The Pep Talk: Make the Extra Effort

Make the extra effort - Melinda Massie blog

Making the extra effort has dominated many client conversations recently. It also came up in last week’s blog post. It even appeared in my “On This Day” in Facebook when an old post popped up about teaching workshops and giving talks.

In all of my businesses from event planning to professional organizing to now with performing arts marketing, I give talks and teach workshops. It’s something I really love to do.

What I didn’t always love to do? Create proper presentations to go along with said talks and workshops.

My talks weren’t devoid of visuals, mind you. I created a slideshow of photos on my computer, but for some absurd reason I’d decided I was “above” a proper presentation. You know...the whole “I hate PowerPoints” and “PowerPoints are always soooooo boring” sort of thing.

Looking back now, I know I was not only completely wrong but also completely ridiculous. I didn’t look cool because I refused to use a “boring PowerPoint.” I looked lazy.

And the truth is, had I put in a liiiitle more effort beyond creating that pictorial slideshow, I’d have had a proper and professional presentation!

I know this for a fact because the first time I was giving a talk on the main stage to a big convention and I finally sucked it up and upgraded my presentation. Not only did it not take much more time to put together, but the impression that I made was exponentially better.

Seriously worth it.

Needless to say, I’ve done it properly every since.

And as my graphic design skills have improved, so have my presentations. I review and update my talks each time I give them so that the visuals are always on brand and the best that I can make them.  

Does this take more time and energy?

Yes. (But not much)

Do I internally bitch about it and wish I didn't have to do it?


Am I proud of myself for sucking it up and doing it, and do I get a better response for having a sleek, professional presentation?

Hell yes!

Performing arts are visual.

Would you do a show without costumes?

Of course not!

Maybe you'll piece them together however you can. Maybe you ask your actors to wear their own clothes. But you have costumes.

Even if it’s something like classical music where things are more aural, the musicians are in specific clothes so that they themselves don’t distract - allowing us to focus on listening.

In your marketing, make the effort. Take the time to make appropriate, on-brand visuals to accompany your work.

Will the first ones you make for yourself be aesthetically sad?

Probably. That's OK!

When I look back at my first attempts at graphic design, I laugh because they’re sooooooo bad. But at the time I loved them and was proud to have made them.

Don’t worry about being bad. You have to be bad in order to get good. Just as with everything else performance related, it usually starts out quite unfortunate but with time and practice gets much better.

Study designs you like. What elements do you like. What do you dislike? What fits your brand image and then play around.

Study, play, and practice. Continue to study, play, and practice as you improve!

No budget?

Not a viable excuse.

There are plenty of free to Inexpensive resources to help you out:

  • PicMonkey and Canva are great resources to create graphics. I’ve used Canva for years, and though I pay for the professional version now, the free version worked perfectly well for me for a long time too. Bonus: a client told me that nonprofits can get the pro version for FREE so definitely take advantage of that if it’s available to you.

  • There are also a number of royalty-free websites to use for photos. Unsplash is one of my favorites. And don’t forget to use your own production photos too!

(Pssst! Need more marketing resources? Sign up here and get the free marketing guide on ten tools to make your marketing life easier.)

In this extremely visual industry, just a little more effort can yield infinite return.

Don’t put all of this effort and energy into your production only to have your marketing fall flat and not entice people to attend. Make the extra effort. Even if it hate while you’re doing it, it will be worth it in the end.

What is the most challenging thing you find about creating your marketing graphics? Share with us in the comments and let’s all help each other out!

Want personalized assistance? Contact me today and let’s make magic happen!