Regular readers will know how we love to wrap serious messages in seasonal frivolity.
So without further ado, here’s a Halloween offering about one of the scariest (and least effective) of presentation shockers….Presentationstein
Turn the sound up, sit back and prepare to be horrified at what could well be happening to your presentation…
P.S. If the whole thing looks spookily familiar, simply breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth thinking happy thoughts until the panic dies down…..then get in touch and we’ll help you lay the monster to rest.
Here at Eyeful we love to push the boundaries of PowerPoint because, in the right hands, it can create some truly amazing presentation visuals.
Whilst much of the world is happy to blame PowerPoint for poor presentations we believe that’s akin to blaming cars for speeding. The brilliance (or otherwise) of a presentation is not about PowerPoint (or Keynote, or Prezi, or the infamous napkin) it’s about getting the best from whatever tool you’re using. And, if we may say so ourselves, when it comes to squeezing every ounce of brilliance from the seemingly mundane, we’re just the people for the job.
Here’s an example of what happens when we give one of our PowerPoint aficionados the seed of an idea and the opportunity just to have fun.
No story, no compelling message and no structure, just the chance to make PowerPoint work that little bit harder as well as play around with some video clips of cute cats. Happy days.
This week is a big one for Apple. Yesterday they released iOS7 into the ether and tomorrow sees the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C go on sale in the UK.
But the products themselves are not the exciting part for us here at Eyeful.
Whatever you think of Apple products, it can’t be denied that when it comes to creating and sustaining a buzz about what they’re doing, Apple leave the competition far behind.
Apple products are distinctive but that’s not the secret, the secret lies in how Apple presents those products to the world. Apple have moved from niche market innovators to mass market providers by knowing and growing their audience.
There have been glitches along the way and even the late, great, Steve Jobs has contended with audiences that were less than enamoured with his message. But overall Apple has kept their audience on side by knowing what they want and communicating with them in a way they respond to.
Apple product launches have become events in themselves, they appear seamless and unforced but it has been well documented that behind the scenes it’s a different story. Every technical part of the show has a back-up for its back-up and every word and action is rehearsed and rehearsed before the audience even knows the event is taking place.
Apple uses a very simple presentation formula: the product, the presenter, the slideshow and the audience.
There are very few people who would refuse the opportunity to make the sort of presentation impact that Apple does, indeed many have tried to emulate them and failed because the simplicity of it all can be intimidating.
But just like the production, the simplicity of the presentation belies its true nature.
You might think that as a presentation design company we’re about to have a five minute rant on how much more exciting the slides could be, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The slides are the least important part of the presentation, without a powerful, engaging story and a presenter who knows what they’re doing the slides would be useless, however visually fantastic they were.
The thing is we’re not just a presentation design company, we’re a presentation consultancy company too. We help our customers get right down to the heart of their proposition and understand their audience because that’s how engaging stories are born, the slides that tell those stories are simply a means to an end.
Apple demonstrates to everyone just what a difference this approach can make and you don’t need a multi million pound budget to achieve it either, just a little Eyeful expertise can make all the difference.
Fifty years ago this week Martin Luther King Jr delivered a speech that was designed to change the world – and it did.
You don’t need to have a particular interest in equality, civil rights, politics, religion or history to know what I’m talking about, ‘I have a dream’ is one of the most often quoted, misquoted, emulated and parodied speeches of all time.
Presenters everywhere yearn for such clarity of message and can only dream about the levels of engagement this speech achieved. Not only that, the speech included one of the ultimate calls to action of all time, one that people are still responding to half a century later.
But what if PowerPoint was his communication tool of choice?
Martin Luther King’s aide was quoted as saying”the logistical preparations for the march were so burdensome that the speech was not a priority for us, on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 27, Martin still didn’t know what he was going to say”. Something we call the presentation paradox.
But we don’t believe that this could have happened because King had mastered the two key components of every presentation:
He knew his story.
He knew his audience.
Not only that but if he was to have used PowerPoint we bet that the presentation would have been as powerful as the speech.
How can we be so sure?
Martin Luther King Jr was not just an enigmatic speaker, he was a planner and a strategist who gathered a band of experts around him to help him achieve his goals and if PowerPoint had been part of the plan he would have sought the best help available.
And we’d like to think that might have been someone like us.
Most of the presentations we create don’t change the world, but they can change the opinions and perceptions of your audience, if the quality of the presentation truly communicates the quality of the story.
Last month our esteemed MD Simon Morton was interviewed on Ireland’s longest running business programme, The Persuaders on Dublin City FM.
Simon talked animatedly (as is his want) about the Eyeful journey from back bedroom to The Presentation Lab book. He also shared some top tips for engaging your audience and advice on avoiding some common presentation mistakes, all peppered with a decent smattering of his inimitable wit and wisdom.
For those of you who missed the opportunity to tune in live (or simply want to hear Simons lilting tones) the programme is now available online by clicking through this link.
A few weeks ago we told you all about our first work experience student and admitted publically that we had completely failed to assign him any filing or refreshment duties.
So what did James do during his time at Eyeful Towers?
Well, James joined our resident übergeek Matt and produced something just a little bit special.
So without further ado, here it is for you all to enjoy…
And if that wasn’t exciting enough Matt has also put together a little behind the scenes tour showing just how he and James put the whole thing together.
If you’re as excited as we are about what can be achieved when PowerPoint teams up with some friends and a smattering of Eyeful magic, simply drop us a line and we’ll help you get your message across in ways that you never imagined.
Which is great, right, your audience can do some of the work for you, they can understand gobbledygook so there’s no need to make sure that your content is correct or engaging, they’ll fill in the blanks themselves. All you need to do is make sure that your presentation looks fantastic and you’re onto a winner.
On the wrongness scale this sits alongside wearing socks with sandals, an odd simile I admit, but please bear with….
When we see someone wearing socks and sandals we feel the wrongness but we don’t like to point it out, we may hold a sneaking suspicion that it might be somehow trendy or cutting edge in a way we just don’t get, and maybe they are doing the world a favour by concealing some hideous foot fungus (which is a kindness we should all appreciate).
A beautiful presentation with a weak narrative has a similar effect. No-one has suffered unduly, some have become distracted or suspicious and nothing has been achieved.
Presentations that choose style over substance fail because style is subjective – it does not communicate to everyone in the same way.
Prezi is a case in point, its ability to pan and zoom like a sci-fi blockbuster is brilliant if it’s used intelligently. Discriminate use is not only detrimental to effective communication, there’s a very real risk of nausea. Yet there are people (roller coaster enthusiasts and base jumpers for example) who can’t get enough of it.
Ignoring content is a two pronged fork waiting quietly to be stepped on, and it cares nought for any protection provided by the combination of socks and sandals.
Firstly there is the content of your presentation, the stuff that actually fills your slides, and then there is the content of your delivery, not just the words but also the tools you use to get your message across.