7th Annual Sharkies: Conversation with Irwin Hipsman

Created: Wednesday, February 4, 2015, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:00 am



Irwin HipsmanIrwin Hipsman is director of customer community for Brainshark, Inc. Brainshark’s sales enablement solutions help companies drive greater revenue through faster training, increased demand and more successful sales conversations. With Brainshark, users can turn static content, such as PowerPoint documents, into online and mobile video presentations. Thousands of companies use Brainshark to improve the reach and results of their communications, while dramatically reducing costs.

In this conversation, Irwin discusses Brainshark’s Sharkie Awards program, which recently opened for entries.

Geetesh: What are the Sharkies? And how did this concept evolve?

Irwin: The Sharkie Awards are a program that Brainshark – and our customers – get excited about every year. The awards celebrate the innovative, excellent and creative presentations that users create to help advance their businesses. We’re always thrilled to see the effective ways customers use our solutions, along with the impressive results they achieve.

As your readers may recall, it’s quick and easy to create a Brainshark presentation. Our cloud-based platform enables users – from sales reps to CEOs – to turn static content such as PowerPoints into voice-enriched, interactive videos. This high-impact video content helps companies improve the effectiveness of their sales, marketing and training communications, and more.

There’s no cost to submit a presentation for consideration in the Sharkies, and the application process is quick and straightforward. Entrants provide their contact information, along with the presentation URL. Winners are unveiled in an online awards ceremony that we and our customers always look forward to.

This is our seventh year hosting the Sharkies program, and I’ve been privileged to watch it grow and evolve during that whole time. Every year, I’m always wowed by the caliber of entries – our customers set the bar high! Also, as customers use Brainshark in different ways – and as our own product capabilities, features and offerings have expanded – we continue to introduce new categories to reflect those current innovations, with recent additions including “Best Mobile-Optimized Presentation” and “Best Use of VideoSync.” All of the winning presentations from the past few years are available in an online gallery that honors winners and showcases their outstanding presentations. The gallery has also become a great resource for any customer who wants to see examples of highly effective presentations.

This year, for the first time, Brainshark is also going to be having a separate ceremony, the Rockstar Awards, to celebrate the people working behind the scenes to make Brainshark a success at their companies. We’ll be honoring their achievements — at the company and individual level – in March. Stay tuned!

Geetesh: Tell us more about the ongoing 7th Annual Sharkies – how can users participate and vote?

Irwin: Submitting a presentation, as mentioned, is quick, free and easy. Brainshark presentations created in 2014 and 2015 are eligible for judging. There are 13 categories this year – honoring presentations used for sales enablement, marketing, training, charitable causes and much more. Entries are evaluated based on their aesthetics, organization/flow, creativity and adept use of Brainshark features. The deadline for submissions is May 31, and we’ll announce winners in September.

A team of enthusiastic Brainshark judges selects the category winners. All winners are then eligible for “Presentation of the Year” honors (gold, silver and bronze levels), which come with even more acclaim – and prizes! Brainshark customers/users, viewers, fans and employees, along with other presentation experts, judge this portion of the competition.

As always, everyone at Brainshark is very excited to see and celebrate the entries. Thanks, Geetesh, for the opportunity to discuss the program. We invite your readers, if they’re Brainshark users, to submit presentations. Readers can also follow us on Twitter, our blog and through our newsletters for more details about the public judging portion. We’d love their input!

Categories: brainshark, contest, interviews, online_presentations, powerpoint

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