Bite-size Advice on Each Stage of the Presentation Process

May 22nd, 2017 by Matt

Last week it was Learning at Work Week. To mark this national event each day we shared lovely bite-sized pieces of presentation insight relating to every stage of the presentation creation process…

Audience

We started off with the most important part of any presentation – your audience. To help you focus your presentation on your audience, we shared our fantastic Audience Heatmap Generator. This is where you can generate some great insight into your own audience, as you receive an informative Audience Heatmap.  This offers some brilliant advice on what content is going to best encourage your audience to follow your call to action.

Structure

We shared our Key Message Headline presentation structure, which is a hugely popular communication structure widely used in journalism, education and business…

Story Visualisation

Eyeful’s presentation consultant Luke Riordan provided his views on why it’s important to start presentations on paper, whilst our key message visualiser Samantha Potter gave a lesson in storyboarding, in her guide to presentation visualisation.

PowerPoint PowerHacks

Our PowerPoint PowerHacks offered six of the best time saving tips our expert presentation designers live by every single day…

Presentation Delivery

We sat down with Eyeful MD Rob Bailey and recorded a podcast on his 5 Golden Rules for delivering more engaging presentations.

Presentation Leave-Behinds

We ended the week with a reminder that even when your presentation is over, it lives on in your audience’s mind. If you don’t support them with an effective presentation leave-behind, their memory could distort your key messages in all kind of ways… To help with this we shared 4 perfect presentation leave-behinds that will keep your message clear for any type of audience.

Visit our dedicated page and gain access to all of this great insight and give your next presentation a much higher chance of success…

REQUEST YOUR FREE* INTERACTIVE PRESENTATION

May 19th, 2017 by Matt

Interactive presentations are without a doubt one of the most powerful and versatile types of presentation available…

Most PowerPoint presentation designs are linear, they start on slide 1 and the presenter clicks through slide by slide until the end of the presentation. This is absolutely fine for a traditional lecture style presentation, however doesn’t allow for audience interaction.

An interactive presentation has a form of navigation not dissimilar to a website. Usually with either a menu slide or a pop-out menu that allows you to jump straight to the slides you wish to deliver.

Useful for repeat delivery of formal presentations…

If you deliver the same presentation over and over again, and find yourself removing slides or moving their order each time you present… well, bravo for tailoring your presentation to your audience, but you might not need to.

You could simply create one main presentation that you tailor as you present. This is where you would use interactive navigation to dip into hidden content if that’s where the topic of conversation goes…

If you don’t want to talk about something, you would simply avoid clicking on the link and carry on through the presentation.

As if you have 3 topics on a menu slide and you only want to present the detail of one of those. Then you can click on the one you want to talk about and jump straight to the slides relating to it, before returning to the menu. Then just move on through the presentation ignoring the subjects you don’t want to go into.

Useful in informal meetings…

Useful is an understatement. If you are heading into a one to one sales meeting with a prospect the last thing you want to be doing is firing up a laptop, loading up a linear PowerPoint and forcing your conversation down a pre-determined route.

Natural conversations ebb and flow in different directions. What you need for this type of engagement is an interactive presentation on a tablet device. This allows you and your prospect to discuss anything that they wish to. You can support your responses by easily jumping to the supporting set of slides.

Useful as a presentation leave-behind…

Some presenters print their slides out and leave them with their audience. However, slides that lack the context of the presenter run the risk of confusing the audience, which is not a good prospect if a key decision maker is reviewing your presentation after the event.

Interactive presentations allow you to build the presenters context into the presentation, meaning the same file that the presenter delivered can be shared with the audience after the event, without any loss of context.

The presentation itself works exactly as the original with the presenter’s words becoming available at the click of a button as per this example…

Create your next presentation interactive free of charge…

The next time we create a presentation for you, we’ll make it rich with interactivity at no extra cost. Check out our dedicated presentation leave-behind page or simply give us a call on +44 (0)1455 826390 for more details…
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NATIONAL WALKING MONTH PODCAST: THE IMPORTANCE OF STEPPING AWAY

May 12th, 2017 by Olivia Walsh

May is National Walking Month, with 15th-19th being Walk to School Week for the parents among you.

As Europe’s leading presentation design agency we think walking and presentations go hand in hand.

Our CEO Simon Morton books a weekend off every year to go on a walking weekend, we’ve held management meetings in the great outdoors and who can forget the Eyeful charity trek over Dartmoor a few years ago!?

We love walking for a very simple reason, getting away from your everyday work environment and giving yourself chance to think about things and get a little clarity and perception is priceless – it’s probably our single biggest tip when it comes to preparing a presentation too…

We always advise anyone preparing a presentation to…

“Step away – grab a coffee, go for a walk, or find an empty room – anything that’s going to get you thinking about your presentation in a slightly different way.” – Rob Bailey, Managing Director, Eyeful Presentations.

If you have a presentation on the horizon, stick your work shoes into a bag, grab your most comfortable trainers and walk to work…

If that’s not practical, step away from your desk and simply head outside and take a walk this lunchtime…

To keep you company while you walk, Rob Bailey is releasing weekly podcasts with some expert presentation advice that’s perfect to take on board as you are walking…

To listen to today’s tip, just click play below and the podcast will automatically stream…

NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS MONTH: SUMMARY

May 5th, 2017 by Matt

National Stress Awareness Month has come to an end, but for many, the stress involved in creating presentations goes on.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

If you are prepping a presentation now…

Check out my blog 5 Steps To Remove Presentation Panic where I discuss the 5 key steps to take if a presentation is needed at short notice…

Step 1 – Prioritise Your Workload
Step 2 – Create A Message For Your Audience
Step 3 – Plan Your Content
Step 4 – PowerPoint Presentation Design
Step 5 – Rehearse

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

If your presentation is already designed…

Send it to us and we’ll put it through its paces with our free Presentation Healthcheck service.

This is where 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 the strengths and weaknesses of your presentation and feedback to you in our comprehensive report.

If you would like to relinquish all of the stress…

Then this really is the easiest option of all. Just pick up the phone, dial 01455 826390 and we’ll connect you to a presentation expert who will take care of everything…

We’ll work out your key messages, form you a powerful story with strong messaging, before presentation designers create you an outstanding presentation…

A presentation that you will not only be proud to deliver, but one that will resonate with your audience and achieve the result you’re are looking for. Where’s the stress in that?

MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOUR PRESENTATIONS

May 4th, 2017 by Matt

A long time ago, in a country far far away a film creator by the name of George Lucas gave us (in my opinion) the ultimate story – Star Wars.

Happy Star Wars Day!

I believe Star Wars is the ultimate story for a few reasons. Growing up in the mid 80’s the original movies were on every single Christmas Day that I can remember.

But, the event that really confirmed my love for Star Wars was when I awoke one Christmas morning to find the hallway floor decorated with lots of new Star Wars toys. They weren’t wrapped or even boxed, but laid in a sort of action scene mix of figures, space ships and other random vehicles from the Galactic Republic!

This is the everlasting memory of my childhood.

Great stories have that power to be remembered for a long time. This is why we use story-telling in our presentations and why on May the 4th 2015 I wrote a Star Wars related blog about how to make memorable content as part of your PowerPoint presentation design…

Like all good stories, it’s key principles remain the same years later…

There are lots of examples in Star Wars of memorable content. There’s the Death Star exploding (twice), the very first scene where the Star Destroyer comes into shot – and of course, who could forget Jabba the Hut!

There’s the moment in The Empire Strikes Back where Luke is hanging on by a thread, his hand just severed by Darth Vader’s light saber, who then twistedly asks him to join him on the dark side, because, “I am your father…”

Now that’s one heck of a plot twist, when your mortal enemy actually turns around and says, hey I’m your dad, let’s rule the universe together. It doesn’t matter if you’re 6 or 60 – that’s deep.

These kind of magic moments travel too. YOU can produce an ‘I am your father moment’ in your presentation and the audience will take note and remember it long into the future.

A word of warning though…

You’ve got to make your presentation story and your messages memorable, (we call this sticky content); not just to create a whiz bang moment.

Everyone in the world of presentations knows about Steve Job’s famous MacBook in an envelope. A very cool, very clever moment that everyone remembers. But what else do you remember about that?

The key message there was “This laptop is very, very cool, because it’s very, very thin.” Not that it has a great processor, a fantastic hard drive and outperforms every other laptop on the market. Nope, we know that, that laptop was very, very thin.

The way to make your content engaging and memorable, yet still resonating with your audience long into the future is through great storytelling!

And this is where the Star Wars story gets it so right, it has its jaw dropping “I am your father and have a very, very thin laptop in an envelope, join me on the dark side and it’s yours…” moments. But it’s the fact Star Wars takes you on a journey across the galaxy, this is what keeps audiences hooked and makes the whole thing ‘sticky’.

“By introducing a structure, story or narrative arc, you can give your message the opportunity to grow legs, travel and get shared time and time again.”
Eyeful CEO, Simon Morton in The Presentation Lab.

Get this right and your audience will be that version of me as a wowed 5-year-old walking amongst all my new toys and down the line they will still remember your presentation and your message – and that’s cooler than owning your own light saber. Zrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

But if you don’t consider yourself George Lucas when it comes to crafting stories, then fear not – just get in touch – as our expert consultants are the Jedi Masters of creating sticky presentation story – as for them, the force is strong.

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