Product Innovation Concepts

New products are being developed on a constant basis for the self defense products industry. The distributors see the new designs cross their desks, and stock the new products on store shelves. Many have websites that require updating on a regular basis with new products.

Self defense products have to keep evolving to do a better job with less effort. If an attacker targets a victim, the victim must be able to deploy the device with minimal effort and use the device effectively. Design translates into easier initial deployment and fewer errors in the act of self defense.

Although there are some genuinely novel self defense devices, most innovations are improvements on current designs. Largely, this is true of most industries. Take an already successful product and make it better. Some general observations about product innovations are valuable.

Collecting data on a successful product will typically reveal that some customers would prefer the product be made with other features. That data may indicate enough design issues to cause a radical redesign of the product. A transition of this sort may significantly add to market share.

Totally new inventions may be difficult to get off the ground financially for a successful business. This route is notoriously difficult, and perhaps only for the entrepreneurs with the most dedication and a knack for vision. Be ready to deal with patent attorneys and have many lean years of difficulty.

Many innovations may only be centered on small changes, or even just aesthetic design alterations. Making straight-forward aesthetic changes is common in self defense products. Some degree of technical innovation is often combined with aesthetic improvements to make an old product style look refreshingly new.

Some products could do better to be made with multiple color and style options. This is true for many hand-held electronics designs. Plastics manufacturers may be able to accommodate the design requirements for a successful new product launch without costing your business a fortune.

A “eureka moment” will often have to be followed by dozens if not hundreds of test trials to bring a product to a final stage. However the journey may be rewarding. Consider the possibility that you may learn many things along the way that were previously unknown, and this knowledge may become a source of new innovations.

Innovation may be a hard challenging process, but there are rewards of personal satisfaction as well as potential wealth building. Much wealth these days is built by consumers buying new products that make the old product largely obsolete. All products wear out, so new and improved designs are likely to be tried in place of old designs in any consumer market segment. Embrace your innovative capacity.

One Shot May Not Be Enough! Avoid Overloading Management Presentations?

The big presentation day. You are excited. You have been working since two weeks on your presentation. Today is the big day. Your management wants to see your results. You are proud of your results and want to ensure that Management really understands how hard you’ve worked to come up with your presentation material. You walk your management through all aspects of your topic and present your conclusion with lots of supporting arguments.

The surprise. The meeting doesn’t run well. Your management is impatient and eventually interrupts you frequently. Even though you worked so hard and you are very sure that you presented excellent results, it seems that your management doesn’t appreciate the results. Why did this happen?

THEIR perspective. Different from yours! Put yourself in the shoes of your management. They probably didn’t focus on your topic since you last met them. During the last two weeks, they most likely had to sit through many other presentations and listen to multiple other topics. They will have to catch up with you (the expert) within minutes. Since you worked on the topic in depth during the last two weeks you there is a huge information gap between you and your management. It’s your job to bridge this gap!

People need sufficient time to consume information and get their thoughts around it.

Therefore, before you prepare a presentation be very clear on much you can actually achieve in one short meeting. Focus on what your audience knows instead of what you know. It’s all about them.

Here is a simple way to avoid overloading a presentation: Imagine you meet some meeting participants ONE DAY AFTER the actual meeting. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What minimum insight, learnings, message should they recall from the meeting?
  2. What decision should they have taken?
  3. What action should they have taken based on your presentation?

These questions help to focus on the real objective of the meeting rather than getting lost in side issues. Any content that doesn’t support any of the three points above should not be part of your agenda Knowing what really matters, helps you align your presentation material to really get the critical points across.

What do I do with my other content? If you have a lot more information that is not directly linked to the meeting objectives, you have two choices:

  • Put this information in the appendix of the presentation. Like this, it will not dilute your main points. But in case a meeting participant asks for it, you can easily pull it out to support your message. But be careful: Providing ‘nice to have’ information may dilute your priority messages
  • Schedule further meetings to present it at a later point when your audience is ready to consume further information

You may feel bad that there is so much that you know that you will not be able to address in your meeting. But never forget – the purpose of a meeting is not to show how much you know. The only thing that counts is that your audience is informed about what they need to know to keep things moving in the right direction. Senior Management maybe even very happy with you if you can achieve this goal without overwhelming them with lots of detail. A lean and simple approach to meetings is far better than the “say it all, and all in one shot” method. Never forget that if people can’t follow you, there is a high chance to fail.

PowerPoint Presentations – Top 7 Tips

Success with PowerPoint presentations boils down to consistently doing a handful of simple, commonsense things. Try these 7 tips on your next PowerPoint presentation and I promise your life will be much easier the next time you’re in front of a crowd:

  1. Choose a PowerPoint template that uses high contrast between background and text. Like white letters on a dark blue background. Or vice versa. Otherwise your audience can’t read it.
  2. Use lots of pictures to break up the monotony of page after page of text. Shoot for a picture or two on each page. Sprinkle in some humor if you can. Otherwise your audience will go to sleep.
  3. Use text sparingly in as large a font as practical. Lots of text in small font will quickly lose the attention of your audience. Don’t turn your back to read the text off the slide out loud to them. Your audience can read without your help. The text should be a way to jog your memory at a glance about a point that you want to make and that you can expound upon. Bring some value to the presentation. Otherwise, why are you there?
  4. Stand up and speak up when you’re giving a presentation. You’ll command more attention and respect this way. Force yourself to use a louder voice than you normally would. This will give you authority and keep the whispers and side conversations to a minimum.
  5. Ask questions of your audience. Invite questions back to you. Get the audience engaged. If they know they might have to answer a question, then they’ll pay more attention and they’ll remember what you said better.
  6. Withhold all props until the last third or quarter of the presentation. If you immediately give out widgets to pass around and play with, you’ll lose your audience right out of the box. Gizmos have a high cool factor and everyone gets excited once they’re loose in the crowd. It’s the number one train wreck causer if you don’t use them right.
  7. Don’t give out copies of the presentation until the end. This one is a little more controversial because many people want a handout that they can use to take notes on as you go along. In fact some will demand a handout at the beginning, and may get a little irate if you don’t give them one. Resist the urge to give in and pass them out. I have had too many presentations derailed by folks flipping through to the end of the handout and asking questions out of order. If taking notes is necessary, then they can use their notepad and staple their notes to the handout afterward.