Presenters Block? Do A Doodle…

September 22nd, 2017 by Olivia Walsh

Doodling is a funny thing. Some people do it to alleviate stress, some people do it without thinking whilst on the phone or chatting with friends, and some people have become so adept at it that they’ve built a successful career off the back of it. Luminaries like author Sunni Brown and the visualisation team at Eyeful use doodling as a bridge to span the gap between great content and engaging communication. Doodling is the seemingly haphazard foundation of strong visual communication, notably within business presentations. Its beauty lies within this haphazard approach. Without free form creativity and a sense of freedom, every visual slide would be a version of a SmartArt diagram – uninspiring, laboured and not particularly effective.

It’s for this reason that the offices at Eyeful Towers are strewn with screwed up pieces of doodle paper. Okay, we may give it a slightly fancier name and call it ‘visualisation’, but great visualisation starts with an appreciation of the art of doodling. We’ve taken it further and installed entire whiteboard walls for customers, training delegates, consultants and designers to doodle on. In short, we love to doodle.

So why don’t more people doodle? The reality is that, like dancing or singing, most people doodle when nobody’s looking. It’s a personal thing… and doesn’t feel like work. In short, doodling doesn’t feel particularly serious or grownup.

We want to change that so today on, National Doodle Day, we implore you to stop being so precious about those doodles and embrace your inner doodler. Make sure that when you’re preparing your next presentation, step away from PowerPoint and preformatted template and embrace the simple pleasure of pencil and paper. Take time to free your mind and allow yourself to doodle in a way that you’ve never doodled before.

Go on… you’ll love it. And if your boss asks that you’re doing, assure them that from innocent doodles come great visual messages.

 

 

Delivering Bad News – Rubbing Salt into the Wound

September 12th, 2017 by Simon Morton

I’m one of those hapless souls who got caught up in the whole VW diesel emissions scandal. I won’t bore you with the details but outside of the inevitable sense that you’d been duped and the inconvenience, it’s not been a great customer experience.

Throughout the process, Audi (part of the VW group) have attempted to communicate with their customers through a series of letters. This sensible approach allows them to apologise for inconveniences, assure drivers that their vehicles are legal and safe and generally atone for past sins. The problem is that, in my view, the communication, has spectacularly failed.

Each letter has become increasingly verbose.

Each letter has got more technical.

Each letter has sounded like it was written by backside-covering lawyers.

And each letter has helped kill off, bit by bit, any spare goodwill I had for the brand…

As business communicators, we need to realise the impact of every touch point we have with our customers. I have no doubt that Audi had the right intentions with every letter sent but they fell into the trap of letting the corporate speak/legalese/backside-covering get in the way. The net result is that they’ve taken a bad situation and made it worse in the eyes of the most important people in this whole saga; their customers.

The same rules apply for presentations when communicating bad news. It’s very tempting to go into battle armed with technical data, analysis and forensically detailed reports detailing why the bad stuff happened but the reality is that your first consideration must be your audience. How are they feeling? What information do they need from you to help them move on? What do they want to hear from you?

I’m reminded of a time we were asked to help a management team communicate a series of redundancies to their workforce. This is a horrible but important type of project – no-one wants to be involved but everyone recognises how vital it is to get it absolutely right.

As is so often the case, it all starts with the audience. At this visceral stage of proceedings, they frankly don’t give a damn about the market changes that led to this tough decision. They also don’t much care about how management is feeling about it.

What they do care about is what it means to them and their families. They care about what the company can do to support them through the process. As such, the first thing we did was clear their presentation of all the backside-covering content and focussed on the message…

We want to help make this as painless for you as possible.

The reality is that delivering bad news is never fun. Your audience will be emotional so it is vital that you recognise and embrace this and craft your message accordingly. Attempting to counter this emotion with a carefully crafted factual argument will, at best, fall on deaf ears, and can often inflame an already sensitive situation (ref. Audience Heatmapping).

But while delivering bad news is never fun, it does provide the opportunity to be open with your audience, demonstrate empathy and ultimately form a foundation for more productive engagements going forward.

Just ask the management team we helped – when business picked up, they were able to re-employ many of those they were forced to make redundant. There were no hard feelings or repercussions, in part, because of the respectful way they handled the bad news.

That’s good business, no matter which side of the ‘fence’ you sit on.

PowerPoint PowerHack #7 – Replace Fonts

August 30th, 2017 by Olivia Walsh

#PresentBetter

Have you ever created a whole presentation, only to realise afterwards that you used the wrong font?! Instead of manually going through every slide, did you know you can replace it in one fell swoop?

Well now you do! Here is one of Eyeful’s senior presentation designers with another top PowerPoint PowerHack which reveals how to change an entire presentation’s font in just a couple of clicks…

Stay tuned for another PowerPoint PowerHack soon,

The Eyeful Team

EYEFUL’S 10-STEP GUIDE TO CREATING AN EFFECTIVE INTERNAL PRESENTATION

July 24th, 2017 by Matt

The internal presentation; the one that’s going to inspire your team, motivate the sales guys or maybe deliver the news everyone has been hoping for.

Whatever the reason for your internal PowerPoint presentation design we want to help you make it great, make sure it’s understood and that your team leave clear on their next steps…

To point you in the right direction, outlined below is our 10-step strategy for creating an effective internal presentation (it’s way more useful than a generic advanced PowerPoint training course!)…

Step 1 – Set your objectives…

Every presentation should have a purpose to it. What is it that you actually want your audience to do? Inspire them into doing something differently? Buy into a new set of procedures? Maybe it’s a quarterly update and you want them to take on board information and act on it?

Whatever you want to achieve, keep it in mind throughout the creation of your presentation and make your call to action clear. If your audience leave unsure what you want them to do, chances are they won’t do it…

TIP: Learn Eyeful’s Must Intend Like objective setting module on page 82 of The Presentation Lab

Step 2 – Consider what motivates your audience…

Audiences are funny things. Especially internal ones, as the chances are you’re going to know each other pretty well. That might be a good thing if you’re on good terms, it could also be negative if there is a pre-existing level of distrust or negativity. Either way, you can’t ignore this. You need to spend some time considering how you’re going to get your audience to engage and buy in to your topic…

TIP: Generate your Audience Heatmap here (it’s free!)…

Step 3 – Craft a presentation structure using The Audience Pathway…

Eyeful’s Audience Pathway structure has provided a large number of companies with presentations that focus on their audiences. It’s a simple structure that helps to highlight the audience’s issues and shows the solution you can provide. This means whether your audience is a prospect or a colleague, if you’re offering them a real solution to a problem affecting their world, they are going to listen.

TIP: Find more information on The Audience Pathway on page 74 of The Presentation Lab

Step 4 – Turn your presentation into a story…

It’s a well-known fact that people remember stories not slides. You can include stories in your presentation in a number of ways; case studies, previous experiences, analogies about sheds (true story) – using story to support your message will make it easier to understand and easier to remember. After all, presentations aren’t meant to be hard work (for the audience!)…

TIP: Check out our Story Season collection of blogs…

Step 5 – Start design on paper…

Most presenters don’t follow the kind of advice we offering, they dive straight into PowerPoint and start typing bullet points and endless amounts of text onto slides. Alas this is why many (bad) presentations resemble word documents. When it comes to slide content, less is more. Consider highlighting your key messages in a visual way.

TIP: Review our guide to presentation visualisation…

Step 6 – Choose your weapon of choice wisely…

The Presentation Landscape is Eyeful’s way of helping you to pair the environment you will be presenting in with the technology that’s suits this type of engagement best.

If it’s a large auditorium with a huge audience then you’re going to want a projector, if it’s a small 1-2-1 sales meeting then presenting with a tablet is going to be more informal… it’s not complicated, but you’d be surprised by how many presentations get this wrong… It’s simply about using the best tool to get your message across to your audience.

TIP: Find more information on page 170 of The Presentation Lab

Step 7 – Consider a Blended Presenting approach…

Blending Presenting is an Eyeful concept that is essentially about not being afraid to use multiple presentation tools during one presentation. For example, if your internal presentation is to demo a new product to your team, make sure you don’t just deliver a PowerPoint – demo the product too… and don’t be afraid to use a whiteboard to sketch out complicated information.

Step 8 – Practice Delivering…

Nothing will contribute to the success of your presentation more that you knowing it inside out. The only way to achieve this is through practice… Read it out loud…
Practice presenting to colleagues or friends. You may worry about making mistakes, but it’s better to make those mistakes before your main presentation – after all, nobody wants to look daft in front of their colleagues!

TIP: A good way to critique yourself is by videoing yourself presenting and reviewing this back.

Step 9 – Be enthusiastic (and honest)…


It’s very difficult to come across professionally if you haven’t practised your presentation. By practising your presentation again and again you will be able to deliver it in a more authentic and genuine way, which is going to get you a lot more respect and buy in from your audience. Nobody enjoys a presentation when the presenter spouts a speech he’s given a thousand times before with no care in how he sounds…

TIP: Pressing W or B in PowerPoint pauses the presentation on a blank screen, bringing focus back to you…

 

Step 10 – Consider a presentation leave-behind…

 

Avoid that sinking feeling you get when after months of hard work leading up to your presentation, you find the key decision maker isn’t in your audience. Don’t let their absence detract from you still delivering an excellent presentation – but, at the end, provide your audience with a professional presentation leave-behind.

This document should contain the same key messages as your presentation along with the copy and context to support these as if you were there presenting alongside it.

Printing out your slides and binding them together nicely won’t do you justice if read later without the presenter’s context.

TIP: Download Eyeful’s definitive guide to presentation leave-behinds

We hope these 10-steps help you to create internal presentations that deliver your desired impact.

If you follow them, we guarantee your internal presentations will be more advanced than many of the thousands of home spun decks, that are being knocked up on a daily basis by unsuspecting presenters, who are blissfully ignorant to the fact that an internal presentation can actually be the most powerful and influential of all – internal presentations are your opportunity to shine.

The solution is a simple one…

Give your internal presentation the same care and attention as any other, spend time analysing
your audience, building story structures and delivering it in the best way to advocate action in your audience…

If you need any help getting there, just get in touch…

 

PowerPoint PowerHack #6: how to copy and paste animation

July 17th, 2017 by Matt

Did you know that if you ever look through a PowerPoint presentation and spot some animation you like – you can copy and paste it into another slide or presentation?

Well now you do! Here is one of Eyeful’s senior presentation designers with another top PowerPoint PowerHack which reveals exactly how to do it…

Stay tuned for another PowerPoint PowerHack soon,

The Eyeful Team

Announcing the first ever European sales enablement summit

July 13th, 2017 by Matt

Eyeful Presentations is proud to announce that our partner Top Sales World is running the first ever European Sales Enablement Summit.

This one day event is happening on Wednesday 4th October 2017 at the exclusive venue of Arsenal’s Emirate’s stadium.

On the day you will find one of the most prominent and significant speaker lists ever assembled on this side of the continent. Speakers, including Eyeful’s founder Simon Morton, are all being brought together with the aim of increasing your sales results through integrated content, training and coaching.

The event’s organiser Jonathan Farrington, CEO of Top Sales World states that…

“We will be viewing the Sales Enablement ‘landscape’ from every angle; the entrepreneur, the researcher, the strategist, the futurist, the practitioner, the technology provider, the messenger, the presenter, all have their own commitment to sales enablement excellence but each has their own approach.”

Meaning that there will be sales enablement advice and best practice no matter where your discipline lies.

Eyeful are also very pleased to announce that we are able to offer our clients and partners tickets to this prestigious event at a greatly reduced special rate of £295 instead of the full £495.

To take advantage of this offer before it expires on 31st July, purchase your tickets here using the code TSW17/VP…

To download the event brochure and get even more information click here

SIMON MORTON REVEALS THE FORMULA TO SALES PRESENTATION SUCCESS

July 7th, 2017 by Matt

There’s an age-old conflict between sales and marketing that never seems to go away when it comes to sales presentations…

Marketing create the collateral (the dreaded PowerPoint presentation) that is usually deemed ‘not good enough’ by their colleagues in the sales team.

This means the poor sales person, with their meeting looming, has to work long into the evening making the presentation more appropriate for their prospect meeting…

Sadly, this isn’t the case because the marketing team aren’t trying to help, or because the sales team are being awkward – it’s simply a lack of true sales presentation expertise on both sides.

Eyeful though, are the sales presentation experts…

We’ve been creating some of the most effective sales presentations (and indeed, most effective sales experiences) for over a decade.

Over this time we’ve shaped what we believe to be one of the most effective types of presentations that leads to engaged prospects who are switched on and in-tune with your sales messages.

Simon Morton, Eyeful’s founder and CEO has been telling Barbara Giamanco of Top Sales World all about our unique approach to sales presentations on her Hard Talk show which you can listen to (or download) right here…

To get support with your sales presentation design and messaging that will significantly increase your chances of sales success, just drop us a line and a presentation expert will be in touch today…

TODAY’S WEBINAR : BUSINESS SUCCESS THROUGH ONLINE MEETINGS

July 6th, 2017 by Matt

Ok, hands up who has ever done any of these things when attending a webinar?

Checked email
Continued working
Scanned through your Facebook feed
Logged off due to the dire content

It isn’t surprising when most webinars are incessantly self-promoting, with the presenter going on and on about their company, where they are based and how esteemed their board of directors are…

Couple that with PowerPoint presentation designs that are devoid of quality, animation and anything resembling a logical story or structure.

Now add in the fact there is no body language to follow from either party.

That’s how most sales pitches feel using an online meeting tool – with absolutely no connection between presenter and audience.  What results is a tug of war between an overly enthusiastic presenter and an isolated audience…and nobody wins.

Which is no good for you as a presenter. You somehow need to build a connection with your audience, keeping them engaged, interested and enthused enough to follow your call to action.

How do you do this?

Well, today at 12.30 (UK) Eyeful’s founder (and all-round presentation expert) Simon Morton is delivering a webinar on webinars in…

Business Success through Online Meetings – The Power of Trust & Rapport

This is a fantastic opportunity to find out…

How you can use web technology to build trust with prospects and customers
How you can easily create intimacy with your remote audiences through use of an online ‘blended approach’
How to move the online engagement from ‘presentation’ to ‘conversation’
See an example of a webinar presentation created and delivered by a renowned presentation expert

Register now to get the expert advice to that will give your next webinar a much greater chance of success…

Introducing The Eyeful Presentation Performance Review

June 30th, 2017 by Olivia Walsh

We understand as presentation professionals that no matter how much hard work you put in and how hard you try to make your presentation work – sometimes, you get the feeling you’re just not achieving the results your hard work warrants.

Perhaps you are getting good results, but you are conscientious and always looking for ways to get an edge on your competition?

Well, whichever camp you fall into, Eyeful has a (free) service that can help you to considerably improve your presentations…

Our Presentation Performance Review service will provide you with real actionable feedback from some of the UK’s most seasoned presentation experts.

All you need to do is visit our dedicated page, tell us a little about your presentation environment and audience, and send us a copy of your presentation – you can do this all on our page and it only takes 2 minutes.

If you do, you will receive…

An Audience Heatmpap
That will steer you in terms of the kind of content that will motivate your audience into following your call to action.

Design Critique
Receive a full review of your presentation’s existing look and feel, messaging and structure.

Guidance 
Actionable advice on your presentation’s strengths and weaknesses against your objectives.

New Ideas
At Eyeful we are a presentation design company that is always up-to-date with the latest presentation tech, so if your speaking opportunities are screaming out for a video brochure or that you really ought to consider an interactive toolkit presentation – well, we’ll advise accordingly…

So, take the first steps towards better and more effective presentations with our free Presentation Performance Review

EYEFUL SMASH ANOTHER FUNDRAISING TARGET ON THE LONGEST DAY

June 22nd, 2017 by Matt

Wow! What a day yesterday was – it was the longest day of the year and we rammed it full of fundraising for our partner charity – Alzheimer’s Society.

The day started with everyone forming teams for another Eyeful Taskmaster event organised by Jack and Lorna…

We were put through our paces in a series of challenges such as See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, Chain Reaction and Strong Arm Tactics!

Other fundraising included a ‘cob shop’ as Liz, Lloyd and Ross cooked and sold bacon rolls to Eyeful staff and all the other businesses in Desford Hall, selling a whopping 52 cobs! As well as a ‘bake sale’ by Vicki and Sam and a ‘sweet shop’ by Liz.

We absolutely smashed our target of £100, by raising almost £250! So well done Team Eyeful!

If you would like to make a small donation to our very worthy charity the Alzheimer’s Society, you can do so right here