The Importance of Storytelling in PowerPoint Presentation Design

January 19th, 2016 by Matt

 

Eyeful’s very own MD Simon Morton has been speaking to our good friend Grant Leboff at Sticky Marketing

Simon does like to pop into Grant’s to offer some regular sage advice to presenters, in the past they’ve discussed interesting topics such as; the importance of audience, the impact of poor presentations and finding inspiration…

In this week’s catch-up, Simon debunks some of the myths around using stories in presentations and actually offers a couple of really easy suggestions on how to build story into your PowerPoint Presentation design to all importantly help the memory of your audience.

 
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The video is only 5 minutes, so perfect to view over a cuppa or a bite as you contemplate your next presentation.

If the topics mentioned above whet your appetite for more expert presentation knowledge, check out Simon’s acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab, which is making waves and has been released in 6 languages.

In the meantime, enjoy…

Which Presentations Are Created The Most?

January 11th, 2016 by Matt

The results are finally here! Yes, we’ve counted, assessed and reviewed all of your feedback from our first business presentation survey aimed at people who actually create presentations.

The first bit of insight that has come out of this survey is the type of presentations that people are mostly making…

Why not spend a minute or so and surprise yourself with the results in our infographic video… I know I was surprised…

It’s not surprising to see Conference Presentations so high, but I would have expected them to be top, not to mention the fact that Internal Presentations are being made in equal measures as Conference Presentations with a joint score of 56%.

There will be more interesting insight to come in the following coming weeks. If you happen to have a spare 60 seconds and you would like to contribute to our next survey ‘the Art of Delivery’ you can do so right here.

 

 

Merry Christmas You Tubers

December 24th, 2015 by Matt

If your anything like me, you probably dip into You Tube from time to time for… well, everything and anything!

Every morning, I give my 21-month old son Jack my iPhone playing the same 10 minute You Tube clip of those lovable Minions from Despicable Me – this gives me just enough time to change his nappy, and get him dressed and ready for nursery – thank you, You Tube!

Without the distraction of the Minions, Jack would be wriggling and objecting to the very idea that pyjamas are not suitable attire for leaving the house…

Then there’s the serious side of You Tube, like catching the latest movie trailers (yes this is serious) to finding how to do something in anything from Photoshop to cooking or DIY…

If you need some advice on how to do something, the chances are Google is going to point you to at least one helpful You Tube video…

And now you can get help with your presentations…

We’ve just uploaded over 30 of our favourite presentation related videos that we created in 2015.

Think of them as a slightly early Christmas present from Eyeful Presentations to all the You Tubers out there who need a little help with their presentations – you will be amazed at where the presentation bar has been set this year, it’s pretty darn high…

The Snowman is just one example of what Eyeful’s fantastic presentation designers can do with little more than PowerPoint and it’s the kind of presentation inspiration you’ll find on the Eyeful You Tube Channel.

So, pour a glass of mulled wine, grab a minced pie and soak up some of the very best inspiration, insight and thinking ready for your presentations in 2016 and if you find yourself needing a little help from the presentation experts, you know where we are

COULD SANTA EVER PUT A BIG, BLACK BOOT WRONG?

December 23rd, 2015 by Liz

Yesterday was one of those really exciting days… as a relatively new parent, each milestone achievement or experience my 20 month old son Niall goes through fills me with pride.

And yesterday was no exception, as I took him to see Santa in his grotto!

We arrived for our pre-booked slot at our local garden centre and were quickly whisked away with some other young families into a magical world of Christmas…

Hundreds of Christmas trees, decorated with thousands of fairy lights, lined the pathway to the entrance, fake snow and icicles adorned every visible surface and there were even two real reindeers wandering around!

Santa’s Elves guided us to the entrance to the grotto where Mrs Claus greeted and accompanied us into the most decorated living room you have ever seen.

As logs burned on the fireplace, Santa snored away happily in his rocking chair.

The children got comfy in their beanbag seats as us parents readied our cameras and waited for the magic to happen…

As any parent will tell you, children are a tough crowd, mercilessly honest and easily bored…

Things began to unravel as Mrs Clause encouraged the children to wake Santa up by shouting to him, his pretend spluttering waking jibber of “oh, for goodness sake!” left the children more confused than entertained…

Then, for no apparent reason, Santa decided to start playing to the (fee paying) parent audience rather than focusing on the children.

What unfurled was a series of slightly dodgy jokes about Grandmas using Botox and a very long and meandering story that left the older children bored and the younger ones fidgeting with confusion.

A few of the younger children, my son included, began to cause mischief by removing baubles and tinsel from the numerous Christmas trees as the older children gave their parents that look.

Santa did however manage to pull things around with a lovely 5 minutes sing song and a present for every child in the room – disaster adverted!

It’s fair to say though, that Niall’s visit to Santa had not quite gone as expected.

So, as someone who heads up the training division of Europe’s most successful presentation design company, I have come up with a few words of wisdom for Santa…

• Audience first, every time.
• If the audience is mixed, focus on the main group and don’t try and please everybody (it won’t happen). Chances are that if your main audience are happy, the remainder will be OK with it too – i.e. happy children = happy parents.
• Content shouldn’t get in the way of a strong engagement – trim down the content so that your audience don’t have to fight the temptation to run away, fall asleep or tug at room décor.

These words of advice will come in handy for all seasonal Santa’s and a fair few business presenters too…

Santa

AN EASY WAY TO PUT A SMILE ON YOUR LITTLE ONE’S FACE THIS CHRISTMAS

December 18th, 2015 by Matt

Just a quick note to say a very Merry Christmas to all our readers and as a thank you, we’ve created two fantastic Christmas videos; I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas and The Snowman

Plus, we’ve created you a personalised version of I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas, so that you can recreate this video especially for the little ones in your life…

The videos and everything you need to create a personalised video is available in the Turtl below…

Capture

Have a great Christmas, from all the team at Eyeful…

 

 

 

HOW TO PREPARE A PRESENTATION OVERNIGHT

December 10th, 2015 by Matt

Here at Eyeful, we are a caring, sharing sort of presentation design company.

Only yesterday I was creating a whole bunch of tutorial videos for our cloud based presentation storage and distribution platform SlideBank. These being carefully created with the sole intention of making things easier for the administrators and end users of this powerful PowerPoint distribution system.

We also have a fantastic modular presentation training programme that regularly helps people learn all the aspects of presentation creation, from the beginning of the presentation messaging process, right through to our technical training packages such as advanced PowerPoint training.

If you need help, then we are the type of business to offer it.

And we’re now helping people with their presentations while they fly!

Eyeful’s very own expert presentation consultant Richard Tierney has had an article on “How To Prepare A Presentation Overnight” featured in British Airways’ in-flight magazine Business Life.

Now, whilst we are certainly not advocates of leaving your presentation preparation to the very last minute, we know it happens. Goodness knows how many times we’ve picked up the phone to a rather panicked presenter needing a minor miracle delivering to save their presentation life!

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But if you’re on a long flight and calling the presentation experts simply isn’t an option, then thanks to Richard, here are 10 sage tips to get you ready in the hotel, the night before the big event…

#1 BE IN THE RIGHT STATE
You’ve arrived at the hotel, the conference is tomorrow and you haven’t prepared your presentation. Call room service. No one does well in a stressful situation on an empty stomach.

#2 DEFINE THE KEY MESSAGE
Your success on stage tomorrow depends on this one thought. Write it down. Pin it up somewhere where you can see it; this is going to get messy.

#3 GATHER SUPPORTING FACTS
Write down all the things you can think of, each one on a separate piece of paper. Post-It notes work well; I find those little pads of hotel notepaper useful. Now, pick your top three.

#4 MAKE A STORY
How do these three facts tell the main message you have? Imagine this: You meet an old friend for a drink. This friend knows nothing, and casually asks: “What do you really mean by that?” Pay close attention to your answer.

#5 GET SPECIFIC
I highly recommend writing out your speech in full. If it works better for you just list topic headings on 3×5 cards, or scamp it out as a mind map. Whatever floats your boat. Read it through out loud a couple of times and see how long it takes. Adjust accordingly.

#6 MAKE A FEW SLIDES
You need five slides:

● Your name and the title of your talk
● Point One
● Point Two
● Point Three
● Your key message

Only add more if you have a really good reason.

#7 EDIT
Fact: We remember pictures, we do not remember text. Therefore: Show – don’t tell. If you already have a prepared slide deck you may like to use a little-known function: the delete button. Now you have a story to tell, and you have a memorable, terse, set of slides to help you tell that story.

#8 REHEARSE
Time to rehearse again, with slides this time. There’s a theory that one can over rehearse; it’s true but you are nowhere near that point. Run through until it goes well, then go to bed. You need your sleep and the presentation will – magically – embed itself whilst you sleep.

#9 HYDRATE
Nerves are just nature’s way of saying we’re excited. By keeping your message simple, your objective clear and removing distracting slides you have minimised this. A dry mouth helps no one. Keep a bottle (not a glass) of still water with you at the podium.

# 10 OBJECTIVE
Above all, remember where you are going. Then you won’t get lost. Stage fright can make you think the worst of people. Your audience has come to hear you because they believe you have something worthwhile to say. They want you to succeed. Enjoy.

Or, if you have a slightly longer lead time than 12 hours, just give us a ring on 0845 056 8528…

 

We’re well versed in performing minor miracles…

Reason #24 to work with Eyeful Presentations:

December 4th, 2015 by Matt

Eyeful’s People Rock!

And I’m genuinely proud to say it…

There are lots of reasons to work with Eyeful and one of the biggest and best is the people who work tirelessly everyday making sure people’s presentation opportunities are successful.

We’re lucky enough to have a team of expert presentation consultants who know how to create you a presentation story that really connects with your audience…

Our project managers will bend over backwards to get the job done in your time frames…

And we’ve got a whole bunch of truly talented presentation designers who can turn a bullet point laden mess into something rather spectacular, yet professional.

Just ask our clients…

To get the full story of what our customers think about us, just check out our Turtl…

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It won’t just confirm what a lovely bunch we are to work with, but you’ll also find two great (and completely free) ways to ensure your presentations are on target

Satya Nadella & The iPhone – Seeing Is Believing

November 25th, 2015 by Simon

A week or so ago, I had the honour of being asked to speak at Microsoft’s Future Decoded conference in London.  Future Decoded is a huge deal – a total of 10,000 attendees over two days soaking up the latest thinking about the future of business, society, leadership, technology and more.

As you’d expect from such an event, Microsoft had rolled out a series of high profile and rather marvellous keynote speakers from the world of business, sport and technology.  The big name on the list was Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft – like I said, they pulled out all the stops on the event.

Satya & iPhone

I was intrigued to see Satya in action.  I’d seen him interviewed, read a fair bit about and by him but never seen him present.

As on TV, he comes across as a gentle, quietly spoken, considered presenter on stage …and if I was being hyper-critical, a tiny bit dull.  Now this might be a little unfair – after all, the vast majority of the audience were fellow techies and seemed pretty happy with proceedings – but there was a distinct lack of impact for the first 10 minutes.

I was beginning to wonder if after all the build up, this keynote might become a little, um, tedious.

And then something changed…

Satya started to demonstrate the (extremely cool) developments Microsoft have been beavering away at.  Not on some fancy set up with clever camera angles and carefully stage managed equipment.  Nope – on a phone (an iPhone of all things) to kick things off.

Not only did the mood in the audience change from slightly twitchy to truly engaged but Satya suddenly came to life too.  He was impressively comfortable in the various demos (there was no doubt that he’d put the rehearsal hours) but he also let his excitement and glee shine through.

He stopped being the cautious and considered tech CEO and morphed into someone who was bursting with pride and who couldn’t wait to share this cool new stuff with the audience.  It was brilliant…

At the end of Satya’s keynote, I was left pondering the metamorphosis I’d just witnessed.  To me, it was yet another example of the power of the demo.

I’ve long ranted about how this form of presentation seemed to be dying a slow death and that sales teams were missing a trick…and one of the most powerful and well respected business people of our time proved it again.

Demos aren’t hokey or something to be avoided – when delivered with confidence, passion and knowledge, they are the perfect platform for presenters to shine and for audiences to engage.

So ask yourself – are you relying on slideware too much?  Would a demo of your software/hardware/widget benefit the audience?  If so, you know what to do (and it has nothing to do with PowerPoint, Prezi or Keynote).

NEW PPT APP: POINTLESS OR GENIUS? YOU DECIDE

November 23rd, 2015 by Matt

An interesting new PowerPoint plugin appeared in my inbox recently, with a colleague asking my thoughts on it…

So in true Eyeful style, I’ve created an instructional review, so you can find how to get it and what we think about it – all in one place!

So, what is Social Share?

Social Share is a plugin that allows you to share your presentations on Facebook and Twitter, as either screen grabs, full slides or complete presentations – depending on the social media channel chosen…

You simply download and install the plugin and the next time you open PowerPoint the app will be there… you then need to link your social media accounts to it and your good to go.

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Facebook

When you choose to share on Facebook, you can share a screen clipping as an image, share all of your slides as a photo album or as a video – and this is all created from within the app.

Something to be aware of, this app is nosey – very nosey! When I linked it to Facebook, I restricted the settings so that the app couldn’t see my personal photos, videos or my public profile and I restricted it to posting only to my friends.

Facebook Test 1 – Sharing a screen clip

For my first test, I chose to share a screen clipping of one of my slides…

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rsz_1picture3With the clip ready, I ticked the box to include a link to my slides, as I was interested to see what this might look like – alas, the app simply crashed and did so every single time I selected this option.

With it now unticked, I hit the post button and seconds later my clipping appeared on my Facebook profile!

Facebook Test 2 – Sharing all slides as an image library

I imagine this would look really nice on Facebook, but unfortunately, this didn’t work either – the app just froze. Again.

If this function ever works for you, a word of warning…

If your slides contain layered objects due to animation, the image will only display in its unanimated state, which might not look its best…

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Facebook Test 3 – Sharing all slides as a video

Finally, I tried the option to post the deck as a video and as it rendered out, I wondered if the app was doing the hard work or if it was PowerPoints own video output option was rendering out? It was perhaps a combination of the two as the video created was in its own unique player skin.

To be fair, the render didn’t take long and the result on Facebook looked pretty good, it rendered out at the right quality for a small Facebook window, however the sound quality was initially awful, clearly the app had applied some compression.

I switched on an HD option on the player and the sound and picture quality instantly improved…

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Playing full screen though should be avoided, as the video pixilated instantly and looked horrendous!

On my iPhone 6, the experience was excellent, the video auto-played smoothly and the picture was crisp and clear.

Twitter

Again linking our Twitter account to the app set security alarm bells, but in for a penny eh!

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With the app now viewing, following and doing goodness knows what else with our twitter account, I continued and posted the screen clipping, which sadly, is the only option for Twitter.

To make it a little more interesting I created a short link pointing to a video version of this presentation, which worked quite well…

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Final Thoughts…

The truth is, the app gives little more functionality than what is already available, taking screen shots and converting your presentation to a video is nothing new… and it’s a simple job to then upload and share these on social media.

The only real USP with the Social Share App, is that you can do all of the above, in one easy, very quick step without the need to ever leave PowerPoint.

Great! But why?

That’s the burning question here, why post your presentation on social media?

I think this is where I struggle most with this app, presentations by default are created to be delivered, usually in person to an audience – now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge believer in the presentation landscape and that presentation delivery needs to flexible.

But even so, I just can’t image ever creating a PowerPoint presentation that I would want to share on social media, it just doesn’t feel quite right.

So, I think this app needs to be viewed from a different angle, one where you create a PowerPoint, not for a live presentation, but as a standalone marketing document, that delivers its message with context, without the need of a live presenter.

This could be as a video with a voiceover presenter, or as more of a document – PowerPoint can handle the creation of all these things…

Here at Eyeful, we create a lot of great looking standalone documents like this, with our new favourite bit of tech, Turtl.

The thing is, a user friendly cloud app like Turtl, makes it easy for none designer SME’s to focus on their content, whilst creating something easy on the eye.

As we all know by now, it’s difficult to create something that looks great in PowerPoint, without having design skills. However, it is pretty easy to knock up a pig’s ear in no time, but would you really want to share that with the world?

So I guess, getting back to the app, it does what it says on the tin. I just worry that the quality of PowerPoint presentations we are going to see shared on social media and if they are going to do more harm than good to your business?

Also, where is the Linked In sharing option? This app really doesn’t feel like it has much of a business use.

But, what do you think? Will you use this app and share your presentations on social media?

Leave your comments below…

Or contact us on Linked In, Twitter or Facebook!

Two Important Presentation Lessons

November 18th, 2015 by Matt

Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton’s has been very busy recently, last week he was speaking at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in London and the week before he was also in the big smoke speaking at the Customer Champion B2B event

Simon’s speaking events are all coming from the success of his first book, the richly acclaimed, “The Presentation Lab”.

The Presentation Lab reveals the difference between great slides and great presentations based on Eyeful’s proven Presentation Optimisation approach. It challenges everything you thought you knew about creating and delivering engaging business presentations.

Using practical tips and drawing on Simon’s experiences working with companies around the globe, this book will help everyone who ever needs to present by revealing what works, what doesn’t and, more importantly, why.

The in-depth insight, analysis and ideas within the book have proved to be a great basis for Simon’s speaking events and in just two weeks he’ll be speaking at his biggest event to date, in Barcelona, at Microsoft Convergence.

Well if you can’t wait for that and you would like to get a taste for what Simon is all about, then check out this double bill of short video interviews that Simon has given to Grant Leboff of Sticky Marketing…

THE IMPACT OF POOR PRESENTATIONS
When can a bad PowerPoint presentation, prove to be lethal? In this lesson Grant and Simon discuss how not to ruin a presentation…

PRESENTATIONS – THE AUDIENCE IS MOST IMPORTANT
If you’re making a presentation to a group of accountants does it have to be exclusively factual or is there another way to gain their trust? In this lesson Grant and Simon discusses how you put the audience first…

If you would like Simon to speak at your event or company, then simply drop us a line and we’ll book (pun intended) your date in the diary.