Posts Tagged ‘Eyeful People’

The Power of Story – An Alternative View

Thursday, December 4th, 2014 by Simon<

Book iconHave you noticed something..? For the past few years, blogs, magazines, video experts and books have all extolled the virtues of story within business presentations.

On one hand, we applaud it.  Grabbing the attention of your audience is a good thing to do.
On the other hand, we’re frankly a little worried that presenters are getting the wrong idea, confusing themselves and their audiences in the process.

Panic not!  In early 2015 Eyeful will be unveiling our Story Season – a series of blogs, articles and videos to debunk the somewhat over-hyped topic of Story in Business Presentations. In the meantime, enjoy this tongue-in-cheek shot-on-an-iphone instructional video courtesy of a few of our delivery team.

(Don’t say you weren’t warned…)

Reviewing the Reviews

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Justine<

Its six months since The Presentation Lab book hit the shelves and our initial nervousness about how it would be received has (almost) passed. Quite a few of our friends and customers have commented on how useful a resource it is but we’re realists here at Eyeful and we know that the real test is what people we don’t know think about it.

Many of us read reviews as part of the decision making process and we know that people who write reviews have two distinct areas of motivation. Reviewers generally share their thoughts because they are either delighted or incensed, reviews of a ‘not bad at all’ nature are fairly hard to find and part of the fun of reading reviews is the search for the hidden subtext and skewed perspective that may have spawned them. We know it’s practically impossible for the same hotel to be both disgusting and delightful; reviews are by definition subjective and occasionally tell us much more about the reviewer than the subject.

Reading reviews about something that you’re invested in is an odd experience. Yes, the book was written by our MD Simon Morton, but what it contains is important to us all. It’s the methodology that sets us apart from our competitors, enables us to produce engaging presentations time after time and keeps us enthusiastic about the task at hand. This is the stuff that keeps us all in gainful (and generally enjoyable) employment.

We know that our customers love what we do and that it gives them a real advantage, but our customers know us too, they’ve experienced our passion and expertise first hand. Putting all that into a book is like sending it out into the world completely unsupervised with no responsible adult to shepherd and support its journey. Finding out whether it can stand alone and succeed is nerve racking to say the least.

So, how is it fairing out there all alone in a big, bad world?

Well, despite the obvious temptation to bust the first rule of reviewing and say ‘not bad at all’ we’re going to have to shed some of our traditional British reserve and say ‘pretty damn good’. The fact that people seem to like the book is lovely, but the fact that people are putting the ideas and methodologies into practice for themselves is even better; in fact it’s bloody brilliant!

We love that one reviewer read the book and decided not to do a traditional presentation at all, we’re thrilled that people found a presentation message that works for all types of communication and we feel a small burst of pride every time the words ‘useful’, ‘accessible’ and ‘practical’ appear. It’s also worth noting that Simon felt it a personal triumph when a reviewer cited his ‘sense of humour’ as a selling point.

All in all it seems that The Presentation Lab is doing us proud just by being itself, which makes it a bona fide member of the Eyeful team!

Presentation lab soft copy

Eyeful Presentations – On Standby During The Commonwealth Games…

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Justine<

This evening sports and pageantry enthusiasts will be settling down to watch the opening ceremony of the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

As we know from the 2012 London Olympics the next 11 days will include much to educate and inspire audiences and athletes.

It’s easy to think of the Commonwealth Games as a poor relation to its bigger, brasher cousin the Olympics, but the challenges are the same on every level. Every athlete is trying to give their very best, every spectator is expecting to see sport at its highest level, every person involved in bringing it together is invested in its success and every sponsor is hoping to get the best possible ROI.

Which reminds me a little of how an important presentation comes together…

Here at Eyeful Towers we love a sporting event, and having fully recovered from The World Cup we’re gearing up to enjoy whatever Glasgow brings. To get into the spirit of the thing we’ve all taken a few minutes to find out which sports would suit us best via the entirely scientific channel that is the online questionnaire and the results have been rather interesting.

Should England need to fill a Hockey field in an emergency, we’re (apparently) more than able to help out. We can also (in a dire emergency) swell the ranks in Badminton and take on other Commonwealth hopefuls in both Wrestling and Judo… and we have in our midst a couple of the best disguised athletic throwers you could ever hope to meet.

Which, by my reckoning, makes us exactly the kind of team playing, tactically astute, ready to get stuck in, self-disciplined, multi-talented people you’d want helping you with your next presentation…

Whatever triumphs and tribulations the Commonwealth Games brings, you can rest assured that we won’t be waiting in vain for a call to step in, we’ll be concentrating on what we do best – helping our customers make lasting connections with their audiences.

Commonwealth Stadium

“You’ve really changed things here”

Thursday, May 29th, 2014 by Simon<

There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ve lucked out when it comes to choosing a profession.

My passion for presentations and the art of engaging audiences has fuelled some amazing adventures and experiences across the globe and latterly, becoming the author of a successful book on the subject is the cherry on the cake. Everyday I’m surrounded by the incredibly creative Eyeful team who not only support my wildest flights of fancy but also act as catalysts/provocateurs for the next phase of the journey. And, to top it all, I get to spend time with some truly amazing customers. Yesterday was one of those days.

Yesterday was spent with the CMO of a multinational technology company. It wasn’t notable because of a whopping slice of new revenue or kicking off a timezone spanning project. It was powerful because of five short words:

“You’ve really changed things here”

Let me give you a little background. We were first called upon 12 months ago when the European office had identified that their presentations were simply not working. They had the wherewithal to recognise that the problem was not because their PowerPoint slides looked a little shabby or that their marketing teams needed their softskills polished. They’d identified more fundamental areas to focus on – going back to the foundations of how they developed their presentations and building them back up again. Which is where we slotted into place.

What followed was a series of full-on, interactive workshops with teams across Europe sharing our Presentation Optimisation process, from Audience Heatmaps via Audience Pathway Storyflows and finishing up at a Blended Presenting strategy. Presentation Optimisation became Presentation Optimization as we were invited to start working with the mothership.

However it’s not the scale of the engagement with the customer or the jet set lifestyle that’s exciting (although we are grateful!), it’s the impact it’s having across their business.

“You’ve really changed things here” means that the fundamental processes we’ve shared with the international teams are now being applied day in, day out. As a matter of course, executives ask to see the Audience Heatmap for the presentation they are preparing to deliver. The simplicity of the Audience Pathway presentation structure is being applied in other forms of communication, from e-mails to internal comms documents. The ‘simplicity is not stupidity’ mantra is working…and things are changing.

We’ve spoken before about our ‘funny tummy feeling’ measure of success. The realisation that our good ideas coupled with a great organisation willing to try something different can have such an impact took the ‘funny tummy feeling’ off the scale. I’m still smiling 24 hours after the meeting which has to be a good sign…

To learn more about the Presentation Optimisation approach, pick up a copy of The Presentation Lab book or, better still, get in touch. We’d love to hear more about you and your business presentation frustrations.

Here Come The Girls

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by Justine<

Being one of the best presentation consultancy and design companies is about having the best people and we’re always excited to welcome new talent here at Eyeful Towers.

2014 is turning out to be a big year for us and with new challenges on the horizon our team at Eyeful Towers is growing again.

So without further ado, here are the latest members of the Eyeful family (L to R) Lorna Boyer, Hannah Clarkstone and Harri Kaol.

 

Here come the girls
After initially advertising for one designer to join our in-house team we came across two outstanding candidates and never able to let great talent walk away, we employed then both; Lorna’s background is in graphic design and photography and Hannah is a graduate in Multi-Media Textile design.

Harri has left behind a world of underfloor heating and plumbing to take up the challenge of project management and appears, thankfully, to be suffering from very few u-bend withdrawal symptoms.

We’re really chuffed to have them on our team as we pursue our aim to rid the world of Death by PowerPoint – one presentation at a time….

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.

If Music Be The Food Of Love…..

Friday, February 14th, 2014 by Justine<

A couple of years ago we decided that it was time to lavish a little Eyeful love on an area oft neglected by businesses – hold music.

Being on hold can be one of the most life-force-sucking wastes of time available and it’s easily made better (or worse) by the quality of what you’re forced to listen to. After all you’re not going to dare to stop listening because of that infernal universal law ensuring that your call will only be answered during a period of inattention on your part.

In true Eyeful style we decided to eschew Greensleeves and turn our backs on unending lists of services that would be available, should anybody ever answer the phone. We set out to make the on hold experience altogether more entertaining. So every month a member of our HQ team chooses a favourite track and we tell our holdees a little bit about that person and why they picked that track.

Consequently (and quite apart from being one of the best presentation consultancy and design services in the world) I’m confident in saying that we’re probably unique when it comes to receiving requests to be put back on hold.

The whole project has been much more successful than we could have imagined and now we’re hoping to spread the love by offering our friends, customers and followers the chance to join in.

All you need to do is click on this link and tell us what you’d like to hear and why, then our Earful audio guru Matt will work his magic and you’ll be able to hear your favourite tune every time you ring us.

shiny icon eyeful music (2)

From Back Bedroom to International Business

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Justine<

Today at 12.30 (GMT) Simon will be online with our friends from Smarta answering questions about how Eyeful went from back bedroom enterprise to world leading business.

It’s been an interesting journey and he’ll be sharing some of his thoughts and valuable insights into how British businesses are able to make a huge impression in global markets.

Asking a question is easy and you don’t even have to be free at 12.30 to join in, simply leave your question and collect your answer later….

Click through this link to join in

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.