HOW THE SAVIOURS OF THE BOOK CAN SAVE YOUR PRESENTATION

May 19th, 2016 by Matt

I was casually chilling on the sofa on Sunday, my young son Jack cuddling up beside me as some boring factual programme my wife was watching flashed along on the TV – I say boring as I had just enjoyed a rather epic Peppa Pig session…

As the use of adult (normal adult speech not naughty) language reset my brain away from toddler talk, my attention was drawn into the TV show “What Britain Buys” on Channel 4, presented by retail guru Mary Portas.

It was quite an interesting review of the weird and wonderful products that the British public are spending on at the moment from new supermarket food trends, 2000 calorie freekshakes to adults playing with Lego.

Story ThemesBut what caught my attention was the revival of the book… The story starts in 2007 when internet retail giant Amazon launched the Kindle E Reader which sold over half a million units in its first year. This rapid rise saw analysts predicting printed books would be history by 2015…

Britain’s largest chain of bookstores Waterstones came very close to closing, which would have had a terrible chain reaction…

“The greater number of proper stock holding bookshops in the UK would have disappeared. Most independents would have to go with them because publishers would have been impacted, so yes we came within literally a few hours of catastrophe for our industry.” James Daunt MD Waterstones

However, by 2014 Waterstones were breaking even and this year has been the first year to see sales of printed books increase by 3%…

Which, according to Portas is a massive milestone in the revival of the oldest form of written communication…

The resurgence of the book comes down to two key things…

The way in which publishers are now designing book covers and the evolution of the buying experience developed by bookstores such as Waterstones…

And it was these reasons that resonated with my presentation head…

Publishers have been very clever… they’ve repackaged old books with beautiful covers, these are things that you want to have on your coffee table at home. You are now buying something for its aesthetic value as much as the literature inside it.

We are spending more time and money on our design than we ever did before.

Portas: Do you think beautiful covers sell books?

Definitely yeah, I mean no question. You don’t have to pay to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, if you want to read it on your E Reader, we’ve got to give people a reason to want to own this book and the only reason they’re going to do that is because we make it look absolutely fabulous.
Joanna Prior, MD Penguin

Looks and aesthetics are often something we shy away from here at Eyeful. Our view is that the look and feel of the design of your presentation is only going to get you so far…

We are of the strong opinion that if you’re asking for presentation help, you know there is an underlying issue with your presentation not getting the results your offering deservers.

9 times out of 10, this isn’t because your presentation doesn’t look good enough, it’s because your messaging and structure of your presentation isn’t having an impact on your audience.

And this is the other reason books are making a comeback, bookstores are playing their part by evolving the book buying experience…

I love going to book shops, they’re like my happy place. I like to go and sit and have a coffee, explore the book and it’s nice just have them in your hand to be able to kind of feel the amount of effort that’s gone into it…

Sure this approach is a little bit idealistic, but you can’t knock it if it’s working.

And the same goes for presentations…

If you’re delivering a shab, drab looking bullet point bonanza, you’re giving your audience the same level of thrill and excitement as you get from downloading a book in the app store – yay.

But if you work on your story, your message and create presentation content that’s going to react with your audience and get them thinking – plus give it the Eyeful level of
PowerPoint presentation design…

Then your audience isn’t just going to receive a great piece of communication, they’re going to be wowed by the design in the same way book shoppers enjoy the artistry and tactile nature of new book covers…

And that’s a whole new level of experience for your audience, who having been beaten and bored into submission by years of death by PowerPoint, will be more than blown away by a presenter who has bothered to take their presentation experience to a whole new level of professionalism.

The Eyeful level…

If this has got you in the dual mood of upping your presentation level and a bit of light reading, then here’s the perfect book for you…

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3 INNOVATIVE IDEAS FOR YOUR NEXT PRESENTATION

May 10th, 2016 by Matt

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Eyeful’s presentation designers are the best in the business. If you’ve not yet been lucky enough to have one of them work on your presentation, then you are really missing out.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “yeh, sure, whatever… you’re a marketing person and you have to say that…”

Well yes you are correct – however, I ain’t telling any porkies. These guys (and gals) turn boring bullet point ridden PowerPoints into outstanding pieces of graphic design.

Here’s a quick example of a rather splendid corporate presentation they’ve created to prove it!

And they don’t just stick to PowerPoint, occasionally we let them loose on what we call innovation projects, which is where we give them the vaguest of briefs and let them loose on it with a free abandonment that they just don’t get when working within corporate guidelines.

GIF’S ARE GREAT

Helen for example has been experimenting with GIF’s and if you’re familiar with this rather fascinating file format you’ll know it’s never been a more popular format than it is today. As a GIF is actually an image that animates – yep, this juxtaposition of a file format is what the adverts you see all over the internet have been created in – here’s one of our own Helen made earlier:

And it was these re-marketing ads that inspired Helen to experiment:

I’ve been working on lots of marketing GIF banners for Eyeful, so I decided to try to find a way to make them smoother, more complex and quicker to produce…

Looking at the results I’d say Helen succeeded!

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Truth be told there isn’t a massive need for GIF’s inside business presentations, but there are options worth considering. As you could broadcast your presentation’s strong sticky messaging in the form of a web advert that is in line with your company’s branding.

WORDS ‘IN’ PICTURES

Next up is some artistic innovation that could definitely help take your presentation to a new level as Paula has been experimenting with image based typography…

I was keen to experiment with typography and image elements as they are both heavily used in many presentations. I wanted to see how I could manipulate aspects of them to create innovative artwork that could make an impression on a presentation’s audience.

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Paula was excited about the prospect of using this style of image and text treatment in future presentations.

I really think this style would be great featured as a title or divider slide in larger presentations. We could easily utilise a client’s image library and corporate font to create these. We could even implement animation where the image could build up around the typography or vice versa.

VERY COOL VIDEO

We round off this innovation inspired blog with a beautifully stylized video by Ed which was created solely in PowerPoint…

I wanted to stretch my knowledge on using PowerPoint as a video creation tool whilst trying to create a flowing story about working with Eyeful.

Ed too was keen to use this on a client presentation!

Businesses could use this as a promotional/marketing video to show off what they can offer to clients and also show them how the operations work within their company.

So there you have it 3 very different types of innovation creations, I hope they open your eyes a little as to what’s possible when it comes to business presentations and corporate messaging.

If we can help at all, you know where we are…

What Do Your Visuals Say About You?

May 6th, 2016 by Matt

A picture paints a thousand words – OUCH! That cliché caused physical pain as I wrote it, but alas it’s true! And never more so than with business presentations…

Without trying to spoil what Simon discusses in detail with Grant Leboff in his latest venture in front of the Sticky Marketing audience…

Your presentation imagery and visuals are really important – I know, obvious right – but you would be surprised by how many people get this wrong, even when they have good ones at their disposal.

Only this morning I was reviewing a recent Presentation Healthcheck that we’ve performed for a really high-end construction company…

Their presentation suffered from all the usual problems, bullet point overload, no mention of the audience or how they would solve their audience’s problem…

But what they did have in abundance were fantastic professional photographs of the work they’d done – however these great images were hidden away at the back of the presentation, in a tiny and none descript way…

Our advice was of course to make a lot more out of them… but the point is, whether you have your own great images, access to a decent image resource or have a design team itching to make a graphic from scratch… you must consider how your audience is going to perceive what they see…

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Here’s Simon and Grant with the full story…

If this has got you wondering what your presentation’s visuals are saying about you? Why not learn all about Valuable Visuals as part of a full day of Think, Act and Deliver Differently presentation training?

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In Valuable Visuals we share the secrets to powerful graphics; from turning data into a visual story, when (and when not) to use infographics and how to make your visuals engage your audience emotionally.

You can find all of our Think, Act & Deliver Differently modules right here…

When Provocative Turns Offensive

April 29th, 2016 by Simon

I attended a presentation earlier this week that was so offensive I’m still reeling from it. To pre-empt any ‘presentation prima donna’ accusations, the offence was not caused by the awful visuals, a blizzard of bullets or overuse of animation – frankly, this comes with the territory and you become hardened to such things.

Nope – the offence was caused by the crass use of a global human catastrophe to help demonstrate a particular business point.  Let me put this into context… The presenter told a story (not something we would normally complain about) about how the combination of being made redundant, then a few days later the 9-11 tragedy happening made him reassess his life and career, he would then travel the world and discover the product idea that launched his business and made it what it is today…

At least that’s how most presenters would tell the story.

But alas this chap wanted to make an impact…and an impact he made. The story was told in a vulgar tone, with images of planes crashing into the World Trade Centres as well as a jokey picture of Osama Bin Laden with a speech bubble telling him to set his own business up…

Up until this point it had been a fairly successful event. but when this happened the audience squirmed. The room went horribly quiet. The presenter, instantly recognised that he’d overstepped the mark, but it was too late, he was at the point of no return and looked ashen faced. To say he’d totally misread the audience was an understatement and, more importantly, not one of them (myself included) was prepared to throw him a lifeline of an encouraging nod of the head, or a slight smile. He never recovered and spent a painful 20 minutes on stage, the audience letting him squirm with absolutely no compassion whatsoever.

Now I wager that this offensive presentation probably started as a much more innocent brainwave. I’m sure the presenter had just wanted to rock the boat a bit and provoke a bit of a reaction from a semi-comatose conference audience – to stand out and be remembered.

The problem is that the lure of provocation eclipsed any proper consideration of the audience, his objectives or the key presentation message.

Provocation and shaking things up is fine, as long as it’s done in the right way and for the right reasons.  If it doesn’t help your audience to follow your call to action – or worse still, such as in this case, makes them less likely – then what’s the point?

Now don’t get me wrong – I’ve long been a fan of grabbing the attention of a presentation audience early on in the process. Done properly, it turns ‘ye olde presentation rules’ on their head and gives both presenter and audience license to engage in a much more powerful way. The resulting engagement ensures everyone gets more out of the process – the audience becomes invested in the message being shared (and thus more likely to do something as a result) and the presenter isn’t having to compensate for what is often a terribly dull experience for them and the people in front of them.Story Season 1

More importantly, turning things on their head is a pretty easy thing to do.

After all, the bar is set pretty low for most credentials presentations delivered today. The vast majority follow the same old opening structure – anodyne title slide, a dull agenda followed by a handful of slides sharing company information in mind-numbing detail (more than often accompanied with a world map showing office locations using pin icons).

Simply stepping away from this engagement sapping opening and instead sharing an insight that demonstrates an understanding of your audience’s issues already puts you head and shoulders above your fellow presenters.

No need for fireworks, crass provocation or bawdy humour. The reality is that simply making your next presentation audience centric will ensure you stand out. So stop thinking of clever high impact ‘tricks’ or hooks and focus on the most important stuff first – message, structure and call to action. Do this right and your audience will remember you for all the RIGHT reasons…

PS – Want a second opinion?  Ping us your presentation and we’ll analyse your audience and give you an action plan on how to significantly improve its messaging, structure and design in our free Presentation Healthcheck service

LEARN HOW TO CREATE COMPELLING PRESENTATION CONTENT THAT KEEPS AUDIENCES INTERESTED

April 18th, 2016 by Matt

Have you ever been in that frustrating place where you’ve written your presentation, you know what you want to say, when you want to say it, but now you’re looking at a blank PowerPoint slide with those annoying words “Click to add title” staring back at you getting you more and more stressed? Yeh – me too…

Thankfully Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton has shared his thoughts on the matter with Sticky Marketing’s Grant Leboff in another video interview around Simon’s acclaimed book, the Presentation Lab

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The video is just 3 minutes long, so stick the kettle on and watch the interview while it boils…

Now enjoy your cuppa whilst mulling over Simon’s advice and make some notes on the amazing content that you’re now going to create to keep your audience interested in what you have to say…

If this gets you thinking that you would like to know a whole lot more about how to create effective presentations that get results…

Then check out our full suite of Think, Act & Deliver presentation training modules

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These modules won’t just give you a tip or two, neither are they the run-of-the-mill Advanced PowerPoint Training courses that litter the internet.  Think, Act & Deliver will fundamentally change your behaviour and approach to creating presentations at every step of the presentation creation process…

POWERPOINT HACK #1 – ANIMATION PREVIEW BURNS TIME

April 15th, 2016 by Matt

There’s no getting away from it, creating good stuff takes time.

I’ve just spent pretty much all day creating a 1-minute video to support our Fast Track Sales Presentation Lab training days…

I wrote the script, recorded and edited the voiceover, selected the clips that worked, filmed and edited new ones before editing it all together…

Without knowing what I was doing and having some time saving tricks up my sleeve, I probably would have spent twice as long creating it!

And it’s the same story for PowerPoint presentations, you need to write what you’re going to say, think about the story, the structure, what messages are going to work and lots of other stuff all before you even start creating your PowerPoint presentation design…

It’s a big job, not to be underestimated.

Our modular presentation training is jam packed full of great presentation theory, as well as a huge amount of tips and techniques that will ultimately not only make your presentations more likely to get you results, they’ll save you a heap of time in the process too…

Check them out here

In the meantime, here’s a quick PowerPoint animation time saving tip from our senior designer Phil…

On first glance this tip might seem like a little thing…but that’s one of the secrets to better productivity.  Combine all the little time saving tricks you can and suddenly you find yourself way more efficient…

THE SIMPLE GUIDE TO CLEANSING COMPLEX PRESENTATIONS

April 12th, 2016 by Matt

WHAT?
Simon Morton, Eyeful’s illustrious MD and author of the acclaimed The Presentation Lab book, has once again made his regular foray into the video studio of Sticky Marketing’s Grant Leboff.

This time Grant has been quizzing Simon on ways to simplify really complex presentation messages.

HOW?
Simon reveals two great and easy to use techniques from his book that you can apply to your own presentations to make them a whole lot less cluttered and more structured.  They’re techniques that can be applied outside of presentations too – even in blog posts!

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WHY?
To help you!

If you create any kind of PowerPoint presentation design, this interview will give you the advice you need to avoid content clutter and overloaded, confusing and ultimately very dry presentations.

But if you create technical or scientific presentations and struggle to keep slides focused and not stuffed full of dry detail – then this video is an absolute must see…

The very best of luck in cleansing your complex presentations, it’s not the easiest thing to do so we really hope the methods that Simon has shared prove useful…

If you would like to learn the techniques mentioned above in more detail, then check out our CLEARING THE DECKS module from our full suite of Think, Act & Deliver presentation training.

We can teach this module  as part of a Tailored Training course or in any of our Fast Track days…

THE MICROSOFT AND EYEFUL STORY

April 7th, 2016 by Matt

You might have heard over the last few weeks that Eyeful have joined forces with Microsoft to support their ‘Presentation Best Practice’ initiative

We’ve been suitably excited about this project.  Working so closely with the people behind the World’s most popular presentation software is a wonderful way of meeting our objective – finding new ways to rid the world of bad presentations.

To help Microsoft, we dipped into our suite of Think, Act and Deliver Differently training modules and created a rather useful series of online training videos and accompanying downloadable work sheets…

Think, Act and Deliver Differently is about fundamentally changing behaviours and typical approaches to presentations at each step of the presentation creation process…

Here’s Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton to tell you how it came about and just how you and your team’s presentations can be improved by the series:

The entire series of Think, Act and Deliver videos and worksheets are available right now on Microsoft’s website.

Be sure to check them out and start using them to improve your future presentations.  If you need any help along the way, you know where we are

THE REAL ONE-STEP PERFECT PRESENTATION SOLUTION

April 4th, 2016 by Matt

Just a quick blog to apologise to the hundreds of people who tried to download our ‘too-good-to-be-true’ free-app that turns horrible bullet point ridden slides into a well-designed and structured presentation in literally one-click…

Alas we wish the app was real but I’m afraid it was a wishful thinking idea for an April Fools joke.  Thankfully the buzz on social media suggests was taken in the right spirit…

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Also, let’s be honest for a moment…

An app that would do this wouldn’t be of any real benefit anyway.  Sure your presentations would look better (and that’s important) but you would still need to do the main bulk of the hard work before you even wrote your bullets into PowerPoint…

You’d still need to perform detailed audience analysis, identify your key messages and give your presentation a narrative flow to make sure that it gets traction with your audience and delivers the results all your hard work warrants.

So any developers reading this who really do have the technology to make this app happen, make sure it’s not just about making slides look better as visual development is just one part of the process.

Of course, if you liked the idea of the app and would really like to take the hard work out of presentation creation there is a real option.  Our modular suite of presentation training could well be the answer to turn presentation creation from being a difficult chore into something you actually enjoy…

It might not be a magic app that turns your presentations into something great in just one-click – but in just one-day we can show you the way to creating perfect presentations every time…

Just click here to find out more about our Fast Track courses (or keep on dreaming that someday presentation creation will be just one-click…you may be waiting for some time…)

IS THIS THE BEST FREE PRESENTATION APP EVER?

April 1st, 2016 by Matt

Eyeful Presentations are proud to announce the greatest presentation innovation the world has ever seen…

Our brand new PowerPoint plug-in, PIMP MY SLIDE© gives presenters a quick and easy one click solution that turns plain bullet points into expertly designed , visually powerful slides that resonate with audiences…

That’s right. No longer do audiences need to suffer in bored silence… and presenters can put their feet up as creating amazingly effective slides takes just one-click…

All you need to do is write inane and confusing content onto a blank slide, open up the app and hit ‘Let’s Go’ and your dreary bullet points text will be analysed and automatically turned into perfectly designed icon based content, using our patented new ‘keyword recognition’ programming algorithm.

So put your feet up and relax, PIMP MY SLIDE is the free presentation plug-in that’s going to make presentation hard work a thing of the past…

Try it now free…