For the next few weeks here at Eyeful, we are focusing on highlighting what could well be the missing ingredient to presentation success in our presentation leave-behind season…
It’s your presentation in print…
If you start with a poor presentation you’ll simply end up with a poor leave-behind…
Every good presentation leave-behind starts with Eyeful creating you a powerful presentation structure, with strong messaging and impactful content that is honed to persuade your audience into following your call to action.
Eyeful’s approach is to carefully break your presentation down into its core messaging, structure and design, before re-purposing it in the highest quality brochure design.
The presenter’s original context forms the copy, whilst the slide visuals are neatly re-designed for print, similar to the pages in a magazine design or marketing brochure…
Your presentation’s original design features are used to create a consistent printed look and feel that works in unison with your live presentation material.
Printed handouts are for large event presentations…
Presentations come in all shapes and sizes, anywhere from a huge audience in an auditorium right down to a 1-2-1 meeting in an office. Just as your presentation should be tailored to your audience and environment, so should your leave-behind.
A printed handout is best suited to large event type presentations. This is because printing large volumes tends to be more a more cost-effective approach. It is also a tactile opportunity for your audience to re-absorb your presentation quietly in their own time.
There are other types of presentation leave-behinds…
Video presentations, video brochures and interactive presentations are all viable presentation leave-behind alternatives, just visit our dedicated presentation leave-behind page to find out more as well as to discover more details about our free interactive presentation offer…
I was recently involved in an online meeting with our data marketing partners and invariably the meeting, (as they often do) turned into a presentation.
Unfortunately, our counterparts presented a very complicated and confusing spreadsheet full of hard data.
In their defence, they explained the story that the data told really well – even referring to it as a story…
But, who in reality fully engages with a page full of numbers?
We say this all the time (because it’s true), the audience is the most important stakeholder in any presentation. You need to produce presentation content that resonates and engages with them, and this has never been truer when it comes to data.
Yesterday’s presenter works with heavy spreadsheets every day, she knows them inside out. She is passionate about what they represent and could easily tell the story in the data.
Her audience (in this case, myself and two colleagues) aren’t overly familiar with these spreadsheets and couldn’t easily identify meaning within the data. We were trying to follow her, whilst interpreting the spreadsheet.
So, when it comes to hard data and presentations remember, just because you can decode the matrix, it doesn’t mean your audience can.
If they only see noise on your slide, it doesn’t matter if you present it with all the passion in the world – you will lose them.
Therefore, we’ve pulled together some sound advice on how to keep your audience engaged when you are presenting data…
We all know that hard data gives a result, but if you can break down the process in a simple way, your audience will thank you for it.
You would be surprised, but even the smartest of audiences get confused when they’re trying to listen to what you’re saying and interpret a complicated graph from the back of an auditorium.
This table might look super simple, but just by adding a call-out graphic to appear on-click as you talk around one set of figures will help your audience stay focused and absorb the information.
With the new (INSERT) Icon functionality you don’t need any advanced PowerPoint training to produce slides like this…
Is there a simple way to turn your data into a graphic relating to the topic? Data that talks about volume of people might be an easy one, but think just how clear and simple this slide is for the audience to take this on-board.
Tell a story…
All data tells a story. It could be year on year improvement, impact of change, or anything. The point is this; if you are sharing it in your presentation, then it’s there for a reason. Identify that reason and make it part of your presentation’s story.
In our founder Simon Morton’s book, The Presentation Lab, Simon advises the 3 steps to data visualisation in your PowerPoint presentation design…
You need a strong message around which to build your story.
This message needs to be supported with relevant content.
This content needs to be visualised in a way that connects with your audience.
When you take this approach, you can turn your data into a powerful and engaging presentation story…
Good luck in making your data work harder in your presentations, if you would like it to really resonate with your audience then please do just give us a ring…
Wishing you a very Happy Easter from The Eyeful Team!
If you haven’t already been thinking about the amount of chocolate you’ll be consuming this weekend, here is an infographic style animation created by one of our designers Paula, that might get you thinking…
Presentations can unfortunately be synonymous with stress. It’s why Eyeful, Europe’s leading presentation design company, exists. We are in business because our presentation creation service removes the stress and headaches around creating an effective presentation that gets you a result.
As part of our National Stress Awareness campaign, we are sharing some great ideas and best practices to hopefully help you deal with a little of the stress and worry associated with presentations.
Worries such as ‘will my presentation achieve its objectives?’ or ‘will it deliver the ROI results that are required?’
To make sure your concerns don’t become a reality, simply submit your presentation to the Eyeful presentation healthcheck.
Will my presentation achieve its objectives?
If your presentations aren’t delivering results, this can of course be a stressful and worrying time, and it’s important to tackle this before any further opportunities go to waste.
The first part of the Eyeful presentation healthcheck is a short questionnaire which will generate you a high-level audience heatmap…
Your heatmap will get you thinking about your audience’s needs and help you to start putting these above your own.
This means you will be on the way to creating an ‘audience centric’ message which is the key building block to any good presentation. After all, nobody enjoys sitting through soulless, horribly generic presentations that they don’t connect with – this is a key reason why presentations fail.
Delivering a presentation that speaks to your audience and gains a genuine connection with their needs is the ultimate key to presentation success. But this is only the start…
Will my presentation deliver the ROI results that are required?
To really deliver the ROI your business needs, your presentation needs to be on song in a number of ways…
It can’t simply look good but have no clear message or structure…
If you have a great message, but a poor structure and a design stuffed with text and bullet points, your presentation just isn’t going to get the traction your effort deserves.
This is why an Eyeful presentation expert with years of experience will review your presentation against the three factors that determine its true effectiveness…
Look and Feel – is your presentation designed to a professional standard?
Messaging – does the clarity of your key messages shine through?
Structure – does your story come across in a logical and easy and memorable way?
Based on the information you provide, we’ll assess your presentation’s strengths and weaknesses and feedback to you in the form of a comprehensive report.
This report will also detail any missed opportunities, which will be good ideas and best practice advice, that we in our professional opinion believe will help to strengthen your presentation and give it an even greater chance of success.
So, if you’ve ever sat there staring at a PowerPoint, getting more and more stressed as you wonder where to start…
…at least now you’ll have some firm direction in what needs doing.
Or, you could just give Eyeful a ring on +44 (0)1455 826390 and we’ll make the whole process of presentation creation a stress-free experience…
Have you ever delivered a presentation and thought afterwards, “Wow! That went well, the deal is in the bag!” only to then get the email a couple of weeks later, “sorry, we went with the other guys…”.
It’s not a good feeling.
Not to rub salt into old (or recent) wounds, there could well be a very simple reason why this happened. Unfortunately, even if you deliver an amazing presentation, important buying decisions aren’t usually made there and then; key decision makers often rely on the information that you leave behind to support your presentation.
Giving a clear and focussed presentation is a great start, but if time has passed since your all convincing pitch, then you’re relying on your audience to make big decisions based on sketchy memories.
This is where most presenters go wrong…
Some don’t even consider leaving a handout behind.
Others do, but seem to think a nicely bound print-out of their PowerPoint slides will do the job – which is potentially one of the worst things you can do.
Your presentation’s slides without the context of the presenter talking around them simply won’t make sense to the reader and key messages could be missed or misinterpreted.
Introducing perfect presentation leave-behinds…
Eyeful are a presentation design company with over a decade’s worth of experience in creating successful presentations for some of the world’s biggest brands – we know what works.
The most effective strategy for achieving presentation success is two pronged; deliver a great presentation and then keep the hard work that went into it alive by providing your audience with a proper presentation leave behind to review in their own time.
This removes the chance element of memory lapse or misinterpreted PowerPoint print-outs and means your product or solution is still being presented at its absolute best.
You can support your presentation by:
Pointing your audience to a web hosted animated video presentation…
Impressing your important audience with an ultra-modern video brochure…
Emailing your audience, a link to an engaging interactive presentation…
Providing your large audience with beautifully designed printed brochures…
The presentation you deliver and the type of leave-behind that supports it, totally depends on your audience and presentation environment. Get these things right and you’ll be on the road to presentation success.
Check out our dedicated pagenow to find out about our free* interactive presentation offer or simply pick up the phone and tell us all about your opportunity and we can create you an outstanding presentation, supported by a perfect presentation leave-behind…
This April marks the 25th Stress Awareness Month and as we are well aware that presentations can be the cause of the odd anxious moment for presenters, we thought it’s only right to try and help.
“Stress Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society.”
Make sure you follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or keep an eye on this blog, as throughout April Eyeful will be releasing plenty of helpful hints and tips to make your experiences with presentations that little bit less stressful!
Later this month we’ll be launching our free presentation storyboard starter kits, which are just great for helping you to plan your presentations – and will make it a lot easier for you to create more visual presentations.
We’ll also be sharing some of the best practice advice from our In Case of Emergencypresentation training module, which will reveal the secrets to preparing an effective presentation at short notice. We’ve all been there when the email from the big boss arrives asking for a presentation at this week’s meeting, certainly no pressure there then.
In the meantime, check out this recent innovation piece from one of our presentation designers who took inspiration from Stress Awareness month…
Last Friday saw Eyeful raise £125 for Red Nose Day! The whole team got involved by dressing up for the occasion, with our entire team of presentation designers deciding to clown around…
Our fundraising centred around a team fuddle, with lots of people cooking a variety of red dishes, everything from bacon cobs (with red sauce of course) to chorizo and red pepper skewers. There were even red desserts in the form of jelly and rocky road to name just a few…
As we all tucked into our team lunch our general knowledge (mine sadly lacking, apart from randomly in geography) was tested in Jack’s quiz.
Well done to Phil, Sam and Paula’s team who won the great prize of a lie-in… as they get to start work today an hour later, which is handy with the clocks going back (no jealousy here!).
So, well done to all who cooked and to everyone for making it such a charitable success. Roll on the Eyefulpalooza later this year…
With Prezi being as popular as ever and PowerPoint presentation design advancing at a rate of knots never seen before, where does this leave the everyday presenter?
In days gone by, presenters had little more to worry about than very basic slides with animation on-click – (if your presentations are still like this – seek help now! – you’re in serious danger of getting left behind).
Today, presenters are faced with high end designs, super slick animation and interactivity that allows them to navigate around their presentation as if it were a website…
This is no bad thing. Presentations have moved on from bullet-point ridden, text heavy slides with more confusing content than clear messages.
Presentations with high quality design and powerful well thought out messages enable presenters to tell an impactful clear story that audiences understand easily, and are therefore more likely to follow the presenter’s call to action.
However, going from a basic bullet-point presentation to this kind of asset is like stepping out of your everyday saloon and jumping into a supercar – yes it drives well, yes it looks amazing, but without learning how to drive it properly, there’s a much higher chance of crashing!
A large amount of practise is a must (as with any presentation), advanced PowerPoint training sessions are an option, but there is also an entire range of tools to make live presenting that little bit easier…
Technology to help presenters…
Technically this isn’t a tech tool, it’s a person. A PowerPoint Operator is essentially a presentation designer who provides the presenter with the freedom to concentrate on their delivery alone, as the operator drives the presentation and performs the clicks out of sight of the audience…
The presentation control room for a conference we recently supported in Athens…
It is essential that the operator and the presenter are well rehearsed and in-synch. As long as this is the case, this set-up can work really well. However, if things have been left to the last minute and either party is unprepared, you could end up with an embarrassing out-of-synch experience.
Presentation Environments: Large conferences or any large event presentation. Main Pro: The only option to give the presenter freedom from controlling their PowerPoint presentation. Biggest Con: Costly. It’s the presentation equivalent of hiring a private chauffeur.
This is where the presenter drives the presentation themselves using PowerPoint’s excellent Presenter View window.
Presenter View can be displayed either on a podium based laptop (if the presenter wants to stand still) or on a tablet device (if the presenter wants to walk the room or stage).
Presenter View displayed on an iPad…
This fantastic tool gives the presenter some very useful information. It shows you which slide you are on, which slide is next and how long you have spent on the slide and presenting as a whole. All very useful information (especially if you are in a timed slot).
Having access to a preview of the next slide gives you chance to mentally prepare before clicking.
If you have trouble remembering your key points, the window also displays your slide notes where you could note these down. This means forgetful presenters no longer need to overfill slides with text.
The best thing about Presenter View is the fact that it’s a few snippets of useful information that is private to the presenter, the audience don’t see any of this, whilst the presenter retains full control of PowerPoint. Oh, and it’s free!
Presentation Environments: Large events and conferences, any presentation with a podium (suitable for a laptop) and even boardroom type meetings. Main Pro: Gives the presenter lots of useful information. Can be tailored to what works best for the presenter’s style. Biggest Con: It can make you lazy! It’s too easy to add your script and use it like an autocue, when really you should learn your presentation speech inside out.
There are plenty of free apps around (JumiDesktop and Hippo LITE) that turn your smartphone into a touch-screen mouse. This means the presenter can be anywhere in the room and use their smartphone to drive the presentation.
It certainly takes some getting used to but, with enough practice, this option gives the presenter the same level of control as a mouse, along with the freedom to move around the room. It doesn’t however, provide any of the information that Presenter View does – but for some presenters, a simpler approach will be preferred.
Presentation Environments: Relaxed internal presentations and meetings. Main Pro: Full mouse control in the palm of your hand. Biggest Con: Only works when both the PC and Smartphone are on the same wi-fi network.
The PowerPoint clicker is one of the oldest (and still most reliable) technical tools for presenting with. It’s a simple device that consists of forward and backward buttons, allowing you to move through your presentation in a linear fashion.
Most come with a built-in laser pointer too (how very 90’s).
Presentation Environments: Formal conferences and large events. Main Pro: Really easy to use with a robust connection. Biggest Con: Does not allow you to control interactive navigation.
A tablet presentation is for those informal small meetings, that don’t necessarily involve a presenter and an audience. It’s more likely to be an informal meeting where a prospect reveals their problems to a sales person who reacts with their company’s solutions.
The sales person is equipped with an interactive tablet presentation which they can use as a sort of digital brochure to navigate straight to the supporting information or products that solve the prospects problem…
This basically removes the need for a cumbersome laptop, or a meeting with no visual support.
Presentation Environments: Informal meetings, especially sales conversations. Event booths. Main Pro: High end presentation collateral in the palm of your hand. Biggest Con: Not very good in meetings larger than 3 people.
High-tech this isn’t. But a flip-chart presentation is one of the most powerful types of presentation. Imagine you’re trying to get a really complicated message to an audience that you’re in danger of losing…
A series of well planned white-board graphics keep the audience engaged as you draw out your solution. This broken-down delivery method helps them to absorb the information steadily. Full understanding increases the chance of buy-in and presentation success.
Presentation Environments: Smaller meetings where the audience and presenter can have a discussion. Main Pro: One of the most simple ways to deliver complicated information. Biggest Con: Not everyone is comfortable drawing in front of an audience.
Remember, when it comes to using any technology to help you present, it’s not about choosing the tool you like the sound of. It’s about considering your audience and the environment you’re going to be presenting in. Once you’ve done this, the best tool to use will be obvious.
If you need any help with this, please do just pick up the phone and one of Eyeful’s expert presentation consultants will be happy to help…
As I was recently inviting speakers to submit ideas for a TEDx talk, the question has come back: “how does a TEDx talk differ from a normal presentation?”
Firstly, I suppose I should say there is no “normal”, a sales presentation differs from a Keynote, this differs from an after-dinner speech, and this is different again from a motivational talk. What unites them all is an understanding of the audience, and what’s in it for them.
However, that’s a very incomplete answer so, allow me to share something of a little more use for your business presentations…
Many TED talks I have watched use quite a specific structure…
• Shocking opener
• Personal Story
• A bit of detail
• Link back to personal story
• Idea worth spreading
Whilst this structure is specific for TEDx presenters, it’s quite possible to apply this to your business PowerPoint presentation designs, and this is how…
As I say in my book, (apologies for the blatant plug!) any presentation needs to start with something that really grabs the audience’s attention. Watch almost any TED Talk and you’ll see what I mean.
The thing to consider though, is that TED talks generally focus on extremely (non-business) thought provoking topics… so your presentation needs to find a suitable business angle to grab your audience’s attention immediately.
In my book, I took inspiration from Graham Davies rather excellent book, The Presentation Coach (imitation, with suitable attribution, is the sincerest form of flattery). Graham suggests that there are three elements to any presentation opening…
1. Establish the speaker’s credibility
2. Make the benefit to the audience crystal clear
3. Use an attention-grabbing statement
TED presenters have the luxury of existing credibility and the audience’s benefit is taken as read, all they need to do is be audacious in their opening real-world statement. As a business presenter, you need to state your credibility and benefit more explicitly.
The TED presenter will tell a personal story which might not immediately be connected to the opening. But it will usually be very personal. Growing up with a sister who suffered from …. Seeing my father bought down by …. A bit of tragedy seems all too often to creep in here.
A business presenter might not want to make things too personal… it really depends on how well you know your audience. If you are unsure of what tone to take, then Eyeful’s free Presentation Healthcheck service will provide you with an Audience Heatmap profile which helps you to analyse where your audience sit in terms of their visionary, factual and emotional bias…
A bit of detail
Now it’s time for the science – the clever stuff. In this section, you even get to brag a little. The important thing here is that although you know enough to fill several encyclopaedias, you just need to include the bits that the audience needs in order to understand what you’re talking about.
This advice applies to all presenters, TED or business…
Consider how long you have to present, this must be the driving factor that helps you filter out the noise and deliver only the key facts that will inspire your audience most…
Link back to personal story
This is where the audience should have the ‘Ah Ha! Moment’. Tie it all together and make the audience understand why you personally care so much about this topic. How does it affect your story? And how does it affect your business audience?
Idea worth spreading
This is the point of any TED talk. The presenter tells the audience the idea they want to spread and – by now – they should understand why it matters.
For the disconcerting business presenter, this is the call to action. This is your chance to tell your audience in crystal clarity what they now need to do to ensure they benefit from your solution and your presentation achieves your objectives.
Remember, this presentation structure is an observation from TED Talks, it’s a guideline, not a rule.
If you’re not sure it will work for your business presentation, fret not. Myself and the other consultants at Eyeful have an understanding of presentation structure that can make any presentation successful. Just get in touch and let’s chat about your next important presentation…
Richard Tierney is a senior presentation consultant for Eyeful Presentations in the UK.
Richard supports some of the UK’s biggest brands through Eyeful’s Presentation Optimisation TM process, ensuring they deliver the best possible presentation experience.
You can contact Richard on 01455 826390 or via email at email@example.com
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