Posts Tagged ‘Presentations’

It’s been simply ages – what have you been up to..?

Thursday, August 12th, 2010 by Simon<

It’s been a while since we updated our blog on the goings-on in Eyeful Towers.  We can only apologise – you see, it’s been quite busy…

The teams across the business have been a blur of activity: (more…)

Repurposing PowerPoint – We May Have Mentioned This Once Or Twice…

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 by Simon<

If you’re a regular reader of the Eyeful Blog, you’ll be aware that we get very animated (excuse the pun) when it comes to getting the most out of your PowerPoint.

Panic not! 

This is not some clumsy, heavy-handed way of selling our wares.  If you’re a regular here, you’ll know all about the wonders of Presentation Optimisation, the glowing testimonials of our ever-growing customer base and the magic we can weave with the most basic of presentations.  Let’s not get into that now…

Nope – we’re talking about Repurposing PowerPoint.  Taking the hard work you’ve put into creating your masterpiece in PowerPoint and repackaging it for other mediums. 

From PowerPoint to Podcast…to video…to interactive PDF…and finally to web presentation.  The choice is yours.

To help explain how this works and the options available to you, we thought we’d repurpose one of our own presentations originally developed for a RIBA conference. 

It’s a case study in it’s own right…

Toy Story in 3D, the BBC’s Mark Kermode and PowerPoint Animation

Friday, August 6th, 2010 by Simon<

We think the Beeb’s film critic Mark Kermode is rather marvellous.  We like his pithy, insightful and downright passionate reviews.  He seems like our sort of bloke.

We also think Pixar are nothing short of brilliant.  Wonderful films with compelling storylines, engaging characters and eye-popping animation techniques.

So what links these two with your corporate presentationAnimation.

Mark has got himself hot under the collar about the growing trend of 3D cinema for a while now.  He’s sick of having aliens, cars and body parts “flying” out of the screen just because the technology allows.

We tend to agree with him.

It’s a bit like using every PowerPoint animation and transition available to you (even more in PowerPoint 2010!) on your slides.  Yes – it’s clever technology but frankly it’s distracting and not helping you tell your story.

Now onto Pixar’s Toy Story 3.  Mark loves this film for many reasons but the key one for us is that he didn’t notice the 3D.

It was there but did all the right things – helped the story along, engaged the audience and supported the characters.  But at no point did it detract by being used inappropriately simply because they had the technology to hand.

To paraphrase Mark, technology should enhance not detract.

And if the audience are so engaged with the whole experience that they don’t even notice the technology, pat yourself on the back.  Job done.

The 10 Second Slide Rule (& the Secret of Getting in Sync)

Thursday, July 29th, 2010 by Simon<

Here’s an idea we’ve adapted from a man we admire at Eyeful – Seth Godin (something of a bald-headed genius).

Next time you have to prepare a presentation try this – put together a slide deck that has a slide for every 10 seconds.

Sounds tough, I know, but try it. 

Think how little each slide can have on it – maybe one picture or one idea. Instead of 4 bullet points a slide could only have 1.

StopwatchNow if you take this to it’s logical conclusion, you’ll have a 180 slides for a 30 minute presentation.  Each slide designed to share information, move your story along or simply underpin your message. 

That’s a lot of slides, a lot of content…and huge opportunity to mess up. 

If the presenter and their slides are not in sync, chaos reigns and the only message delivered is that the babbling madman on stage doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about!

OK, so the concept of a 10 second slide isn’t really that practical but it does highlight the need to have an enormous amount of synergy between your talk and the slides.

And by synergy WE DO NOT MEAN READING THE SLIDES (sorry to shout but we find that rather upsetting) – we mean working in tandem with the slide deck to support and punctuate your message. 

Get this right and PowerPoint magically transforms from a teleprompter into an effective presentation aid.

Get in sync with your slide deck – your audience will be forever grateful…and it may save you a few grey hairs along the way.

Nice people saying nice things – Peak Software

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 by Matt<

Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?

It seems like only yesterday that we celebrated our 5th Birthday…in reality it was back in October.

It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes ago since we moved to our fancy new offices, Eyeful Towers…in reality, it was back in April.

And it feels like we’ve just started working with the good people at Peak Software…in reality, it’s been over 3 years.

Peak Software FramedDuring that time, we’ve worked on any number of fun and engaging projects with Clive and his team, from audio packed product launch PowerPoints through to HTML Flash conversions

As with any relationship, we’ve worked hard to keep it fresh by offering new ideas and maintaining an enthusiasm for each new project. 

We’ve enjoyed every minute of it and it would seem Clive is of the same opinion…  To learn more, listen on.

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2010 Business Presentation Survey – Webinar Dates Announced

Monday, July 19th, 2010 by Simon<

Over the last few weeks, Eyeful Presentations has been in touch with the World’s largest companies and highest profile presenters to get them to contribute to our 2010 Business Presentation Survey

Voting has now officially closed.

We’re extremely grateful to the hundreds of you who took the time to complete it – your feedback and experiences have provided an amazing insight into how businesses approach presentations in 2010.

The task now ahead of us is to process the hundreds of responses and draw insight from them.  And then, as promised, we’d like to share the results and analysis with you.

  • PPT iconSo is Death by PowerPoint really killing businesses? 
  • Are new cloud-based applications like Slide Rocket and Prezi having an impact? 
  • Does Apple’s Keynote software hold the key to a better presentation experience?  
  • And are companies changing their approach to business presentations in line with their social media and online strategies?

All these questions and more will be answered in our webinars on the 3rd August (UK & Europe here and US & Canada here).  

We have limited spaces so please click here to register for one of the following events to ensure you have a front row seat as we share the results, provide the latest insight and offer analysis of how businesses really view presentations:

UK & Europe:.  3rd August, 3pm GMT – Register here

US & Canada:. 3rd August, 11am EST – Register here

If you have any questions or require further information, please drop us a line or give your local Eyeful office a call:

UK & Europe:. (+44) 0845 056 8528

US:. (+1) 773 770 6131

We look forward to sharing the fascinating results of this survey with you on the 3rd.

Presenting Peace with Passion – Jeremy Gilley

Monday, July 5th, 2010 by Simon<

In a slight change from the advertised schedule, I’d like to focus this blog on an extraordinary conference I had the pleasure of attending last week. 

Now I have to hold my hand up and admit to “swerving” most conference invitations.  In my experience, they tend to be thinly veiled sales pitches by speakers who should know better to audiences with only a passing interest in the content.

This conference, however, was a little different…

Firstly it featured some notable and worthy speakers – Simon Woodroffe of YO! Sushi and YOTEL fame along with Richard Reed, one of the founders of Innocent Drinks.  Whilst these brands may not mean a huge amount outside of the UK, they are big news and much admired over here in Blighty.  As expected, both Simon and Richard performed brilliantly and delivered interesting and engaging presentations.  Good job all round.

However the speaker that took the conference from “good” to “great” was a chap called Jeremy Gilley.  He is the founder of the Peace One Day movement, a not-for-profit organisation focussed on stopping all warfare across the world for one day every year (the 21st September seeing that you asked). 

peace_one_day_logoThink of it like peace fuelled version of “Mothers Day” – the idea is that everyone across the globe acknowledges it every year but rather than rushing out to buy overpriced cards and flowers, its represented by people laying down their weapons for a day. 

A laudable idea but how to present this to a business audience..?

From a presentation structure and delivery perspective, Jeremy shone.  His presentation managed to be simultaneously humble, moving and motivational.  His message was heard and understood loud and clear by everyone in the audience…and I have no doubt, will stay with many of them for a long time to come. 

He used his content wisely – never blinding the audience with too much detail (it would have been easy to turn the presentation into a “this is how complex international diplomacy is” rant) and using video to illustrate points quickly and effectively. 

It has to be said that the few PowerPoint slides he did use weren’t great but we’ll be working on those for him over the next few weeks!

Ultimately the reason he was able to deliver his presentation so effectively was because he truly believes in his message.  He’s presented the same story hundreds if not thousands of times to a range of audiences – business conferences like this one…but also Heads of State, C-Level Execs in organisations like Coca-Cola and, um, the Taliban. 

All tough audiences in one way or another…all bought into Jeremy’s vision because his message was so crystal clear and simple to understand.  Something all presenters should bear in mind…

All of this said, the most important message I and my fellow delegates took from the day was that Peace One Day is working.  It’s a frustratingly slow process…but it’s working.  I take my hat off to Jeremy and the rest of the Peace One Day team on their amazing achievements so far. 

To learn more about Peace One Day, please view the short video below.  I assure you it’ll be worth it.

Death by Keynote..?

Thursday, July 1st, 2010 by Matt<

We’ve been digging around the archives recently and unearthed a Podcast that never quite made the final release schedule. 

podcastEven though it’s a bit dated (no mention of PowerPoint 2010 in it!), there are some cracking morsels in here about Apple’s Keynote software. 

It also addresses some of the points raised by it’s legions of fans who swear that that it’s the antidote to death by bullets. 

To learn more, listen on…

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PowerPoint 2010 – No Longer a Video Nasty

Monday, June 28th, 2010 by Matt<

We’ve been banging on about the wonders of PowerPoint 2010 for some time now (one of the benefits of being involved in the Beta testing, I suppose).

Good news is that everyone can now benefit from the plethora of new features crammed into PowerPoint 2010. 

Worry not – we’re not about to bore you with the long list of new toys to play with again (although check out an earlier blogs here and here for the lowdown).  

However we couldn’t stop ourselves sharing our latest fun PowerPoint to video conversion – an animated “Eyeful E” made up of a selection of our rather marvellous clients:


Charles Mingus – Jazz legend or presentation guru?

Thursday, June 24th, 2010 by Simon<

The late great Charles Mingus was not just an amazing jazz musician (cue obligatory finger click), he was also a wise man.

“Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple”

Charles Mingus

We could leave this blog there – this single line sums up our approach to building slides rather nicely.  However, let’s embellish this idea slightly:

When you are putting together a slide within a presentation (having done a storyboard first naturally…) think about how you can best get across the information to your audience and invariably the best way is the simplest way.

Take for example trying to describe the offside rule in football (who says we’re not topical). There are many, many ways to describe this rule particularly taking into account some of the changes over the years but in essence it boils down to 3 key things happening:

  1. To be offside a player must be in the opposition’s half
  2. There must be fewer than 2 people from the other team between the player and the goal
  3. The person must be in front of the ball to be offside

We’re naturally ignoring passive, active and all that for the purposes of this demonstration, but how best could you describe this with a PowerPoint slide(s)?

Offside rule

It could be that you simply list those 3 points although people will read it before you can talk through it – but simplest would probably be 3 simple pictures demonstrating those 3 actions.  On the other hand, there are at least 100 ways (and we’ve counted them) that you could describe this and leave even the most ardent football fan bemused.

But back to our man Mingus and his visionary quote.

It’s interesting to note that Mingus was a pioneer of his craft and his example parallels nicely with presenting. If you present complicated areas simply and get people to understand them (without being condescending) then you have created a powerful connection.

Don’t waste your opportunity to make a connection by over-complicating your message.

For those of you who like a challenge then do send in your best PowerPoint interpretation of the offside rule – the best one gets some a PowerPoint Amnesty Action Pack!