THE POWER AND EMOTION OF PICTURES

August 25th, 2016 by Matt

Ok, disclaimer time. This is not a normal Eyeful blog. There will be no mention of presentations or even a call to action from me.

This piece is about the raw emotion and power of imagery.

It was World Photography Day recently which I hadn’t realised was coming up. And as soon as I did, I thought how appropriate it was that this day should fall when there is one image that’s been making waves around the world, featuring on every news channel, newspaper and social media feed possible…

The image in question is of course that of Omran Daqneesh the dazed and bloodied Syrian boy whose home was hit by a bomb during the conflict.

This moment of him sitting in an ambulance has become a global symbol of the un-humanitarian conflict happening in Aleppo and other areas of Syria and is an emphatic example of the power images can have.

CREDIT: TWITTER

CREDIT: TWITTER

Without going into the gory details of a terrible situation that’s happening right now, The Telegraph states…

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that 142 children have been killed in Aleppo in August alone. Around 50,000 children are believed to have died across the country during the last five years of fighting although exact figures are impossible to calculate.”

But it’s the image of Omran, one small innocent boy that is resonating with the world and driving home the both the true story of what’s happening, as well as political messages in edited versions such as this one…

CREDIT: TWITTER

CREDIT: TWITTER

It doesn’t matter how many newspapers you read, how many TV News shows you watch, or how many social media feeds you scan – this one image of an innocent little boy says it all.

I’m no expert on what exactly is going on in Syria, but just by seeing this image I have a raw emotional connection with it.

I’m a father myself, my little boy Jack is not much younger than Omran, Jack is always wearing shorts and T-Shirt and often doesn’t smile for photo’s – so remove the blood and dust from Omran and that could well be a picture of my little man.

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And that’s what hits home to me and so many others. To just imagine for one moment a little boy just like my son, looking like this, hurt, injured, traumatised and still in danger, is beyond awful and gives me a great feeling of empathy with the fear and horror of this little boy’s own parents.

This emotion drives me to a level of anger and a political opinion of why are world leaders and our own government not stopping this awful situation from happening?

This is the power of the picture.

AN EXTRA 1% CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

August 19th, 2016 by Matt

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For anyone who visits this blog often you’ll know my number one sport is football. Everything else (usually) pales into insignificance, well, Wimbledon might get my interest should Murray make the final…

However, on Tuesday night I was enthralled by the Olympic cycling in Rio and the amazing success Team GB had in the form of Jason Kenny winning his sixth gold medal and his fiancée Laura Trott picking up her fourth gold – I’m ashamed to admit I’d never heard of these two before.

The most exciting cycling event was the Individual Sprint which was basically the best of 3 short races – I can’t believe I now understand how cycle races work!

German rider Kristina Vogel easily took the first race against Team GB’s Becky James. So in the second race the pressure was on the Brit not to lose again. James picked up the pace and as they headed neck and neck for the finish line, Vogel lunged her bike forward with such force, her saddle ripped off in the process…

So, by giving it one last blast of effort, Vogel took the gold medal.

Just as Shaunae Miller did on Sunday… Miller, a runner for the Bahamas, was in second place in the 400m as she neared the finish line, but with one last gasp she dived over the finish line to take gold!

So real proof that giving it one last blast of effort can help you reap the rewards.

And you can apply the same thinking to presentations…

If time is ticking down and your presentation is coming to a close, what final one percent can you apply to help you over the finish line?

The best thing to do at this crucial moment is to pause and think about your objective. Focus on the reason you walked into that meeting or event, before naturally leading your audience to the call to action you want them to follow.

It might sound simple, but so many PowerPoint presentation design’s lack this most basic, yet important element.

When it comes to presentations this is your lunge, leap or lean.

The truth is though that the last moment lunge wasn’t what truly won these athletes the gold, it was the preparation and sacrifice over the previous 4 years that delivered the result. Olympian’s don’t win gold because of short cuts or last minute panics… the same goes for powerful presentations.

“I’m just so happy that it all came together (on the day). I honestly can’t thank everyone at home enough… Like the people we work with in the gym to the people that look at our power data, my nutritionist… Especially to my coach… who has me stropping because I can’t do the powers that he’s given me, to then today when it goes really, really well.”
Laura Trott, Team GB Cyclist, moments after winning her 4th gold medal

Trott’s key sentiment here being that a lot of hard work came together at the right time. The instant a presenter steps out in front of an audience, their moment of truth begins too.

An Olympic event and a presentation are both the culmination of a lot of hard work – opportunities to present take a lot of time and effort to generate, equally it takes a lot of hard work and determination to plan, create and deliver a successful presentation.

This is why this presentation design company exists – Eyeful are the team behind the world’s best business presentations.

So to make sure your presentation is on course for a gold medal, just get in touch with the team that will support you all the way to the podium…

ANNOUNCING: THE 2016 EYEFULPALOOZA

August 11th, 2016 by Matt

Aloha!

The grass skirts have been fitted and the Lei’s are on the way, which can only mean one thing – it’s almost time for Eyeful’s Hawaiian themed Eyefulpalooza!

Yes, this fun filled extravaganza is happening on Friday the 19th August here at Eyeful Towers…

Poster

It may look like a fun filled afternoon a bunch of presentation designers (and it is) but that’s not why we do it. The Eyefulpalooza’s true goal is to raise as much cash as possible for our chosen charity, The Alzheimers society…

“We are dedicated to defeating dementia through research. We fund research into the cause, cure, care and prevention of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, to improve treatment for people today, and search for a cure for tomorrow.”

Last year our fundraising smashed our target as we raised a massive £660!!!

And we want to SMASH it again, which is where you come in – you can support this very worthy cause by buying raffle tickets through our Just Giving page…

Just donate £3 for 5 tickets, or £5 for 10 tickets, which we will post to you. Not only can you help a very worthy charity continue their fight against a disease that affects over 850,000 people in the UK, but you can also win fantastic prizes such as…

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Our thanks go to all the companies who have donated prizes and to everyone who makes a donation…

Here’s to making the 2016 Eyefulpalooza the best and most successful one yet.

WHICH OFFICE OLYMPIAN ARE YOU?

August 5th, 2016 by Matt

The Rio Olympic Games officially get underway tonight with the expected extravaganza of the opening ceremony, but if you just can’t wait for the action to start, why not take our very quick quiz and find out which office Olympian you are?Are you a hardworking, committed marathon runner, a speedy 100m sprinter or a noble equestrian jumper? Whatever you are, we’d love to know (and if you agree), so please leave your comments below…

EDUCATION SECTOR FINALLY REALISING THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESENTATIONS

August 4th, 2016 by Matt

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Most of the PowerPoint presentation designs that we create for our customers, and indeed the vast majority of the presentation training we deliver, is to the B2B sector. So it’s been very refreshing to see a college take a strong interest in their educational presentations.

Eyeful’s CEO Simon Morton recently made the trip to Hartpury College to deliver the short version of Eyeful’s Think, Act & Deliver Presentations Differently seminar.

Simon said, “It was lovely and quite a refreshing experience to be asked to speak at Hartpury College’s Teaching and Learning Conference, and to actually have the opportunity to help with the development of the lecturers and teachers at the college. I’m a strong believer in the importance of young people being properly educated in all aspects of presentations, especially in the area of messaging and structure. So my thanks go to the college for this opportunity.”

65 lecturers and teachers attended Simon’s seminar, which kicked off Hartpury’s teaching and learning conference. Simon’s keynote session was based on some of the ideas and concepts from his acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab, where he discussed some of the elements that go into the 3 key stages of presentation creation.

Hartpury’s Head of Teaching and Learning of Higher Education, Kate Mori, added, “Simon is an internationally recognised expert on presentation skills and a high-calibre speaker, so we were extremely lucky to have secured him for our event. The feedback from the session has been terrific! Staff really enjoyed it and I think feel liberated to ditch a squillion slides and concentrate on the message.”

If you have an upcoming event and would like Simon to share some of his renowned presentation expertise, just give Olivia Walsh a call on 01455 826390…

BREAKING NEWS: POWERPOINT VS PREZI THE (INTERACTIVE) GLOVES ARE OFF

July 27th, 2016 by Matt

About 6 weeks ago we reported on the release of Prezi for Business (Prezi’s latest version specifically for business presentations) and that one of their major new features was interactivity. In a nutshell, the new version gave presenters the ability to jump to specific content at the click of a mouse thus allowing them to tailor their content live during an engagement. Happy days.

Well, the breaking news from Microsoft is that they too have made interactivity a focus with the release of a new function within PowerPoint 365, ZOOM…

Let’s get one thing straight…
Interactivity in PowerPoint presentation designs is nothing new to us here at Eyeful. Custom Shows hark back to the days of PowerPoint 2003 and for over a decade we’ve been championing this amazing way to navigate presentations…

That said, what Zoom seems to do is give the custom show function a much needed refresh. It’s been around for 13 years, it’s an over complicated and clunky way to set up interactivity and an upgrade was much needed…

So kudos to Microsoft for listening to their users and continuing to push PowerPoint to new levels of usability.

What’s new…
The new menu pulls up the thumbnail of the slides in the deck allowing you to quickly and easily select the slides you want to jump to…

Grab 1

It then automatically generates the thumbnails on your slide, which are hyperlinked to jump (or zoom) you to those sections while your presenting. Neat.

Grab 2

What’s even neater is the ‘zoom’ bit, as when you click on the thumbnail, PowerPoint zooms you into it, taking you to the slide in one seamless flow of movement. We’re guessing that this pulls on the Morph transition we reported on some time ago…

Fundamentally there is absolutely nothing here that you couldn’t do before. It’s just the process of setting all of this up is massively streamlined and simplified. Previously it would have been a pretty time consuming, not to mention complicated affair.

Why this is good for your business presentations…
What’s really great about Zoom isn’t actually the functionality it brings, it’s the way the feature will raise the profile of interactive presentations to the wider business presentation world.

Alex Warwick, one of Eyeful’s senior presentation designers had this to say…

“I think it’s another great example of Microsoft being innovative and giving users the functionality to make the most of an ever-changing presentation landscape. Microsoft are realising the power of presenting on different platforms to different audiences and not just in a linear way in big rooms. For a designer, the morph tool was a masterpiece but this tool will be much more impactful to engage with audiences. The interactivity that PowerPoint has provided in the past has been invaluable and this tool takes it another, much easier to use step forward. I cannot wait to train our clients with these new features, they will love it.”

Alex Warwick, Senior Presentation Designer & Trainer, Eyeful Presentations

Eyeful’s concept, The Presentation Landscape is proof that presentations don’t only happen in formal environments such as boardrooms and auditoriums…

rsz_landscape_2

With communication over coffee and meetings that require as much input from the audience as the presenter, interactivity gives the power back to the presenter to go with the flow and discuss and share only the slides and content that’s most relevant to the audience in the room.

This is a really powerful element for presenters and anything that increases the awareness of interactive presentations and makes it easier to implement, is no bad thing in our book.

If you’d like to learn more about all of the latest PowerPoint features and how they could help enhance your business presentations, check out our presentation training page, where we could customise an advanced PowerPoint training course for your exact needs…

WHAT EVERY STARBUCKS TELLS US ABOUT THE STATE OF SALES PRESENTATIONS

July 22nd, 2016 by Simon

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‘Coffee is for closers’ is a film quote that many sales professionals will recognise with a wry smile. No matter how high up the sales totem pole you may sit, it’s become a universal reference point for the rough and tumble of sales and a way of demonstrating that this career path is not for the faint hearted.

In the world of sales presentations, it’s taken on a second meaning. Caffeine hits and sales presentations have, for the wrong reasons, become synonymous. How? Because every morning in every coffee shop in every major city across the globe, there are legions of sales people furiously tweaking PowerPoint presentation design’s moments before their sales pitch. Manic, caffeine fuelled changes to presentations (updating prospect names and logos, adding new slides, deleting old slides and, on occasion, reordering the whole caboodle at the very last minute) are commonplace.

It has to stop. And it has to stop for two reasons.

The first is a purely selfish one – as a sales professional, you’ve put too much into this to let it fail for the sake of a slapdash approach at the final hurdle. Every sales opportunity is the culmination of a hell of a lot of work and investment. From the purgatory of cold calling, late nights evaluating the opportunity (and competition), expensive marketing campaigns, investment in advanced PowerPoint training and professional development and, lest we forget, the pain of dragging yourself out of bed at 5am to ensure you get to the prospect’s office in time. No matter how you calculate it, businesses and their sales people invest a huge amount of effort and money in order to get in front of the prospect in the first place. Yet despite this, Starbucks are filled to the gunnels with sales professionals, Americano in hand, making changes to their most important sales tool MINUTES before going into the meeting.

This phenomenon is so common that we’ve given it a name – the Presentation Paradox.

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The second reason is one of commercial reality. Like it or not, the quality of your sales presentation will have a major impact on your success. So turning up to a meeting with something that bears all the hallmarks of a woefully generic and unconsidered presentation puts you and your business on the backfoot before you’ve even got into the rapport stage.

The tell-tell signs are all too familiar: slide upon slide stuffed with overly detailed content (just in case the prospect asks a question about an obscure feature of product), more focus on your business than theirs (unnecessary pictures of your HQ, a world map with pins stuck in it to show where you have offices and meaningless revenue and EBITDA charts) and a distinct lack of any clear message.

In short, the sales presentation is no longer about meeting the needs of your audience and as such adds little or no value.

This is a crying shame. Sales presentations should be viewed as a ‘moment of truth’ – the opportunity to take an interested prospect and turn them into a valuable and loyal customer. A tipping point between a wasted journey and a success. Get your sales presentation design and messaging right and the future looks bright…mess it up and all that investment (including the coffee) goes out of the window.

And now for the really scary part…

None of what I’ve just shared will come as a surprise to any sales professional. In their heart of hearts, they know they’ve fallen into the same traps time and time again. Yet the issues persist. And if you don’t believe me, pop along to your nearest coffee shop around 9am on any weekday morning.

So how do you address the issue? Well for sure, the cure isn’t making sales people better at PowerPoint. It’s also not about releasing yet another version of the sales presentation to them (chances are that this would be bastardised within days as well).

It’s about changing behaviour and getting sales people to recognise the privilege of presenting.

Our response to this is The Sales Lab, a day dedicated to reengaging sales people with their presentation and ensuring that audience needs, not caffeine induced panic, come first. You can learn more about this open course here.

So if you’re reading this in a coffee shop and the person next to you is frantically tweaking a PowerPoint, please tactfully suggest they check out The Sales Lab. Not only will they appreciate it, but you can be sure their audiences will as well.

Enjoy your coffee…

THE EYEFUL PRESENTATIONS PODCAST – SALES PRESENTATIONS SPECIAL

July 14th, 2016 by Matt

Sales Presentation design and messaging is something we get asked for help with more than any other type of presentation. It’s obvious why, they are counted by sales presenters as their most valued piece of collateral and they are vital to the final result of sales meetings…

Which is why we’ve dedicated an entire podcast to sales presentation advice…

Running Order

0m 58s Article Review: The New Rules of Sales Presentations (& why you must change)

4m 13s Simon reveals where to start when it comes to making a good sales presentation…

5m 07s Discover Eyeful’s Presentation Landscape concept…

7m 50s Article Review: 99 Problems But A Pitch Aint One

9m 55s Eyeful Presentation Placemats…

10m 44s Article Review: Infographics – The Saviour of Sales Presentations… or just a step in the right direction?

14m 08s How Eyeful equip our own sales people for prospect meetings

16m 56s How sales managers can arm their team with a Sales Toolkit

Find out more about The Sales Lab here and reserve your place online…

Or please do call us on +44 (0)1455 826 390 and one of our expert presentation consultants will be more than happy to tell you all about the kind of Sales Presentations we create and how we could help you achieve your sales goals…

EURO 2016: HOW TO WIN AGAINST THE ODDS LIKE PORTUGAL

July 11th, 2016 by Matt

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It’s finally over. Euro 2016 that glorious month of sunshine (and downpours) and fantastic free flowing (and sometimes overly defensive and dull) football has finally come to an end.

Many of us weren’t expecting a largely Ronaldo-less Portugal to beat the host nation 1-0 in extra time.

As holder of France in the Eyeful sweepstake I cut a fairly forlorn character, although perhaps not as disappointed as a few million French fans!

The result was all the more surprising because Portugal weren’t fancied after a 3rd place group finish, an aging defence and having only won one game within 90-minutes in the entire run up to the final!

So with star man Ronaldo going down injured in the final after just a few minutes (and being attacked by a huge moth to add insect to injury) how on Earth did they manage to win the tournament?

How they achieved such heady success can actually be compared quite nicely to a certain presentation scenario…

Imagine you’re up against a far superior competitor who seemingly has one hand on the deal already?

To make matters worse your star sales pitcher calls in sick on the day of the presentation – how can you take inspiration from the men in red and green?

Portugal had support where they needed it…
Not just their fans, all of Portugal’s players supported each other. When Ronaldo went off injured he didn’t disappear down the tunnel and sulk, he returned to the touchline, shouted support and metaphorically kicked every ball with his teammates.

In the same vein you need strong support in the form of PowerPoint presentation design collateral. Not just great looking design, but images and graphics that perfectly support key messages, packaged up in multiple formats that allow you to deliver seamlessly in any presentation environment whether you’re pitching to the board or chatting over coffee…

Portugal had a strong plan…
They had a solid strategy defensive strategy that they kept 4 clean sheets in 7 games. It was this strong base, with the addition of flair players like Ronaldo and Nani that paved Portugal’s path all the way to the final…

Likewise, you need sales presentation design and messaging that’s been carefully constructed on a foundation of strong messaging and structure with the added final flair of engaging design to give your business the most professional image.

Portugal were a well drilled team…
They might be considered a 1-man team, but when Ronaldo was finally stretchered off after 25 minutes, Portugal actually grew in strength. His replacement Quaresma slotted into the team seamlessly as they rigidly kept their formation and game plan intact.

You too can’t rely on one person to deliver all of your important presentations. You need a team that’s been well trained to deliver in any situation, whether they have 3 months to prepare or 30 minutes.

That’s how you win like Portugal…
Go in with a presentation as weak as Ronaldo’s left knee and you could be in trouble…

Go in with a robust message, strong presentation collateral and a well-trained team and you can’t be much better prepared to achieve presentation success.

Even if you think your much fancied and far superior competitor has you beat, don’t be disheartened because you can set your team up for success and achieve the results you previously thought were out of reach…

So if you would like your team set up to win like Portugal, just get in touch

TODAY, WE ARE ALL A LITTLE WELSH!

July 6th, 2016 by Matt

In anticipation of yet another great game by Wales in tonight’s Euro 2016 semi-final, we want to throw our support behind the boys in red.

To prove our credentials, we did a little research into what our Welsh connections might be…

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Turns out with a little cajoling we could probably get some game time…#COMEONWALES!