We’ve had a nosy around the reviews and we think they may well be right, but as always getting the best from this new piece of software relies on taming the dreaded ‘tech compatibility’ issues.
If you have a Bluetooth enabled PC or laptop running Office 2013 (not RT) and a smartphone with a Windows 8 operating system you’re in luck. With one (or more correctly two) quick downloads you can now use your phone to point, advance and display the speaker notes for your presentation. Which we have to say is kinda cool for you – and fairly frustrating for those of us left milling about in the tech wastelands until it becomes available on other operating systems.
The Office Remote App will also allow you to dance gracefully around Excel spread sheets and Word documents too, should the fancy take you.
Great stuff indeed but we feel compelled to add in a couple of caveats:
We’ve previously shared our views on the over use of smartphones and therefore feel duty bound to mention that seeing the presenter ‘on the phone’ could be seen as a green light for the audience to do the same.
It’s also worth mentioning that some of the more mischievous among us have noted the possibility that this brings for audience members to ‘encourage progression’ of any particularly tedious presentations that they are subjected to. All it takes is an industrious attendee with the app and an insecure Bluetooth connection and you’ll all be enjoying coffee and Danish pastries sooner than you think…
That aside, we come out in favour of stuff that makes great presentations better. But for those of you still hawking around text heavy, egocentric slides this gizmo won’t make any difference at all. Sorry, but flashing the tech will never be as effective as an engaging presentation, in the same way that delivering cold, soggy fish and chips in a Learjet doesn’t make them taste any better.
For the last 11 years the great and good of the UK bid and proposal industry have got together to share ideas, learn new skills, review best practices and, let’s be frank, catch up on a bit of industry gossip.
As each year passed, the venue got bigger and the delegate list more international, culminating last week in the largest shindig to date set in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswolds. I was naturally pleased as punch to be invited to speak at this years event and share the pitch power of Blended Presenting, offer views on Sales Enablement and share a sneaky peek into the forthcoming Presentation Lab book.
A Welcoming Crowd
The first thing that struck me was how welcoming everyone was. It was a truly supportive environment with old friends reunited and new contacts quickly being formed over coffee (or beer as the evening started).
There was a real sense of the industry wanting to drive things forward (indeed, the theme of this year’s event was ‘The Moves To Win’) and each and every delegate seemed hungry for the next addition to their skill set.
The Potential of The Presentation
The positive vibes and happy enthusiasm of the delegates continued as I shared our experiences and ideas around the topic of Blended Presenting.
The presentation ambled through all manner of topics, from audience heatmaps, the longstanding issue of the Presentation Paradox and the power of story as part of the entire sales/bid process (including a nod to the hot topic of Sales Enablement).
The exciting conclusion I garnered from the audience was that the bid and proposal sector completely understands the value of a powerful and well-planned presentation. The biggest frustration is that they are hamstrung with the same issues of not enough time or resource to do the job properly.
Key Takeaway – Turning Frustration Into Hope…& Results
Despite the all-too-familiar story of limited time and resource, there was a palpable sense that things are starting to change…fast.
The people at the forefront of this change, delegates at events like APMP UK, are starting to make waves and demonstrate the value of well-resourced bids and pitch presentations. They are the teams creating the most compelling propositions, delivering the most persuasive presentations and ultimately winning the most deals.
The big question is how long can they keep it a secret? My suggestion is that if you have anything to do with bids or proposals, you need to get yourself along to the nearest APMP event and find out from those in the know…
Here at Eyeful we love to push the boundaries of PowerPoint because, in the right hands, it can create some truly amazing presentation visuals.
Whilst much of the world is happy to blame PowerPoint for poor presentations we believe that’s akin to blaming cars for speeding. The brilliance (or otherwise) of a presentation is not about PowerPoint (or Keynote, or Prezi, or the infamous napkin) it’s about getting the best from whatever tool you’re using. And, if we may say so ourselves, when it comes to squeezing every ounce of brilliance from the seemingly mundane, we’re just the people for the job.
Here’s an example of what happens when we give one of our PowerPoint aficionados the seed of an idea and the opportunity just to have fun.
No story, no compelling message and no structure, just the chance to make PowerPoint work that little bit harder as well as play around with some video clips of cute cats. Happy days.
Tablet computing has been one of the most exciting recent revolutions in business technology. As soon as the idea of a compact, touch screen device was mooted presenters everywhere began to get excited and we’re not ashamed to say that we were amongst them.
The iPad is undoubtedly gorgeous and the interface is sublime but we’ve always been frustrated by its limited functionality when it come to business in general and presentations in particular. We’ve worked hard to make sure that our customers can get the best from their iPads but we can’t escape the feeling that it has consistently failed to fulfil its early promise. It’s almost as if Apple’s baby has a first class degree in business studies and takes cool to a new level but can’t progress from stacking the beans in Tesco.
When Microsoft first started talking about the Surface we hoped that salvation was on the horizon. Most businesses use Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office software and we dared to dream of a tablet that gave business users everything they needed in one place.
If we’re honest we weren’t disappointed, we got our USB port, full use of the software we love and a dinky keyboard attachment too. 11 months on and the Surface has failed to make the impact (or profit) that was hoped. Microsoft’s baby has a first class degree and a great job in the city but alas, it also seems to have become the oddball geek in the corner that everyone’s a bit unsure of.
Microsoft has stood their ground, they know that their product has great potential and they’ve not been shy in forcing direct comparisons. The video below is a great example of this, but unfortunately they’ve missed the point. People buy an iPad because they want an iPad, not because they need one.
Which brings us to Surface 2. Launched this week, the Surface 2 is much improved, it has better screen resolution, a two position kick stand, longer battery life, new accessories and is both lighter and thinner. It’s all great stuff and means that this iteration is a real improvement on the original and for those that buy tech with their heads it’s a real contender.
Unfortunately when it comes to a big ticket item like a tablet, it’s a stronger person than me that can rate need above want.
It does seem that Microsoft know that they simply can’t compete against the iPad because the spiel for the Surface 2 includes what I think is a very interesting comparison, Microsoft claim (and they’re careful about this sort of thing) that the Surface 2 is more powerful than 95% of laptops available today.
While the level of improvement that Microsoft have incorporated into the Surface 2 should improve their sales, I can’t help thinking that maybe the biggest difference will come from some strategic repositioning.
So, what should Microsoft be saying to business users?
How about this? ‘If you want an iPad, buy an iPad. If you need a laptop take a good look at Surface 2.’
Last week our MD Simon Morton joined our friends at Brainshark to chat about the blended presenting revolution. Simon explained how the presentation landscape is changing, why stories sell and how to maximise on every opportunity that comes your way.
Blended presenting is all about the difference between giving a presentation and making a real impression, and the magic starts way before you power up your laptop.
For those of you who weren’t able to join the webinar live, it’s now available for you to listen to at your leisure simply by clicking on the icon below.
This week is a big one for Apple. Yesterday they released iOS7 into the ether and tomorrow sees the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C go on sale in the UK.
But the products themselves are not the exciting part for us here at Eyeful.
Whatever you think of Apple products, it can’t be denied that when it comes to creating and sustaining a buzz about what they’re doing, Apple leave the competition far behind.
Apple products are distinctive but that’s not the secret, the secret lies in how Apple presents those products to the world. Apple have moved from niche market innovators to mass market providers by knowing and growing their audience.
There have been glitches along the way and even the late, great, Steve Jobs has contended with audiences that were less than enamoured with his message. But overall Apple has kept their audience on side by knowing what they want and communicating with them in a way they respond to.
Apple product launches have become events in themselves, they appear seamless and unforced but it has been well documented that behind the scenes it’s a different story. Every technical part of the show has a back-up for its back-up and every word and action is rehearsed and rehearsed before the audience even knows the event is taking place.
Apple uses a very simple presentation formula: the product, the presenter, the slideshow and the audience.
There are very few people who would refuse the opportunity to make the sort of presentation impact that Apple does, indeed many have tried to emulate them and failed because the simplicity of it all can be intimidating.
But just like the production, the simplicity of the presentation belies its true nature.
You might think that as a presentation design company we’re about to have a five minute rant on how much more exciting the slides could be, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The slides are the least important part of the presentation, without a powerful, engaging story and a presenter who knows what they’re doing the slides would be useless, however visually fantastic they were.
The thing is we’re not just a presentation design company, we’re a presentation consultancy company too. We help our customers get right down to the heart of their proposition and understand their audience because that’s how engaging stories are born, the slides that tell those stories are simply a means to an end.
Apple demonstrates to everyone just what a difference this approach can make and you don’t need a multi million pound budget to achieve it either, just a little Eyeful expertise can make all the difference.
This week Disney has been trialling its ‘interactive cinema experience’.
For those of you not up to speed, the idea is that film goers take their iPad or PC into the cinema (or the front room) and using the Disney Second Screen app they can enhance their cinematic experience.
The app can best be described as live time DVD extras, each movie has an interactive reel full of behind the scenes info, games and trivia, which runs concurrently with the film.
Apparently we’re all going to love trying to concentrate on two things at once.
Without opening the whole ‘multi-tasking’ debate I’m a little sceptical that anyone (especially children who are the initial target audience) can successfully achieve this. And on a side note it would also be sad to see the last ‘mobile free’ bastion disappear, ‘sorry I was in the cinema’ is practically the only viable excuse left for being incommunicado in a modern, tech hungry, world.
We all know that a lot of the tech advances that start as entertainment filter through to business users and maybe this is one that will actually work better for business than it does for kids.
Recently John McCain was caught playing poker on his smart phone in a senate committee meeting. Despite the fact that I personally feel that anyone prodding at their phone during casual conversation (never mind a meeting) should need an anaesthetic for its removal, it’s actually fairly widely accepted that this goes on. Many people simply cannot bear to be disconnected from the wonders of modern communication for more than a few minutes; we’re all very busy people (cue the Friday funny below).
But are we missing a trick here? If you’re presenting and your audience is going to be emailing, texting and tweeting anyway then maybe the best way to keep them engaged is to hijack the very device they’re surreptitiously using.
We’ll need to hang on a while and see how the second screen revolution progresses before we start devising dual level presentations, and when we do there’ll be a lot of hard work involved in getting in right. Twice the interaction could easily mean twice as boring or half as engaging.
In the meantime we need to keep those phones and tablets where they belong by making sure that every presentation we give connects with its audience and holds their attention. By achieving this we could restore a tech free oasis in a world that badly needs it ‘sorry I missed your call/email/text/tweet, I was in a presentation’….
Nestled between the excitement of holidays and the anticipation of Christmas, autumn is a challenging time of year for sales teams everywhere. It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm as the nights draw in and the leaves begin falling – but there’s still work to be done, and targets to be met.
Many of you will be about to embark on the annual trawl through the lost opportunities of spring but before you pick up the phone it’s time to review why they were lost in the first place and what new offering you have for them. Maybe they have decided to defer their investment until next year or maybe you just failed to make a connection, and if you couldn’t connect in spring, how will you connect in autumn?
Many sales teams will have been using the same collateral for almost a year and that’s a long time in business. Products and services change and evolve constantly and your customers’ needs and expectations do too.
Here at Eyeful we know that making your sales team achieve that final push is easier than you might think, all it takes to breathe new life into lagging sales is a little fresh thinking.
With this in mind we’ve put together an autumnal update webinar designed to breathe new life into sales teams everywhere.
We’ll help you understand your audience better, reinvigorate your sales, explain why slides are out and stories are in and give you all the tips you’ll need to communicate effectively anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
It’s not about airy fairy strategies and fanciful ideas, it’s about the stuff that works and brings real results.
It’s free to attend simply click through the links below to register and we’ll help you make those sales.