Behind every great idea is someone who actually makes it happen.
In the case of Eyeful Labs, that person is Victoria (AKA VC).
Take a bow, me dear…and then carry on.
From new presentation projects kicking off through to running our on-site training programmes, we’re used to a steady flow of people making themselves at home and sampling the delights of our “posh biscuits”.
However the last few weeks have been particularly manic – you simply can’t move for techies with cables, decorators with rolls of carpet and painters with, um, paint. Despite the disruption, we know the chaos will be worth it as we prepare for the official launch of Eyeful Labs (cue fanfare).
Loads more to come on this very exciting development over the next few days (we need to wait for the paint to dry before moving in properly) however keep checking back for more details over the next few days.
In the meantime, here’s a sneaky peek into “the big idea”:
They inspire, they lead and they challenge…
So it was with interest that we were contacted by Emily Stewart of OnlineMBA who wanted to share her insight into Apple using a strong story structure supported by simple animation.
Whilst there will always be debate around a brand as emotionally charged as Apple (just check out the comments on the YouTube clip) but as a presentation approach, we think it works a treat and worthy of a spot in our week of Guest Blogs (yep, even the marker squeak!).
Let us know what you think…
It’s been a while since we all got excited about the “impending” launch of the PowerPoint app for iOS, the operating system that runs your iPad and iPhone. We spoke to luminaries within Microsoft who remained tight lipped but had a glint in their eye. We chatted it through with other app developers to get their opinions regarding the whole soap opera.
The anticipation was palpable – finally the iPad was going to be released from the clutches of the clunky (but getting better) Keynote app and allow presenters across the world to take their tried and trusted PowerPoint files and move them over to their favourite tablet device.
Rumour had it that the launch would coincide with the full release of Office 2013…but it never happened. And, fellow tech and presentation early adopters, it would seem we still have some time to wait…until Autumn next year. Or so the rumour mill has it –>
What does this mean to those business people poised to present via their iPad?
The truth is that most will have found a way around the inconvenience, either by figuring out which PowerPoint animations, fonts and features Keynote plays nicely with…and sticking with those. Or perhaps by using a conversion app (BTW – Slideshark is by far the best in the market…and we’ve tried them all) or by thinking bigger and pulling upon experts to create a fully interactive and rich media iBook presenter pack.
To find out more about any of these options, give us a call and we’ll happily chat it through and share some examples.
There may be a few ardent Microsoft fans who persisted with the awful buyer experience and actually managed to get their hands on a Microsoft Surface. I’ve not met any of these mythical creatures (and my guess is that neither have you).
In summary, we’ll have to see what this prevarication means to Microsoft when they do finally get around to releasing the inevitable app. My gut feeling? The anticipation and need has evaporated over time, people have worked their way around the issue and, frankly, Microsoft have missed the boat.
You may not have noticed but there’s been a quiet revolution of late in the world of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) presentations.
A growing number of CPD providers have recognised the value of creating an impactful presentation with strong structure, powerful visuals and presenters well versed in the skills required to keep an audience fully engaged. This means throwing out the bullet point ridden PowerPoint decks of old, investing in presenter training and reinvigorating their marketing efforts. This is great news for CPD provider and audience alike…
But are these forward thinking companies still missing a trick?
For many years, PowerPoint was viewed as pretty much the only presentation tool available to CPD providers. It played to the longstanding opinion that all business and educative presentations had to be ‘formal’.
You’ll be familiar with the scenario:
The presenter speaks (sticking word for word to the approved script) whilst the audience listens intently. Any questions posed by the audience are reserved to the Q&A session (normally just before the sandwiches come out thereby minimising the likelihood of too much discussion or debate).
In short, not the most inspiring presentation format for an eager audience to work with…
Thankfully most audiences these days don’t play by the ‘formal’ rules – when engaged, they can’t help but interact with the presenter, asking questions and probing on topics throughout the session. This is how people learn and get the most value from the whole CPD process – long may it last…
The CPD experts here at Eyeful wager that this new level of presenter-audience engagement just the tip of the iceberg. Well established technologies such as online presentations, podcasts and webinars provide further opportunities for the forward thinking CPD provider to engage with their audiences.
The good news is that a few proactive companies are doing just that and firmly grabbing the chance to differentiate themselves through technology. The reality is repurposing existing approved CPD content and making it available to a wider audience, either on your website, through secure portals, on YouTube or via download sites such as iTunes, is remarkably simple.
Technology brings with it many wonderful opportunities to CPD providers across a range of sectors. The big question is how and when will you embrace it to make your CPD programme more effective and efficient than ever?
Over the last few years, we’ve been actively encouraging our customers across the World to think beyond PowerPoint.
By using our Blended Presenting approach, we now have customers mixing up the visual element of their presentations, incorporating different technologies to best suit their audience. For one audience it might be using an iPad to share their story whilst occasionally referring the audience to a hard copy document or video whist for another it might be the more conventional use of PowerPoint but with the use of a whiteboard at key points of the story.
This use of whiteboard as part of a Blended approach is incredibly powerful. It allows the presenter to really personalize their message to the audience, perhaps detailing or demonstrating technical content that simply doesn’t lend itself to a PowerPoint slide. Despite the immense power of mixing a presentation up in this way, many customers initially shy away from it.
A lack of confidence in their drawing skills… The good news is that Microsoft look to have been hard at work addressing this very issue. They’ve released a video which shows an early prototype electronic whiteboard, SketchInsight, that interprets the users “doodles” and replaces them with decipherable images.
It’s all very clever and could spell an end to the debilitating fear of drawing a rather shoddy stickman in front of a group. More importantly, by pulling on “big data”, it will also allow presenters to call upon real-time data as part of their story, taking the bespoke and personalized presentation to the next level.
Exciting times…but in the meantime, as long as it allows people to happily embrace the electronic whiteboard as part of their Blended Presenting strategy, we’ll be happy…as will their audiences!
There’s no doubt us Brits are a little obsessed with the weather. From slavishly watching reports on impending snow-based gridlock to the fervent prayers for a summer with at least some sun, we’re hooked.
This puts the lowly weather presenter under a lot of pressure. They need to clearly and succinctly share a lot of potentially technical information with their audience. Their audience will all have slightly different agendas/interests depending on where they live or their travel plans. Oh, and they need to do this day in, day out (on the hour in the mornings!) so keeping it fresh and engaging is also important.
A tough gig for any presenter…so how do they do it?
Spookily they rely on the 3 key facets of effective presenting that form the basis of our Presentation Optimisation methodology:
Each and every weather forecast starts and finishes with the big message – it’s either going to be rainy, sunny, changeable… Whatever the forecast, the message is delivered in such a way that the audience knows how exactly the weather is going to impact them (and whether packing an umbrella will prove to be a good idea).
That message is then supported by a level of content that demonstrates how and why the weather is behaving in a particular way. As an audience, we nod sagely at talk of high pressures coming in from the east but the truth is that this content is shared to merely back up the important message (in the case of the UK, it’s going to rain). Adding extraneous content merely gets in the way and runs the risk of confusing the message.
To push it over the line, TV presenters use visuals to demonstrate the key message.
The presentation genius of the weather guys and gals is here for all to see – rather than overly complex graphics of isobars and other meteorological clutter, they use simple icons* to help deliver the overarching message – it’s going to rain, don’t forget your umbrella. Visually, less is more when delivering a simple message.
Now apply this thinking to your business presentation…
Do you have a clear message? Are you running the risk of confusing or reducing the impact of the message by cluttering up the presentation with content you simply don’t need? Are your visuals helping you clearly deliver on your message or there to justify your content (hint – it should be the former).
Get this right and you’re on the road to what we call Presentation Optimisation…and a more engaged informed audience.
* It’s interesting to note that the BBC received a lot of grumpy letters and e-mails a few years ago when they moved away from their super simple weather icons to a more animated version. If the animation is getting in the way of delivering a clear message (a la over engineered PowerPoint, Keynote and Prezi presentations), you run the risk of terminally confusing your audience.
As a Brit, I’ll be the first to hold my hand up and admit I have no absolutely idea about American Football (I’m only just getting my head around the offside rule in “soccer”).
But I am aware of the hoopla that surrounds Super Bowl, from the anticipation of the half time entertainment (will anyone ever be able to top Prince? I think not…) through to the scramble for the best advertising slots from the World’s biggest brands. At a cost of $3.8m per 30 seconds of airtime, the stakes are high (but then again, the World is watching…).
For years, the advertisers have relied on hyperbole, pyrotechnics and scantily clad beautiful people to capture the imagination of the audience. It’s a tried and tested formula that, like the fizzy drinks often advertised in this prime slot, is fun and easy to consume but doesn’t really have much in the way of staying power.
This year, Ram broke the mold. Yep, Ram…the people who make very large pick-up trucks… How?
They had an incredible focus on their target marketplace, and by doing so, intimately knew the message they wanted to share. It went from being corporate speak to being personal and, as a result, incredibly powerful.
They then coupled this with scripted content that delivered the message right to the heart of the audience. OK, to some (myself included) it might have come across as a slightly too saccharine but the target audience of would-be pickup purchasers would have lapped it up.
And then onto the cherry atop the cake – simple, beautifully shot and powerful visuals that reinforced the message. Note the absence of fireworks, scantily clad models or celebrity endorsement – this was about using images to support the delivery of message and content in a way that cut through the extraneous noise associated with the Superbowl advertising battle.
Message + content + visuals. Sound familiar?