Writing your presentation

One text message saves hundreds of lives- Marketing as a force for good

It made me laugh out loud. In a profession where certainty is so rare, here’s a case where a marketing text message saved hundreds of innocent, Russian lives on New Year’s Eve 2011. Give the marketing guy a medal please Mr Putin.

Black Widow attempted New Year Moscow attack but blew herself up by mistake – Telegraph.

The gist of the story is as follows-

Security sources believe a spam message from her mobile phone operator wishing her a happy new year received just hours before the planned attack triggered her suicide belt, killing her but nobody else.

On this occasion, it seems, that the terrorist and her ‘handler’ switched the just-bought ‘phone on too early, and they received a ‘Happy New Year’ message from their service provider that triggered the device. You couldn’t write it as fiction, could you?

What’s this got to do with presentation?  It’s a great story with many possible purposes in the hands of a thoughtful presenter.  Stories help people remember the message, if they’re relevant. What’s this story about? Luck? Justice? Irony? Moral equivalence ?(there are people who believe spammers should be killed, aren’t there?).

For me, it’s just a bloody good story.  And any of us, as speakers, can store a tale away and use when the moment is right.


Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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