How the product marketing team at Mural creates engaging, company-wide presentations
January 11, 2022
"This was an AWESOME update, thank you so much!"
"This is a fully immersive PMU."
"Y’all, this is AMAZING. I can only imagine how much work went into all of this, so THANK YOU!"
"Awesome resources from PMM 🙌🏼"
"These updates make me so proud to be here and know we’re listening to customers and MAKING IT HAPPEN!"
"Yessss love this theme."
I know what you’re thinking … yes, these comments are real. Our Product Marketing Update meetings (PMUs for short) have consistently high attendance and capture company-wide attention and interaction. Here’s how we do it.
We challenge the presentation norm
We’re all no stranger to meeting and presentation fatigue. It’s hard to stay focused and engaged when you’re in a company meeting staring at another set of slides with millions of bullets. Remote and distributed work has outgrown the standard slide presentation format, which (even when beautifully designed!) often sacrifices engagement and participation. We’ve all been there answering emails during a meeting … or dreaming about weekend plans …
If you’re a frequent presenter and/or facilitator, you’re challenged with making your content shine so people walk away feeling informed and intrigued (especially in a company-wide setting). How do we challenge the presentation norm to get everyone energized, sharing information, and on the same page?
Your guide to eliminating one-way presentations
Like most Product Marketing (PMM) teams, we’re responsible for equipping and enabling our Go-To-Market teams with competitive intel, enablement resources, messaging and positioning, market trends, and much more. Some of the information we share can be pretty technical (most PMMs can relate) and comes from multiple subject matter experts, including ourselves. However it’s critical to empower our colleagues with the information they need to ensure their success.
Before we ever executed an update session, we knew it couldn’t just be another meeting that people passively attended and would quickly forget. We also knew we needed topresent important information in a way that was captivating and resonant — while giving us a way to collect valuable feedback from the field. So, PMUs were born!
Here are five lessons from our PMUs that anyone can use to make information-sharing more engaging and effective:
Lesson #1: Make your content visual
Conveying complex topics concisely and clearly in a set of slides is difficult. Visualizing your content is a way to not only make things easier to present for you, but also easier to understand for your audience. Instead of breaking down feature launches into a set of slides and bullets, we break it down in a mural with the help of shapes, images, connectors, icons, and other visuals. This way, if someone misses the meeting and looks back at the mural we used, they can quickly understand what we were presenting about and why.
A part of being visual is delivering a cohesive experience that brings your content to life. For every meeting, we decide on a creative theme, which brings a fun and lively approach to presenting technical and complex subject matters. One of our recent themes was “over the rainbow”. When everyone entered the meeting, they were greeted by the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole playing in the background. We had a mural designed with tropical visuals and all presenters used an image of a Hawaiian rainbow as their Zoom background. People immediately recognized the theme and felt immersed in a tropical setting, instantly making our content welcoming and engaging.
Lesson #2: Encourage interaction
No one wants to attend a meeting where someone just talks at them for an hour. As people enter, we encourage conversation about what’s going on in their world, what they’re looking forward to, and whatever else is on their mind. When we kick off, we also emphasize that we welcome any and all questions throughout the meeting – and invite everyone to ask them in the Zoom chat to promote interaction.
By using MURAL, everyone can experience and engage with the information themselves as they navigate the themed template. Everyone can view the agenda, interact with content, click on links, add questions to sticky notes in the mural, without needing to unmute/disrupt anyone else, and share feedback via comments or reactions – all in one interactive space, in real-time. When we want to direct attendees to specific content and make sure they are focused on the topic at hand, the facilitator can summon them through MURAL’s Facilitation Superpowers™ features.
We aim to use as many GIFs, icons, photos, and drawings as we can so the content has a voice of its own, rather than only having text or static images. And to take interactivity to the next level, we survey and poll attendees with the voting feature and use external tools like Mentimeter to play trivia with the attendees.
Lesson #3: Use Facilitation Superpowers™ features
We couldn’t deliver PMUs without MURAL’s Facilitation Superpowers™ features. They help us as presenters create the right meeting structure and guide our attendees while keeping their attention. While the mural creator is immediately given access to these powerful features, you can also give access to other presenters via the members dropdown in the top menu.
To set up the right flow for our topics, we use MURAL’s outline feature. Each speaker or topic has a designated link in the outline. When you click on any given link, it’ll take you to the spot where the content lives in the mural. When speaking, each presenter summons all collaborators to get everyone to follow their movement through the mural.
💡Pro tip #1: With large group sessions, you can hide everyone’s cursors prior to presenting so they don’t distract from the content.
🚀 Pro tip #2: Lock items that don't need to be interacted with yet so your content doesn’t accidently get moved or shuffled out of place.
To keep each speaker on track, the facilitator keeps time with the timer feature — a super easy way to keep things moving. We also ask one of the speakers to act as co-host to help re-share the mural link into the Zoom chat as attendees enter the meeting. We have other subject matter experts from the meeting monitor questions that come into the chat and answer them in real-time without interrupting the presenter. This helps keep one person’s focus on facilitating and allows questions to be answered in real-time.
Lesson #4: Go asynchronous
We can all appreciate being able to work effectively on our own time, no matter where we may be working from in the world. After every presentation, we share the video recording with timestamps for each agenda section in case one section is more relevant to a person than another. Along with the recording, the mural link is shared so people can interact with the content just as they would if they had attended the meeting.
Every meeting is recapped and documented on our PMM Confluence page, which acts as the single source of truth for teams to visit when they need to find a specific resource or refresh themselves on go-to-market strategies. We also take advantage of the Smart Links integration to embed the mural from the meeting onto the page, for easy access to previous presentation content, all in one place.
Lesson #5: Leverage templates
If you’re a regular presenter, templates can be your best friend. Templates make it easy for our team to build off of previous PMU murals, evolve the content for an upcoming meeting, and present in a consistent, digestible format. This saves an enormous amount of time that we would’ve spent trying to format a set of slides. Consider the ROI on the amount of time spent creating slides and the level of engagement you get from presenting them.
To get started, you can check out one of our Product Marketing Update templates below.
Using a template is a great start to building a presentation that will wow your team whether it's for a company-wide meeting, enablement session, a product launch update, etc. If you already have a format that works, you can create a custom template with MURAL that members of your team can copy and reuse.
Ace your next big presentation with MURAL
Creating engaging presentations for large groups isn’t solely a Product Marketing challenge. Fellow marketers, sales teams, product teams, executives, and many others have seen the upside of delivering creative, interactive presentations, but find it difficult to break the habit of reaching for a slide deck. Whether you’re looking to enable your sales team, land a deal, or present your roadmap vision, it’s easy to leverage MURAL to elevate your presentations. Once you discover the freedom of building informative and engaging presentations with MURAL, we know you won’t go back...
So, let’s all agree, it’s time to put an end to the infamous one-way presentation. We’re all in this together! If you aren’t already a member, MURAL is now free forever so you can get started right away.