Case: A Huge Conference for Dodo Pizza’ Franchisees

Internal events can follow really cool goals:

  • to solve specific problems of company’s employees;
  • to make loyal and involved in business processes partners;
  • to find unobvious points of development for the business.

Unfortunately, at the very same time, internal events can be stuffy corporate parties.

Everything depends on the content.

The Dodo Pizza’s team decided to hold a huge internal conference in order to:
  • show the most impressive cases of franchisee partners;
  • compare directions of development ​​with colleagues;
  • motivate potential investors to cooperation.
While preparing for the event, the organizers faced some obstacles, and they asked us — BEsmart team — to help them out. We’re going to tell you how we managed to make cool speakers from simple people:

  • Basic pyramidal structure of speech;
  • «Arc of Story»: dramatic canvas;
  • Insights and semantic blocks;
  • Research of the main idea “from above” and “from below”;
  • Speaker preparation methodology;
  • Presentation;
  • Overcoming excitement;
  • Dress rehearsal.
Franchisees were invited to speak at the conference of Dodo’s partners with outstanding cases. For example, record turnover, know-how in management or the phenomenal growth rate of the local chain. The audience was their fellow franchisees with more modest results, company managers, partners and potential investors.

Barrier 1: The Amount of Information

Unique stories of success with dozens of ups and downs can’t be told in 15 mins only (at last, we don’t want them to be told in 15 mins) — but we have to. What is the criteria to get rid of the least significant details in speech? This is a common obstacle for those who want to share their own extraordinary experience. It seems that you can’t miss a little single detail of your story without losing the general meaning.

We started our work with a big offline meeting in Dodo’s office where we created a few frameworks to overcome the Barrier 1.

By the way, a huge amount of information is hard to put in your slides. And to say the truth, you don't need to. In this article we shared some practical advices
How a basic structure can help you pack a lot of information into one talk

1. The "Basic Pyramidal Structure" to Collect and Organize an Array of Information

2. The «Arc of Story» to Build the Emotional Context

These structures helped speakers to focus on the content and find out which details it was worth using.

The «Basic pyramidal structure» is usually used to put ideas into a common logic canvas. The «Arc of Story» helps to structure personal experience and correctly place emotional accents.

After the first meeting, we moved to the next step: online consultations with speakers tête-à-tête. More than an hour we spent discussing their ideas, thoughts, emotions, business principles and approaches to interacting with people. So all that information we grouped into personalized semantic blocks for each speaker.

For example, «My life before Dodo» → «How I bought franchise, and it changed my life» → «New challenges and perspectives of development» → «How to save resources and increase efficiency at the start of work» → «How to save resources and increase efficiency while scaling your business».

Barrier 2: Research of the Main Idea

When we formulated and took under control the massive and chaotic information, we could have found the main idea. Usually, it can appear “from above” or “from below”.

"From Above"

The idea comes from “above” – the speaker thinks of the main idea in general. Then he or she analyzes all the personal stories and other ideas to find the relevant ones.

For example, the speaker wants to talk about the importance of choosing the right locations and optimizing them during the negotiation stage, as this can save you a lot of resources in the future.

We select different ideas that reveal the thesis from the example:

1) It’s important to choose expensive «passing places» for the future premises
2) It’s useless to rent too huge premises
3) It’s important to increase efficiency of workers in kitchen

"From Below"

The formation of the main idea "from below" happens when the speaker analyzes all the logical blocks that have formed after the generalization of ideas and stories, and looks at what they lead to. Together we refined this conclusion and asked: “Will this be an insight for listeners? Does this idea lie at the intersection of interest and benefit of the audience?”

For example, speaker says:

1) We can make decisions quickly and efficiently
2) We know how to make important and complicated decisions

What does unite these ideas? The skill of focusing on the main things and forget about less important ones.
Why is this skill useful? It gives the opportunity to open pizzerias in different regions quickly.
What’s the main idea of this speech? Fast Hypothesis Testing Algorithm: If you make the right decisions, you can grow faster than the market.

An illustration of this idea was a decision scale from very easy decisions (the cost of which is higher than the effect of them) to vital ones. So we found a first-class author's decision-making technique, which additionally inspired the speaker - he really wanted to share a bright, simple and useful idea with others. Emotion like this one always helps to distract from excitement and focus on the content of the speech.

Barrier 3: Necessary and Unnecessary Things

When the main idea became obvious, and the semantic blocks were collected, together with each speaker, we worked the «Arc of Story» out in order to:
  • visually determine the most dramatic and emotional moments;
  • find the necessary amount of details out;
  • remove unnecessary details (that did not contribute either to revealing the main meanings or strengthening the emotional context).

As a result, each speaker received a file with personalized pyramidal structure and semantic blocks. There was also the drawing of the «Arc of Story» which showed the places of every semantic block in the performance’s timing and how it influenced the audience’s mood.
schedule arc of story, emotional canvas
Example: "Arc of story",
emotional canvas

Barrier 4: Dodo's Speakers Were

not Professional Speakers

All franchisees were immersed into business development and operational activities, so preparing a presentation couldn’t have been a priority task for them.
Methodological solutions for speakers should have been used in such cases.

For the speakers who were very into some important job or just chilling during vacation, we offered a time slot when they were free. But there was one important condition - the speaker should have forgotten about his performance until we met. Our goal was to reduce the stress from the idea «Time is passing, but I’m too busy with other things».

For those who were pretty confident to do everything without our help, we controlled dates of deadlines and rehearsal dates anyway. We didn’t interfere into somebody’s creative process, but we gave feedback.

For those who had troubles focusing on the main details and got stuck, we provided additional meetings online and offline to help them out.

For those who didn’t think their ideas were impressive and good enough, we helped to find the general logic of the speech, created valid content and cool argumentation structure.

As a result, all the speakers had the understanding of the structure of their performance.

Barrier 5: Presentation

When we checked everyone’s drafts of speeches, we moved to the next step – discussing the general style of their slides, combination of visual images. All that we gave to designer.

We decided to choose the dark presentation style, as the event was held in a dark hall. So the audience would remember the performance, presentations should have harmoniously become a part of the surrounding space.

Barrier 6: Increasing Anxiety

All we speakers came to Dodo’s office before the event to make a presentation, so they could have received feedback from us and their colleagues. Everyone got the opportunity to practice their speeches as many times as they needed.

Due to the growing excitement and the desire to tell everything exactly according to plan, speakers started forgetting the words and ideas.

To solve this problem, we decided to change the presentation right during the rehearsal. We were removing unnecessary elements, searching for tools which would help to control the timing. Our main idea was to make the presentation so every next slide reminded the speaker of the whole structure.

Many speakers ask us if it's okay to have an alcohol drink before public speaking to reduce anxiety. We found the scientific answer out.

Barrier 7: Dress Rehearsal

The last rehearsals were held at the very same hall where the event should have taken place.
It was really important as the speakers should have got used to the stage, checked all distracting little things, for example, how quickly the clicker responded, how the microphone clung to the ear and so on.

In the morning before the event, we checked all the equipment and the correct display of presentations. By this time, the speakers had only a pleasant shaking, and we had the joy of being part of the talented Dodo’s team and seeing the impressive results of joint work.

Do you need help with preparation of a corporate event?

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