NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS MONTH: 5 STEPS TO REMOVE PRESENTATION PANIC

April 27th, 2017 by Matt

We all know that sinking feeling you get when an email request from your big boss arrives asking you to present at the next quarterly meeting.

A positive and polite response “certainly, I would love to”, masks an inner monologue that screams “are you kidding me?!”.

You have two choices…

You can either hide in the stationery cupboard hoping that the presentation goes away (which it won’t), commit career suicide and refuse to present, or you can take a deep breath and meet this challenge head on like you do every other.

Take that breath, because we have your back.

At Eyeful we are used to presentation SOS requests heading our way and we tackle these by following a structured and sensible approach that is about using the time wisely and to maximum impact.

5 Steps To Remove Presentation Panic…

Step 1 – Prioritise your workload

Assess your to-do-list and push back anything that can be until after the date of the presentation.

Now assess honestly how many hours you can dedicate to your presentation preparation before dividing your time up percentage wise in the following 4 steps…

Focusing and prioritising your time will help to keep you calm and you’ll create a better, more effective presentation at the same time. It’s win-win.

Step 2 – Create A Message For Your Audience

Allocate 35% of your time early on to consider your presentation objectives (Must, Intend, Like).

Write these down and they will help you to identify the content and visuals that are truly engaging your audience and point them in the right direction.

Now profile your audience, a quick and easy way to do this is here in our free Presentation Healthcheck service.

An audience heatmap

With your objectives clear in your mind and your audience in focus (with an audience heatmap), you will now have some strong ideas on how to best to share your message.

Get this down on paper as a storyflow, which is essentially the flow of the presentation in a list of chapter headings. Share this with some trusted colleagues and ask for honest feedback. Listen and action accordingly.

Don’t be tempted to keep changing it as you will burn time. Trust your instincts.

Step 3 – Plan Your Content

Review the storyflow against the slides you have and remove anything that doesn’t support your message. Don’t forget to make sure you have a call to action that it is aligned to your objectives and key message.

Work your way through the slides removing as many words as you can and highlight any gaps in your story.

A presentation storyboard

Sketch out new slides that need to be created on paper and again ask colleagues for their honest feedback. Planning a storyboard on paper easily allows you to see what works and what doesn’t easily and quickly.

Once this is done you can start to create your final presentation…

Step 4 – PowerPoint Presentation Design

 

Firstly, go for some quick wins. You can easily swap text based content out for images or diagrams? PowerPoint 2016’s new Icon functionality makes visualising key messages a lot easier too.

PowerPoint’s new icon tool

Always play your presentation through making sure titles and colours are consistent and that all the animation works as it should.

Step 5 – Rehearse

When deadlines are tight there will be a huge temptation to forgo the practice stage and work on the creation of your presentation right up until the last minute. But you must fight this.

Working on your presentation into the late hours the night before is not advisable. The last thing you want to be doing is heading into your presentation in a tired state with unfamiliar slides.

Presenter rehearsing to an empty room

You must leave at least 10% of your time for practising delivering your presentation. Doing this on your own is fine, but if you have access to a tripod you could video yourself on your phone and review yourself. This is a great way to self improve before testing your delivery out in front of your colleagues.

Follow these 5 steps and when you present you will come across more authentically, look more professional and give all the hard work you’ve done the best chance to succeed.

Best of luck.

INTRODUCING THE EYEFUL STORYBOARD STARTER PACK

April 25th, 2017 by Matt

It’s National Stationery Week so Eyeful are giving away free Storyboard Starter Packs to assist you to create stronger presentations in the right way…

Planning your presentations on paper and not heading straight to the PowerPoint presentation design stage, is the best way to create a more effective and more compelling presentation.

For example here at Eyeful, we always start by planning and structuring your presentation’s story on paper, which is why our storyboard pads are so useful…

Our tried and trusted Presentation Optimisation process starts with a workshop where we really get to the heart of why you are presenting. We would ask many challenging questions, analyse the profile of your audience and decipher what key messages will inspire them into following your call to action.

The messaging of your presentation will then be structured into a story flow, which is essentially the chapter headings of your presentation. This ensures your important key messages are delivered to your audience via a story that they will remember.

With your story in place, we then visualise in an interesting and engaging way, keeping well away from typical ‘Death By PowerPoint’ presentations…

This is where the Eyeful Storyboard Starter Pack becomes invaluable. This bundle contains a storyboard pad, set of pencils, eraser and a helpful guide to give you advice and inspiration on how to visualise your key messages.

We asked Eyeful’s presentation expert Luke Riordan for his thoughts on how the Eyeful Storyboard Starter Pack could help improve your presentations…

Request your free Eyeful Storyboard Starter Pack now… 

PRESENTATION LEAVE-BEHINDS: THE PRINTED HANDOUT

April 20th, 2017 by Matt

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…

PRESENTATION TIPS TO MAKE YOUR DATA RESONATE

April 13th, 2017 by Matt

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…

  1. You need a strong message around which to build your story.

  2. This message needs to be supported with relevant content.

  3. 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…

10 FACTS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT EASTER

April 13th, 2017 by Matt

10 FACTS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT EASTER

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…

#PresentBetter

NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS MONTH: THE EASY WAY TO AVOID PRESENTATION STRESS

April 7th, 2017 by Matt

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…

THE MISSING INGREDIENT FOR PRESENTATION SUCCESS

April 5th, 2017 by Matt

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 page now 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…

DO YOUR PRESENTATIONS STRESS YOU OUT?

March 31st, 2017 by Matt

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 Emergency presentation 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…

EYEFUL’S RED NOSE DAY ANTICS

March 27th, 2017 by Matt

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…

#PresentBetter – PowerPoint PowerHack: Removing White Backgrounds

March 27th, 2017 by Matt

#PresentBetter – PowerPoint PowerHack: Removing White Backgrounds

If you’ve ever dropped a logo into a PowerPoint slide, you might have been left frustrated by its background colour standing out.

Well not anymore, as one of Eyeful’s senior presentation designers has another top PowerPoint PowerHack which reveals a little Photoshop style magic without
ever leaving PowerPoint…

Stay tuned for another PowerPoint PowerHack soon,

The Eyeful Team