The Best Presentation at SXSW

Christianna Giordano Account Executive, Cohn & Wolfe

Posted on March 11th 2013

The Best Presentation at SXSW

SXSW brings some of the best thinkers from around the industry to one conference, but that doesn’t always translate to great presentations. Today I attended a session on viral videos and experienced one of the best speakers, not only in terms on content, but in her presentation, delivery and shareability.

The session, Mythbusting: Engineering a Viral Video, focused on what the actual, attainable elements of a viral video were – and how they could be engineer and if it was even possible. The fabled elements of a viral video have long been debated, and an exact formula has yet to be determined. How do you make a video that will become the next Gangnam Style? Every marketer, producer and brand has tried but it is usually the dad from rural Idaho, whose video was shot on a cell phone, who takes the cake.

Bettina Hein, Founder & CEO of Pixability Inc, kicked off the discussion with this picture of this hog – her way of laying the land of viral videos – and the components that they required.


When she first brought this up on screen, I admired the simplicity (something I often find is lacking in large presentations) and the amount of phones that shot up in the air to capture the picture (including my own.) It wasn’t until Hein was about three points into this breakdown that I realized the best thing about it – its shareability. These short and sweet tidbits breaking down the major elements of a viral video were supremely shareable – perfect for the hundreds of people live tweeting from the event.  She kept the below slide up a few minutes longer than the rest, giving everyone ample time to copy down each point, and as she touched on each one and tweet it out. A picture of a pig and digestible content -could an audience at SXSW really ask for anything better?

ImageWhat Made This Presentation Great:

Likeable Image

  • Hein put out this simple picture of the hog early and the presentation and left it live long enough for everyone to snap a picture and lock it down in their memory.

Easy Hashtag

  • #viralvid was the hashtag for the event, which is not only extremely descriptive, but evergreen as well – connecting the event to existing conversations on Twitter. 

Tweetable Content

  • Hein laid out her major points in short, one sentence summaries which allowed everyone to post them…in 140 characters or less.

Sharing is Caring

  • Not long after she finished her presentation, she retweeted her company’s link to the slide share page where her presentation was posted, letting everyone double check their notes before the panel even finished.

So what is the one lesson we should take away from Hein? Know your audience. Whether it is a new client pitch or a class presentation at NYC, giving them the content they desire, will not only make them remember you, but tell their friends about it.  


Christianna Giordano

Account Executive, Cohn & Wolfe

Account Executive on the Cohn & Wolfe Digital Team in New York City – where I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends. I am a graduate of Gettysburg College with a Bachelors of Science in Management with a minor in Film Studies. I completed New York University's  Digital Media Marketing Professional Studies Certificate Program learning new skills in web analytics, search optimization and social business.  When I am not tweeting, blogging & pinning, I am exploring other aspects of life: family, friends, food, traveling & watching movies.

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