POWERPOINT’S GETTING A BRAND NEW BUTTON

September 30th, 2016 by Matt

News broke this week at Microsoft’s Ignite Conference in the US that there will soon be a whole raft of new Office 365 updates that presenters will find interesting…

YOU SPENT HOW LONG ON THAT PRESENTATION?
If you’re spending a little longer tinkering on slides than you should, there may well very soon be a way for your boss to find out….

So if you’re struggling with PowerPoint or Prezi and wasting lots of time, then now might be the right time to brush up on your presentation creation skills.

Spookily, our brand new course The Presentation Technology Lab is just about to launch!

It’s way more than your average Advanced PowerPoint training day… our presentation designers and consultants will reveal, demystify and give you a great handle on all of the latest presentation technology in just 1 day.

BUILD IT ONCE, USE IT ONCE, TWICE OR EVEN THRICE
The super creatively named TAP will be available in Word and Outlook this September. This handy new feature simply allows you to import elements that you’ve painstakingly created in PowerPoint and in one TAP import them into your Word or Outlook files in a fully editable format. So say goodbye to cut and paste jobs.

Now all you need is to make sure your PowerPoint slides look the business, if only there was an award winning presentation design company around here…

THE TAB TO PUT PRESENTATION DESIGNER’S OUT OF BUSINESS
Or maybe not. If you use PowerPoint 2016 you might have noticed how when you insert an image, a tab called PRESENTATION DESIGNER opens up and provides around 5 different, rather cool layout options. At least it would be cool if it ever actually worked in an existing template.

Well this feature is getting an upgrade too and it appears Microsoft have taken inspiration from our April Fool’s Day joke about a fictitious PowerPoint plugin called PIMP MY SLIDE which magically turned bullet points into nicely designed icons…

Well in a similar vein, the update to PRESENTATION DESIGNER now turns bullet points into, erm… Boxes. Which is nice.

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The frustrating thing about this is that a bullet point in a box, is still a bullet point. When are Microsoft going to do something about helping people plan and structure their presentations properly?

Thankfully our Fast Track Presentation Training days will do just that. Check them out here

POWERPOINT’S BRAND NEW BUTTON
We’ve often mused over how PowerPoint could be smarter in helping presenters with their structure and messaging, and it looks like Microsoft are finally getting the message, with the new QUICKSTARTER button in PowerPoint.

But don’t get too excited…

QUICKSTARTER for PowerPoint and Sway actually will, sort of, help you with the structuring of your presentation…

The theory is… you simply open up PowerPoint, click on the QUICKSTARTER button and then you can search for a topic. Worryingly though, it suggests to “Search for a famous person or historical event” (more on this in a mo)

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PowerPoint then searches the internet for related topics, you pick one and PowerPoint automatically suggests some starter slides with relevant content. You are then asked to select the ones you want to create your presentations structure…

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…PowerPoint then automatically designs you some basic slides…

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As great as this sounds, in my opinion this tool is woefully under developed and there seems to be more questions than answers…

Firstly, the designs don’t look amazing.

Will it work on your template in your look and feel?

Will it create content that relates to specific topics that are suitable to your business and your audience’s requirements?

As the Paris example in the video suggests… at the moment this new button isn’t really useful to anyone other than history students and celebrity journalists.

If you really want your presentations story, structure and messaging to be absolutely spot on, you can forget about automated software templates. You need to talk to one of Eyeful’s consultantsthe real presentation experts…

HOW WE AVOIDED TODDLER TRAUMA WHEN TRAVELING

September 26th, 2016 by Matt

I am tired. Very tired.

I love my job at Eyeful, Europe’s leading PowerPoint Presentation Design Agency, but boy was I ready for a break.

Today is my first day back after a ‘relaxing’ holiday in Cornwall with my wife Mel and our two-and-a-half year old son Jack.

Obviously when I say relaxing, I mean utterly shattering.

Alas, Mel and I have had to wave goodbye to relaxing holidays where we lay around a sun drenched pool enjoying a good book…

…and say hello to UK holidays where Jack can have the most fun. Feastival has been rebooked and a first ever trip to Centreparcs is currently under negotiation. Really? A holiday in Nottingham?

A wise person once told me, the baby fits in with your life, it doesn’t dictate what you do…

They. Were. Lying.

If it’s 28° and Jack wants his hoody on, I put it on… because the alternative ear-splitting, glass-shattering, 9.9 on the Richter Scale screaming is simply not worth it.

So this year we set off on a road trip to the lovely harbour village of Padstow, instead of worrying about a toddler with sunburn, heat-related ultra-crankiness or potential malnutrition from a lack of Chicken Nugget intake…

Padstow is, of course, famous for hosting many high quality Rick Stein restaurants, of which we went to… none! High-class evening dining with an overtired toddler and breakable plates are simply not a good mix.

We also had to plan our days doing things Jack would enjoy such as seeing Lion’s in Newquay Zoo (where I found out that I weigh the same as a Panda – awesome).

When it didn’t rain we played on the beach, getting sand in unspeakable places as we made Jack a world record 75 Sand Castles!

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So what the heck has my holiday got to do with your presentations?

Well, as much as Mel and I pine for a fortnight of 5-star Mexican luxury, Jack is our highest priority.

And in some roundabout way my holidays are actually the same as your presentations.

You see, most business presentations suffer from one major flaw – they tend to be woefully generic, one-size-fits-all affairs.

They focus on their own company, where they are based, number of offices, identity parade of directors and so on – the audience just isn’t bothered about all of that.

The reality is that, just as Jack is the most important person to us, your audience are the most important people in your presentation.

It’s essential that you structure your presentation to address the challenges and issues they are facing – before, explaining how your solution is the answer to their prayers.

Yes, this is more work.

Yes, this is harder than you think.

Yes, like me, you will be a lot tireder at the end of the process.

But it’ll be a good tired, you’ll be satisfied in the knowledge that you did things right, your audience will have left after a good experience… and they’ll be more likely to follow your call to action.

If collapsing in a heap doesn’t appeal, but a positive presentation result does – then get in touch with Eyeful, as this presentation design company is more than happy to do all the hard work, while you take the glory – it’s what we do!

Alas, we don’t do childcare – but if we did, it would be great… and I’d use it all of the time!

DISCLAIMER (if my wife is reading)
Jack is not the terror he sounds. He’s an awesome little dude that doesn’t have any more tantrums than any other toddler. To confirm, I really love my son and having children rocks – don’t be put off!

THE 3 MUST HAVE PRESENTATION APPS FOR YOUR NEW IPHONE 7

September 16th, 2016 by Matt

So, here we are again… today is the day (if you got up really early and queued) that you can get your hands on the new iPhone 7 (Android user’s stay with me)…

So what’s new?

In a nutshell the headphone socket has gone, but it now has Stereo Speakers that are better, louder… and much quicker at draining your battery. Which should be fine, as it has a longer battery life of 10 days… unless you actually use it. For anything.

It’s now water (but not toddler) resistant.

It has two new colours of jet black and erm, black. What happened to Space Grey?

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CREDIT: APPLE

Thankfully 16GB of storage is gone – so never again will you need to delete a photo in order to take another one, and if you are really snap happy there is a 256GB version.

And of course it has a faster processer….

(I love this video, it’s the kind of seriously cool thing we do regularly for our customers.)

Ok, so you potentially have your mitts on a sparkly, new iPhone 7…how can you use this to your advantage when it comes to presentations?

Well it turns out there are some seriously good (iOS and Android friendly) apps out there that can help…

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PowerPoint – The App for Delivering Intimate Presentations…

When it comes to presentations on Apple phones and tablets, the arrival of the PowerPoint app was the single biggest game changer for device presentations we’ve ever seen.

The PowerPoint app meant we could finally ditch complicated workarounds and heralded the true birth of informal presentations. Finally, presenters could leave their clunky laptops at the office, and enjoy truly interactive and informal conversational presentations.

Female speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall. Business and Entrepreneurship. Business woman.

Splashtop – The App for complete presenter control over big screen presentations

I like this app a lot; firstly it turns your device into a second (albeit smaller) PC monitor, which is handy in itself.

But when it comes to presenting you can use Presenter View…

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Which means your iPhone or iPad turns into complete control centre for your presentation slides…

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This means you don’t need a clicker, you don’t need extra paper notes, you don’t need to keep
looking at the clock and you don’t need a PowerPoint operator to click on hyperlinks for you.

All of this means this is the only way a presenter can retain full control of their presentation and keep the freedom to move around the stage. Cool eh?

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Office Lens – The App for WhiteBoard Presentations

Whiteboard presentations are great way to deliver information in a more interactive way than traditional screen-based presentations.

But of course you face the age old problem of carting away large sheets of paper, having the audience draw along with you or someone lining up to take photos.

Microsoft’s Office Lens app though is a great way to capture whiteboards…

You take a photo using the app, no need to spend time lining up as the app scans what you’re taking and straightens it out.

You keep snapping away until the end of the presentation, then in one-touch you can save all of your images to OneNote, OneDrive, Word, PowerPoint, PDF or even Outlook – so you can share them with your audience right away.

You could also turn your pages into a video with a commentary using Apples iMovie all on your iPhone 7!

Powerful stuff.

So there you have it, 3 must-have presentation apps for your new iPhone 7 (or Android). We’d love to hear about your experiences if you use any of these apps, just drop us a line…

HOW TO APPLY FASHION TRENDS TO YOUR PRESENTATIONS

September 13th, 2016 by Matt

It’s London Fashion Week later this week, so we thought we’d do something a little different and hand the blog over to Eyeful’s most fashionable presentation designer Ms Lorna Boyer, who was very eager indeed to write an interactive article all about how you can apply fashion trends to presentations…

So here is Lorna’s take on presentation trends for Autumn and Winter 2016…

If you fancy applying a little fashion to your presentations, just get in touch

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PRESENTATION SOFTWARE

September 9th, 2016 by Matt

For so long presentation designers and presenters across our fine land have relied on one tool to create and deliver their presentations – PowerPoint.

And a great tool it is. But there are lots of presentation software available, PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi and lots of different type of presentations; formal, interactive, video, device presentations… the list is endless.

Thankfully Simon Morton (presentation expert and CEO of this presentation design company) discusses all the presentation tools available and when to use them in his latest interview with Sticky Marketing’s Grant Leboff…

If presentation tech is your thing, keep your eye out for an upcoming blog revealing the 3 must have presentation apps for your new iPhone 7…
Until then, if you need any help with your presentations just get in touch…

3 BIG PRESENTATION NO NO’S FOR 1 VERY GOOD REASON

September 7th, 2016 by Matt

An email from a colleague hit my inbox the other day asking me for some ideas on what we could do to help a potential customer with their web presentation…

I clicked the link, Chrome loaded the URL and there in front of me was a standard click-through presentation. Metaphorically speaking, the palm of my right hand smashed into my forehead as presentation alarm bells rang aloud…

No number 1…
Don’t not upload linear click-through presentations to the internet and expect to get any traction off the back of them. What are presenters hoping to achieve here? I’ve just finished a webinar or a meeting, so here you go…here are my slides…No, people.

No number 2…
Don’t just email presentations to your audience. The risk of leaking confidential material is one thing, but do you really expect them read to it? No, they won’t.

No number 3…
Don’t print your presentation out and hand it out as a leave behind. This happens. A lot. I see so many presentations arriving for a Presentation Healthcheck that are overloaded with so much content that a live audience wouldn’t stand a chance…The reason presentation designers have done this? “…but the printout won’t make any sense without all of the content on the slides” No, they are missing the point.

Why so harsh?
Look, we know that an enormous amount of hard work goes into creating presentations, that’s why this presentation design company exists. All of this hard work can mean that it’s tempting for presenters to create a set of slides that covers all bases, but actually ends up being ineffective over all formats.

Unfortunately, this approach seems to have become acceptable – to present text-heavy slides, print minimalist slides with no context, or just email an enormous data-heavy presentation because hey, ‘it’ll do’.

Well it won’t do any more.

You can’t just send, upload or share a PowerPoint Presentation which is designed to be delivered by a presenter, because it just wouldn’t make any sense without the presenter’s input to put the whole thing into context.

Context is king…

You know what? Sharing your presentation content isn’t wrong, it’s just the way it’s being done that is misguided.

So here’s our thoughts on what you should be doing…

Online Presentations
Maybe you have a presentation about one of your products which you want to share on the relevant webpage of your site. Great idea, but the presenter still needs to give the audience the full picture.

The easiest way to do this is to turn your presentation into a video, complete with narration from the presenter…providing the all-important context for each slide…

Here’s a presentation we turned into a video for our homepage…

This is great for website visitors, but you could also host this video presentation on a hidden web page and share the link with the people you’ve just presented to. In this way, they (or important people who couldn’t attend) can dip back into your presentation after the event.

Email Presentations
Suddenly your video presentations can also be powerful marketing assets too. You can use them in your campaigns by including a thumbnail in your email which hyperlinks back to the page where your video is hosted. A great way to re-use your presentation and a great way to drive traffic to your website.

Here’s a presentation we created for an email marketing campaign to Creative Agencies…

PDF ImagePrinted Leave Behind
The more traditional way of creating a printed leave behind is still effective, but a better way to approach this is for you to reformat your existing PowerPoint presentation design into an A4 document with the presenter’s words as copy.

Then print and bind this professionally; as not only do you get to reuse all of the hard work that went into your presentation, your audience gets full context and the designed document gives you an even greater professional image too…

Here’s an extract from one of our training presentations where the slide graphics have been recreated as a PDF…

 

576bf0ee4170e44003dbae21Interactive Multi-Purpose Presentation
This is our brand new presentation concept where we could create you a single all-encompassing PowerPoint file, complete with strong messages and great minimalist design that the presenter can stand and deliver. But the very same file can be printed or hosted online and shared via email too.

As built into the design of each slide would be a ‘more information’ button which gives access to the presenters copy similar to this example…

 

Go forth and share…

So now you know what not to do, why you shouldn’t do it and what you can do instead! So go for it, make your hard work, work even harder…

If you need any help, you know where we are…

THE OUTSTANDING PROOF THAT EYEFUL’S PRESENTATION TRAINING WORKS

September 2nd, 2016 by Matt

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According to our latest business presentation survey, sales presenters consider their PowerPoint presentation design to be their most important asset in a sales engagement.

For such an important piece of collateral, the challenge is always in ensuring that the structure and design of a sales presentation fully engages the audience and leads to them buying into your proposition. Unfortunately, it’s no easy thing to get right.

This is why Eyeful created The Sales Lab, a Fast Track training course specifically designed to address this type of presentation.

It is just one of our full suite of presentation training modules, each of which are based on the three key stages of presentation creation:

Training Arch

The modular flexibility of Eyeful’s training means we can create a training package focused on the specific areas where you need the most support.

One such customised presentation training course was created for Neil Kapoor of Netsuite (a cloud business management software company).

Neil realised that a woefully generic advanced PowerPoint training course just wasn’t going to cut it and so researched the net for a suitable presentation design company for help with Netsuite’s sales presentations.

Here’s what he has to say about the training we put together…

And here’s Eyeful’s CEO Simon Morton explaining how we put together Netsuite’s specific Sales Presentation training package…

If Sales Presentations are specifically what you need help with, The Sales Lab can be booked online…

Or just give us a call on +44 (0)1455 826390 and we can create you a completely unique training plan bespoke to your needs from our full range of presentation training modules.

WE DID IT!!!!!!

August 31st, 2016 by Matt

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Thank you to everyone who attended the 2016 Eyefulpalooza here at Eyeful Towers, we hope you had a great time!

A HUGE thank you also goes to our friends and customers who didn’t attend, but still dug deep for our fantastic charity, Alzheimer’s Society

To top last year’s total is a great achievement and we couldn’t have done it without all of your donations…

Our thanks also go to the dedicated and hardworking Eyefulpalooza organisers Harri and Chris…

“Chris and I would like to thank everyone involved in this year’s event, whether that be buying or selling raffle tickets, donating to the cause, providing the catering, tending to the BBQ, helping with the event on Friday or just coming along to fill your face. Every penny we’ve made will be sent to the Alzheimer’s Society to be spent on an extremely worthwhile cause.”

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Whilst our current total stands at £671 (at the time of writing) it’s never too late to donate and it couldn’t be for a better cause – so if you would still like to join the fight against dementia please do donate here

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…