Posts Tagged ‘youtube’

Russian Presentation Revolution

Friday, November 30th, 2012 by Simon<

It’s been a while since I personally blogged (the high quality of the blogs for the last 9 months or so is testament to this!) but, having just returned from another fulfilling trip to Russia, I’m inspired to do so…

I was privileged to be asked over by our Eyeful Russia team to speak at a large seminar in Kaliningrad where the entire 4 hours were dedicated to presentations and the changes that are afoot in terms of technology, approach and technique.

This immediately struck a chord with me.

The Russian business community has grasped the importance of getting presentations right.  They understand the issues thrown up day after day in the West as a result of The Presentation Paradox and Death by PowerPoint…and don’t want to fall into the same trap.

There were a series of media interviews afterwards and a common question from all was “how can we ensure Russia catches up with the West in terms of presentations?“.  The simple answer is that they need not worry.

Whilst Russian presenters are focussing their energies on building compelling and engaging stories to support their message, the vast majority of their Western counterparts are wrestling with which whacky animation to build into their next huge PowerPoint deck.

Possibly the most inspiring fact I learned was that Russians do not yet have a phrase that conveys “Death by PowerPoint”.  Long may this be the case.

Without wanting to sound too dramatic, the presentation revolution has started…and that’s great news for audiences across Russia.

Making Video Work For Business (Part 1)

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 by Justine<

Over and above the sterling work that they’ve done in bringing PowerPoint to the iPad, our friends at BrainShark share our enquiring nature when it comes to all things presentation. They have recently commissioned a white paper on the use of video in business which has highlighted some interesting trends:

60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

4 billion videos are played on YouTube every day.

YouTube has 800 million unique visitors every month.

In 2011 there were 1 trillion YouTube views – that’s 140 views for every person on Earth.

These stats are impressive enough but when you account for the fact that YouTube accounts for less than 40% of all online video viewing the numbers become truly amazing.

Which prompts the question – what are you doing to ensure your message jumps on the bandwagon and makes the most out of the online video phenomenon?

We’d respectfully suggest that you’re sitting on a lot of great content in the shape of presentations…they just need some TLC.  See what we mean here:

Want to find out more?  We have a web page for that too

Eyeful on Film – The What, How & Why of Presentation Optimisation

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 by Simon<

Life travels fast here at Eyeful Towers.

It seems like only a few weeks ago that we were embarking on a new financial year and the release of our “Little Book of Big Ideas”* but the reality is that almost 12 months have passed and so much has changed…

So, in an attempt to capture the moment as well as further demonstrate the importance of the Presentation Optimisation model, we asked our friends at ID2 Media to pull together a film crew and spend a day with us.

Hats off to the gang at ID2 – the film does a great job in capturing what makes Eyeful tick which, contrary to common belief, is more than just a steady flow of coffee and biscuits.

Enjoy!

* We had no idea how popular the Little Books were going to be when we printed them and we’re almost completely out of stock BUT, if you’re quick, you can still get hold of one.  Simply ping us an e-mail or give us a call and we’ll pop one in the post.

Eyeful Towers – Access All Areas

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 by Simon<

We make no apologies – we’re very very excited about 2012.

You see, 2012 is an important year for us here at Eyeful – we’ve got huge plans for our customers and team across the World.

This will be the year that sees us further drive the concept of Presentation OptimisationTM to companies large and small, develop new exciting partnerships across the globe and generally build upon the momentum of the last 7 years.

It’s going to be a busy one…

But to get us there, we need a great bunch of people in place.  Rather handily, we have one – Team Eyeful.

In the first of what will undoubtedly be a series of “Morts, please stop messing about with that video camera” movies, we’d like to introduce you to some of the team.  This incredibly handsome/beautiful bunch are based in our Leicestershire HQ, Eyeful Towers and responsible for the delivery and follow-up of our presentation projects (the consultant team, quite rightly, are with customers, um, consulting).

Unfortunately, a combination of extended holidays and a bout of the flu means that this footage is missing Lisa, Zoe, Cathy, Will, Morts and Victoria…but you should get the general idea anyway.

Roll cameras…and Happy New Year!

First impressions count…no, really…

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 by Simon<

As my Grandma used to say “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” and while much of her advice is no longer appropriate (a lot of it was to do with rationing), this one still rings true and has recently been brought home to me in a couple of ways.

CVs – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

We’ve been in the very fortunate position of recruiting a bunch of people. The unexpected downside to this has been my exposure to a bunch of CV’s.

I, somewhat naively as it turns out, thought that the idea of a CV is to showcase the very best that each candidate has to offer. How times have changed! Now it seems that a CV is an opportunity to abuse spelling, punctuation and grammar to your hearts’ content.

What sort of an impression do people think this leaves? Spell check for heaven’s sake! If you can’t be bothered to proof read your CV, why should I be bothered to even think about giving you an interview..?

A Psycho Shows The Way

A friend of mine recently pinged me a link to a YouTube clip from the film, American Psycho. The witty remark on his e-mail pointed to my own fascination with fonts, layout and presentation…as you’d expect for someone in my line of work.

With my anorak firmly and proudly in place – there’s no getting away from the fact that business cards are an important part of how we present ourselves and, perhaps more importantly, leave a lasting impression (good or bad) AFTER we’ve gone.

And so to Presentations…

Regular readers of our blog will know that all this is leading to a short but heartfelt rant about the lack of care people put into their presentations.

Time and time again, we see hastily pulled together presentations being used to pitch for high value (and, let’s face it, career changing) opportunities. They’re often a mish-mash of content delivered with little thought to an overarching message or structure. This is the equivalent of presenting coal and hoping that the audience sees a diamond.

No matter how good your product or service is – if it’s presented in a shoddy manner, you’re on the back foot before you even start (think of the CVs full of typos).

We’ve seen this strange phenomenon so often we’ve ceremoniously named it The Presentation Paradox.

The last thing we’re suggesting is style over substance (a la the business cards) but we think you owe it to your business and your audience to consider each and every part of the presentation process…and that includes your slide deck.

Getting Your Message Across – Is Technology The Answer?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 by Simon<

Technology is a funny old thing – it can be used both as a force for good (the internet and the wonders of Google) and a force for evil (phone hacking and old “friends” contacting you via Facebook).

Much the same can be said for our old friend, PowerPoint – in the right hands, it’s a force for good (engaging, informative presentations) or a force for evil (Death by PowerPoint* anyone?).

* For the uninitiated, Death by PowerPoint is where audiences are bombarded with slide after slide of meandering messages delivered via bullet point after bullet point – in many ways, it’s similar to Death by Water Torture but not as much fun.

Despite the fine balance between good and bad, we continue to embrace technology in all aspects of our life, sometimes blindly.  In an attempt to stand out and differentiate ourselves or simply find a plausible excuse to play with a new “toy”, the world of presentations is bombarded with new technology.

On an almost weekly basis, the Eyeful studio is sent shiny new software promising to “change the face of business presenting technology”.  These innovations break down into 3 distinct groups:

The vast majority sit in the “so what?” category.

In our opinion, re-inventing PowerPoint or Keynote with little additional functionality makes little sense yet companies across the World continue to beaver away in their labs!

A smaller number sit in the “great idea…but how would you ever use it?” category.

Prezi (http://prezi.com) is a great example of this – it’s a slick, interactive and highly animated way of sharing information that, on the surface, looks great.  Unfortunately, as soon as you take it out of the studio and start using it with business audiences, the cracks start to appear.

Compatibility is an issue, maintaining a corporate look is painful and the high level of animation brings on waves of nausea in the audience.  No matter how bad your PowerPoint presentation, we wager it’s never resulted in the audience vomiting!

Sadly, by far the smallest group is made up of innovations that can be used effectively out in the field.

They can be simple – for example, a tool that allows you to convert a presentation into a web-friendly Flash format with voiceover so that your audience can view your presentation again when the time is right (consider it your own corporate iPlayer!).

Of course, they can also be sexy

The sleek lines and clever technology behind the iPad and similar tablet PCs may set the heart beating faster but sadly their effectiveness as a presentation tool is limited.

In terms of tablet PCs, our advice is to proceed with extreme caution – engaging presentations can be delivered via the iPad but only after some extensive tweaking!  Don’t fall into the trap of equipping your team with expensive technology until you know it’s going to deliver the results you need (or at least spoken to us to understand the limitations!).

And finally, some of the innovations can be blindingly obvious!

For example, some of the new features in PowerPoint 2010 (conversion to video, chapter settings, animation format painting) were long overdue and poorly explained.

However, as with all good things in life, once you start using them, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without them.

In short, the world of presentation is awash with technology.

Some innovations will support you in engaging and communicating effectively with your audience…however the majority will simply get in the way and, at worst, confuse and bemuse.

The key is to understand what you are looking to achieve and only then start browsing the web for relevant software or gadgets.

Whilst tempting, don’t get blinded by the clever advertising and, as ever, if in doubt speak to an expert!

Presentation Optimisation…with clogs on

Monday, August 15th, 2011 by Simon<

There’s been excitement brewing here at Eyeful for some time and we’ve been itching to share the great news.  But we couldn’t…until now.

Eyeful is going Dutch!

Yep – we’ve joined forces with one of Holland’s top presentation agencies, The Presentation Architect, to launch Eyeful Presentations.NL

We believe the launch of Eyeful in Holland is rather marvellous news for our Dutch friends.

They now have direct access to Eyeful’s unique Presentation Optimisation methodology, the secret ingredient behind high impact presentations for the likes of American Express, Citibank and Microsoft.

Add to that the experience and skills of a crack team of consultants, project managers and presentation designers (recognised the World over as being at the very top of their game) and you’ve got all the ingredients needed to revolutionise the way Dutch companies present themselves.

To learn more about what we’re doing in the Netherlands, check out the launch minisite at www.eyefulpresentations.nl or give the Dutch team a call on +31 036 844 86 84.

They’d love to hear from you…

The Anti-PowerPoint Political Party – Revolution? What Revolution?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011 by Simon<

Whilst Europe flaps around in a blind panic about the strength of the Euro, the Swiss political landscape is set to change as Mr Mattheus Poehm launches his new political party – APPP also known as the Anti-PowerPoint Political Party.

Do not adjust your sets nor check the diary to see if it’s the 1st April – this is for real.

Whilst it’s easy to mock, Mr Poehm raises an old but albeit fair point about the ineffectiveness of PowerPoint and presentation software in general.  There are elements of his argument that stack up – let’s face it, Eyeful continues to grow massively year on year because of the prevalence of “Death by PowerPoint” in business today.

Amnesty-StickerHowever there are some fairly major areas that we tend to disagree on.

Firstly – the problem isn’t the software…and the proof is out there if you look hard enough or are lucky enough to be sat in the right place at the right time.

Two of the best presentations we’ve seen in the last year were done with the aid of PowerPoint.

The first had 9 slides with about 20 words (in total) on and lasted 20 minutes and the second had about 50 slides on and lasted 30 minutes.

Both were vastly different but had 1 thing in common – they were very good. The key phrase here is “done with the aid of PowerPoint”.

The problem that Mr Poehm doesn’t really tackle is the quality of the presentation (not the slideware!).  Let’s make one thing clear – presentations fail because of poorly prepared or unskilled presenters.

“Death by PowerPoint” is a symptom of a presenter who hasn’t committed sufficient time, energy or thought to the creation of a key message, compelling and relevant content or considerate design.  It’s that simple.

Secondly – we disagree is on his unilateral move to flip charts. Certainly flip charts are a good tool to use when presenting – they bring interactivity to proceedings that can sometimes be lacking in PowerPoint.  They also can enliven and enthuse a presenter.

But, just like PowerPoint, flip charts can also be used badly to bore and alienate an audience.  As the saying goes – “a fool with a tool is still a fool”.

The cynic in me might think that Mr Poehm has some shares in a flip chart company, or that this is a shameless PR stunt that is really only about selling a book he happens to have just published. Fortunately that’s just the cynic in me, and I try to keep that at bay…

Whatever your view, ours is still pretty firm. PowerPoint can be awful, that’s true…but it can also be awesome.

It all depends on how you use it…

2010 Business Presentation Survey – The Results Now Available Online

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 by Simon<

It’s been a busy few weeks here at Eyeful Towers

We spent a fair amount of time reviewing, crunching and analysing the numbers from the 2010 Business Presentation Survey…and then pulling together a webinar to explain to the hundreds of interested parties on quite what the results meant.

If you were one of the unlucky ones who didn’t quite get on the webinar invite list (we were over-subscribed – sorry!), then fret no more.  Using the wonders of PowerPoint Repurposing, we’re able to bring you the edited highlights of both webinars here on YouTube.

So grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy the show (we’d also respectfully recommend having a pen and paper handy as you’re likely to want to scribble down a lot of the findings and suggestions). 

But enough of my yacking – on with the show:   

Part 1

Part 2

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:

Enjoy…