Posts Tagged ‘Eyeful Presentations’

Trust in Training – The Holy Grail?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Sally Bailey<

We’ve been talking about trust a lot recently. Once the flurry of storyflows, storyboards and design concepts have died down, we’ve figured that the success of our presentation projects come down to this one simple thing – Trust.

Trust needs to be present before a client, no matter how confident they are, steps up on stage to deliver a presentation we created with them. Trust underpins the month/year/career-shifting pitch made by a nervous salesperson. Trust sits at the core of an internal presentation that communicates the need for change.

Eyeful Labs - Bubbling UnderTrust is equally important in training and coaching. It forms the backbone of any successful programme – delegates who ‘believe’ grab hold of their new skills and ideas and make the most out of them. Delegates who didn’t quite cross the threshold merely process their expenses and tidily place their course materials on the shelf next to their desk (‘shelf development’ over ‘self development’).

So how do you get it? If only it was as easy as waving a magic wand and ensuring the trust and belief of delegates but the reality is somewhat different. Trust has to be earned. There are no shortcuts or tricks of the trade – just bloody hard work.

However there maybe one exception…

Our Eyeful Labs training would seem to have an unfair advantage due to the topic in hand – presentation engagement. The quality of most presentations is, put frankly, awful – we’re typically starting from a pretty low standard in the first place. As such, by providing a simple, straightforward and logical way of improving the engagement between presenter and audience, we’re onto a winner from the word go. The very nature of the Presentation Optimisation means that improvements are obvious, discernable and repeatable.

Eyeful Labs’ combination of simplicity and process, coupled with huge (personal) leaps forward in terms of clarity and engagement means that trust is easier to win than most. The net result is that delegates are more willing to adopt Presentation Optimisation in the classroom and then have the confidence to ‘give it a go’ as part of their day to day lives, witnessing for themselves the improvements.

This trust creates a good habit that is hard to break, which is good news for presenter and audience alike. What’s not to like?

Sales Enablement is Failing Sales Teams

Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Simon<

A lot of noise has been made over the last few years around the topic of ‘Sales Enablement’. We’ve added our own 10p’s worth to the debate in the past and then continued to look on with a mix of amusement and bemusement.

The amusement comes from the reinvention of something that has been around since the dawn of mankind (or at least, since man started selling stuff to their fellow man). Call it what you want but Sales Enablement, in it’s most basic form, is the development of sales tools to help sales people, um, sell.

Apologies to any sales or marketing execs who are currently sat with chests puffed out with pride – the fact that you’ve moved with the times and converted your sales collateral to work in a new ‘easy to access’ format isn’t revolutionary, it’s merely keeping up with The Joneses.

Perhaps more importantly, the bemusement comes from companies large and small missing out on a huge opportunity. All too often the excitement, investment and time spent on delivering on a ‘Sales Enablement Strategy’ overshadows the real need of sales teams. They’re not after gizmos (although I’ve yet to meet a salesperson who doesn’t like a new tech toy) – boil it down and they’re after story, structure and clarity of messaging. They want tools that will allow them to beat the competition, close the deal and take home the commission.

Frankly salespeople don’t care what platform, operating system or colour sales tools come in – they just want it to help them deliver the deal. It’s as simple as that.

Here at Eyeful we’ve had the pleasure and privilege of working with companies of all sizes across a range of industries. When the topic of ‘Sales Enablement’ is touched on, sadly a definite pattern is starting to emerge. Businesses are focusing their investment in the Delivery Mechanism (tablet sales enablement tools, fancy apps or training their sales teams to become slick ‘TED’ like presenters) without recognising that they are inadvertently recycling the same trite, unconvincing and generic content. It’s a little like remaking a bad movie – if it was boring and lacklustre in 2D, it’s going to be equally boring and lacklustre in 3D.

We implore sales and marketing professionals to take a step back and think beyond the hype and quick wins that Sales Enablement promises. If businesses took a moment to review the message and content they are dishing out in various forms, the more effective this whole ‘Sales Enablement’ bandwagon might be.

As we’ve said time and time again, if your prospect’s response to your pitch is ‘cool slides’, you’ve failed. Never let the temptation of cool technology or fancy aesthetics get in the way of your audience engaging with your message. And if you’re using the ‘Sales Enablement’ tag to merely add lipstick to a pig of a sales presentation message, you’ve missed a golden opportunity…and your competition is poised to make the most of it.

Stop Posting and Start Doing…

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by Justine<

There’s quite a commotion online at the moment about the launch of the new Post-It App.

It’s obviously a clever piece of kit. It allows you to take photographs of up to 50 physical Post-It notes and then digitally manipulate them.

These virtual Post-Its can be pinned to your start screen, shared with collaborators and even exported to a PowerPoint, Excel of PDF format.

After reading a few excited posts about how useful it’s going to be I found myself asking a simple question ‘Why would I need to do that?’

Here at Eyeful we spend quite a lot of time encouraging our customers to step away from the tech.

Our tried and tested Presentation Optimisation methodology follows a path that begins with a pen and paper and there’s a good reason for that – it encourages you to think about stories rather than slides.

To me, the ability to write on a bunch of Post-It Notes then digitise and manipulate then seems like it might add unnecessary time and effort into what should be a simple process and is therefore an excellent way to procrastinate – and potentially not much else.

Bringing ideas to life and sharing them effectively is about identifying clear aims and objectives, adding a decent smattering of creativity and then pushing towards your desired outcome with some good old fashioned hard work.

If something will work better on paper, use paper – if it will work better on a computer, get typing. But maybe that’s where the genius of this app lies, in helping identify which creative path will work best for you.

It also seems to gel nicely with how we use tech today. When a teacher writes a homework assignment on the board some children write it down and some simply take a photo with their phone. I’m going to hazard a guess that most of us have taken photos of written information we need to remember or want to share (I personally confess to delighting in capturing weird signs and humorously worded instructions at every opportunity).

We store information in this way because it helps us ensure that the information is completely accurate and can’t fall fowl to bad hand writing or poor spelling (with the obvious exception of the aforementioned signs). It’s factual, unambiguous and easily accessed.

I can see great potential for collaboration too, although I might be a little nervous if I knew my hastily written and individually cryptic notes were going to be shared. I might even want to run a couple of them through a spellchecker before committing them to paper thus creating a process that would go something like this – computer – paper – photo – computer – before anyone else even got to see it.

Whatever you think about the app it does raise some interesting questions about how and why we communicate.

When it comes to presentations those are seemingly easy questions to answer – we use PowerPoint and we want them to buy our product. However the journey to achieving this effectively involves forgetting what you want to achieve and going back to basics to understand what your audience wants to achieve and if the Post-It app can help you achieve that, then I’m all for it.

post it blog

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

Out With the Old…

Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Justine<

With new web updates on the horizon, we’ve been reflecting over old content and it’s been really interesting to take a close look at some of our old stuff to see how it stands up in today’s presentation landscape.

As we’ve said before new isn’t always better and telling the difference between the next big thing and the latest one hit wonder can be a challenge, but it’s also true that great things wear well.

Fortunately for us it would appear that along the way we have indeed created a few great things (and, thank heavens, nothing bad enough to be hailed as ironically amusing).

Part of what made Eyeful Presentations the game changing company that it is today is that we laid out our aims and specialisms from the beginning and we’ve stuck to our guns.

We’re really rather good at presentations and while we’ve developed how our work can support and inform other parts of a sales collateral suite, we’ve never wavered from our original intent: improving business communication – one presentation at a time.

We’ve also stood by our intention to maximise ROI for our customers and ensure that no repurposing opportunity is left unexplored.

And we’re rather proud of practicing what we preach.

First aired in 2008 and briefly revived in 2012 here’s something from the Eyeful vaults that has stood the test of time much better than my wardrobe – and could even be erring towards retro chic….

 

The Story Behind Presentation Optimisation

Friday, May 23rd, 2014 by Justine<

Ten years ago Eyeful Presentations was a mere gleam in the eye of our MD Simon Morton.

Right from the beginning Eyeful was unafraid to ask awkward questions and challenge traditional presentation thinking.

Being the stroppy new kid was great, but when it became apparent that what we were doing wasn’t only different from everything else it was also more effective at engaging audiences it was time to grow up a bit.

The business was growing and as more Eyefulites came on board it was increasingly important to pull all the rebellious thinking together into something that sounded just a little less radical. After all our customers are serious people, with serious messages and it’s important that we can be serious too (but only when we need to).

Presentation Optimisation was a term born to describe how we create business communication that has real impact – a sort of tourist guide for the Eyeful customer journey.

But like any good child that’s been loved and nurtured Presentation Optimisation has grown to be so much more than a catchphrase. It informs everything we do and develops to encompass every new technology and keep pace with the ever changing presentation landscape.

It sits at the heart of our business and continues to be the edge that we (and our customers) use to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Here, one of our specialist consultants, Sally Bailey, explains just what a difference it makes….

Reaping the benefits of Presentation Optimisation is easy, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

The Presentation Lab Launch – The Video

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 by Justine<

Monday 31st March saw The Presentation Lab book released in the US and never ones to miss an opportunity for cake we had a little shindig to celebrate.

Lots of our friends and presentation enthusiasts from around the globe tuned in live to find out what all the fuss was about and industry experts shared their thoughts on the future of presentations.

The event proved much more popular than we expected and we’re still receiving registrations, so what about all those people who missed the event?

Fortunately for you, we’re all about keeping our customers happy so we’ve decided to share a recording of the event for those who missed out on the live feed.

After the main event we hosted a live twitter Q&A where one of our guests perfectly summed up initial reactions to the book….

tweet shadow

The Presentation Lab: Learn the Formula Behind Powerful Presentations is available from all good booksellers ISBN-13: 978-1118687000

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.

Launching Eyeful Extra

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by Justine<

Here at Eyeful we know that our success is down to keeping our customers happy and we love looking for new ways to spread a little more Eyeful magic.

Always striving to be exceptional – we’re really excited to be launching our latest extraordinary example of ensuring an excellent customer experience – Eyeful Extra.

Alliteration over, here’s what it’s all about.

From March 1st 2014 every job we do will benefit from a package of additional support and expertise completely free of charge. For the first three months after sign off of your completed presentation our experts will be on hand to help you with technical support and minor amends for up to two hours. We’ll even contact you after one month to remind you that this service is included.

We’ve never ‘locked down’ our presentations because we know that despite the love and attention we lavish on them, they don’t belong to us, they belong to our customers. We give our customers the ability to make their own amends and Eyeful Extra means that our expert designers and technicians will be on hand to support that process, ensuring that every presentation remains as effective and engaging as the day it left our studio. Or, for those of you who prefer not to tinker, Eyeful Extra gives you the option to simply let our experts do their thing.

And because we believe that every cake should have a cherry on the top, if you don’t use any of your Eyeful Extra time, we’ll send you a Presentation Lab resource pack full of great presentation ideas and useful goodies.

Visit our web page or speak to one of our project managers to find out more.

Your Chance To Hear Exactly What Simon Says

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by Justine<

Following on from the success of his Smarta webchat our intrepid MD, Simon Morton will be guesting on the panel of entrepreneurs at the Birmingham launch of the Santander Breakthrough 50 awards.

Simon will be joining Neil Westwood, founder of Magic Whiteboard Limited, Hannah Wolsey, MD of Urban Coffee Company and Smarta COO Matt Thomas to answer questions and share insight on how to grow a successful business.

Simon has been making quite an impact as a speaker recently and the Eyeful story is one that many start-ups and SME’s would love to emulate, so I’m sure that it will be an interesting evening for anyone interested in starting or growing a business.

The Event is taking place on the evening of March 18th at The Malmaison Hotel in Birmingham; tickets to the event are free and can be booked through this link.

e speak