Tech Season – The Internet is Set to Ruin Your Next Presentation

July 30th, 2015 by Simon

I love a spot of innovation now and again.

For example, I’m currently relishing the fact that Apple’s new iTunes service means that the cost of feeding my habit for new music has dramatically reduced.  I’m forever grateful that my car will beep at me whenever I consider going over the speed limit.  Oh, and what would I do without the technical wonder that is Evernote?

Technology is ruddy marvellous, isn’t it?

Yet sometimes innovation can go too far.  It can prompt behaviours that simply do us mere mortals no favours whatsoever.  For example take the forthcoming version of PowerPoint which now includes a Bing powered fact checker.  Yep…you heard that right.  Your presentation software of choice will review your slide content, stroke it’s silicon chin and then tell you if you’ve got it correct.  The name of this new feature is Insights.

Office-2016-Preview-update-3v2

I’m sorry but this has to stop.

Trite though this may sound, presentations are about people.  In their raw form, they are about people communicating messages, facts and opinion to prompt an action from their audience (who, coincidentally, also happen to be people).  The resulting action might be understanding, could be recognition of your point of view or the act of signing on the dotted line…whatever the end goal, it starts with communication and connection from one person to another.

My fear is that Insights is a big step back down a rocky road we’ve trodden before.  Remember that widely vilified character Clippy?  People hated Clippy – like an unwelcome party guest, he popped up when you least expected it and proceeded to sit in the background, nagging and interrupting like some kind of technological tinnitus.

Of course, it wasn’t just Clippy we had to contend with.  Back in the day, PowerPoint came preloaded with story structures to help you with all manner of presentation scenarios, from Building a Business Case through to Sales Meetings.  No doubt these ideas were well intentioned when on the drawing board but the reality was that it prompted millions of people to stop thinking and start typing as soon as they entered ‘presentation mode’.

Brains immediately started to disengage as soon as the PowerPoint icon was double-clicked and pre-loaded pointers were slavishly followed.

We all know that Death by PowerPoint has absolutely nothing to do with the software and everything to do with the way people use it.

Make no mistake, powerful presentations that resonate with audiences require smart thinking and hard work – quite frankly, Clippy and pre-built story structures are the antithesis to the required levels of clarity and quality of thought.

So back to my rising sense of panic that technology is pushing us back into the bad habits of old.  Like Clippy and pre-built story structures, I have no doubt someone somewhere within Microsoft has the very best of intentions with Insights.

The issue is that by letting the technology take the strain, we’re taking the thinking, creativity and audience connection out of presentation development…and that’s a bad thing.  A very bad thing.

The ugly truth is that creating great presentations requires hard work, deep thinking and a commitment to not cut corners.  For all their good intentions, the Insights function within PowerPoint has just made it easier for potentially great presentations to fall back into the trap of ‘autopilot drivel’…and when this happens, nobody wins.

The Eyeful Rebrand – The MD’s Perspective

July 28th, 2015 by Simon

The eagle eyed amongst our readership will have noticed we’ve had a bit of an overhaul of our look and feel.  Everywhere you look, from our website to our proudly presented studio artwork, has succumbed to the gentle spit and polish refresh of our branding.

The overhaul of a company’s look and feel is, by it’s very nature, disruptive. 

From the marketing team who has the thankless task of going through each and every piece of collateral with a fine toothcomb to ensure ‘new brand’ compliance through to the sales team cleansing their briefcases (both electronic and physical) of all ‘old brand’ content.  Of this while the rest of the business wrestles with new fonts, new rules and email signature formats.  It’s a time consuming and frequently frustrating job.

In our case, the stakes are a whole bunch higher.  Eyeful is a business that’s built a reputation (and a rather successful book) off the back of getting visual communication right.  In short, we couldn’t afford to mess this one up.

So why do it? 

Wouldn’t it be simpler just to jazz up a few bits here and there (akin to adding a few scatter cushions to a tired room layout) rather than going hell for leather and overhauling everything?  The simple reason is that businesses evolve (or at least the successful ones do).  Eyeful started off life in my back bedroom 11 years ago because I was quite good at PowerPoint and wanted to use this skill to improve the quality of business presentations in the Oxfordshire area.  A laudable if slightly limited aspiration.

Jump to today and we find ourselves supporting businesses of all sizes across the globe.  We’ve developed presentations that have been delivered to Prime Ministers, Presidents and Business Icons.  Clients now come to us to support them on their message, story and structure as much as they do their PowerPoint visuals.  They turn to us for advice on new technology, for training across the entire gamut of presentation skills and as a sounding board for when everyone around them has resorted to business speak.

We needed a look and feel that reflected these changes, to mark the evolution of the business from over excited PowerPoint geeks to fully rounded presentation experts.  The time had come.

So what’s changed?

Well, rather than hide our consultancy credentials under a bushel, we’ve proudly brought them to the fore.  Our new branding reflects the conversations we have every day with decision makers across a whole range of businesses, from the founder of a start up through to the C-suite of international organisations.  We deliver greater presentation success by adding greater value earlier on in the process – that’s the power of the consultancy.

Equally we’ve upped the ante in terms of promoting our successful but criminally low key training services.  What was once an adjunct to our attention grabbing design services now has equal billing (and about time too).  Our training is underpinned by the ideas in The Presentation Lab, a book that was written with the avowed intention of changing the way people approach presentations.  At this very moment, someone somewhere is dipping into a local language edition of The Presentation Lab (most recent edition – Korean!) and taking the new ideas into their business.  The mix of excitement, pride and sense of privilege that comes from this is huge…and our relaunched training is the manifestation of this mission to make a difference to presentations somewhere in the World everyday.

In short, we’ve evolved (some may say matured) into a business that recognises that when we get it right for a client, the result is so much more than a set of better looking slides.

We deliver engagement that informs decisions that prompt real change.

It’s a privilege we take seriously…and it’s about time our branding reflected this.

7a

Yet despite all the change, some things remain the same…

Our passion for the power of presentations remains at the core of what we do.

This is not some blasé statement – we’ve seen it happen.

We’ve seen new ideas adopted with enthusiasm and vigour within organisations, sales teams transformed when armed with the right collateral mix and nervous presenters transformed into powerful storytellers. 

It’s this metamorphosis, driven by our well established methodologies and experience, that continues to fuel the Eyeful team.  In short, it’s bloody exciting.

Now this might all sound a little, um, zealous…and you’re probably right.  We take pride in the impact a little bit of Eyefulocity can have on a presenter, a message or a visual and we’re not going to start getting embarrassed about it now.  As such, regular visitors should still recognise the Eyeful tone of voice, the ‘so bad it’s good’ scattering of puns and a willingness to share our news ideas and whimsy.

It all boils down to a passion for the power of presentations.  No matter how we package it, that’s what we stand for…and our hope is that a little of the excitement that fills the halls of ‘Eyeful Towers’ rubs off on visitors to the Labs, our website or one of our workshops.  So please enjoy the new site, tell us what you like (and, more importantly, what you loathe) and we’ll continue to develop it with you very much in mind.

Between us, we can make presentations truly deliver.

On behalf of audiences everywhere, thanks for taking the time to have a mooch,

Simon

The Eyeful Rebrand – The Designer’s Perspective

July 24th, 2015 by Alex Warwick

With the decision made to update our website and training offering we thought it was the perfect time to give Eyeful in general a complete brand overhaul.

This would also help to better capture and promote the essence of Eyeful with an expression of our company evolution.

In our industry we understand the huge importance of branding and how keeping a brand fresh and updated is vital.

Our product and service offering have always been kept up to date by constantly pushing boundaries and optimising our offering and over the last 10 years this has seen us grow into a world leading presentation company.

Our own branding though simply didn’t keep up with the evolution!

So after a decade of having one colour palette and an ever changing corporate font, we are hugely excited to release an all new brand image that will help communicate who we are and why we are unique.

1a

Idea Phase
We started off using our delivery team innovation sessions to come up with new concept ideas for the Eyeful Website. Some great ideas went into the chosen design, which was then lovingly crafted and fined tuned into our new website design. This then ultimately became the brand look and feel for the whole of Eyeful.

The Font
2aWhen The Presentation Lab book was in early development there was a debate amongst the designers whether to use Gill Sans or Myriad Pro as the book font. A test page was shown around the office and a vote was taken that saw Myriad Pro win. So this font would now be used for all of our new branded materials. With a great weight variety and easy to manage functionality across multi-media, it was the perfect choice.
3a

The Hexagon
A decision was made to use a hexagon as a primary design feature. We had used hexagons in The Presentation Lab Book to add a consistent chemical/DNA structure look to our diagrams and realised the practical potential and aesthetic value of the shape. We added shades to give depth, while keeping the design contemporarily flat and uncomplicated. The hexagons will now form part of Eyefuls DNA.

4a

The Colour
The importance and influence of colour on a brand is key to a cohesive brand identity. Like the Eiffel 65 song everything about our brand was blue. We needed to address this to implement a full vibrant palette that would help communicate our brand more effectively.

5We added a complimentary dark and light blue to work with our core Eyeful Blue that remains unchanged. The cool colours were set symbolising security, trust, loyalty and intelligence so we needed to add in colours from the warm side of the spectrum, the pink does this job symbolising health, happiness and playfulness. We also added in the yellow to the warm side of the new Eyeful colour spectrum symbolising energy and creativity. Lastly we decided on a couple of neutral colours for backgrounds and text. These would be the dark and light greys. So now with the basics of a good solid flexible hexagon shape and a colour scheme to match our brand values (Eyefulocity) we needed to add some uniqueness and freshness to the brand.


The Long Shadow

The freshness and modernity of our brand would come from a recent design trend of using long shadows. In a Design world that values flat and simplicity the single colour long shadow has become a key ingredient in giving depth to flat icons. So with a trusty angle of 45 degrees and a darker edge to the hexagon for the long shadow to bleed into, we have created a fresh and current design feature in our brand.

6a

The Bubbles
Lastly, as a designer I always feel in a branding world of consistency and repetition that a touch of non-conformity and chaos can add a great deal to symbolise imagination and inspiration. The Presentation Lab book was again the go to place to find the perfect design feature. The Lab’s bubbles were chosen as they are a very flexible and fluid design feature that could be used to create a uniqueness across all of Eyeful’s branded material.

7a

Conclusion
Spearheaded by our completely new and refreshed website, our new look and feel now reflects a renewed understanding of our brand. And we are over the moon to have brought it bang up to date and befitting of our cutting edge presentation services. We hope you like it!

 

Tech Season – The Presentation Landscape Scenario #2: An Educational Presentation

July 15th, 2015 by Matt

We continue Tech Season this week with a look at a second presentation scenario where you could use the presentation landscape to your advantage when planning and preparing for your event.

Scenario #2: An Educational Presentation (CPD Or Training)

rsz_landscape_2

The first thing to do is to look at the outer ring and consider the environment you are presenting in.

In this instance the presentation is taking place in a classroom environment, to an audience of between 10-30 people who ideally the presenter or trainer would want to interact with, to support their learning.

So in the outer segment you would be sitting in the Interactive segment.

Then working inwards, you can choose from the relevant presentation delivery tools and choose the best one for your specific audience.

You could also consider a blended presenting approach. This is where you would create elements of your presentation in different formats, for example you might start off the presentation using a traditional linear PowerPoint before moving to a Flipchart to note interactions from the audience.

You could also consider using an interactive PowerPoint presentation. This is where the presentation can be set up with custom shows and hyperlinks and work a little like a website. The benefit here in a training environment is it allows for interactivity with the audience, perhaps asking someone to answer a question, to which you click on the answer and ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’ is displayed.

Your training could also be supported with ELearning material. This is where you would add voiceover or a video presenter to your presentation material and convert this to a web format.

The benefit here being your audience can leave the training, but dip back into an online version later to refresh their memory or possibly take online quiz or test, the results of which would then be emailed back to the presenter/trainer for marking or feedback.

So, now you have some food for thought on what your final output could be, it’s time to decide what it will and plan it out. Once you’ve done this the software and tools required pretty much choose themselves.

Typical presentation tools in this interactive area are PowerPoint, Whiteboard and Web Presentation.

If you have any questions on how best to tackle any of the above, please feel free to ASK MATT! Just drop me a message at the bottom of this blog post and I’ll get back to you.

Or if you or a colleague will be giving a CPD presentation or delivering training in the future, be sure to give us a call on 0845 056 8528 when the time comes.

Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson & the two Jeffs CANNOT save your presentation

July 8th, 2015 by Simon

I like Sheryl Sandberg…a lot.  Of course there’s lots to admire – the extraordinary career, the fundamental fairness of her ideas in Lean In and, above all, her unblinking honesty.  She strikes me as an all round good egg.

Sheryl-SandbergIt was her honesty that underpinned her heartfelt message regarding grief, has armed her against (often unfair) criticism and, perhaps less famously, gifted the world of presentations a story to savour and learn from.  Allow me to share…

Sheryl’s status as a business icon means that every utterance is greedily consumed by the public.  In common with Richard Branson and the two Jeffs (Weiner and Bezos), she’s gone public on her distaste of the over reliance on PowerPoint in presentations and meetings.  Quite right too – I hate PowerPoint being used at the wrong time to the wrong audiences too.  So far, so good.

The story goes that Sheryl started her push against the perils of PowerPoint in internal meetings early on at Facebook.  What started as a general nudge culminated in a company wide ban of the use of PowerPoint in all internal meetings.  The message was clear – Sheryl thinks it kills creativity, stifles engagement and woe betide anyone who uses it when she’s around.

What started off as a sensible questioning of inefficient practices had quickly become folklore within the organisation.  I wager the majority of internal meetings were improved by the removal of the dreaded slideshow while a few would have benefited from a visual now and again…but what goes on in Facebook stays in Facebook.

Fast forward a month or so and Sheryl is about to step up onto the stage at a Facebook sales conference:

“About a month later I was about to address our global sales team,” Sandberg said, “when someone said to me, ‘Before you get on that stage, you really should know everyone’s pretty upset about the no PowerPoint with clients thing.’”

She was shocked.

At no point was an edict issued from on high stating that PowerPoint couldn’t be used for external meetings. 

Indeed Sheryl was smart enough to recognise that at times (notably in Formal and Interactive meetings on the Presentation Landscape), PowerPoint was the perfect support for the presenter.  Yet people, including the incredibly smart people that walk the halls of Facebook, had misinterpreted her message, consumed it and blindly followed it to the letter, sheep style.

Extraordinary.  And worryingly, if it can happen in a business as smart and savvy as Facebook, it could happen to you and yours.

So what can we learn from this?

Business leaders

Never ever forget the influence you have over your people.  The pearls of wisdom that fall from your lips can become gospel overnight.  Clarify what you mean and keep the lines of communication open so people can question when it’s appropriate.

To quote Sheryl speaking with her team:

“Next time you hear a bad idea — like not doing proper client presentations — speak up. Even if you think it is what I have asked for, tell me I am wrong!”

That level of honesty and transparency is priceless.  Bravo Sheryl.

Presenters

Sorry but there is no silver bullet for presentations – Sheryl, Richard and the two Jeffs don’t have all the answers.  It is down to you to engage your brain and think through what is appropriate to your audience and your message.

So let’s get a few things straight:

  • PowerPoint isn’t intrinsically evil (it’s damned good for certain presentations)
  • Prezi isn’t the answer to all your woes (a presenter cannot live on zoom alone)
  • Whiteboarding/Back of a Napkin style presenting only works some of the time

The truth is that we’ve never had it so good as presenters.  Take a look around – we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to presentation aids.  The key is choosing the right one (or combination) to engage your audience…and only you can make that decision.

Don’t get me wrong.  Sheryl, Richard and the two Jeffs are my business heroes too…but I respect my audiences way too much to blindly follow the utterances that become edicts that end up as folklore via blogs, magazines and Podcasts.

Presentations are too important to look for the short cuts – it’s time presenters thought for themselves and on behalf of their audiences.

Tech Season – The Presentation Landscape Scenario #1

July 2nd, 2015 by Matt

In last week’s Tech Season we explored the fascinating concept that is the Presentation Landscape.

To recap, the Landscape can actually be used as a rather handy tool to help you give your audience and end presentation environment some well needed due care and attention.

And to put this into context we’ve created three differing presentation scenarios to show how you could use the landscape when preparing presentations.

rsz_landscape_2

Scenario 1: A Large Corporate Event Presentation

The first thing to do is to look at the outer ring and consider the environment you are presenting in.

In this instance the presentation is taking place in a large auditorium, to an audience of hundreds of people with little audience interaction.

So in the outer segment you would be clearly sitting in the Formal segment.

Then working inwards, you can choose from the relevant presentation delivery tools and choose the best one for your specific audience.

For example, a Large Screen would be the right option to deliver to a large audience.

Now you know what the final output is you can easily choose the best tool to create your supporting visuals with.

Typical presentation tools in this formal area are PowerPoint, Prezi, or Keynote – with PowerPoint being the most likely choice.

One thing to always remember if you’re creating PowerPoint slides for a large event, the AV company running the stage will probably be running the presentations in 16×9 format – but you never know, so always check before creating any presentation collateral.

Then make sure that everyone in your company who is responsible for creating slides has been briefed to create them in the same ratio and using the same template.

The last thing you want to be doing right before a large event is trying to convert everybody’s slides into the same ratio and template.

If you need any help with planning your presentations for a large event, please do just give us a call.

We are well versed in pulling together multiple presentations into one large, visually stunning, perfectly consistent and formatted presentation.

In fact you could say, Eyeful are the aspirin to your event headache!

We’ll have another presentation scenario example soon and stand by for more Tech Season articles.

If in the meantime you have a presentation to give and feel some expert advice may be in order, then just give us a ring on 0845 056 8528.

Eyeful Tomatoes

July 1st, 2015 by Simon

I’m happy to go on record as a frustrated gardener/farmer – a kind of cross between Monty Don and that chap on Countryfile.

Each year I throw myself into the growing season with gusto, confident that my explorations into the more exotic crops will pay dividends (quite why I thought that watermelons would grow in Shropshire is beyond me).

Eyeful TomsSo while the more adventurous of my horticultural experiments limp slowly towards the compost bin, I always have the ‘old faithful’ tomato plants to fall back on.  Over the years, a tradition has emerged of bringing the excess tomato crop into ‘Eyeful Towers’, thus spreading compost and a sense of hearty organic wellbeing around the office.

This year’s crop got snapped up pretty quickly so perhaps it’s time to expand the repertoire – chilli peppers anyone?

“Coming a Close Second” – Beaten by a Better Story

June 25th, 2015 by Simon

Let me paint a picture of what could be viewed as sales nirvana.

You’ve been asked to pitch (along with a number of other companies) to a new prospect who has a well defined need perfectly matching your company’s services.  It’s a level playing field but, on the surface at least, it looks like things are weighed in your favour – you know the sector, have the better product, can demonstrate expertise through great testimonials and, joy upon joy, your pricing is extremely competitive.

Happy days indeed…  The date of the pitch is booked, you deliver it with well versed confidence and await the phone call.

“Thank you very much for your time but we’ve decided to go with another vendor.  It was a tough decision but you came a close second”.

You lost. 

In case of emergencyIt’s official yet still seems unfeasible for the simple reason that all the cards were stacked in your favour.  Best product, best references, best fit…yet they decided to go with what is widely recognised as lesser competition.

Cue the excuses…

“They’d made up their minds before we even met”

“The competition must have bought the business”

“Maybe they’re related to the competition?”

In my experience, it has less to do with these (occasionally) plausible excuses and more to do with something at your end – the ugly truth is that the competition’s story was simply better than yours. 

But what does this mean?

In simple terms, they delivered their message in a way that truly resonated with the prospect.  This might have been the way they engaged the audience at the start of the presentation (here’s an idea – open up your pitch by sharing insight and understanding of your audience’s needs/sector than rather than banging on about how many offices your business has around the globe).

It might have been the way they used technology and visuals to memorably connect with the audience (a simple visual is worth a thousand corporate speak bullet points).

Heck, it might have simply been the fact that they listened intently to the specific needs of the prospect rather than rolling out the same ‘one size fits all’ generic presentation that had bored less inquisitive prospects before.  Perhaps taking a moment out to carefully plan their response won them the deal.

In short, when it came down to the inevitable beauty parade, you turned up on time, went through the motions as professionally as the next person…but left without ever demonstrating your understanding of their needs or building an authentic connection with the audience.
You undoubtedly have a great story to tell (most successful businesses have a plethora of engaging content hidden way gathering dust) but the sad fact is that you’ve probably forgotten it over time.

Step 1

Take a step back from your well worn ‘creds presentation’ and review it through the eyes of your audience – does the story engage, excite or entice?  Do you feel any connection with it whatsoever…or is it the same collection of business buzzwords and elaborate and overly complex diagrams that do little to differentiate you from the competition?  Answer one simple question – is it fit for purpose in today’s marketplace?

Step 2

Go through your win-loss reporting for the last 3 months (or longer as sales cycles dictate) and honestly ask yourself the question – how different would this be if your sales team were equipped with a story and tools that truly and comprehensively engaged your audience on their terms?

Step 3

Go back to a selection of those lost deals and ask them what they remember of your pitch.  If the answer is that they recall your key message, chances are your presentation is in good stead and you may want to review your value proposition.  If the answer is “um…I can’t recall any specifics”, it’s time to review your story and presentation.

Unfortunately sales isn’t like the Olympics – there are no prizes for second place.

PS – If steps 1 – 3 don’t focus the mind, call upon the professionals to conduct a thorough Presentation Healthcheck and get your story back on the straight and narrow).

Tech Season – The Presentation Landscape

June 22nd, 2015 by Matt

In this week’s Tech Season we look at a concept called the Presentation Landscape.

The Presentation Landscape is a fascinating concept that Eyeful’s founder Simon Morton came up with after spending many years working with customers and helping them to create more effective presentations.

It is a concept I absolutely love because it un-muddies the waters around presentations and the technology used to either create or deliver them.

And that is an important distinction to make here. The technology you use to create your presentation will not necessarily be the technology used to deliver it.

rsz_landscape_2

So, where do you start?

Newsflash – Presentations do not start by opening up PowerPoint. Those that do, are the presentations you hate giving and hate receiving even more.

The technology that would be used to create and deliver the end presentation is not where a presentation begins. It’s not an afterthought but a consideration for further down the line.

So you need to put the tech on hold and think long and hard about your audience, your message and your content.

The creation sequence is in 4 stages:

rsz_presentation_stages

Let’s assume you have read The Presentation Lab book, or at least our recent Story Season and thus you have considered your audience and worked out your message and story you intend to deliver.

If this isn’t clear to you, hold at this point and talk to Eyeful – our consultants are presentation messaging experts.

After stages 1 & 2 are ready, you actually just for a moment need to jump ahead to stage 4 and consider your live presentation environment and situation.

Your presentation delivery will sit in either the formal, interactive or informal area of the presentation landscape and it’s this which defines what the software and hardware options are.

Ignore this and you could end up presenting to ten people on a tablet device, sitting down over a coffee with a single prospect and pulling out a laptop and a projector. This isn’t just awkward – it’s plain daft.

So look at the landscape and choose the best and most relevant delivery software which then indicates what creation software you should use.

You can now get cracking on your support visuals.

So there you have it – the presentation landscape in all its glory. Use it wisely, keep it in a safe place and share it widely with colleagues who continually get their presentation technology confused.

If you haven’t already do follow this blog as we release more and more articles for tech season. This week we are releasing more blogs with examples of where differing presentation scenarios might sit on the landscape.

And next week we will start on the technology… there will be software reviews, technological tips and even a look at alternative technology such as using a phone to control PowerPoint.

And if you have any technical questions please feel free to ASK MATT! Just drop me a message at the bottom of this blog post and I’ll get back to you.

Or if you have a presentation to give and need some expert advice for any stage of the process just pick up the phone and give us a ring on 0845 056 8528.

Are You Trying To Fax An Elephant?

June 18th, 2015 by Matt

The Power of Story – The Content Battle

Here at Eyeful we know a bit about content. When we began in 2004 it seemed like every presentation included a picture of a Head Office and photos of the board members. We got to where we are today by being the first presentation company to ask why?

Once we’d persuaded people to cut out the unnecessary we started to get them focusing on what really mattered…

The breakthrough started with a simple premise – message and content reign supreme.

We stopped talking about slides and started telling stories.

There’s a reason that you recount the plot of a film when trying to remember an actors name – it’s the power of story.

Tapping into this power can allow you to draw prospects in and help them engage with your content.

It’s not touchy-feely mumbo-jumbo stuff we’re talking about; it’s the heart of Sales Enablement.

Connecting with prospects and communicating effectively with them is the difference between “interesting” and “where do I sign?”

Telling your story

A great story that no-one hears is no story at all.

Once your people know the ‘what’ of messaging it’s time to address the ‘how’.

The array of hardware, software, technology and methodology available to modern business storytellers is stupefying. Many companies invest heavily in technology to get their story across but unless the message, the tech and the audience are compatible you may as well be trying to fax an elephant.

rsz_1fax_elephant

While the vast majority (theoretical physicists excepted) will immediately see the absurdity of that statement, many Sales and Marketing functions will have been guilty of attempting similar feats.

Presenting to ten people on a tablet device, sitting a single prospect in front of a cinema sized screen and dimming the lights or wasting precious time battling uncooperative technology are all examples of how to get it wrong.

There are no bad ways of communicating but there are a thousand ways to communicate badly.

Somewhere in the depths of time a phrase was coined that should strike fear into the hearts of storytellers everywhere – ‘Death By PowerPoint’. This phrase has become shorthand for everything that is wrong in modern business communication and has implications that reach far beyond traditional slides delivered in traditional ways.
Every interaction you have with your prospects and customers is, in the purest sense, a presentation. You present your company, yourself and your product or service every time you interact. And once you realise that every part of your Sales Enablement process is another presentation you’re ready to start addressing the issues that can cloud your story and overshadow your message.

Knowing how to communicate effectively for the (seemingly) limitless combinations of audience/technology/environment/time combinations can seem daunting but is largely common sense and a skill that anyone can master. We call it Blended Presenting but in this context it can be thought of as the interactive and engaging aspect of Sales Enablement.

Regardless of the tools and technology used, they only need to achieve one thing – bringing your prospect and your story together.

If you need help doing this, then just contact the presentation experts.