Surprising and Delighting Hoops Fans!

Our thanks to Luminous Neon President Joe Ontjes said his team for making our hoop-tastic dreams come true!

We’ve been counting down the days until the region hosts the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament March 15-17. The primary tourney hotel, the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview, is just across the street from us, so we have the perfect location for welcoming basketball fans, coaches and players to Wichita. But we had to get a bit creative with our welcome message since we don’t have a marquee or digital signage.

That’s where Joe Ontjes and the creative Luminous Neon Art & Sign Systems team came into the picture. The Luminous team installed a new pedestal sign for the Chamber last year as part of our rebranding initiative. Today they stopped by to install some large temporary “Welcome” decals for us. But they didn’t stop there. They decided to surprise and delight both locals and visiting hoops fans with something very special.

We’re now the proud owners of an oversized basketball backboard that’s perfect for memorable photo ops. The creatives at Luminous outdid themselves with this unique three-dimensional display that includes our favorite hashtag, #ILoveWichita.

The team at Luminous Neon created a special welcome display for basketball fans, coaches and players who will be visiting the city in March.

Luminous Neon President Joe Ontjes said his team enjoyed developing the concept and then producing the king-sized basketball goal. Ontjes said, “Although this big hoop is a departure from the business signs we fabricate daily, it’s the kind of challenge that drives our creative team to do its best work. We feel like we accomplished our mission of making the Chamber’s basketball swishes come true.”

So stop by in the next few weeks and take a selfie with our temporary hoops signage. You can post it as a welcome to the teams, coaches and fans that Wichita will be hosting during tourney week. And then get ready to celebrate at one (or more) of the events our staff has put together to maximize your hoops experience.

YPW/CHAMBER LUNCH & LEARN | “Courtside Q&A” – March 6
A Lunch & Learn for YPs and Chamber members where panelists will discuss the upcoming basketball tournament and what hosting it means for Wichita! We’ll hear from AJ Boleski of INTRUSTBank Arena, Cindy Claycomb from the Wichita City Council, and Moji Rosson of Visit Wichita. Follow this link to register.

Join us as we partner with Xclusive Events on Wednesday, March 14 for the Mingle on Commerce from 4:30 – 6:30 PM. Wear your favorite basketball jersey or team colors and enjoy a cash bar and food trucks. There’s no fee, so no need to register. Learn more here.

Young Professionals of Wichita and the Realtors of South Central Kansas will host an evening mingle at Distillery 244 to celebrate all things basketball. Follow this link to register.

Todd Ramsey with Apples & Arrows visits with Byron West from Luminous Neon, Inc.

Todd Ramsey with Apples & Arrows visits with Byron West from Luminous Neon, Inc. during the January 15 Sunrise Scrambler.

Improve Your PowerPoint Presentations with Three Principles

Todd Ramsey, Chief Strategist for Apples & Arrows, has seen a lot of PowerPoint Presentations over the years and “about 99% of them are bad.” Drawing on his own expertise and some advice from one of his favorite subject matter experts, Nancy Duarte, Todd provided us with three easy principles for improving PowerPoint Presentations.

Principle One
You don’t need PowerPoint.

Don’t use PowerPoint as a crutch. A presentation is the best time to utilize your personal creativity rather than depend on presentation tools. Experiment with other presentation tools that can add some flair to your message delivery. But remember that there is always a possibility that you’ll experience a technology glitch. So practice and be prepared to channel your passion for your subject by presenting without your tools.

Principle Two
Fewer words = better PowerPoint.

Don’t present a document or your script. Limit yourself to 75 words in your slide deck. Your audience will remember images more than they remember words, so incorporate the most memorable photos and videos you can find. Images connect your audience to your message through the emotions they evoke. (Todd is willing to share his “cute kitten” image with you if you need it.)

Principle Three
Stick with three big ideas.

Keep it simple so your audience can absorb and process your three most important ideas.

A few other tips from the Q&A that followed Todd’s presentation include:

  • Check out or for some pre-existing color palettes that will help you make effective choices.
  • Limit yourself to two fonts. Remove Papyrus and Comic Sans from your font style options. They are simply overdone.
  • Comply with copyright laws when using images. Check the Creative Commons area of Flickr for some dynamic photos that you can use with some restrictions. You can also purchase images or grab a camera and take your own.
  • Minimize animation and use conservative transition styles to keep your file size manageable.

For more inspiring ideas, Todd suggested reviewing Nancy Duarte’s book, Slide:ology:  The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations.  And while you’re doing your research, Todd recommends viewing the video, A Pep Talk from Kid President to You.  In the memorable words of Kid President, “Remember that you were made to be awesome.  So get to it!”

Our thanks to Wichita Chamber Board Member Todd Ramsey for kicking off 2014 with some practical advice that we can all incorporate in our presentations this year. We’re also grateful to our sponsors:  Legacy Bank, Wichita Scottish Rite Center, and Southwestern College Professional Studies.

Special thanks to Jim Davenport from the Wichita Scottish Rite Center for providing a building tour following the presentation. There were many in attendance today who were visiting this historic building for the first time. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about its features and history.

Check the Chamber’s Sunrise Scrambler photo album on Facebook for event pictures. Our next Scrambler is February 19 at the Museum of World Treasures. Aaron Bushell from Bank of the West will speak about how failure can lead you to success in his presentation, Fail is not a Four-Letter Word.