Posts Tagged ‘Eyeful Presentations’

Presentation Prep Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 by Liz<

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With just a few days to go until the big race, we have seen a flurry of activity from bloggers, journalists, and the big sponsors all trying to capture that last minute audience and spur all those super humans on who are participating in the 35th London Marathon.

The runners however are currently head down, focusing on keeping their minds and bodies ready to hit the starting line in top form on Sunday. They have spent the last couple of weeks tapering off their training in order to avoid any last minute injuries and to allow their bodies to recover from the months of hard training so they will be in prime condition for the big race.

I think we can all safely say that nobody who runs, or attempts to run the marathon, will just turn up on the day without prior training and simply “hope for the best”. This is an outstanding test of endurance and their bodies will have been prepped and primed, ready to last the duration. Months of training, testing out different equipment and nutrition have enabled each runner to reach this point – ready for the off.

So, I liken this to presentations, whether your presenting to the board, at a sales meeting or pitching at your next big bid – will you just dust off your old trusty Nikes and start to run praying you reach 26.2 miles, or will you take the time to prep and prime your presentation to ensure you reach that finish line?

There are many places online to find support and inspiration for training plans, nutrition advice, running equipment and much more. Information is out there for somebody who has never run a mile in their life as well as the most experienced of runners.

Here at Eyeful Presentations, we offer the same approach. Whether you are giving your first ever presentation, or presentations feel as comfortable to you as those old trainers – we can help. Even the most decorated of runners still need a training plan for each race.

Our Presentation Training modules are based upon ‘The Presentation Lab’ written by our founder and Managing Director, Simon Morton. This book is recognised as one of the leading texts on the topic of business presentations and in the process of being translated into 6 different languages, helping thousands of businesses worldwide. We can work with you from understanding your audience, content creation and valuable visuals right through to technical “hands-on” training in PowerPoint.

London welcomes the road closures, the additional transport provided for all the extra visitors, the throngs of people lining the streets to support, albeit for one day. Some restaurants offer free fuel for marathon runners, celebrating with them (or at least hoping that they bring one paying guest with them!).

So, whilst you may sometimes welcome the disruption (or distraction to your working week) that a last minute presentation brings, we also recommend that you create your own “training plan”. Or better still; let us do that for you.

We will review your current presentation fitness level and make the recommendations to get you to marathon level. Some presentations will need to make it to the 5k mark, some to the full 26.2 miles, however each and every one needs to deliver a clear message that resonates with its audience.

With our support, you too could be just like the marathon runners and our very own Head of Customer Engagement Jayne Thomas, who have 3 days ahead of them, knowing they’ve done everything that they possibly could to be ready, and tapered off their training in preparation.

If you have 4 weeks or 4 hours before your next presentation, we will have equipped you to create compelling content, deliver a clear message and feel confident in the knowledge you have done all that you can to reach the finish line. We even have a training module “In case of emergency” that does exactly this.

Our capital city London, and its population do us proud at this World Marathon Majors event. And so should your presentation.

Let us fuel your presentation (we’ll make sure that your messages storm over the finish line!) Get in touch… we might even give you a medal at the end!

Story Season – 6 Real Stories To Inspire Creativity

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 by Matt<

We know what it’s like… We’ve all been there sitting in front of either a blank PowerPoint screen, or worse still, spent hours crafting a presentation accompanied by a nagging thought – could it be better? Could it be clearer? Why are there so many damn bullet points?

Part of the problem is knowing what PowerPoint can do (and take my word for it PowerPoint is one of the most over abused, under-appreciated and downright powerful pieces of desktop publishing software available to every man and his cyber dog).

The truth is that PowerPoint is capable of soooo much. At Eyeful our designers are graphic experts – they know how to get the most out of PowerPoint (and when to use programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator to really enhance the slides they create).

But lest we forget, no matter how much time and effort we pump into a PowerPoint slide, it should never, ever be just about making it solely look good. Good visuals only work if they are there to support strong stories. In fact it all becomes a little ‘chicken and egg’ – the more planned and structured your story, the bigger the scope and opportunity for creativity in slide design. It’s a match made in heaven.

After some inspiration? Why not check out the series of customer stories from our Irish and Dutch offices and take a moment to view these from two perspectives:

Firstly the story – these videos exist to show potential customers what its like to work with Eyeful, what we do to help our customers and the difference our involvement makes.

Then from a visual point of view – the design perfectly supports the message (and, as if to prove a point, the only program used to create these videos was PowerPoint!).

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Inspired? We certainly hope so (and if it any point you need some help, you know where we are).

Eyeful Ireland Progress Report – AKA A Geeky Chat With Some Very Useful Tips For Presentation Success

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 by Matt<

Wow time flies when you’re having fun and helping rid an entire country of terrible presentations…

Please join us in wishing a very happy birthday to Eyeful Ireland which Ronan Kinahan has been spearheading for the last 2 years.

And to mark the event, Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton and Ronan have caught up on how things are going on the Emerald Isle and if in general, presentations are getting any better there?

They also have a good chinwag about where people are going wrong and offer some great insight into some very helpful things.

In true Eyeful style we filmed the chat and have put it on the Eyeful Ireland website.

In the video, the Presentation Paradox is explained and some key presentation preparation advice is offered…

Find out:

What the true impact of a good presentation is.

Why prospect meetings are often the equivalent of missing an open goal.

Where the best place for the value proposition is.

And how the science around effective recall can get your presentations remembered over your competitors.

So to gain all these tips plus some really interesting insight into the world of presentations check out the video now!

Here’s the link.

Go on, go on, go on…

Thinking Beyond Bullets – An Innovation Piece

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 by Jayne Thomas<

Our innovation pieces are proving very popular amongst our customers & in house team. They give our customers more ideas than ever before on just what can be created in PowerPoint and the Eyeful design team just love to push the boundaries and have free rein with no brand guidelines to adhere to.

In this piece Hannah was inspired by an animation created by Apple.  She used PowerPoint animation over embedded video clips and the result is enchanting and a far cry from death by PowerPoint.  In short, it’s time to think beyond bullets…

To find out more about how our expert designers can bring your presentations to life simply get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help your presentation realise its full potential.

100 More Join The Eyeful Mission

Friday, March 27th, 2015 by Matt<

It’s no secret that Eyeful Presentations are on a mission to rid the world of poor presentations and when we say world – we mean it!

We’ve created fantastic presentations and helped people get better results all over Europe, America, Africa and even as far off as Australia…

This time we’ve been battling bullets a little closer to our UK home, just over the water in the Republic of Ireland.

Eyeful’s Dublin based consultant Ronan Kinahan (a training specialist) has been hard at work inspiring the minds of almost 100 sales executives in Cork to think, act and deliver differently when it comes to business presentations.

Ronan delivered a networking educational seminar on ‘personal effectiveness’ that gave thought provoking and practical advice on how to visualise content, enhance recall and the power of the value proposition.

 

 

The key to presentation effectiveness is to achieve an equivalence of standards between the message, the medium and the messenger. All aligned with audience expectations, put simply, that’s it. Ronan Kinahan

 

 

Eyeful help businesses to tackle poor presentations through our Presentation Optimisation process and great design – we support this with training courses that help to create great presentations at the point of inception, creation and delivery.

To find out more about our training courses simply drop us a line.

Story Season – How Does Story Impact On Presentations?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 by Matt<

We now join senior members of the Eyeful consultant and design teams and continue through Eyeful Story Season with a look at how they believe story can impact on presentations.

Gain insight into if ‘once upon a time’ is an outdated concept, if a strong design can hide a weak story and hear a potential story structure that you could use when combining story and presentations.

Over to the Eyeful team…

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In the next edition of Story Season the team talks about their favourite presentation examples that used story to effectively deliver the clients messages.

We’ll also include clips of the presentations to give you a little extra inspiration and so you can really see how story has been worked into real and successful presentations.

Stay tuned for this or if you’d like to speak to an expert directly, then just give us a ring on 0845 056 8528.

Story Season – What Does Story Mean to you?

Friday, March 20th, 2015 by Matt<

In this chapter of story season, we enter the Eyeful rabbit hole and meet some senior members of the Eyeful consultant and design teams and get their own personal take on how stories and presentations are linked.

In this first episode of a three part series, we share the minds of the people who work with business presentations on a daily basis. Discover how they simplify the process and gain some inspirational ideas for your own presentations.

Over to Team Eyeful…

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In the next edition of Story Season the team talks about how story (or lack of) can have a major impact on presentations…

Stay tuned for this or if you’d like to speak to an expert directly, then just give us a ring on 0845 056 8528.

A Very British Question…

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 by Matt<

We Brits hate talking about money. I don’t proclaim to know why, it’s just one of those things.

Be it discussing what we get paid, how much our car cost or how much we spent on our wedding – it just doesn’t feel right to talk about MONEY!

But is it the same for businesses?

When it comes to searching the net for a particular product or service, I absolutely hate it when a company goes into great detail about something – but then the price is nowhere to be seen.

As I’m then forced to call them, have the uncomfortable conversation about MONEY, usually then to find out we are poles apart anyway.

And what about business presentations? We were recently asked:

Do you think costs, prices or fees should be an integral part of a proposal presentation, or left in the hard copy version handed over at the end?

Well, the answer is: it all depends on the most important aspect of your presentation – your audience.

Considering specifically ‘proposal presentations’, these are slightly different beasts to other presentations, as it could be that the price is absolutely expected or it may even be a formal requirement of the tender process.

If this isn’t the case, you really need to consider who your audience is and weigh up if you think the cost or price should be included and when.

In our very own Simon Morton’s book, The Presentation Lab he goes into detail on identifying and understanding your audience with the aid of audience heat maps. This is a good port of call if you are struggling in this area.

Here’s a potential structure to follow for a proposal presentation that does require costs:

Structure

The presentation should follow a structure that sets out the key building blocks of the product or service on offer in a visual way.

This ensures you don’t get pulled into conversations on every last detail, plus it helps you avoid trying to load slides with too much ‘non-presentable’ content.

Use Blended Presenting

Blended Presenting is essentially choosing the right presentation tool for the right moment of the presentation. So in this suggested approach, you could open with PowerPoint and then hand out hard copy print documents/pages at key stages before returning to PowerPoint.

When it’s time to reveal the price, keep the slide content pretty high level and leave the detail in the document.

The advantage of giving out, hand outs at specific times, is it keeps you (the presenter) in focus with the audience. As if you distribute the hand outs too early, you run the risk of losing the audience as they flick through and read ahead, instead of giving you their full attention.

Remember you’re not limited to PowerPoint and print outs alone, blended presenting covers a  range of tools that also includes: Whiteboards, Prezi, Websites, Product Demo’s and Videos.

Visualise Dry Topics

If you’re presenting very dry content such as costs, graphs, facts, figures or tables of information – consider taking an infographic approach.

As at the end of the day if a graph is on a slide, it must be there for a reason – it’s telling a story of some sort, so why not visualise that story and make it nice and easy for your audience to understand.

A top sales person once said to me that all of his sales opportunities are won or lost on the ‘deal’ it’s the overall package that makes the difference, not just the price

So consider what your ‘package’ is, combine it with the price and design it on the slide in a visual way – as this might just make the difference.

Contact the Experts

These opportunities are hard to come by and you usually only have one chance to close a deal. If you don’t want to risk it by using mixed up messages and homemade slides, then consider contacting the experts in this field.

Just pick-up phone and give Eyeful Presentations a ring on 0845 056 8528.

 

 

 

Story Season – Blockbuster presentations are just a few takes away

Thursday, March 12th, 2015 by Matt<

Movies and presentations aren’t that different.

OK, so maybe you’re not up for crashing on the sofa with a bag of freshly made popcorn and watching your latest pitch presentation with your better half BUT as we continue our journey through Eyeful’s Story Season, I’m going to show you how using what you already know about movies can help you create better and more structured presentations in the future.

The movie topic we’re going to explore is the Synopsis stage, or when it comes to presentations, what we at Eyeful call the Storyflow and the Storyboard.

Take a moment out and think…

If you were going to make a movie you wouldn’t just grab some actors and a camera and go shoot something without a story, without a script and no general direction. The same goes for presentations – the last thing you want to do is start off by opening up PowerPoint and trying to plan as you go along creating slides. It’s a recipe for disaster and will eat up more time than a Star Wars marathon.

So where does the road to silver screen success begin?

A movie generally starts with an idea for a story. Someone has a dream, gets inspired by real events or simply somehow has a great story idea that makes them so excited and driven that they just have to get it out of their head and down on paper.

A presentation starts in much the same way – an idea or vision.

At some point in time, somebody, somewhere came up with an idea, be it to sell something, to change something or perhaps to teach something…

Generally speaking this spark of creativity will inform the goal of the presentation – it’s what you the presenter (or your company) want to happen as a result of giving the presentation.

Back in Hollywood, the screenwriter gets the idea down on paper in the form of a synopsis, which is literally a written map of the story as a whole – where it starts, who the characters are and the journey they go on to wherever it is they end up.

I once read that a good movie should always take the audience on a journey – would it hurt to apply this to an audience who are expecting death by PowerPoint?

The flow of a presentation can be planned to take the same celluloid journey.

In our very own Simon Morton’s book, The Presentation Lab he details an entire chapter on business storytelling and offers an example of a simple story structure:

This structure is as old as the hills and has formed the basis of storytelling for centuries. As such, there’s no wonder that it has been successfully applied to both presentations and movies for many years.

Compare and Contrast

By way of an example, let’s look at the recent Hollywood blockbuster, Gravity, and in parallel, review the structure of a booking software sales presentation created by Eyeful.

The story flow of a standard sales presentations in Putney and that of a Hollywood Blockbuster set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away are in reality, not that different.

Importantly this example should have demonstrated that using stories in presentations is not complicated and that they don’t mean that your presentation need to start with, “Once upon a time…”!

What Happened Next?

The combination of story and presentations is a powerful one – go forth and make it happen.

You can use the synopsis structure above as a guide to creating presentations in the future and make sure when you leave those hard earned meetings you’re on the walk of fame – not shame.

If you would like some Hollywood style help to get your presentations ‘in the can’, get in touch and one of our story obsessed team will be on hand to bring your next blockbuster to life.

 

 

 

The Eyefulites are growing….

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 by Matt<

Here at Eyeful your presentations are really important to us, we put a lot of time, energy and thought into every stage of the process – which is why we’ve strengthened the Eyeful team at every step of the way to ensure your presentations are given the full care and attention they deserve.

Stage 1 – Presentation Optimisation

At the beginning of every project you’re assigned an Eyeful Consultant – they get to know your situation, understand your goals and help you create a story-flow using our tried and trusted Presentation Optimisation process.

Joining us at this stage is new presentation consultant Duncan Cranmer, based in Bristol, Duncan is as frustrated by the poor state of business presentations as the rest of us… his mission now is to help Eyeful’s customers meet the issue head on.

Duncan is highly experienced in B2B sales, having worked in a variety of sectors from software, services into the NHS and latterly in sales enablement services.

Stage 2 – Storyboard Creation

The story-flow is then turned into a storyboard – by a storyboard developer such as Sam Potter.

At this stage we always go to paper before PowerPoint, as it allows us to step away from slides and truly consider the right content to go into the visuals of the presentation.

Sam brings with her considerable experience from the retail industry, gained in a variety of roles including 2 years in visual merchandising – Sam will put these skills into practice by turning story flow documents into fully fledged storyboards – which are then turned into fantastic presentations by our designers…

Stage 3 – Design and Creation

And for this part of the process we welcome the rather artistically talented Ed Geraghty and Helen Power – who should both be congratulated for getting through an exhausting (and long running) series of phone calls, interviews and tests!

Ed has 5 years of graphic design study under his belt and has most recently been working for a Midlands based design agency.

Helen joins after being a freelance designer in the sunnier climes of Australia.

All of Eyeful’s new recruits exude an excitement and hunger to push presentation’s forward which when combined with the existing extraordinary Eyefulite team only makes Eyeful’s position even better equipped to respond to your presentation needs.

Help us rid the world of yet another poor presentation, give us a call on 0845 056 8528 and our team will be on hand to help you.