Posts Tagged ‘Presentation Design’

Innovation In Action – The Presentation Lab Comes To Life

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Justine<

As its Friday afternoon and all our UK friends and customers are looking forward to a three day weekend I thought it might be a nice idea to share a little more of our ever popular innovation.

In this little gem Hannah took inspiration from stop motion animation to bring The Presentation Lab book to life.

The result is both captivating and quirky and about as far away from Death By PowerPoint as it is possible to be.

If this doesn’t send you into the weekend with a smile on your face I’ll be very surprised….

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.

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Innovation in Action – The Eyeful Crowd

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Justine<

It would appear that the recent unveiling of our new innovation page has caused quite a stir.

Aside from quickly becoming one of the most popular pages on our site it’s really started people thinking about exploring the capabilities of PowerPoint.

It’s no secret that we have a huge soft spot for PowerPoint, we’ve tried support groups, cognitive behaviour programmes and aversion therapy, but all to no avail. It’s time to admit that our obsession continues simply because PowerPoint can do such amazing things – in the right hands. Like any tool it’s only as good as the person wielding it and we’ve got some pretty impressive wielders in our midst!

But the secret of what we do goes much deeper, after all visuals only make presentations great when they’re valuable – if they add nothing to the messaging or have no relevance to the audience they’re worse than useless – they’re a distraction.

Having a strong and engaging narrative is so important that even when we’re messing with visuals we’re thinking in stories – which is another reason our innovation page is making such an impact.

There is always a risk involved with letting people see ‘work in progress’  but this is Eyeful and we’ve never been great at keeping great ideas to ourselves. Fortunately for us, it’s becoming apparent that while some of our innovation pieces are very much diamonds in the rough, people are already honing in on their inner sparkle.

On top of that seeing their innovation pieces on the site has also prompted our designers to get even more creative. There’s some really exciting stuff in the pipeline and it’s getting more and more challenging to keep anything at all under our hats.

In fact it’s so hard we’re failing.

So, without further ado, here’s the latest helping of innovation, an animation created by Lorna in PowerPoint and inspired by a comedy classic…

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Innovation from The Labs

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Justine<

It’s our job to get our customers excited about their presentations and to do that, we need to get excited ourselves.

Part of that comes from the time we take to get to know our customers, their businesses and their audiences and part of it comes from our natural (and slightly odd) tendency to get excited by presentations as a whole. The last (and perhaps most important) part comes from the time we take to let our minds wander off on any available presentation tangent and then tinker incessantly until we can bring our visions to life.

Until recently this process has taken place in a largely secretive way with our experts grabbing a few minutes between customer projects to fiddle about and see what they can come up with. While this process wasn’t nearly as grubby as I’ve just made it sound, we thought it was time to make the whole thing a little more proper.

So we set aside some time in the Labs for our dreamers and visionaries to bounce ideas off each other and then we gave them the opportunity to go forth and see what they could produce.

It’s fair to say that the whole endeavour is turning out to be a rather good idea, a room full of presentation enthusiast firing on all cylinders is truly something to behold and some of the mad ideas that have been batted around have turned into really interesting stuff – so much so that we’ve decided to dedicate a new page on our website to showcase the results.

The Innovation page forms an integral part of our latest web update (more of which I’ll be blogging about later in the week) and we’ll be updating the content every few months, so don’t forget to check back.

blog inn(Please note that neither Eyeful Presentation nor any of its employees or associates bears any responsibility for cessation of productivity and/or addiction brought about by the playing of Lil Phil – you have been warned!)

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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

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Wise Words and Valuable Visuals

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Justine<

A while ago we blogged about Winston Churchill and took presentation inspiration from some of his oft quoted gems of wisdom.

There is no doubt that Winston Churchill had the power to inspire and it appears that, 49 years after his death, that power is as strong as ever.

One of our specialist presentation designers decided to pick up the baton and explore how Churchill’s wisdom could be brought to life using our old friend PowerPoint and some carefully chosen visuals.

The result demonstrates perfectly how choosing and using visuals with skill and restraint can make messages more powerful than the words alone.

Avoiding the temptation to ‘over egg the cake’ is key here, the images and transitions are understated and simple; they support rather than overshadow the messaging.

We’ll leave the last words on the subject to the great man himself:

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honour, duty, mercy, hope.”

Winston Churchill

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When Seeing Isn’t Believing…

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by Justine<

Most people have a healthy level of scepticism when it comes to statistics; we all know that they can be made to prove just about anything, sometimes by simple omission and sometimes by malevolent manipulation.

We also know that statistics can be a huge snoozefest for audiences; slide after slide of numbers is one of the best ways to disengage an audience and with so many options for graphics available there’s no excuse.

But graphics aren’t a panacea and getting it wrong can cause more than just disinterest.

There are two significant hazards to negotiate when it comes to visualising statistics and either can easily capture the unwary or expose the unscrupulous.

First off there is an old nemesis of ours which involves running fast and loose with the properties of the x and y axis on a graph. Failing to give either axis a scale or making the two scales widely different can lead to some stunning misinformation (there’s an excellent example of this in The Presentation Lab book on page 155, for those of you with a copy to hand).

There’s a huge temptation to use this as a way of making statistics look more impressive than they are, but this is something that presenters do at their peril because, as we may have mentioned before, audiences are not stupid and if they spot a little dishonesty, they’ll expect a big one too.

The second hazard comes from our very human tendency to see patterns where there are none. It happens at a very basic level with shapes; clouds that become sharks, rabbits, or Mick Jagger’s lips for example. And because we’re hard wired to recognise faces from an early age we’re all partial to a bit of pareidolia (and why not, when you can sell a chicken nugget that looks like George Washington for $8000).

We all know that a cloud isn’t a shark and that the nugget isn’t George Washington but it’s hard for us not to see these things.

So, when a graph like this appears before us we immediately see an obvious correlation.

cheese and bedsheets

But look a little closer, do you really think that cheese consumption is relative to death by bedsheets?

The obvious answer (putting aside any notions of fatal cheese dreams) is no.

But as a graphic without supporting information it could be easily misconstrued and our reliance on patterns almost wants us to believe it.

Making data visually appealing is easy, but keeping it honest while you do so can be much harder. Fortunately, our team of specialist presentation consultants and designers is on hand to help you avoid falling victim to dodgy visuals, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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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.

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Big Data – Best Served In Small Helpings

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 by Justine<

As a blogger I spend quite a lot of time searching the internet for inspiration, information and opinion. Sometimes I know what I’m going to write about and sometimes I’m just fishing for the spark that sets the whole thing off. This produces two things – blogs (which is the whole point) and data (which is a by-product).

Every time I access a search engine or visit a site it creates data about that interaction that is collated, sorted, stored and (occasionally) used, but this is only the beginning of Big Data as we know it today.

When it comes to marketing, data is undoubtedly useful.  It’s great to know what your prospective customers might be typing into a search engine and where they might be when they’re doing so, but the inherent problem with Big Data is in its very scope.

The internet exploration that has bought me here today will also have created some misleading data, I cast my eye over an article about using elephants as a scale of measurement, but zoology and quantity surveying are not really of interest to me.

I also read articles that I did not agree with, visited web pages with grammar that bought me out in hives and read one blog that I actually found quite offensive. So while the owners of those sites may be pleased to harvest my data and send me their next marketing campaign, I will be less than pleased to receive it.

When we’re trying to sort out what data is (and is not) useful it helps to think of it like water. Businesses rely on data that comes in a reliable, controllable stream (like a tap) sometimes referred to as Small Data. It helps them understand their marketplace in order to formulate marketing strategies and develop campaigns that target the right people. But too much data becomes a flood that overwhelms businesses hindering their progress and bad data (like dirty water) is not only less than useless, it can spoil the data around it. In this particular simile Big Data is a veritable tidal wave of information and without the capability to manage it correctly it can easily sweep away everything in its path.

From a Big Data perspective my internet shenanigans created lots more information than you might expect. On top of all the actual data I generated there’s a proportion of implied data that comes to life too. Blogging is part of my job so therefore I’m employed, a taxpayer and the proud owner of a national insurance number. I do not work from home so therefore I have transport needs. My computer uses electricity so therefore I have energy requirements. Already I’ve qualified for a plethora of marketing lists and that’s without even beginning to look at the trail of electronic communication that I create every day, or considering the fact that I bank online and my GP has a computerised system for recording my health. (I also inadvertently clicked on a link to an advert for cat food, and I don’t have a cat – sorry).

When so much information is generated it becomes fairly easy to find proof of just about any hypothesis you can think of, for example my cat food mistake could well become part of an ‘increasing demand for pet food in the East Midlands’. Data rarely allows for the foibles and failings that may create it and is always ready to trip those who may rely entirely on its veracity.

Big Data is a messy place and whether or not the thought of incessant spying keeps you awake at night, there’s still plenty to think about.

For many of the businesses that we work with the data balancing act neatly divides into two areas for consideration ‘data in’ and ‘data out’.

‘Data In’ is the stuff that will help you develop your product or service.

‘Data Out’ is about whittling that information down to the stuff that you need to share in order to persuade them to buy it.

So let’s pretend that Sid has invented an amazing new thingummy that will revolutionise how people brush their hair, Sid thinks it’s a great idea and he’s sifted through some Big Data and found out that lots of people have hair and a large proportion of those that do claim to brush it at least once a day. Sid knows exactly what the hair care market is worth and has worked out the exact demographic of his target audience and priced his product accordingly.  He’s even done some good old fashioned market research which has created some Thick Data which when added to the Big Data has led Sid to believe that there is a vast untapped market for his new triangular hair detangling apparatus (RRP £49.99, batteries not included). Sid has paid someone to develop the prototype (who have no doubt consulted some of their own data too) and travelled around the world (creating travel data) to look at manufacturing facilities before placing an initial order for 50,000 units.

Everything Sid’s done so far has been backed up by seemingly sound data and now all he has to do is get the retailers on board. Obviously all the remains is to cram all the data (Big, Thick and Small) that has bought Sid to where he is today into a lovely presentation where it will make every retailer as excited as Sid and the orders will come flowing in.

Unfortunately, that simply won’t work.

The data that Sid collated and used is more than likely interesting only to Sid. It’s also quite likely that any data which didn’t reinforce his obvious excitement regarding his genius invention was ignored and /or replaced (apologies to Sid here, he is an otherwise upstanding and honest citizen). What the retailers need to know is how Sid’s fango dango new device will sit within their product range, how it will appeal to their customer base and whether the supply arrangements and costs are right for them. No problem at all, Sid has all that data too, just add it in to the presentation and we’ll be onto a winner.

But that won’t work either.

Because data is like water a great presentation should contain just enough, served in the right way, to efficiently quench your audiences thirst. Too much data and they’ll struggle to swim through it.

Balancing data is a tricky business and when it comes to presentations there’s more to consider than you might think. Audience Heatmaps are important in understanding which data to include and which to discard. Incorporating data into your story can be challenging and displaying data in a way that engages might well involve using infographics, graphs or charts.

As we know the presentation landscape is also changing and presentations are becoming less formal and more interactive making it even trickier to communicate raw data effectively.

Here at Eyeful we’ve been challenging concepts on presentation content for a while now and managing Big Data comes naturally to us. We’ve developed ways to help our customers identify the data that matters to their audience and then express it in a way that engages them.

We know that endless graphs and chart are soporific and that it’s easy to alienate an audience if they feel that you’re trying to blind them with science. How do we know? We simply asked them.

If you’re worried that Big Data might be drowning your ability to communicate effectively then we’d be happy to show you how your presentation can be improved with a Free Presentation Healthcheck (which will generate no extraneous data at all, but may well make a huge difference to your business).

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The Presentation Lab – Your Questions Answered

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 by Justine<

With just four days to go until it hits the shelves The Presentation Lab: Learn the Formula Behind Powerful Presentations is already causing quite a stir.

Friends, customers and presentation enthusiasts from around the globe are eagerly signing up for our launch event (and already enjoying the first chapter of the book).

But what about the cynics, naysayers and those who have simply given up on ever seeing (or delivering) a presentations that is anything more than tedious, why should they be interested? After all how can a book make that much difference to someone who presents only because they have to?

Here, Theo Van Dort from Inclusive Video interviews author and Eyeful MD Simon Morton to try and find out…..

 

Signing up to find out more is really easy simply click through this link for access to download the first chapter of the book.

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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.

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