Pretentious PowerPoint Presentations

Pretentious PowerPoint Presentations

Mar 29, 2024Lacie Marsh-Carroll

Two weeks ago I added 2 marketers to my team. Both mid-20s and both impressed me in the interviews.

Disclaimer: I adore GenZ and have so much respect for their hustle and drive. I know they are going to do big things and change the world! 

During our weekly marketing tag up these kiddos sat me down with a PowerPoint presentation to inform me my brand was all wrong. The following is a list of all the changes I needed to make if I wanted my business to succeed. You all, the amount of energy and restraint it took for me to keep a straight face during this meeting was truly heroic.

This is the cover slide for the 'Marketing Meeting'. 

From the presentation:

Stop being so political including women’s rights and equality posts. Politics has nothing to do with candles. I had to remind them that the whole mission of MWCC was to give voice to real issues, set the feelings on fire and let that shit go.

Stop using profanity. I almost broke here…but didn’t burst out laughing yet.

Curate the social media feeds, especially Instagram. The feed looks like chaos and is not aesthetically pleasing. *slowly nodding my head* I said “yeah…life is chaos. I’m not going to curate my feed with some rose-gold bullshit, I like to keep it real and authentic.

This is the slide that killed me. I have so many questions. Like the goal here is to have candles floating in the middle of the road? Don't even get me started on the formatting.

Only post your blog notices on your personal social accounts and write candle related content only. I did actually laugh at this one. All I said was okay…continue…AND THEY DID!!! There was no stopping this dynamic GenZ duo! Like, ladies…read the room! Nope, they were so confident in their opinions. 

James (21 YO Male) even tried to jump in and help educate them, to which the presenter said "You're not our target demographic, your opinion doesn't matter. It was so rude and disrespectful. I had to jump in on that one. Like she looked James directly in the eyes and dismissed him. Later, I told James that is what it is like for women in any corporation. 

I let it go on mostly out of curiosity. I mean how could two college-educated marketers get a brand so wrong? I stared blankly, making direct eye contact with them as they informed me that I should personally take over Facebook because people my age don’t use TikTok. I’m 49.

I am very unclear on what a 'tubber ware' is???

The presentation ended with them explaining to me that to compete in the candle market, we needed to be more candle focused and less focused on me and my stories. *My eyes got so big at this point they nearly fell out of my face* I raised my hand like a student in a classroom and said…’Ok…my turn’.

I went through as calmly as I could and explained AGAIN (this was not our first conversation which is why they chose to do a formal presentation) the brand, my mission and that I wasn’t going to fit in a mason jar candle box. Our demographic is not Women Ages 35-54, It is any person 16+ that has ever felt unheard, unseen or under-represented. I am going to continue telling my stories and I will NEVER curate my social media feeds or hide my voice.

The ringleader continued to argue with me. Like, full-on telling me she knows more about marketing than I do. I looked her directly in the face and asked her if she has ever built a business with an organic social media following of 400K? 

She kept going...I finally put both hands up and said "Full Stop, this is my business and I will run it the way I want to." She actually said "Good Luck."

I paused. Then said “I’m not feeling a good fit here and invite you to please leave.” I got up, went to my office, shut the door and just laughed in shock and disbelief. I called my husband and I was cry-laughing as I told him all about this sit-down-talking-to’ I just endured. He said he was proud of me for not losing my shit. I told Joe ‘You know I keep my bitch locked up tight for everyone’s protection.”

So…back to Indeed to start the process over again. Wish me luck!  

This week's Candle: I am putting my Generation collection on sale for $18 each! 

Stay Malicious,


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Comments (70)

  • “Less profanity”

    Laughs in Gen-X Fuck That Shit

  • Hi! I’m not a candle person. My daughters are into candles, but me, not so much. Maybe pine or cinnamon or something at Christmas. Except for you. I love your candles! I love your messages, and I love how I can submit my own message and you’ll print it (following my first trip to Boston to see the Dropkick Murphys, I submitted “At Least the Shoes Still Fit” infused with “Four Days of Debauchery” because, I generally watch what I eat and drink and, well, this said it all…). I smile when I look at it. I love you! And I’m also thinking that any company named “Malicious Women” really needs to continue to have a powerful voice

  • Wow, just wow! The things that they were trying to sanitize are the very reasons I buy your candles! Just bought a Gen X candle. Stay true to you, my gen x sister!✊

  • IT’S THE AUDACITY FOR ME LOL. I literally cannot. I love your branding and that you call out the bullshit. STAY MALICIOUS!

  • JFC READ THE ROOM!! I’m sorry that you had to deal with this but so impressed you didn’t flat lose it.
    Totally unsolicited suggestion. This could be a learning point on hiring the next options. Totally quiz them on the brand. “What do you know about my brand? What are some themes you’ve noticed? How do you plan to optimize our marketing without compromising our brand identity?”
    Ugh what a disaster presentation.

    Sabrina Weber
  • Holy hell.
    I could take a red pen to their PPT from an instructional design point. 🤫🤭
    I can’t imagine coming in as a new employee and doing that.
    In the first several months at my job, even though I was seeing things that needed adjusting, I spent the time getting to know the department and learning about the culture.
    Then after a month or so I used emotional intelligence to suggest small adjustments. Then build trust and a relationship so I could work together with the leaders to map a path forward.
    I probably would have stuck out the presentation as well, just out of curiosity.

    Thank you for holding strong. We NEED you.
    We need all the fucks because some of us have none left to give and we have to go get more.
    I need chaos and your spirit!
    We don’t need ASMR and we sure as hell don’t need to be pandered to.
    You are filling a niche that no one else cares about and I’m proud to be team Malicious.

    Melissa Cortes
  • Oh goodness. Well, here’s the thing. It sounds like they did not have a lot of real-world experience and definitely did not understand any lessons they were taught in school about doing their research on the brand before making suggestions. I think this was a really great learning experience for them, if they were open to the lesson. Sounds like maybe one was not open to it based on the push-back, but perhaps the other one learned something.

    Keep it malicious. We love it.

  • While I get that Powerpoint has become umbiquitous and some people find it helpful, I’ve tended to consider it a sign of the apocalypse and for people who lost the ability to speak directly to other people. An opinion which became confirmed when the power went out at work and management had been virtually unable to continue a meeting without bad graphics on slides projected onto a screen. They weren’t graphs showing actual data, but rather “pictures for peons” and they couldn’t talk to us as fellow humans without them. Yeah, I don’t care if there were words on your pictures. There was no hard data on that example slide so you were getting the “pictures for peons” treatment from kids.

    Karen O
  • Equality divides?! Need a snarky candle to slap that down!

  • IDK. I wore your hoodie T to the grocery this afternoon. A woman actually walked up to me to read the company name on the front and comment how much she liked the sentiment on the back, Gave her your website address and a pitch for the candles. They smell amazing and are snarky and profane. Response “as they should be”. Suspect she’ll hunt them down. We might be a red state, but there are very blue cities here. And the women in the red counties, appreciate the shirts too.


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