Posts Tagged ‘Presentation Consultants’

(Presentation) Lessons Learned from This Year’s APMP Conference

Monday, October 27th, 2014 by Simon<

I had the privilege of speaking at the UK APMP event again this year. For the uninitiated, this is an opportunity for the UK’s bid and proposal experts to get together over a 3-day period and share best practice, gain insight into new developments and swap war stories.

Pontificating at the APMP ConferenceThis year I was talking through the ongoing issue of the Presentation Paradox, that peculiar state of mind that hits companies large and small when preparing for an important pitch. For some bizarre reason, preparing for this important pitch presentation is too often boiled down to a kneejerk ‘pull some slides together’ activity rather than seeing it as a huge opportunity to address any shortcomings of the bid document whilst simultaneously moving the audience to the next stage of the process.

I could rant on but frankly that’s not the purpose of this blog – I’m keen to share the lessons learned from this year’s event…

The lowly pitch presentation is getting some love

APMP have recognised the valuable part played by presentations in the bid process and now invite subject matter experts in to share their insight and knowledge. This year’s conference schedule covered both the fundamentals (technical training on PowerPoint) through to people like myself who were sharing new ideas and throwing down the presentation gauntlet to bid managers and their ilk.

This can only be a good thing – the more people think about the presentation process (from message and content through to the way it’s delivered), the greater the standard across the board. The net result is that we all benefit – presenters, audience and businesses.

New presentation technology is getting an airing

A completely unscientific straw poll during my seminar showed that the majority of businesses had tried new technology as part of their presentation process.

Top of the pile was Prezi, an innovative take on traditional slideware which, when used sparingly and at the right time, can be incredibly powerful. The flipside of this, of course, is that when used poorly and inappropriately, Prezi can be truly horrible. Delegates seemed to agree – many had tried it but few had returned to it on a regular basis for pitch presentations.

I was surprised to learn that an increasing number of high stakes bid presentations are now being delivered remotely. With the value of these bids often being in the tens and hundreds of millions, this seems a very brave thing to do! Remote presentation tools have come on leaps and bounds over the last few years (in particular video conferencing) yet I personally still struggle with the idea of building rapport and a relationship with pixels on a screen. Now this may be a personal tick I need to overcome as timescales shorten and travel costs increase but, in the meantime, if I can possibly find a way of sitting in front of an audience, I’ll bend over backwards to ensure I do.

The good news from all of this new technology and thinking is that bid presentations are benefitting from people approaching things differently. As with any development process, there will be things that people try which end up an unmitigated disaster whilst others will flourish and become ‘best practice’ for a business overnight. The key is to pick and choose carefully, making educated bets on the right approach to take for a particular audience.*

[* Gaining a good understanding of your audience is a particular passion of mine – for more information, reference The Audience Heatmap concept here].

Some things never change

Sadly there are some constants in the world of pitch presentations, one of which is out of the control of most presenters – leadtimes.

There is a consistent frustration voiced by bid teams when it comes to preparing their presentations – they’re given completely unrealistic leadtimes. One delegate shared an example of where the weighty bid document needed to be submitted by close of business on the Thursday. On the Friday, they received a call from the prospect asking them to deliver a presentation to the board and procurement team the following Tuesday.

A few things spring to mind:

  • Is this some sort of sick power play by the prospect?
  • Is the presentation simply serving as a ‘Cliff’s Notes’ version of the main document?
  • Is there any process in place to truly test the value of each bid or has the decision been made and the fast track presentation process simply a way of getting through the formalities as quickly as possible?

What makes this all the more concerning is that the delegate was a senior member of a bid team for a huge, well-respected technology business. Each bid is for millions of dollars and likely to underpin the strategy of the prospect’s business so surely the process should be a little more robust than this?

I don’t have an answer to this particular quandary but I do have a huge amount of sympathy for the bid professionals on the receiving end of this short-term approach. All I would do is implore the bid team not to lower their standards when preparing the pitch presentation – see it as the huge opportunity it truly represents and throw every morsel of energy you have to make the most of it.

In conclusion, the bid professionals at this year’s APMP event demonstrated all the attributes needed to create a powerful pitch presentation – an understanding of their audience, the ability to cut through the ‘noise’ of too much content and an eagerness to try new things (such as Blended Presenting) to ensure that the presentation opportunity is grasped firmly with both hands. If we maintain this forward momentum across all pitch presentations, the future is bright indeed.

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….

Join us at The Presentation SuperSummit

Friday, May 9th, 2014 by Justine<

SuperSummit is a new online platform designed to allow busy professionals to attend the type of event that they’d love to have time for without ever having to leave their desks.

To celebrate their international launch they have brought together the world’s leading presentation and public speaking gurus for a Presentation SuperSummit and our MD Simon Morton will be among the illustrious speakers.

Simon will be taking attendees ‘Inside The Presentation Lab’ at 16.00 on Wednesday 14th May as part of a week long programme that includes 18 sessions all aimed at improving your presentations.

The list of speakers during the week includes: Peter Arvai, CEO & CoFounder of Prezi; one of the biggest presentation platforms with 50 million users. Amit Ranjan, CoFounder of SlideShare; the no.1 platform for users to upload and share publicly or privately, PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios. Jeremy Donovan, Group Vice President of Marketing at Gartner Inc. and author of Amazon’s no.1 bestseller “How to Deliver a TED Talk” and Bill Hoogterp, Founder of Own The Room whose clients include Sheryl Sandberg and Reid Hoffman.

Unlike a traditional summit, attendance is free and you’re able to easily cherry pick the sessions that you’d like to hear.

No transport to organise, no hotel to book and no cost means there’s no excuse not to join in….

Click here to find out more.

In Pursuit of Presentation Perfection

Thursday, May 1st, 2014 by Justine<

Next Thursday (8th May) our friends at Silverpop are hosting a Presentation Lab book club event.

Simon will be on hand to chat about all things Presentation Lab and they’ll be giving away some free copies too.

Attending is free and registering is really easy – all the info you need is below.

See you there!

Picture4

Sales Enablement –The Debunking Begins

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 by Justine<

Sales Enablement is a hot topic, and as is want to happen when something becomes big news, there are thousands of pages of wisdom on the subject. But thousands of pages don’t necessarily equate to answers that make sense for you, and your business, right now.

Well known for our inquiring minds, we’ve decided to dig a little deeper into this murky netherworld to try and find out what it’s all about. In true Eyeful style we’re sharing the results of our investigation with our lovely readers, starting tomorrow we’ll be airing our insights on some of the key issues and we’ll be topping the whole thing off with a lovely new whitepaper which will be available to download next Monday.

So for those of you bamboozled by Sales Enablement ‘science’, unsure of whether there’s anything of worth hidden in the arguments or simply embraced by curiosity, watch this space and we will reveal all…

US Presentation Consultants Wanted

Friday, November 22nd, 2013 by Justine<

Eyeful Presentations has built an enviable worldwide reputation for delivering the very best in presentation consultancy and design.

From humble beginnings we’ve created a business that now stands at the forefront of innovation and imagination and is making a real impact on global business communications.

2014 is shaping up to be a big year for us, our MD Simon Morton’s eagerly anticipated book, The Presentation Lab: Learn The Formula Behind Powerful Presentations, is hitting the shelves in February and it’s already making waves on both sides of the Atlantic.

We’re currently looking for US based communication consultants to join our team. We need people who share our passion for presentations to join us on what we know will be an exciting journey.

We can sum up our success in one word – Eyefulocity. All our people have it…and it’s what makes our customers love us.  If you believe that business presentations deserve to be engaging and would welcome a little Eyefulocity into your life, drop us a line

Eyefulocity

Eyeful needs you

Thursday, June 6th, 2013 by Justine<

Eyeful is an ever expanding global family and we are currently recruiting for 2 UK based positions.

The first vacancy is for a Consultant / Relationship  Builder.

Our consultants are not just sales people. You need to be au fait with the latest in presentation technology, addicted to effective communication and have a creative streak a mile wide. In return for your endeavours we provide sales leads and the backup of the most skilled design, customer engagement and delivery teams in the business.

We are also recruiting for a Key Accounts Assistant to work in our beautiful HQ in Leicestershire.

Working to support our consultants from our creative heartland in Desford, this role is about ensuring that our consultants have everything they need to wow our customers every time. By contacting new and existing customers you will pay an important part in spreading Eyeful love around the globe. This is a part time role (16 hours a week) and ideally your hours will be 4 hours a day on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

As for the team at Eyeful – our latest 6 month anonymous employee survey showed that 100% of the team are proud of Eyeful and telling people about Eyeful. We can’t promise an easy ride but it’s never boring….

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be part of a market leading presentation team please contact us.

Eyeful needs you

Nice People Saying Nice Things…With Flowers, Wine & Chocolate

Thursday, January 17th, 2013 by Liz<

It’s always nice to feel that your work is appreciated and whilst all feedback is valuable, great feedback is what we strive for.

This morning, a lovely hamper arrived for our consultant Rob and the design team that worked with him on a particularly time sensitive and complex project last week.  Let the record state there is no quicker way to a consultant or designer’s heart than to send them wine, flowers and chocolates…

We have talked in the past about the funny tummy feeling that everyone at Eyeful aims to provide to our customers – a mixture of excitement and WOW! (see poster below).

So it seems that “funny tummy feeling” is followed by the yummy tummy feeling…perfect!

As always, our customer should have the final word:

“Dear Rob and the amazing team that made the [project name - removed for reasons of confidentiality] dream possible.  Please accept this gift as a thank you for all your hard work we really appreciate everything you have done for us”

Yours, the happy folk at Eyeful Towers x

 

 

The Presentation Summit – The Countdown Begins

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 by Simon<

We’ve waxed lyrical about The Presentation Summit over the years and rightly so.

It’s an event where the great and the good of the presentation world get together to share ideas, prod and poke the latest technology and, very occasionally, share a drink or two in the hotel bar.

This year’s shindig is in the none-too-shabby Scottsdale, Arizona and the plans are already afoot.  We’re looking forward to catching up with old friends from across the globe, readying ourselves for the now legendary “PowerPoint Trivia Contest”* and stepping up on stage and presenting.

Yep – this year, Eyeful has been asked to contribute to the proceedings by talking about Blended Presenting.  We’re rather excited…so much so, that we hastily recorded a short video overview of our plans.  Somewhat tongue-in-cheek but full of enthusiasm, the video can be viewed below.

Oh, and there’s still time to book yourself a place at The Presentation Summit – simply click here for details.  We’ll see you there…

* Note – we’re proud past winners of this lofty prize!

 

We aim to please

Monday, March 19th, 2012 by Justine<

At Eyeful we’re always looking for ways to improve our customer service – we’re damned proud of the way we lead the pack in terms of project management, presentation consultancy and design.

But we know that there is always more that we can do for our customers…so once in a while we don our thinking caps to conjure up new ways of improving our service.

After a successful trial, we’re excited to announce that our extended Head Office hours are now a permanent feature. Our customers can now contact us directly between 08.30 and 19.00 (GMT) Monday to Friday.

Don’t panic, we haven’t chained our people to their desks and denied them sun light (well, not as a rule).  We now have two shifts, enabling everyone to continue with their lives.

This has been a great bonus to many of our international customers and colleagues and has also had the bizarre side effect of increasing staff fitness levels (apparently the gym is a morning thing)!

Our customers can now submit amends until 18.00 GMT for completion the same working day (within reason please, we are only human after all). The customer response so far has been excellent (and we’re really rather chuffed that it’s made such a difference).