Posts Tagged ‘Blended Presenting’

Google Glass – For One Day Only

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Justine<

Todays the day that techies in the US get a chance to find out whether wearable tech has a future in the real world as Google release some of their super specs to paying customers.

Google Glass is officially still in development but for one day only, over 18’s in the US with a healthy bank balance, a little bit of luck (and the ability to fill in a form) can get their hands on a pair to find out for themselves what all the fuss is about.

Google have been really clever in creating a buzz about the giving people chance to pay handsomely to become part of what is basically a market research exercise, but aside from that, what can wearable tech bring to business and will it be changing the presentation landscape?

Technology journalist have had their hands on it for a little while now and the results of their endeavours range from enthusiastic to bemused and if nothing else it’s given us a great insight into their daily lives.

Currently concerns seem to centre less around functionality and more around looking a bit of an idiot when you wear them and the social reaction that they can provoke.

google glass

Socially the potential of the technology is controversial, anyone wearing them will (eventually) be able to record and/or live stream everything they see and use functionality such as face recognition to summon up all the web information that’s available on anyone they see. Google have not been shy in acknowledging that their glasses need to be worn responsibly for people to avoid becoming ‘Glassholes’.

At the moment it’s quite easy to spot wearers (unless they’re socialising with Star Trek extras in full make up) but we all know that Moore’s Law holds true throughout technology and it won’t be long before we can’t even tell who’s connected and who isn’t, especially if they swop the voice activation for optical tracking.

There’s no question that the functionality they will eventually provide can enhance the wearers experience it’s going to be in identifying when it is, and isn’t, appropriate to wear them that will provide the real challenges.

So what about business?

As we’ve discussed before the way people do business is changing, formal meetings have given way to informal conversations and deals are done without people ever meeting, but the one thing that remains the same is the trust needed to build business relationships. People do business with people, and the way those people interact makes a difference to the outcome.

We’ll all admit that the first thing we do when we hear from a potential customer is type their name and the name of their company into a search engine to find out more. Where are they based? What do they do? How big are they? What kind of culture do they have? These are all questions that will help us work more efficiently with them. But that search will occasionally throw up something else, a derogatory blog, disparaging review or a facebook image of them after one too many cocktails for example. And it might just be me, but sitting across the room from them while they do this through their glasses feels a bit raw, like a root canal without the anaesthetic. And if I’m doing the same there may well be an air of internet jousting that doesn’t feel like the basis for a great working relationship.

So far the whole thing feels a little alien and it should, because having access to vast swathes of information about everyone you meet and everything you see in real time is, if we’re honest, a little weird, we’re human beings and we rely on intangibles like instincts and experience to help us decide what and who we like.

But it’s not all big brother doom and gloom.

The ability to share your presentation (or more probably parts of it) with people as part of an organic conversation is important in modern business communication and with Google Glass you can do that, and although passing your specs to them reeks a little of primary school tomfoolery it’s certainly going to be something they remember.

And as the technology progresses there will be new ways to allow them access to your presentation, wifi transfer from your glasses to theirs for example. Or maybe one day your glasses will be able to project a 3D presentation onto a table top in the ubiquitous departure lounge and maybe (if you’re really lucky) no one will say Help me Obi-Wan Kanobi, you’re my only hope……

No one really knows where this technology will go and whether it will become the equivalent of a laserdisc or a smartphone, but here at Eyeful we’re always on the lookout for ways to help our customers present, and communicate, more effectively so you can be sure that we’ll be among the first to tap into its potential.

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The Presentation Lab – Your Questions Answered

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 by Justine<

With just four days to go until it hits the shelves The Presentation Lab: Learn the Formula Behind Powerful Presentations is already causing quite a stir.

Friends, customers and presentation enthusiasts from around the globe are eagerly signing up for our launch event (and already enjoying the first chapter of the book).

But what about the cynics, naysayers and those who have simply given up on ever seeing (or delivering) a presentations that is anything more than tedious, why should they be interested? After all how can a book make that much difference to someone who presents only because they have to?

Here, Theo Van Dort from Inclusive Video interviews author and Eyeful MD Simon Morton to try and find out…..

 

Signing up to find out more is really easy simply click through this link for access to download the first chapter of the book.

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Who Should Buy The Book?

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 by Justine<

We’re going to avoid the obvious temptation to suggest that everyone should reach for their wallets and invest in a copy of The Presentation Lab: The Formula Behind Powerful Presentations. This is Eyeful Presentations and we’ve got a reputation to uphold so we’re going to try and be a little more objective and a lot more helpful.

Firstly we can summarily deter some of our potential audience by clarifying the following: if you’re looking for a book that tells you how to make your existing PowerPoint slides prettier, this isn’t it. It’s also not a book that regurgitates the same old “text is bad, images are good” insight that we all kinda know anyway.  So, dear reader, if that’s what you want you can put your twenty quid away and keep browsing.

This is a book designed to be read and then actioned upon.  An unread book is an inherently sad thing and the universe mourns for its unappreciated existence and unfulfilled potential…no more so than when it’s a book written with the avowed intent of making the most out of each and every presentation.

So buying the book is really neither here nor there, the real question is – Who should READ* the book?

Well we’re confident in saying that there’ll be something of interest to anyone who ever has to formulate/write/design/deliver a presentation. And there will be much fuel for evangelism by those who suffer at the hands of poor practice in any of those areas too.

But maybe most importantly this book should be read by anyone who for one moment thinks that any of their competitors might have got their hands on a copy. We’ve often reminded our readers that a poor presentation is a gift to your competitors and a presentation that isn’t making the most of the latest presentation thinking and innovation will be the gift that just keeps giving.

For any of you still in doubt, our intrepid MD (and author of the aforementioned tome) explains all…

 

*please be aware the Eyeful Presentations in no way intends to encourage or endorse the acquisition or retention of The Presentation Lab book by any means other than the tradition ‘cash for product’ exchange system.

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Spam Strikes Again

Monday, March 10th, 2014 by Justine<

Having a successful blog brings its own rewards, but there is a downside too.

Spammers love a comments box and trawling through nonsensical comments to find the genuine ones is a daily tribulation. As I’ve mooted before spam does have its uses and recent spamming trends have highlighted another way in which it can help us all be better presenters.

To be fair some of the gobbledegook is quite amusing and I now have an encyclopaedic knowledge of where to buy a wide variety of pharmaceuticals, niche pornography and ‘replica’ designer goods. This, in turn, has given me a handy social barometer in that should I ever be called upon to access this bank of information, I’ll know it’s time to get my coat.

Most of these spam comments are high on enthusiasm and extraordinarily low on punctuation and grammar, but there is one spam message that appears again and again like a horror film villain that refuses to lie down on the off chance of a sequel.

This particular miscreant believes itself to be a master of disguise but for anyone used to filtering this sort of nonsense it’s easy to spot, here’s an excerpt for the un-initiated:

 

{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more

than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.{It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me. {In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.|

I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting.{Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|

{I will|I’ll} {right away|immediately} {take hold of|grab|clutch|grasp|seize|snatch}

your {rss|rss feed} as I {can not|can’t} {in finding|find|to find} your {email|e-mail} subscription {link|hyperlink} or{newsletter|e-newsletter} service. Do {you have|you’ve} any?

{Please|Kindly} {allow|permit|let} me {realize|recognize|understand|recognise|know} {so that|in

order that} I {may just|may|could} subscribe. Thanks.|

{It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to make some plans for the future and {it is|it’s} time to be happy. {I have|I’ve} read this post and if I could I {want to|wish to|desire to} suggest you {few|some} interesting things or {advice|suggestions|tips}.

 

As you can see there is some scope for personalisation here but no amount of ‘delete as applicable’ can disguise its true nature and because some spammers can’t even be bothered with that, I can tell you that in its pre personalisation entirety it runs to an impressive 1858 words.

I’m sure that this format can lead to thousands of permutations, but I can state with confidence that they are all as rubbish, formulaic and soul destroying as each other.

It all amounts to a lot of effort that communicates nothing and singularly fails to achieve its goal – in this case my pressing of the ‘approve comment’ button.

This is, of course, my cue to segue gracefully into the subject at hand, presentations in general and more specifically the dangers of sticking to what you know.

Here at Eyeful we’ve seen thousands and thousands of presentations and we know that presentations of the insert name/company/product genre are still alive and kicking (until we get our hands on them that is).

A presentation that you’ve been using for years is not the same as a successful presentation. And a presentation that is almost identical to your competitors is even worse.

Audiences are savvier than ever and business is much more competitive. Your potential customers will know exactly what your competitors are offering and your presentation needs to show them exactly why they should spend their money with you.

Presentation software and hardware has moved forward in leaps and bounds and there is no excuse for relying on old formats or wasting valuable resource on the latest tech just because it looks good.

Fortunately for business everywhere we’ve got some tricks up our sleeve that can help your presentation stand out from the crowd. Presentation Optimisation is a proven way of creating presentations that have real impact and Blended Presenting can help you make connections like never before. There’s also technical PowerPoint and soft skills training and The Presentation Lab Book to get your presentation juices flowing.

Sales pitch over, this is the real world and there’s no point spending time and money fixing something that just ain’t broke. Which is why we’re always happy to provide a free* Presentation Healthcheck to anyone interested in what we do.

We know that floating in a vast sea of mediocre presentations there are a few things of real beauty and if your presentation already shines we’ll send you on your way with a gold star and a pat on the back.

So, if you’re worried that your presentation might have a certain spamminess or that your presentation delivery might not be as good as your competitors them drop us a line and we’ll help you connect with your audience in a way that insures their approval.

Presentation healthcheck

*completely and utterly free of charge and obligation – like free things used to be.

 

 

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Sales Enablement – The Power Of Story

Thursday, February 6th, 2014 by Justine<

The importance of having and telling a strong story is not in doubt, but a story that nobody hears is no use to anyone.

Telling your story effectively does not have a one size fits all solution. Connecting with your audience begins with understanding them but it doesn’t end there. Great connections are made when you, your audience and your technology come together seamlessly.

There are no bad ways of communicating but there are a thousand ways to communicate badly.

Here Simon reveals how Eyeful’s Blended Presenting methodology addresses some of the issues that modern presenters face and helps you wade through the quagmire of presentation options.

Tomorrow we’ll be looking at Catalysts for Change and our Sales Enablement white paper will be available for free download on Monday 10th February.

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Samsung Galaxy Pro – Pretender or Contender?

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 by Justine<

Samsung has leapt head first into the on-going tablet wars with the launch of its new Galaxy Pro tablet range. Rumours have been circulating for a while but the official launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday brings a new contender to the tablet landscape.

So far there have been two main choices for would be tablet owners, the iPad and the Surface.  Regular readers will know that we’ve investigated the faults and merits of each on several occasions and tried in vain to negotiate a productive peace between the two camps.

Obviously our coverage so far has been somewhat coloured by what we want from a tablet – we readily admit to a certain business/presentation bias  – but we don’t think we’re alone in wanting functionality, connectivity and accessibility (and if it can throw in some stunning looks as well, then all the better).

Samsung have chosen to pitch their tent right on the frontline of the Apple versus Microsoft’s stand off and if early reviews are anything to go by we’re in for some really interesting times.

Galaxy Pro is armed to take on both sides and is pulling no punches, pricing has not yet been released but we know that’s an area where Samsung can kick a little butt. The Spec is right up there too – Samsung have obviously done their homework and rather than sidestep the competition by inventing themselves a niche they’re charging full speed into what other competitors seem to consider hallowed ground.

This is no imitator or pretender to the throne so if Apple and Microsoft are listening, now might be a good time to kiss and make up, because it looks like it might need the best of both of you to take this one on….

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The Presenters New Best Friend?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 by Justine<

Today sees the launch of a natty little app from Microsoft that has been lauded by some as the presenters new best friend.

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.

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APMP Audience Reaction

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 by Justine<

A few weeks ago Simon reported on his experience of speaking at the APMP UK conference. Simon mentioned that the audience were both welcoming and knowledgeable, but what did they think of him?

Well we’re pleased to say that the feedback was great and we can rest assured that when it comes to presenting we definitely practice what we preach.

So for those of you considering opting in to one of our training days or wondering exactly what Eyeful can add to your next presentation, here are the opinions of some of the attendees:

“Beautifully articulated, great slides.”

“Very engaging presentation with some very useful advice.”

“Fantastic, great way of looking at the subject.”

“Very useful and engaging – thanks.”

“Good presentation, compellingly delivered.”

And, with one attendee commenting that the only way the session could have been improved was with the addition of a ‘twirling bow tie’ we’re chuffed that the audience grasped our sense of fun too.

Simon shared a lot of new Eyeful thinking, which will be available to all in early 2014 with the publication of The Presentation Lab Book, so there’s no need to wait for the next time he takes the stage to find out more.

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Bid Professionals Embrace Blended Presenting: Conference Report from APMP UK

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 by Simon<

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.

APMP SM 4

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…

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Presentation ROI (or The Elephant That Came To Tea)

Friday, October 18th, 2013 by Justine<

Our customers are a varied bunch, they come from all over the world, represent every business sector you can (and sometimes can’t) imagine and need our help in a plethora of situations. There are only two things that they all have in common, they all need a presentation and they all want to know how much it will cost.

As a specialist presentation consultation and design business we’re (obviously) happy to help on both counts. We give our customers great presentations and we use one of the clearest pricing strategies around.

So far, so good.

It all gets a little trickier when the conversation moves from ‘what does it cost?’ to ‘what is it worth?’

Return on investment (ROI) is the elephant in the room here and in true Eyeful style we’ve decided not just to acknowledge its presence but to also throw down some straw, put the kettle on and bring out the biscuit tin.

Sometimes the sums are easy, if you’re pitching for business worth millions then spending a few thousand on getting it right is a sound investment, but for most of our customers it’s a little more complicated than that.

It’s easy to think of a presentation as just that. Understanding that a presentation can be developed and used as more of a ‘swiss army’ sales and marketing tool is the first step to realising the full potential and increasing your ROI. Repurposing and Blended Presenting are just two useful ways that we help our customers achieve more bang for their buck but the story doesn’t end there.

So for all the bean counters, number crunchers, budget watchers and bottom line guardians out there we’ve pulled together something that might help you quantify what a great presentation can achieve in terms of ROI.

Simply grab a cuppa (three sugars for the elephant please and you may want to leave the best china in the cupboard) and watch the video….

 

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