Choosing good background music for your business presentations

Whatever business you’re in, pitching your presentations just right can be tricky. On the one hand, you want to look smooth and professional, like you know exactly what you’re doing and are completely confident in everything that you’re saying.

On the other, it’s important to also show a little vulnerability, so your audience can connect with you on a human level, and buy into the messages you’re trying to share with them.

There’s nothing worse than a cheesy corporate video or presentation. Hitting business cliches with your synthy 80s music and bizarre slide transitions will instantly turn off an audience, distracting from the message you’re trying to deliver, no matter how relevant or interesting what you have to say actually is.

If you’re going to use background music for your business presentation or video, you need to ensure it’s there for a reason, and that you are using to have a specific influence on your audience.

Using the right background music to make your presentations pop

One of the best ways to ensure that your presentation stands out from the crowd, and feels fresh and important, is to use effective background music.

I’m not talking the usual cheesy, royalty-free clips, which will have your audience squirming in their chairs. But carefully selected music, which gently emphasises your point, or adds to the overall impact of your presentation can have a surprisingly important effect.

Used correctly, good background music can help you to deliver your messages loud and proud, as you gently touch on emotional buttons, or convey a certain mood or atmosphere.

Whether it’s a moving anecdote or a background song that you can use to set the tone and keep the momentum tight, this shouldn’t be a decision that you make without putting some thought into it.

Remember, you can also use music to cue your presentation and keep things ultra slick. Choosing the right song really can make or break your presentation.

The type of music you choose also sends out messages about the type of business you are. A modern, forward thinking company will want to use music that reflects that. Using substandard, or unprofessional sounding, music will convey the opposite impression.

So next time you’re taking to the stage to deliver a key message, take the time to think about whether music could enhance your business presentations, and be sure to spend some time choosing the right soundtrack for the information you want to convey.

For some inspiration, browse our library of background music.


New Gear Warning – Akai Professional MPC Live

It happened again…

Here at GBM Music we love to create background music as varied and interesting as possible, and to keep doing so on a consistent basis means we have to keep adding to our arsenal of music creation gear that we can call on.

At least that’s what we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better about shelling out on some exciting new gear that we could probably survive without.

The truth is that there’s nothing more inspiring than discovering a new piece of equipment, and new ways to work and create music. Especially if things ever feel a little stale.

We’ve opted to purchase this new piece of gear from Akai as it offers a whole new workflow – combining the best of standalone work with the best of computer-based work.

The Sampler can be used in a completely standalone state and includes a hefty battery. While the cliche of playing and composing on the bus or in the park is even less applicable to this unit than usual, there’s no doubt that being able to leave the studio or the computer and crash on the sofa or bed with a device can be really great.

Equally, being able to throw an entire project in your bag and take it to a different studio or a collaborator is very appealing.

With a massive memory, and what looks like a buttery smooth touch screen interface to boot, the MPC Live is causing a lot of interest for music geeks, and MPC fans.

At £800, this is no small investment, but a device that’s being effectively marketed as a DAW in a box is potentially worth that level of investment, if it’s going to result in an improved workflow that results in more musical output.

We were tempted to hold out for the Elektron Digitakt, which looks like great fun, and perhaps even looks a little more adept at sample mangling, but the sheer workhorse nature of the MPC Live, and the smooth integration of the workflow from head, to MPC Live, to computer, made this device irresistible.

We’ll be sure to let you know how we get on with the new device once it’s arrived, and we’ve had a chance to test it out. But what do you think – did we make the right choice?


Does music really help you read better?

If you like to read, chances are you’ll have often wondered about the effects that listening to music has on your reading.

Whether you are staunchly for or against this type of multi-tasking – this is a debate that everyone has an opinion on.

While some insist that reading is an almost sacred activity, which should be conducted in silence to allow you to fully enter the story, and absorb all of the author’s intentions, many others insist that music can greatly enhance the music making experience and make it all the more immersing.

What the science says

As you can see on Mind the Science Gap, a University of Wales study actually found that music served as a distraction when attempting to recall a series of items. The issue here, however, is that reading is not a dry, logical process, and this study does not really seem to address that side of the debate.

The study was backed up by another, however, which seemed to imply that whether background music was beneficial or not varied heavily from person to person.

The website also cites another study, which suggests that the lyrics may well be the issue, and that instrumental background music has been shown to improve performance.

Elsewhere, this Independent article also suggests that lyric-free music is the way to go.

Across the internet, from our own research, and from personal experience, the consensus seems to be that, if you want to improve your concentration, you should ditch your pop hits and find something with a repetitive beat and a warm electronic feel.

But who’s right?

While there’s no shortage of opinions on this matter, and there’s science to support both arguments, in truth it simply comes down to each individual’s preference.

The people who write-off music as a distraction, may be talking from their own experience, but I, and countless others could argue that it sounds like they’ve never experienced the groove that a good song can help you get into while reading.

Even while working, listening to good music can help you enter a state of flow, which is incredibly productive, and I know that whenever I’m writing or studying – a good soundtrack is an essential ingredient, and really helps to keep the momentum high.

It’s also especially useful if you’re doing a boring task – as it simply gives you a little treat to enjoy, while you get busy. Of course, you have to be able to immerse yourself in the task, however, and not get distracted flicking through your favourite songs.

If you are going to listen to music aim to keep it at a low volume, and choose some songs that are lyric three. Conveniently, if you’re looking for some good background music, which will really help you focus, we have plenty of choice for you here at GBM Music! These tracks have been designed to boost concentration, and really enhance your reading experience, without distracting you from the task at hand.


Is Background Music ‘Hellish’?

News broke recently that one of Britain’s high street stalwarts Marks and Spencer has taken the decision to ban piped in background music from its many stores.

In attempt to lure back the store’s original customers – the so called ‘Mrs M&S’ – the company will stop playing music in its stores, and has announced the cancellation of its licence to play background music.

This article on Sky News quotes Nigel Rodgers, the man who started an organisation called ‘Pipedown,’ which campaigns for the removal of piped in music, as saying it is ‘the hellish ubiquity of piped music’ that turns people off.

But come now, is a bit of  good old fashioned background music all that bad? Well, it obviously depends on who you ask, but largely it depends on how good the background music is. Here at GBM, we love our background music, but even we admit your standard elevator music can be a little bit frustrating – especially for staff, who have to hear it again and again.

 

While M&S is aiming for an older audience, there is an interesting debate to be had about the business case for playing background music.

Generally, it seems that most research supports it – pointing to music’s ability to improve moods and motivation. Getting the right choice is key, though, and it’ll be interesting to see whether there’s any notable shift in M&S’s profits – apart from the saving theyll be making on their PRS license – as a result of this decision.