Is the Beastie Boys movie the best presentation, ever?

The Beastie Boys movie has been called many things. A film, a live documentary, but let’s not mess about here, this is a presentation.

The two remaining Beastie Boys present to us the story of their band, on stage, to a live audience, with striking imagery and video footage to support their narrative. If that is not a presentation, I do not know what is!

The reason why the presentation element of this movie has gone undetected by many is that people do not associate presentations with being a source of entertainment. People’s default setting around presentations is that they are something to be endured and rarely enjoyed. There is no way that someone could sit through a two-hour presentation and be thoroughly entertained and informed.

So, how did Mike D and Ad-Rock of all people, hoodwink millions of people into not only watching their presentation but enjoying it and remembering it, too?

The principles they used are not secret. They are principles that Eyeful encourages in every single presentation workshop we host with our clients. These three simple principles are:

Message Content Design

All great presentations are built around a fundamental message. What is the key message you want your audience to leave thinking about, or feeling because of your presentation?

For the Beastie Boys movie, the key messages of their story are around the friendship between them, their spiritual and artistic journeys from boyhood into adulthood, and ultimately, the loss of a true friend. Their founding member, MCA, lost his battle to cancer in 2012 and with that, The Beastie Boys were no more.

Once the fundamental message has been established, the next step is to reinforce that message only with relevant content.

Each story and anecdote within The Beastie Boys movie support one of their fundamental messages. Any story that is not relevant to these themes would be superfluous to requirements and would only serve to slow the story down and make the audience disengaged.

For example, I could not tell you if any of the Beastie Boys are married, straight, gay, or indifferent as a result of watching this presentation. It just does not come up as part of their story. Whilst their relationships will be important to them individually, they do not contribute to the narrative of The Beastie Boys Story, therefore, do not get a mention. This results in a clear and simple narrative for the audience to follow, absent of excess noise, and irrelevant content.

The final principle we at Eyeful implore is to use carefully sourced, easy to follow visuals, that support your content that reinforces the fundamental messages of your presentation.

Beastie Boys Story

Seeing some of the iconic pictures that were taken of the Beastie Boys, projected 20 feet high, in stunning definition are very engaging visual prompts for their story. There is no need for text to help them tell the story. The audience is never subjected to a barrage of media to gain insight. Everything was designed so that Mike D and Ad-Rock as presenters were the central points of focus for the narrative. They only used imagery, video clips, or in some cases, props, to help them punctuate their narrative, something we call ‘visual punctuation’.

So, what about the call to action I’m looking to drive from you? Simple really - the fundamental principles used by The Beastie Boys of Message, Content, and Visuals are easily transferable to your story and should sit at the heart of your next presentation engagement. Make sure they do.