Posts Tagged ‘Amusing’

The Curse of the Conference Call

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Justine<

Regular readers will know that we often talk about the Presentation Landscape and try to help our readers understand that presenting isn’t all about standing in front of an audience with a carefully prepared deck.

The best communicators understand that every business interaction is a presentation; even sharing new ideas informally can be more done more effectively if you apply some presentation best practice.

Before you dismiss that as unnecessary advice think about a child trying to persuade a parent to get them a puppy by arguing that it will help them be more responsible and get more exercise. These are not the reasons the child wants the puppy (those are mostly to do with cuteness), but they are the reasons they think their parents (the audience) will want to hear and will (please, please, please) respond to.

Childhood puppy requests should always be listened to with a huge amount of scepticism and it’s important that solid terms are negotiated before a parent even thinks about giving in, which tells us two more important things. Firstly that we have an inherent instinct to communicate in ways that will best engage our audience and secondly that even when we’re not doing business we’re using the same kind of skills and instincts.

So, presenting less formally or presenting without slides is easy because we can trust our instincts and rely on our natural ability to connect and negotiate.

Unfortunately this whole theory seems to fall flat on its face when it comes to conference calls.

It seems that once the people you are trying to communicate with are more than a few feet away all the things we know about engaging and negotiating are thrown out of the window.

Getting a conference call right is about understanding that it is part of the Presentation Landscape and not just an easy excuse to look busy. Rising to the challenge involves all the key presenting skills – know your story – know your audience – be clear with your messaging – make your call to action transparent and concise.

There are no revelations here, yet so many conference calls fail to achieve anything other than inactivity, annoying snapshots of people’s personal lives and uncomfortable silences. Unfortunately this is because they can easily fall into the same ‘no need to bother, it isn’t really important’ abyss that is also often home to Internal Presentations and without help, that’s where they’ll stay.

The clip below is both amusing and toe-curlingly uncomfortable to watch, but the sad thing is that at least some parts of it will ring true with anyone who has ever been on a conference call…

How we do business today means that conference calls are a necessity and businesses that work to understand where they sit in the Presentation Landscape and address the challenges they present will be better placed to take advantage of the opportunities they bring.

If you’d like to know how the creation of a great presentation can be beneficial to all your business communication simply download our free Sales Enablement Whitepaper or give us a call.


The Extraordinary Eyeful Easter Egg Hunt

Monday, April 28th, 2014 by Justine<

You know us best as purveyors of presentation perfection, but sometimes we’re just a lot of silly people looking for chocolate.


Saying it with PowerPoint

Friday, February 21st, 2014 by Justine<

Having a global team is a marvellous thing, Eyeful encompasses not only the planet but a hugely disparate and eclectic set of skills, experience and creativity. It’s one of the things that set us apart from the competition.

The tough thing is making sure that geography never gets in the way of us working (and laughing) together and we’re always looking for new ways to make the Eyeful world smaller.

We’ve never knowingly missed a birthday based silliness opportunity here at Eyeful Towers and finding a way to share that feeling with our far flung colleagues was as plain as the nose on our face.

After all, if we can’t say it with PowerPoint then who can?


NB Sometimes we use our extraordinary skills for serious stuff too, contact us to find out more.


Smarta Webchat – Simon Reveals All

Friday, January 24th, 2014 by Justine<

Regular readers will know that back in October we were extraordinarily excited by our success in making the grade as a Smarta 100 winner.

Making the an impact in the category ‘Best People’ was a great endorsement of what we (and our customers) have known all along – great people make great things happen.

The Eyeful Story has been quite a journey. From a back bedroom enterprise to six international offices (and a book) in ten years is something of an achievement and just the kind of thing that many start-ups dream of.

For us it wasn’t a planned journey and it wasn’t always an easy one either, but we got there and cemented our place as one of the best presentation consultancy and design providers in the world.

On Wednesday 29th January at 12.30 Simon Morton will be sharing his experiences, answering questions about how Eyeful managed to become a global force and offering advice on how to (and how not to) take your business to the next level. Hosted by our lovely friends at Smarta the webchat is free to attend and asking questions is easy…simply click through this link to join in.


Eyeful Top Trumps

Monday, December 16th, 2013 by Justine<

Continuing our festive foray into childhood favourites we’ve turned to the inimitable Top Trumps to sift through some Eyeful talent…


It’s a Lovely, Lego Christmas Here at Eyeful

Friday, December 13th, 2013 by Justine<

Regular readers will know we feel a certain affinity with Lego. We’ve used the eponymous little bricks as a Presentation Optimisation metaphor , we loved how they were used to honour Felix Baumgartner’s amazing jump and now we’ve found an excuse to include them in our advent calendar….happy days!


Eyeful Goes to Hollywood

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 by Justine<

Here at Eyeful we love a Christmas Movie, there’s no better way to waste a winter afternoon than curling up with a glass of your preferred tipple, a humungous box of choccies and a cheesily seasonal film. Here’s a glimpse into how some of our festive favourites would look with Eyeful stars playing the lead….



Eyeful Advent Christmas Quiz

Monday, December 9th, 2013 by Justine<

Our seasonal silliness continues with a close up Christmas quiz to see you through Monday afternoon.


How did you do?

1 out of 4 – Ebenezer Scrooge would be proud

2 out of 4 – Grab yourself a mince pie and try again

3 out of 4 – You’ll be rocking around the Christmas tree…

4 out of 4 – Fast tracked to Santa’s nice list!


Beware of Presentationstein….

Thursday, October 31st, 2013 by Justine<

Regular readers will know how we love to wrap serious messages in seasonal frivolity.

So without further ado, here’s a Halloween offering about one of the scariest (and least effective) of presentation shockers….Presentationstein

Turn the sound up, sit back and prepare to be horrified at what could well be happening to your presentation…

P.S. If the whole thing looks spookily familiar, simply breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth thinking happy thoughts until the panic dies down…..then get in touch and we’ll help you lay the monster to rest.


Fooling Some Of The People, Some Of The Time – Or Not

Friday, August 16th, 2013 by Justine<

A couple of recent news stories have given us pause for thought here at Eyeful Towers. Firstly it seems a Chinese zoo has been replacing exotic animals with domestic ones and secondly a new species of mammal has just been ‘discovered’ despite an example living in Washington Zoo for a number of years.

While this may seem, at first, to have little relevance to presentations but these are both great examples of how an audience (and a number of experts) can be lead merrily along the garden path, and what happens when they realise.

Respecting your audience is key to bringing them around to your way of thinking. If you underestimate the effort needed to engage and retain them, you’ve already lost them.

So when is a lion not a lion? In this example the simple answer would be ‘when it’s a dog’.  It’s easy to look at this story and suspect that it’s ridiculous, but it wasn’t just the lion they replaced. The dog masquerading as a wolf could easily pass unnoticed (unless it was a miniature poodle) but dogs were also playing the part of leopards, while coypu (the largest of the guinea pig family) were labelled as snakes.

Which leads me to wonder just how long they really got away with it?

Audiences are not stupid, but as human beings we are usually reticent to contradict what we’ve been told by an ‘expert’. We’re likely to be suspicious and unbelieving but unlikely to do anything about it. We know something isn’t right but won’t speak out just in case we make fools of ourselves. So we quietly decide that the whole thing is rubbish and get on with our lives.

Your audience will react in exactly the same way if they believe you’re running fast and loose with facts and figures or if they start to question your integrity. If part of your presentation seems fudged it’s likely that your audience will ignore the whole thing – and you’ll never even know.

As for the mystery mammal now officially named the olinguito, it seems that the creature itself went a long way to pointing out the mistake by refusing to mate with the olingos it was housed with.

Unfortunately the experts who misidentified it weren’t taking any notice.

If you’re not taking any notice of your audience you’re unlikely to be able to communicate effectively with them.

Before you even begin to bring your presentation together you need to know your audience, who they are, what motivates them and why they should care about what you’re saying. And it doesn’t end there if you don’t pay attention to them while presenting you won’t know if they’re not engaged and therefore, you’ll be unable to react by adjusting your content and style to bring them back.

Fortunately we can help with both these problems without anyone having to study for a zoology degree. If you think you may have lost (or maybe never even found) your audience just give us a call.