2 - Select your music ( I like their selection, good mix of styles) ...
Step 3 - Then Animoto analyzes the images and music and creates a customized video.

The end result is a 30-second or 60-second movie-like trailer.

Two Types of Edits

You can go back in and move images around any way you want, change the music, or do both.
Now here's the really cool part. They have a one step remix process so you can essentially make 10-20-30 different versions of the same presentation. You just press the automated remix and a new version of your video is mixed. Not boring.

Some Valuable Additional Uses

You can also use it to suck up to the Boss's secretary. Alice, my boss's secretary, makes the world go round. She gets things done when all hope is lost. She's the helping hand out of the quicksand, and on and on. So, when I realized I forgot to get her a birthday card I was frantic. I quickly resulted to unplanned sophomoroic cartoonializing that are character flaws of the truly disorganized. I did the 1--2-3 step Animoto boogie and it morphed into the semblance of a well thought-out personalized birthday card. I emailed it to her. Waited for a digital pink slip to ping my email inbox. But .. she loved it. It has now gone down in corporate history books as the day "Steve won over Alice."

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